A COMPREHENSIVE GROUP TREATMENT PROGRAM TO TEACH SELF-CONTROL TO IMPULSIVE/AGGRESSIVE BOYS

MARIA JUDITH NARDONE, Fordham University

Abstract

Impulsive and aggressive behavior in children is considered to be one of the most important problems facing clinicians and researchers today. A structured group treatment was employed to teach self-control to impulsive/aggressive boys. Treatment techniques included cognitive training, problem solving, relaxation training, behavioral contracting and group interaction. A major focus of the evaluation was to measure the effectiveness of treatment in promoting generalization of treatment effects over time and to different settings and behaviors.^ Subjects were selected from residents of The Children's Village, Dobbs Ferry, New York, a residential treatment center for emotionally disturbed boys. Twenty boys, ages 8-12, designated by staff as high in impulsivity and aggression, comprised the treatment and control groups. Behavioral observations were administered pre, mid, post treatment and follow-up in three settings: school, cottage and recreation. The Matching Familiar Figures Test, the Impulse Control Categorization Instrument, and the Rosenzweig Picture Frustration Study-Adaptation were administered pre and post treatments. The Devereaux Child Behavior Rating Scale, the Devereaux Elementary School Rating Scale and Sociometric Ratings by Peers in school and cottage were conducted pre and follow-up. The treatment intervention consisted of thirteen, fifty-minute group sessions for two identical groups of five treatment subjects conducted by two clinical psychological interns.^ Results of behavioral observations post treatment indicated a significant decrease in impulsive/aggressive behavior in the school setting. Ability to solve frustrating problems as measured by the Rosenzweig Picture Frustration-Adaptation improved significantly post treatment. The behavior, verbal fighting, remained significantly lower at follow-up. It was concluded that a comprehensive group treatment approach was effective in reducing impulsive/aggressive behavior. Treatment effects generalized to the behaviors and setting most similar to those employed during training. Therefore, it is necessary to analyze the task requirements of the skills and behaviors the researcher of clinician intends to achieve and to include the appropriate training. Suggestions to improve generalization and internalization of treatment effects are discussed. ^

Subject Area

Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

NARDONE, MARIA JUDITH, "A COMPREHENSIVE GROUP TREATMENT PROGRAM TO TEACH SELF-CONTROL TO IMPULSIVE/AGGRESSIVE BOYS" (1982). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8219256.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8219256

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