Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Reducing hostility and increasing locus-of-control in low-income Black children: A comparison of two treatments
by Laknahour, Holly Hickson, Ph.D., American University, 1987, 128; 8805460
Abstract (Summary)

In order to examine the effects of psychodramatic role play in comparison to discussion groups on hostility and locus of control in children, sixty-five urban, Black children from low-income families were randomly assigned to one of two treatment conditions.

Subjects were administered fifteen sessions of either psychodrama or discussion focusing on a list of the fifteen most-feared events in their environment. The Nowicki-Strickland Locus of Control Survey for Children (1973) was administered pre- and posttest as a measure of change in locus of control. As a measure of change in hostile perceptions, one of two sets of six TAT cards was administered and scored for hostile content using the Hostility Directed Outward and Hostility Directed Inward Scales from the Hostile Content Analysis Scales devised by Gottschalk, Winget, and Gleser (1969). The alternate set was used post-test.

Subjects in both psychodrama groups demonstrated a marked increase in internality on the Locus of Control scale, while subjects in both discussion groups decreased in internality. The difference in outcome of the treatment conditions was significant at the.01 level of confidence.

Subjects in both psychodrama groups demonstrated a non-significant increase in both hostility directed outward and hostility directed inward. Subjects in the two discussion groups evidenced a non-significant decrease in hostility directed outward and a non-significant decrease in hostility directed inward. However, a higher proportion of subjects in the psychodrama groups showed a decrease in both hostility measures than in the discussion groups. It is likely that no real changes were observed in the hostility measures, therefore.

While the evidence strongly supports the superiority of psychodrama over discussion-style groups in increasing internal locus of control for this population, the results for the hostility measures are inconclusive. Possible explanations include the need for tighter control of interviewers' technique, for larger numbers of subjects to counteract the wide range of scores within groups, and for measurements requiring less verbal activity.

The author recommends further research into the nature of hostility and aggression for this population, and suggests that examining behavior and value systems may prove more useful than examining perception.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor:
Commitee:
School: American University
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-B 49/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Social psychology
Keywords:
Publication Number: 8805460
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