Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An interpersonal communication program for middle school students applying True Colors
by Dawson, Yolanda Denise, Ed.D., Pepperdine University, 2008, 188; 3315203
Abstract (Summary)

This action research study was designed to (a) create an Interpersonal Communication program for middle school students to obtain knowledge and skills about personality and communication, and (b) to assess the program effectiveness. Sixteen Hispanic middle school students transitioning from the 7th grade into the 8th grade participated in the program. The program was taught within a summer language arts class. Students were exposed to 18 lessons that blended True Colors Personality concepts and social skills lessons. Instruments used in the study were the True Colors Character Cards, student focus groups, student journals, parent surveys, field notes, and a behavior questionnaire. These tools were used to identify the personality types, communication skills, interpersonal conflicts, and communication behavior of student participants. These tools were also used to identify knowledge and skills obtained from participation.

The findings supported several conclusions about the IC program benefits. First, students acquired knowledge and skills in self-awareness and personality awareness. All students understood (a) how the concepts of the True Colors Character Cards represented themselves, (b) how people are different and alike, and (c) how to identify personality traits using True Colors concepts. Second, students acquired knowledge and skills in communication. They were able to focus, share, and interact with others during the IC program. As a result, students reported decreased (a) interpersonal conflicts, (b) communication of disrespect, and (c) showing emotional dissatisfaction with others. Parents also reported the program had increased their children's positive communication abilities. Third, teachers would benefit from using this program because they can teach interpersonal skills in the natural environment of the classroom. Fourth, the site and district administrators became aware of (a) the mismatch between the traditional learning environment of school and certain personality types and (b) a program to help extroverted youth who have difficulty achieving academic success in the standard classroom's individual task-oriented environment. Fifth, using True Colors helped increase parents', teachers', and school administrators' awareness of how multi-tasked lessons and activities can help middle school students. Sixth, utilization of action research provided keen insights to the study and enabled exploration of the problems within the school environment.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hiatt-Michael, Diana B.
School: Pepperdine University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 69/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: School counseling, Educational psychology, Secondary education
Keywords: Communication, Interpersonal, Interpersonal communication, Middle school, Personality, Social skills, True Colors
Publication Number: 3315203
ISBN: 978-0-549-64692-1
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