EFFECT OF GROUP ASSERTIVENESS TRAINING ON CLASSROOM BEHAVIOR, SELF-ESTEEM, AND REINFORCEMENT RESPONSIBILITY OF LEARNING HANDICAPPED CHILDREN

BARBARA REICH GARDINER, Fordham University

Abstract

Since children with histories of learning difficulty often exhibit low self-esteem, negative affect, task avoidant behavior, and the attribution of academic failures and successes to factors beyond their personal control, both academic and affective interventions are required to ameliorate the effects of school failure. This study investigated the effects of a cognitive-behavioral model of group assertiveness training on the classroom problem behavior, self-esteem, reinforcement responsibility, and assertive behavior of children with a history of learning and behavioral difficultie.^ Subjects were 60 third and fourth graders who attended two public schools servicing predominantly lower-income minority populations. All subjects were performing a year or more below grade level in reading and all but the children in the control group were receiving academic resource room instruction.^ Children were assigned to one of four treatment groups: (a) assertiveness training and academic remediation, (b) discussion program and academic remediation, (c) academic remediation, and (d) no treatment control. Children in the assertiveness training and the discussion groups met weekly for a series of 12 45-minute sessions. The other children were seen only for pre- and posttesting. Changes were measured using the Walker Problem Behavior Identification Checklist, the Children's Assertive Behavior Scale, the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory, and the Intellectual Achievement Responsibility Questionnaire.^ Hypotheses were tested through five one-way analyses of variance on the posttest scores. Statistical analysis indicated the only significant difference between the groups was that the control group's score was significantly higher (indicating an increase in classroom problem behavior) than the discussion group's score (indicating a decrease). There were no significant differences between the groups on any of the other experimental variables.^ Additionally, gain scores were analyzed using the Wilcoxon Matched-Pairs Signed-Ranks Test. Several findings reached significance: (1) The assertiveness training group demonstrated a significant decrease in negative classroom behavior and a significant increase in taking responsibility for their academic failures. (2) The academic treatment group showed a significant increase in self-esteem. (3) The discussion group showed a significant increase in aggressive behavior. (4) The control group showed a significant increase in classroom problem behavior.^ Results suggest that assertiveness training is an effective intervention that needs further evaluation using improved methodology and instrumentation.^

Subject Area

Elementary education

Recommended Citation

GARDINER, BARBARA REICH, "EFFECT OF GROUP ASSERTIVENESS TRAINING ON CLASSROOM BEHAVIOR, SELF-ESTEEM, AND REINFORCEMENT RESPONSIBILITY OF LEARNING HANDICAPPED CHILDREN" (1982). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8223600.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8223600

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