Effects of rational emotive education and emotion awareness training on self-concept, anxiety, school attitudes, and coping skills

Charles Anthony De Stefano, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to analyze the effectiveness of a rational-emotive curriculum called the Program for Affective Learning (PAL) with young children. It was hypothesized that rational-emotive education would cause participants to make positive measurable changes in their self-concept, anxiety level, attitudes toward school, rational thinking, and coping skills.^ The PAL curriculum was compared with PAL supplemented by various lessons designed to teach children how to describe, label, and talk about different feeling states. This supplement to PAL was called Emotion Awareness Training (EAT). It was hypothesized that a child's understanding of and ability to identify and express different emotions would influence the learning of rational-emotive education. An attention-placebo condition was also included in the study.^ Subjects for the study were 97 third grade children. Classes were randomly assigned to one of three treatment: (a) PAL, (b) PAL + EAT and (c) attention-placebo control group. Sessions were conducted every day for 10 weeks. Five dependent measures were used: self-concept, anxiety, attitudes toward school, rational thinking, affective vocabulary, and coping skills.^ The results may be summarized as follows: (1) Self-concept was not influenced by the treatments. (2) Children in the PAL and PAL + EAT conditions demonstrated a significant reduction in anxiety. (3) Children in the PAL and PAL + EAT conditions demonstrated less endorsement of self-defeating ideas. (4) Children in the PAL + EAT felt more positive toward different curriculum activities than children in the other treatment conditions. (5) The results of this study support the notion that rational-emotive education can be an effective form of intervention with young children. (6) Support was also demonstrated for Emotion Awareness Training.^ Implications of the findings, suggestions for different assessment strategies and recommendations regarding the implementation of rational-emotive education are discussed. ^

Subject Area

Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

De Stefano, Charles Anthony, "Effects of rational emotive education and emotion awareness training on self-concept, anxiety, school attitudes, and coping skills" (1988). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8813573.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8813573

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