THE VALUES AND VALUE STABILITY OF EMOTIONALLY HANDICAPPED AND NORMAL ADOLESCENTS

BRIAN J ABRAMS, Fordham University

Abstract

This study investigated the value rankings and stability of value rankings of two groups of emotionally handicapped adolescents (conduct disorder and anxiety-withdrawal) and normal adolescents. Value stability was viewed in relation to the broader concepts of identity and psychopathology. Many writers in the area of adolescent development believe that a major developmental task of adolescence is the achievement of a stable self-identity, and that stable values are a key element of identity. The relationship of values confusion and identity confusion in emotionally handicapped adolescents was reviewed both theoretically and empirically.^ This study addressed two basic questions. First, do the value rankings of conduct disorder, anxiety-withdrawal, and normal adolescents differ? If they are different, what are the specific values that differentiate the three groups? Second, are the value rankings of the conduct disorder and anxiety-withdrawal groups less stable than the value rankings of the normal group?^ The Revised Behavior Problem Checklist was employed to categorize the adolescents into the conduct disorder and anxiety-withdrawal groups. The Rokeach Value Survey was administered to 15- to 18-year old adolescents on two separate occasions (3-week interval). A total of 148 subjects participated in this study.^ The results revealed that all three groups shared similar value rankings. Very few differences across groups were found, and only one difference in value rankings was statistically significant on both testings at the.05 level: the value "responsible" was ranked more important by the normal group than the conduct disorder group. Value differences due to sex within each group also revealed few differences, and only one difference in value rankings was statistically significant on both testings: the value "mature love" was ranked higher by normal boys than by normal girls.^ The most important finding of this study was that all three groups showed moderate to low levels of value stability (.38 to.51). This lack of value stability was predicted for the two groups of emotionally handicapped adolescents, but not the normal group. The data also revealed that girls were more stable in their value rankings than boys in most groups. (Abstract shortened with permission of author.) ^

Subject Area

Education, Educational Psychology

Recommended Citation

BRIAN J ABRAMS, "THE VALUES AND VALUE STABILITY OF EMOTIONALLY HANDICAPPED AND NORMAL ADOLESCENTS" (January 1, 1987). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI8725665.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8725665

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