The self-concept in male and female juvenile delinquents was the major focus of the study. A total of six first-time juvenile probationers, three males and three females aged 14--17, attended a six-week self-concept enhancement group intervention that was based on Bracken's (1996) multidimensional model of self-concept and self-concept enhancement. The purpose of this qualitative study was to determine whether the group intervention could increase participants' understanding about the link between low self-concept and juvenile delinquency, whether participants could apply that understanding to their own delinquent behaviors, and whether self-concept could be enhanced from the six-week group intervention. Semi-structured self-concept interviews and two objective self-concept measures, the Multidimensional Self-Concept Scale (MSCS; Bracken, 1996) and the Piers-Harris Children's Self Concept Scale-2 (PHCSCS-2; Piers, Harris, & Herzberg, 2002) were administered pre- and post-treatment. Thirteen major themes related to self-concept emerged from the interviews. No major themes emerged related to participants' understanding about the link between low self-concept and delinquency or to their understanding about how that link may apply to their own delinquent behaviors. Findings indicated that the number of participants who reported having a positive global self-concept increased from three out of six during the pre-treatment interviews to five out of six during the post-treatment interviews. This suggests that self-concept may have been enhanced overall for some individuals. Results from the PHCSCS-2 showed improvement in self-concept between pre- and post-treatment for three out of six participants. Results from the MSCS, however, yielded improvement in total self-concept for only one participant. For the group as a whole, the data from the objective measures indicated that self-concept was not enhanced or improved over the course of the six-week group intervention, as the group mean was "average" at the time of both pretreatment and post-treatment assessments.
Keywords. Juvenile Delinquency, Probation, Self-Concept, Self-Concept Enhancement, Group Therapy, Qualitative Research.
|School:||Alliant International University, San Diego|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 67/12, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Group intervention, Juvenile offenders, Self-concept|
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