Arts-based guidance intervention for enhancement of empathy, locus of control, and prevention of violence

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Arts-based guidance intervention for enhancement of empathy, locus of control, and prevention of violence
Skye, Dianne Lynn, 1949-
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viii, 186 leaves : ; 29 cm.


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Art education ( jstor )
Art teachers ( jstor )
Arts ( jstor )
Empathy ( jstor )
High school students ( jstor )
High schools ( jstor )
Locus of control ( jstor )
Schools ( jstor )
Students ( jstor )
Violence ( jstor )
Counselor Education thesis, Ph.D ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Counselor Education -- UF ( lcsh )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2001.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 170-184).
General Note:
General Note:
Statement of Responsibility:
by Dianne Lynn Skye.

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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Copyright [name of dissertation author]. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
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Full Text







Dedicated to my Mom who has lived a life of unconditional love and caring.
Edna Lutz Poling 3/21/13-


Sincere thanks are extended to Dr. Robert Myrick for serving as chairman of my

committee. As an educator and mentor, his professional advice and personal

encouragement have been a tremendous influence in my life and work and are greatly

appreciated. Thanks and appreciation are also given to Dr. David Miller who was

consistently kind and patient with my right brain blocks during the process of statistical

analysis. In addition, I would like to acknowledge committee members Dr. Larry Loesch

and Dr. Joe Wittmer for their support. I feel humbled and grateful to have had such

tremendous teaching from these pillars in the profession.

To Dr. Merle Flannery, the professor who first encouraged me to pursue a

doctorate degree, I extend admiration, gratitude, love, and great appreciation. Dr.

Flannery's teachings and phenomenal manner of seeing the world will always be with


Special thanks are given to the art teachers who delivered this art-based

counseling intervention. The study could not have been achieved without the sacrifice of

their time and effort. Especially notable is the courage of Lisa Hudson who stood before

her school board to defend the importance of the study when opposition arose.

Heart-felt gratitude is extended (a) to my husband and friend, Charles, for his

love, support, encouragement to reach my dreams, and the wonderful massages after

many weary hours of work; (b) to my sons T.L. Shane, and Shad Latson, and

Elliott Skye, for my greatest joys and the challenges of motherhood that have deepened

my passion for life-long learning; (c) to my mom who has always been my hero and

example of strength, dignity, and grace; (d) to my daughter-in-law Kristie for the tender

care she extends to my mother, for her friendship, love, data entry; and typing expertise;

(e) to my granddaughters Kyra, Zion, and Kamya who light up my life; (f) and lastly and

most importantly to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who is the perfect example of

empathic understanding and who gives my life purpose and meaning.


ACKNOW LEDGEM NETS ......................................................................................... i

ABSTARCT ............................................................................................................... vii


1 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................. 1
Purp se of the Study ................................................................................................. 4
Need for the Study ... ............................................................................................... 4
Theoretical Perspective .................................................................................... o ........ 8
Research Questions............................................................................................. 13
Definition of Terms................................................................................................ 14
Overview of the Remainder of the Study................................................................ 15

2 REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE............................................................... 17
Problems Associated with the Lack of Empathy..................................................... 18
Problems Associated with Levels of Control .......................................................... 24
Problems Associated with the Risk of Violence...................................................... 29
History of the Therapeutic Aspects of Art Processes............................................... 33
Art Education in the Schools .................................................................................. 38
Large Group Developmental Guidance and Interventions....................................... 42
Art Processes in School and Counseling Literature................................................. 45
Teachers As Facilitators......................................................................................... 49

3 M ETHODOLOGY ..............................................................................................53
Population and Descriptive Report ......................................................................... 53
Sampling Procedures.............................................................................................. 56
Research Design..................................................................................................... 58
Hypotheses............................................................................................................. 59
Teacher-Facilitator Training ................................................................................... 60
Guidance Unit Description............................................................................... 62
Dependent Variables.............................................................................................. 65
Research Procedures............................................................................................... 71
Data Analysis ......................................................................................................... 72

4 RESULTS .............................................................................................................. 74
Data Analysis......................................................................................................... 75
Other Findings........................................................................................................ 81
Sum mary of the Study ............................................................................................ 84

5 SUM M ARY AND CONCLUSIONS ...................................................................... 87
Summ ary ................................................................................................................ 87
Conclusions ............................................................................................................ 89
Discussion.............................................................................................................. 92
Limitations ............................................................................................................. 93
Im plications ............................................................................................................ 95
Recomm endations .................................................................................................. 97


A CONSENT LETTERS FOR PARTICIPATION .................................................. 100

B RESEARCH PROCEDURES......................................... ..................................... 107

C RESEARCH INSTRUM ENTS.............................. ............................................ .. 113

D TEACHER-FACILATATOR TRAINING MANUAL ......................................... 117

E SUPPLEM ENTAL STATISTICS........................................................................ 146

F OTHER FINDINGS............................................................................................. 148

REFERENCES ......................................................................................................... 170

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ..................................................................................... 185


Abstract of Dissertation
Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida
in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the
Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



Dianne Lynn Skye

December 2001

Chairman: Dr. Robert Myrick
Major Department: Counselor Education

A teacher-facilitated large group guidance intervention for high school art

students was evaluated for its effects on locus of control (Children's Nowicki-Strickland

Internal External Locus of Control Scale), risk of violence (The Risk of Eruptive

Violence Scale), and levels of emotional empathy (The Balanced Emotional Empathy

Scale). The intervention was delivered by four art teachers to multi-grade level art

students in four North Central Florida public high schools.

A pretest-posttest nonequivalent control group design was used. Intact art classes

were randomly assigned to experimental or control conditions to assess the effects of the

dependent variables. The assignment resulted in 78 students in the test groups and 75 in

the control groups.

Six guidance sessions were delivered to the treatment groups within a single

grading period. The unit was developed with literature and art activities that centered on

awareness of empathic feelings and on perceptions of control related to management of

anger and violence. Control groups maintained normal classroom routine.

A mixed model analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was conducted on the locus of

control scores, risk of violence scores, and emotional empathy scores, to determine

significant treatment or interaction effects. Treatment effect was obtained on the measure

of locus of control at .05 level of significance. Both males and females in treatment had

lower posttest means (males M=13.21; females M=12.29) than their counterparts in

control (males M=15.50; females M=12.82). Lower scores indicated a movement toward

internal locus of control. No significant treatment or interaction effects were found

during the ANCOVA analysis of the REV or the BEES.

Other findings collected during the experiential process for each session

suggested treatment effectiveness. Written and graphic arts data showed that students

were affected by the content of the counseling intervention.

This type of intervention may be an important vehicle for a synergistic and

parsimonious relationship between guidance and art education. The arts-based

intervention may have the potential to ignite the imagination, strengthen schemata for

alternative choices, develop empathic awareness, and instill the capacity to care. These

benefits in turn may impact locus of control and may promote socially acceptable

violence-free behavior.


An increase in school violence has raised the issue of empathic understanding and

teaching children to care as one of the most interesting and difficult questions in

education today (Barrow, 1975; DeRoche & Williams, 1998; Siccone & Lopez, 2000).

Complex environmental, social, personal, and educational issues stuff the emotional

baggage that is hauled into the classroom by the increasingly diverse student population

(Keys, Bemak, & Lockhart, 1998). Widespread concerns about angry and aggressive

student behaviors produce reactive strategies that often overlook social contexts that

foster the perpetration of violence. The shootings at Columbine High School have

triggered awareness of a reality that could happen in any school, making it important to

assess warning signs and to advocate effective strategies for preventing the manifestation

of violence (Daniels, Arrendondo, & D'Andrea, 1999).

America's youth are burdened by conditions of racism, poverty, unemployment,

neglect, crime, alcohol and drug abuse, and negative peer pressure. Confronted with

these conditions, many students internalize deep anger, accompanied by feelings of

hopelessness and frustration, rendering them ready to react in potentially dangerous ways

(Ascher, 2000). To exacerbate an alarmingly negative trend, the media glorifies violence

and does little to sensitize youth to human pain resulting from negative conditions.

Many individuals feel that they lack control over the outcomes of their lives and

they blame forces outside themselves. Externalized in their locus of control, a somewhat

desensitized generation of students is at risk for initiating acts of violence, intolerance

and crimes of hate.

Violence takes the form of bullying, intimidation, taunts, anger, and physical

aggression stemming from prejudice because of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, and

sexual orientation or disability (Siccone & Lopez, 2000). Although the potential for

violence impacts every student, public education in recent years has lost its power to pass

on core moral values to children that address these issues. The teacher's role has become

the role of one who delivers a value-free exchange of information and skills (DeRoche &

Williams, 1998). With current emphasis on test scores, technology, and the

preoccupation with cognitive processes, ways of knowing have been separated from ways

of caring (Bruner, 1986; Noddings, 1992).

In response to these conditions, there has been a shift in advocacy toward

educational research in the affective domain. Traditionally, the arts and developmental

guidance have provided a caring connection that addresses both cognitive and affective

functioning of the individual. Both the visual arts and developmental guidance give

students a powerful avenue for exploring their worlds, getting to know themselves and

others, and for becoming more highly functioning human beings (Myrick, 1993; Willis &

Schubert, 1991).

Large group developmental guidance is one type of counselor intervention in

schools that blends the cognitive-affective realms of learning. Prevention, social skills,

and understanding the relationship of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors are common goals

of the large group guidance interventions (Faust, 1968). Through the partnership of the

two curricular areas of art and guidance, the question of viable character and affective

education can be considered. Both art and guidance share the goal of understanding the

social, intellectual, emotional, psychological, and creative needs of the student (American

School Counselor Association, 1979; Lowenfeld, 1957), in order to assist the

development process of individuals in all areas.

The development of critical intelligence and the nurture of the human capacity to

care are the focus of recent educational research (Clark & Jenson, 1997; Stout, 1999).

Framed as an arts-based developmental guidance unit with the teacher as facilitator

(Wittmer & Myrick, 1989), a cognitive-affective intervention, Walk a Mile in My Shoes,

was delivered in a classroom where communal deliberation was the method and critical

awareness and mutual understanding were the goals.

The arts are a universal language by which humans define themselves. According

to Stout (1999), "the arts have the capacity to draw together students' thoughts and

feelings, turning them toward the imaginative exploration of the wide world of human

experience" (p. 23). Nucho (1987) concurs with the process of becoming aware through

the arts, which offer the opportunity to decode one's personal imagery, understand the

feelings of others, and assist in the integration of new experiences. Art processes

empower one to discern new avenues for behavior.

Exposure to emotionally arousing stimuli through teacher-facilitated

developmental guidance can create the opportunity to assist change in beliefs and feelings

that lead to changes in behavior. Vicarious experience through exposure to misfortune,

deprivation, or distress of others has the capacity to increase empathic responses (Bamrnett,

Howard, Melton, & Dino, 1982). Passion, often born out of adversity or the inability to

explain the realities of life, brings humans to explore and experience the arts

that serve as ways to record and react to impressions of the world. By incorporating

literature and works of visual art that have emotionally arousing stimuli, art educators as

facilitators in a developmental guidance format can encourage students to consider the

realities of others and to see similarities in their own personal issues and needs. These

stimuli can provide a basis for eliciting discussion about perceptions, feelings, and

behaviors and linking those perceptions to future actions.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of an arts-based large

group guidance unit on personal control, risk of initiating violence, and the emotional

empathy of high school students. More specifically, art teachers in north Florida

delivered the intervention to students enrolled in high school art education classes. The

unit consisted of literature, art activities, and discussions that focused on psychological

variables related to reducing teenage violence. An experimental design using pre- and

postmeasures was used to test differences between experimental and control groups.

Need for the Study

Youth violence in schools is rising and permeates every segment of our society.

Especially alarming is the availability of weapons and guns to youth. Indeed, growing

numbers of students are bringing guns to schools each day (Center to Prevent Handgun

Violence, 1990; Stephens, 1994). In 1992, 10% of all high school seniors reported that

they did not feel safe at school while 23% of all seniors reported fights between different

racial and ethnic groups (U.S. Department of Education, Digest of Education Statistics,

1999). Students ages 12 through 18 were victims of nearly 255,000 nonfatal incidents of

violent crime at school (U.S. Department of Education, 1998). Violence also impacts

teachers who were victims of 1,581,000 nonfatal crimes at school between 1992 and

1996 that included theft, rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated and simple assault

(U.S. Department of Education, 1998). During every hour of every school day, 900

teachers are threatened; and 2,000 students and 40 teachers become victims of violence

(Stone, 1994).

Although the sources of violence are deep and long-standing, many education

professionals attribute school violence to conditions outside of the classroom (Stephens,

1994). Among those exacerbating conditions are the breakdown of the family, poor

parenting practices, violent role models, and celebration of violence in the media (Bender

& Bruno, 1990; Met Life, 1994). Negative peer pressure both in and out of school

contributes to violence (Toby, 1994), as do drug and alcohol abuse (U.S. Department of

Justice, 1991), and racism or bias in the form of hate crimes (McCormick, 1999). In

addition, 18.90/% of all children live in poverty (U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of

the Census, 1998). These conditions engender emotional issues that potentially

contribute to the perception of loss of personal control and risk of initiated violence.

The answers to these problems are not simple. It has been argued that the

development of awareness of one's own emotional states and the ability to discern and

interpret the emotional states of others leads to increased empathy. Increased empathy

correlates positively with emotional competence and social competence (Saami, 1990).

These qualities in turn produce constructive coping that results in low levels of problem

behavior and low aggression as reported by teachers, peers, and mothers (Eisenberg,

Fabes, Murphy, Karbon, Smith, & Maszk, 1996).

Individuals who experience more success in coping with stressful situations are

those who generally believe that they are in control of the events of their lives. They

have an internal locus of control orientation (Krause, 1987). In addition, this belief in the

capacity to control or master events in one's life, empowers the individual with the

capability to evaluate potentially threatening situations and the capacity to solve

problems that might cause the stressful encounter (Folkman, 1984, Lazarus & Folkman,


Greater risk of initiating violence is generally associated with a more negative

outlook on life (Mehrabian, 1997). Some individuals are unable to cope with stress

engendered by oppressive family and social conditions of their lives and turn to violent

behavior in attempt to cope with stress (Chandler, 1985; Herzfeld & Powell, 1986).

These individuals usually attribute the outcomes of the events in their lives to conditions

outside of their control such as fate, luck, or powerful others.

Most school guidance counselors are trained to address issues of aggression and

violence through individual, small group, and classroom guidance interventions. Conflict

resolution, mediation, dispute resolution, stress inoculation, and anger management are

all programs designed to diffuse potentially violent situations (Skovholt, Cognetta, Ye, &

King, 1997). Although these programs are successful preventive strategies, the reality is

that the average high school counselor has between 350 and 530 students to serve. Those

services are further limited by noncounseling role requirements (Hardesty & Dillard,

1994; Napierkowski & Parsons, 1995). According to ACA guidelines, schools should

have one counselor for every 250 students (American Counseling Association, 2000).

Counselors cannot possibly address the personal issues of the entire school population.

High school art teachers are in a position to provide support for violence

intervention programs. Art educators who use a Disciplined Based Art Education (Clark,

1991) curriculum, teach their students to identify emotional and feeling states as well as

artist intentionality in the process of aesthetic criticism and judgment of works of art.

There are therapeutic aspects of art education as skilled art educators nurture students'

feelings of competence in a broadly beneficial way through the processes of recognition,

appreciation, and production of art (Wilson & Rubin, 1997). Art teachers employ

similarities between creative and therapeutic modalities as students are encouraged to

explore both the affective and cognitive processes involved in judging work of other

artists as well as being able to bring concrete representation to their own thoughts and

feelings through the production of visual art.

High school art teachers trained as facilitators can link and extend the activity

process by encouraging a heightened awareness of one's own emotional and cognitive

states as well as an empathic awareness of the personal and social conditions of others as

experienced vicariously through visual and written art forms. The question that remains,

however, is whether providing this direct service through a cognitive-affective large

classroom guidance intervention can increase empathy, affect internal locus of control,

and improve student behavior by reducing initiated violence.

School counseling literature has yielded little or no direct evidence to support

such a claim although the use of art in counseling for individuals with behavior problems

has been used in many settings (Alexander, 1990; Cheatham & Powell, 1986; Geldard &

Geldard, 1999; Gerber, 1994; Hill & Tollerud, 1996; Kramer, 1993; Unsworth, 1990).

Current education literature advocates comprehensive character or moral

education that promotes empathy and caring as an antidote to aggression and violence

(DeRoche & Williams, 1998; Ingall, 1997; Katz, Noddings, & Strike, 1999;

Kirscbenbaum, 1999; Noddings, 1992; Miller, 2000; Siccone & Lopez, 2000). Art

Education literature concurs with the concept that consciousness must be raised in order

for social change to take place (Albers, 1999; Bolin, 1999; Rettig & Rettig, 1999; Stout,

1999; Unsworth, 1990). However, no evidence exists of any outcome study that shows

the effectiveness of a large group classroom guidance intervention facilitated by art

teachers. There is a need to conduct a formal evaluation of art teacher-facilitated

guidance interventions designed to increase empathy and internal locus of control and

lessen the risk of initiated violence.

Theoretical Perspective

Framed as a developmental guidance unit (Myrick, 1993), this study was driven

by the theory that the unit should enhance the personal, social, vocational and academic

growth of the individual. All of those areas are affected by the individual's ability to

have an empathic understanding of others and ability to interact effectively in a world of


As an arts-based intervention, this study was also influenced by the

developmental theories of Victor Lowenfeld (1957) in the areas of creative and mental

growth. Lowenfeld embraces the notion that education is largely responsible for attitudes

and actions that are linked to behaviors. Lowenfeld (1957) wrote:

If we lead a rich life it is education which has sensitized us for it; if we
live in a spirit of cooperation, it is education which has in early years
recognized the need for it and thus planted the seed in us; if we live in
peace with ourselves, it is education which recognized spiritual harmony
as one of the greatest contributors to life; if we, however, live in discord
with ourselves, it is also education which has neglected to emphasize
emotional growth, the ability to adjust to new situations, and thus help
us solve our difficulties in life. (p. 1-2)

Emotion and the individual's capacity to experience emotional empathy for others

influences the student's personal, vocational, social, and academic growth, because all of

these areas are contingent on the individual's ability to successfully negotiate

interpersonal relationships.

Emotion plays a critical role in cognitive learning and personality development.

Training in interpersonal and empathic responding can help individuals recognize

different emotive states in themselves and others and can help individuals respond to

others positively, rather than in angry acting-out behaviors that can result in violence

(Cohen & Strayer, 1996; Eisenberg, Fabes, Murphy et al., 1996; Miller & Eisenberg,

1988). Large group guidance framed as an arts-based cognitive-affective intervention,

can provide the emotionally charged learning experiences that tend to increase empathic

feelings, increase positive responses to others, and help facilitate change in thinking,

feelings, and behaviors.

Art is a bridge that joins the creative and integrative capacities of the psyche and

helps contain emotion. This imaginative capacity allows the individual to experience

empathy with different points of view while decentering self and coming face to face

with the condition of others (Greene, 1995). Emotion is held within the process and

within the artwork, providing the individual with a means to reframe and reconsider

alternate ways of knowing, which can lead to change of thinking and behaving (Moon,


Individuals tend to learn more easily and retain what is learned when it is framed in an

emotional context (Goleman, 1995; Sylwester, 1995). Affective art is a personal

experience that focuses on experience, emotion, and thoughts of the individual,

incorporating at least six of the seven types of human intelligence described by Howard

Gardner (1993) in his Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Research shows that

"experience, particularly in childhood, sculpts the brain" (Goleman, 1995, p. 224).

Neural branching occurs when significant brain work is done that creates synapses

between nerve cells, which is analogous to building muscle through physical exercise

(Cardellichio & Field, 1997). This neural branching allows neural network connections

to shift about throughout life as conditions change and challenges emerge.

Environmental challenge and interactivity are important components in the mental

activity that nurtures synaptic plasticity. The use of emotion, experience, and learning

enhances the brain's construction and ability to make cognitive shifts (Abbott, 1997;

Kotulak, 1996; Sylwester, 1995). Wittmer and Myrick (1989) stated that "regardless of

subject matter or curriculum, the most fundamental psychological basis for learning

occurs when a student is emotionally involved" (p. 17).

Arts-based guidance interventions serve as ways we react to, share, and record our

impressions of the world. Involvement in the arts teaches divergent thinking and

encourage students to discover different answers rather than rote responses. The

aesthetic experience of literature and visual arts linked with facilitative guidance is an

opportunity for students to live vicariously new experiences that have the potential to

increase empathy. Through experiential activity they become embedded in the task and

"learn from the inside out rather than the outside in. Such figuring out requires critical

thinking, analysis, and judgment; students tend to stay on task because they are creating

their own world, not replicating someone else's" (Fowler, 2000, p.2).

Rettig and Rettig (1999) suggested that in addition to the use of real-life

emotional contexts to enhance learning, the use of different senses, promotion of student

self-direction, support of social learning, and encouragement of pattern finding can each

optimize the growth of the brain in terms of learning and experiences. Large group

cognitive-affective guidance interventions delivered by art educators who use literature

and works of art to stimulate empathic response, expand insight through student

participation in art processes. The process engages students in hearing (the literature),

seeing (the work of art), and touching and smelling (the art medium). The senses are

explored vicariously in both the literary and visual arts media that paint a sensuous

portrait of the experience of another human being.

Student self-direction enhances the learning experience when the student is given

the opportunity to tell his or her own story after the social group learning has taken place

by discussion of the story of the writer and the artist. The student extracts meaning from

the group discussion and projects personal meaning into his or her own visual or written

art form. Meaning is enhanced further by the teacher as facilitator who helps the student

verbalize by linking and extending the activity process (Myrick, 1993). Insight is

developed that appeals to both intellect and imagination by applying it to present and past

experiences. Students begin to see a pattern of connections between and among

individuals and societies through works produced by self and others. "The arts humanize

the curriculum while affirming the interconnectedness of all forms of knowing" (Fowler,

2000, p.1).

These multi-sensory activities agree with the work of Howard Gardner (1993) and

his theory of Multiple Intelligences. Experiences stored in several interrelated memory

networks have the power to optimize learning and to enhance the intellectual and

emotional growth of the individual. With these cognitive-affective activities, students

can begin to see that the experiences of others could possibly become their own and be

moved toward response. "When we see the other's reality as a possibility for us, we must

act to eliminate the intolerable, to reduce the pain, to fill the need, to actualize the dream"

(Noddings, 1984, p. 14). In other words, experiential activity can promote the capacity to


The arts enhance the potential for empathy by expanding the capacity to think in

the abstract and to imagine something better. Interconnectedness is brought about by the

realization of shared emotional experiences. Through emotional and sensory-laden

learning experiences, individuals find a sense of belonging to family, society, and culture.

The arts increase the potential for fulfillment of the human need for defining self.

"Empathy for others factors into understanding yourself and feeling connected to your

own kind and the broader your empathy is the greater your ability to interact with people

from more diverse backgrounds. The arts are about, for, and by all of us" (Taylor, 1999,

p. 10).

An arts-based large group guidance unit provides one approach to support student

need for understanding self and others. It is a theoretical approach that promotes

understanding through experiential activity that can impact learning and enhance social

skills needed to be successful in the school and social environment A cognitive-affective

approach emphasizes the examination and possible modification of thoughts, beliefs, and/

or expectations about self and others. "Study of the arts encourages a suppleness of mind,

a toleration for ambiguity, a taste for nuance, and the ability to make trade-offs among

alternative courses of action" (Springfield, 2000, p. 7-A).

Internal locus of control is a phenomenon sometimes considered in relationship to

dispositional and situational empathy. Based on Rotter's theory (1966), a locus of

control orientation is a belief about whether the outcomes of our actions are contingent on

what we do (internal control orientation) or on events outside our personal control

(external control orientation). Perceived locus of control influences our motivation,

expectations, risk-taking, and the outcome of our behaviors. Self-regulation is an

attribute of those with an internal locus of control. An individual with internal locus of

control perceives self as responsible for outcomes in his or her life, while the individual

with external locus of control most often blames society, luck, or some other force

beyond his or her control for personal successes and failures.

It is argued that people who tend to empathize with another's pain or distress are

likely to refrain from or cease aggression because of the emotional discomfort induced by

their vicarious response to the victim's emotional reactions (Eisenberg, 2000; Feshback,

1978). Whether or not an arts-based large group guidance intervention can increase

empathy and create a shift in locus of control continues to be evaluated.

Research Questions

Will students' perception of their locus of control change after they complete the arts-
based guidance unit?
Will students' risk of initiating violence change after completion of the arts-based
guidance unit?
Will high school art students who participate in an arts-based guidance unit have
greater capacity for emotional empathy?
Do the students respond differently to the arts-based guidance unit according to

Definition of Terms

Affective art. An experiential process that focuses experience, emotion, and self.

It helps the individual recognize feelings that are being experienced while achieving

insight into feelings, thoughts, and behaviors through concentrated awareness. Affective

art processes combine the creative and integrative capacity of the psyche (Furrer, 1982;

Robbins & Sibley, 1976).

Cognitive. Cognitive aspects of an intervention are those processes that bring

about knowledge as individuals increasingly come to understand themselves and others

and gain different perspectives on their own motives and behaviors (Corsini & Wedding,


Empathy. The state of empathy or the ability to be empathic, is to perceive the

internal frame of reference (emotional components and meanings) of another person as if

one were that person but without losing the "as if' condition, retaining one's own identity

(Rogers, 1980).

External locus of control. The perception or belief that a person's reinforcement

is under the control of others and outcomes of events in one's life are caused by forces

such as luck or chance and lie beyond one's control (Krause, 1987; Rotter, 1990).

Individuals who tend to favor this belief are referred to as externals.

Internal locus of control. The belief that a person has the ability to control

outcomes of events in life through effort, behavior, or personal characteristics such as

ability (Rotter, 1990). Individuals who tend to favor this belief are referred to as

Large group guidance. A counselor-led or facilitator-led intervention with more

than 10 students in a group. It is structured and exploratory and focuses on the

developmental needs of the students. Ideas, attitudes, feelings, beliefs, and behaviors are

explored. Prevention is a common goal for large group interventions (Myrick, 1993).

Locus of control. The degree to which the individual believes he or she is able to

influence the outcome of a situation (Rotter, 1990).

Teacher-facilitator. An individual who provides a positive, secure, and

nonthreatening classroom atmosphere in which students are encouraged to take risks,

explore ideas and feelings, and encouraged to be open. The teacher-as-facilitator

provides learning situations that are personally meaningful, positive, nonthreatening, self-

evaluated, and feeling focused. Personal growth is encouraged out of caring for others.

Learning is facilitated through open communication and maximizing the factors of

thinking, feeling, and doing (Wittmer & Myrick, 1989). In this study, the teacher-

facilitator delivers the large group guidance intervention.

Violence. A manifestation of anger and aggression that can be defined as a

symptom demonstrated by hostile outbursts (Madow, 1972). Violence can take the form

of bullying, intimidation, taunts, anger, and physical aggression stemming from prejudice

because of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability (Siccone &

Lopez, 2000).

Overview of the Remainder of the Study

The remainder of the study is organized into four chapters. Chapter 2 reviews the

literature focused on problems associated with lack of empathy, low levels of control,

and the risk of initiated violence. The literature of the history of therapeutic aspects of art

processes, art education in the schools, and developmental guidance and large group

guidance interventions are also reviewed. Literature related to the teacher as facilitator


and the dependent variables of this study are also presented in Chapter 2. Research

methodology and the procedures used are described in Chapter 3. Results of the study

are presented in Chapter 4. The summary, conclusions, discussion, limitations,

implications, and recommendations are included in Chapter 5.


In 1999, the U.S. Department of Education gave $2.7 million to implement and

upgrade character education as a measure to counteract the multiple killings and

increased violence that have been taking place in our nation's schools (U.S. Department

of Education, 1999). While some schools seek change from the outside by adding guards,

metal detectors, and uniforms; others seek to improve school climate through preventive

measures that increase understanding and universal values (Guerra, 1998).

Empathy and caring are core components of character education that seek to help

students learn and assimilate core ethical values. Carl Rogers (1980) defined empathy as

the state of being able to perceive the internal frame of reference of another with

accuracy and with the emotional components and meanings which pertain thereto as if

one were the person but, without ever losing the "as if" condition. In essence, empathy

broadens the breadth of perception and range of emotional experience. Caring increases

connection, reaching out, and altruistic behaviors.

Those educators responsible for character education are charged with helping to

develop essential human capacities that give students an open-minded understanding and

for helping to develop effective personal response in dealing meaningfully with

complexity. "The process by which this development occurs is the maturing process

afforded by vicarious experience and the empathic identification with both familiar and

remote ideas, events and persons" (Gallo, 1989, p. 99).

Empathy fosters critical and creative thinking and should be adopted as an

important educational goal. Reasoning benefits from empathic understanding. When

empathy increases, the individual is predisposed to good judgment by engaging the

individual more fully with the issue. Thought and action have both cognitive and

affective components, as does empathic response. The cognitive component of empathy

is understanding how another feels, while the affective component is communion by "the

imaginative transposing of oneself into the thinking, feeling and actions of another"

(Gallo, 1989, p. 100).

Empathy is also a prerequisite of compassion and morality. By learning what

others think and feel, the individual is potentially enhanced with wisdom. This can lead

to the ability of making more positive decisions that may reduce the individual's risk for

choosing violent behaviors (Kirschenbaum, 1999).

Problems Associated with the Lack of Empathy

Lack of empathy is associated with Conduct Disorder. According to the

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (American Psychiatric

Association, 1994), the essential feature of Conduct Disorder is a pattern of persistent

behavior in which rights of others and societal norms are violated. Behavioral features

fall into four main categories: Aggressive conduct that causes or threatens physical harm

to people or animals; conduct that causes property loss or damage; deceitfulness or theft;

and serious violation of rules.

Children or adolescents with Conduct Disorder are often aggressive and react

aggressively toward others with such behaviors as bullying, threatening, and intimidating.

They may initiate fights; may use a weapon (bat, brick, broken bottle, knife, or gun) with

the intent to inflict serious physical harm; and may be physically cruel to people or

animals. Other violent actions against others associated with Conduct Disorder include

stealing while mugging, purse snatching, or armed robbery and forcing someone to

engage in sexual activity. Physical violence may involve rape, assault, and in some cases


Individuals with Conduct Disorder sometimes deliberately destroy others'

property. These acts of violence may take the form of deliberately setting fires with

intent to cause serious damage. Other deliberate actions with intent to cause damage

could include smashing car windows, school vandalism, or destruction of other real


Characteristically, individuals who lack empathy and display the features of

Conduct Disorder, are deceitful and commonly practice acts of theft. These behaviors

may include breaking into a house, a building, or a car. Habitual lying or breaking

promises is a frequent practice in order to obtain goods or favors or to avoid debts or

obligations. It is not uncommon for individuals with Conduct Disorder to be skilled at

conning others or to steal without confronting the victim by shoplifting and forgery.

Serious violation of rules is also characteristic of individuals with Conduct

Disorder. Pattern behaviors may include staying out late at night despite parental

guidelines; a habit of running away from home overnight; and truancy from school

beginning before the age of 13. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of

Mental Disorders-IV (1994):

Individuals with Conduct Disorder may have little empathy and little
concern for the feelings, wishes, and well-being of others. Especially
in ambiguous situations, aggressive individuals with this disorder frequently
misperceive the intentions of others as more hostile and threatening than is
the case and respond with aggression that they may feel is reasonable and
justified. They may be callous and lack appropriate feelings of guilt or remorse.

It can be difficult to evaluate whether displayed remorse is genuine because these
individuals learn that expressing guilt may reduce or prevent punishment
Individuals with this disorder may readily inform on their companions and try to
blame others for their own misdeeds. (p. 87)

Conduct Disorder is much more common in males but concerns are raised in the

misapplication of Conduct Disorder to individuals, such as persons from war-ravaged

countries, where aggressive behavior is a necessary means of survival. The context of the

individual must be considered when making the diagnosis and must be applied when the

behavior is symptomatic of the underlying dysfunction.

Symptoms vary as the age of the individual increases, along with cognitive and

sexual maturity. Typically, less severe behaviors emerge at first, whereas the more

severe emerge later. Males tend to exhibit the more confrontational forms of aggression

such as fighting, stealing, vandalism and school discipline problems; while females tend

to use more nonconfrontational behaviors such as lying, running away, substance abuse

and prostitution.

Subtypes of Conduct Disorder are provided based on age at onset (Childhood-

Onset Type and Adolescent-Onset Type) and differ in nature of the presenting problems

(mild, moderate, or severe form). Childhood-Onset Type is defined by the onset of at

least one of the characteristics before age 10. Adolescent-Onset Type is defined by the

absence of any criteria characteristic before age 10. Severity specifiers range from

relatively minor harm to others (mild) to considerable harm to others (severe). Table 2-1

describes the diagnostic criteria of Conduct Disorder.

Table 2-1
Diagnostic Criteria for Conduct Disorder (DSM-IV. 1994)

A repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in which the basic rights of others
or major age-appropriate societal norms or rules are violated, as manifested by the
presence of three (or more) of the following criteria in the past 12 months, with at
least one criterion present in the past 6 months.

Aggression to people and animals
Often bullies, threatens, or intimidates others
Often initiates physical fights
Has used a weapon that can cause serious physical harm to others (e.g., a
brick, bat, broken bottle, knife, gun)
Has been physically cruel to people
Has been physically cruel to animals
Has stolen while confronting a victim (e.g., mugging, purse snatching,
extortion, armed robbery)
Has forced someone into sexual activity

Destruction of property
Has deliberately engaged in fire setting with the intention of causing serious
Has deliberately destroyed others' property (other than by fire setting)

Deceitfulness or theft
Has broken into someone else's house, building, or car
Often lies to obtain goods or favors or to avoid obligations (often "cons"
Has stolen items of nontrivial value without confronting a victim (e.g.,
shoplifting, but without breaking and entering; forgery)

Serious violations of rules
Often stays out at nights despite parental prohibitions, beginning before age 13
Has run away from home overnight at least twice while living in parental or
parental surrogate home (or once without returning for a lengthy period)
If often truant from school, beginning before age 13 years

The disturbance in behavior causes clinically significant impairment in social,
academic, or occupational functioning

If the individual is age 18 years or older, criteria are not met for Antisocial
Personality Disorder

Table 2-1 continued

Specify type based on age at onset.
Childhood-Onset Type: onset of at least one criterion characteristic of
ConductDisorder before age 10 years
Adolescent-Onset Type: absence of any criteria characteristic of Conduct
Disorder before age 10 years
Specify severity
Mild: few if any conduct problems in excess of those required to make
the diagnosis and conduct problems cause only minor harm to others
Moderate: number of conduct problems and effect on others intermediate
between "mild" and "severe"
Severe: many conduct problems in excess of those required to make the
diagnosis or conduct problems cause considerable harm to others (pp. 90-91).

Individuals who lack empathy and meet the criteria for Conduct Disorder, have

higher injury rates and are more prone to school expulsion and problems with the law

than are other individuals. Aggressive and violent behavior, vandalism and deliberate

destruction; early tobacco, alcohol, and substance use and abuse; as well as precocious

sexual activity, have the capacity to greatly interfere with school and personal success.

These individuals often have poor relationships with adults and authority figures, rarely

perform at the level predicted by their IQ, and have higher rates of depression, suicidal

thoughts, suicidal attempts, and suicide itself than children without Conduct Disorder

(Shaffer, Fisher, Dulcan, Davies, Piacentini, Schwab-Stone, Lahey, Bourdon, Jensen,

Bird, and Canino,1996b).

Conduct Disorder in 9-to-17 year-olds varies from 1 to 4 %, depending on how

the disorder is defined and its severity (Shaffer, Fisher, Dulcan, Davies, Piacentini,

Schwab -Stone, Lahey, Bourdon, Jensen, Bird, and Canino, and Regier, 1996a). Early

onset of the disorder is seen predominantly in males and appears to be more common in

cities than in rural areas. Between a fourth and half of the children with Conduct

Disorder become antisocial adults (Rutter & Giller, 1984).

Social risk factors for Conduct Disorder include early maternal rejection,

separation from parents with no adequate alternative caregiver, early institutionalization,

family neglect, abuse or violence, parental marital discord, large family size, crowding,

and poverty (Loeber & Stouthamer-Loeber, 1986). The lack of attachment to parents or

family is thought to be one of the main factors leading to the eventual lack of regard for

rules, concern for others, or the rewards of society (Sampson & Laub, 1993).

Increasing emotional ties between parent and child may be an appropriate

intervention, as well as working with high-risk children on social interaction skills.

Providing academic help to reduce school failure can help prevent some of the negative

educational consequences of Conduct Disorder (Johnson & Brechenridge, 1982).

Need to Educate for Empathy

Education today must be that which meets the needs of diverse ethnic heritage,

widely different intellectual capacities, physical difference, and interest difference. Need

for care and empathy in our present culture is acute. Adolescents feel uncared for in

schools and in need for special relation (Noddings, 1992). Noddings, a leading authority

on character education, suggests that education should be organized around centers of

care where each individual feels cared for and where each individual learns to care for

other human beings. It is her contention that education should produce caring people,

instead of focussing exclusively on the drive for academic adequacy.

Empathic caring requires cultivation, determination, and commitment from

educators in order to pass that value on to students. To educate for empathy, awareness

of the consequences of actions toward other people and all life forms must be made

explicit Responsibility for suffering and insistence on justice for all people, opens hearts

to victims of violence, prejudice, and injustice. Empathy is a way of being. It is a self-

sustained awareness of self and others. Breggin (1997) summarizes the consequences of

increasing empathy in self and others:

Empathy is a force; it can motivate us to take stands on behalf of all sentient
beings- everyone and everything that thinks or feels. If more of us allowed
ourselves a full measure of empathy, women would find themselves treated as
equals, men and women would stop humiliating each other, child abuse would
end, racism would vanish, and definitive steps would be taken to end hunger,
poverty, and inadequate medical care. The planet we live on would become
safer from exploitation. (p. 126)

Batson (1991) hypothesized that empathy, due to intrinsic other-orientated

motivation, is likely to lead to other-oriented, altruistic helping behavior. It was found

that when people experience empathy, they infer that they value the welfare of persons in

need (Batson, Batson, Todd, & Brummett, 1995), and develop more positive attitudes

toward members of oppressed groups (Batson, Polycarpou, Harmon-Jones, Imhoff,

Mitchener, Bednar, Klein, & Highberber, 1997). Thus, individuals who have the capacity

to experience empathy would be relatively likely to assist other people, including

members of oppressed or stigmatized groups. Increased empathy would seem to be a

goal of early intervention for school and societal violence as well as for early and late

onset of Conduct Disorder in children and adolescents.

Problems Associated With Levels of Control

Literature on locus of control contrasts characteristics of internal locus of control

with external locus of control. Rotter (1966) emphasized that distinctions are made

depending upon whether or not the individual perceives a relationship between behavior

and what happens in their life. In his theory, a person's actions are predicted on the basis

of values, expectations, and the situation in which the individual finds him or herself.

The location of the locus of control construct is determined in the freedom of

movement, or obtaining positive satisfaction as a result of a set of related behaviors

directed toward a group of functionally related reinforcements. An individual has low

freedom of movement if he or she has a high expectancy of failure or punishment as a

result of his or her behaviors with which the individual tries to obtain the reinforcements

that constitute a particular need. High freedom of movement is generalized expectancy

of success resulting from the ability to remember and reflect upon specific expectancy

behavior or outcome sequences (Lefcourt, 1976).

Perceived control is a generalized expectancy for internal as opposed to external

control reinforcements. Expectancy of internal versus external control of reinforcement

involves a causal analysis of success and failure. The generalized expectancy of internal

control refers to the perception of events as being a consequence of one's own actions

and therefore are perceived as potentially under personal control. Individuals who

perceive that events are unrelated to one's own behavior and therefore beyond personal

control have an external locus of control (Rotter, 1966).

Kelman and Lawrence (1972) conducted a survey that linked locus of control with

responsibility attribution that may have bearing on the link between external locus of

control and the propensity to initiate violent behavior. In their study, a sample of

Americans were questioned about the trial of Lieutenant Calley, the officer in charge of a

platoon of men who were given orders to kill each and every person in the village of My

Lai, including infants, children, women, and the elderly. According to their findings,

resistance to orders and the acceptance of responsibility when one is compliant to them

derives from the individual's maintenance of a framework of personal causation and the

ability to differentiate or asses the quality of demand made upon that individual. This

concept is important when considering negative peer pressure and linking locus of control

to influence resistance to violence and aggression.

Johnson and Gormly (1972) conducted a study that provided some support for the

link between locus of control and resistance to temptation. Fifth grade boys and girls

were classified as cheaters and non-cheaters on the basis of a behavioral test A

significant difference on Crandall's IAR scale was obtained and showed that female

students who cheated were more external that their non-cheating peers. Male students

had results in the same direction.

Midlarski (1971) found that individuals who were more internal on locus of

control were more likely to help another individual than were externals, despite the fact

that they were penalized for doing so. Internals seem to be more tolerant of discomfort in

doing what they consider to be correct than are the externals. In a similar study of

Johnson, Ackerman, Frank, and Fionda (1968), subjects had to make the choice between

resisting pressures to commit immoral acts and suffering ostracism, loneliness, and other

psychological stressors. Internals tolerated pain for actively doing what they considered

correct, while they expressed a willingness to risk social rejection for maintaining what

they construed as proper behavior. These studies support the hypothesis that when an

individual believes that he or she is the responsible agent of the outcomes of his or her

own life, he or she will resist influences that aim to bypass the individual's sense of

moral justice. The individual with internal locus of control is more likely to respond only

to those appeals that address themselves to his or her own beliefs and values.

The concept of deferred gratification in relationship to locus of control may also

have some bearing on the rise of violent and aggressive behaviors. Bialer (1961)

conducted the first empirical study supporting the connection between locus of control

and the ability to defer gratification. He found that deferred gratification was associated

with internal locus of control since internals are better able to maintain the tension

associated with delays than externals. Externals decline to postpone immediately

available pleasures for distant goals when daily events occur. Distant goals require the

sacrifice of immediate pleasure. This inability to defer gratification could conceivable

account for shoplifting, theft, or even perpetration of violence against other individuals.

The external desires immediate gratification to fulfill his wants and needs.

Locus of control has also been correlated with time-related measures (Platt &

Eisenman, 1968). They found that internals have a longer future time perspective than do

externals, which may account for more risk taking behaviors that are associated with

Conduct Disorder and other behavioral disorders that often include violence and

aggression. Related to that study was a study of suicide by Melges and Weisz (1971).

Their findings indicated that increases in suicide ideation were associated with more

negative evaluation of the personal future and with less internal control. A negative

outlook for the future and external control expectancies were associated with each other

and with suicide ideation.

Researchers have attempted to use locus of control to understand difficulties in

psychological functioning in regard to persons who are emotionally disturbed, learning

disabled, and delinquent Duke and Mullens (1973) found that hospitalized

schizophrenics were more external than hospitalized non-schizophrenics. The

relationship between externality and abnormality has been also shown with alcoholics

(Nowicki & Hopper, 1974). Emotionally disturbed children in residential treatment were

found to be more external in their locus of control (Nelson, Finch, Montgomery, &

Bristow, 1974).

Externality is also associated with subjects with identified learning problems

(Hallahan, Gajar, Cohen, & Tarver, 1978). Nowicki (1981) found that children become

more internal with age, contrary to the findings for learning disabled children. This

suggests that increasing externality may result from the compounding of frustration and

helplessness in children with learning problems over time.

Juvenile delinquency as well as learning disabilities seem to be positively

associated with externality (Duke & Fenhagen, 1975). Beck and Ollendick (1975)

reported that while the overall level of locus of control is more external for the

delinquents, within the delinquent group itself some appear to be more internal. Those

delinquents who are more internal appear to engage in more positive behavior than do

their external peers. Similar to the normal population, delinquents became more internal

as a result of treatment or rehabilitation programs (Eitzen, 1974; Gaar, 1981).

Problems associated with locus of control seem to be linked with the dimension of

externality. Persons with an external locus of control are less successfidul in coping with

stressful situations than are individuals who generally believe that they are in control of

the events of their lives (Krause, 1987). To summarize, those problems include: low

influence resistance; low resistance to temptation; inability to tolerate discomfort while

helping another individual; low ability to defer gratification; short future time

perspective; high suicide ideation; and negative future outlook. Persons who are

emotionally disturbed, who have learning disabilities, and those who are delinquent are

more likely to have an external locus of control.

Problems Associated with the Risk of Violence

The shootings that took place at Columbine High School have brought into focus

the rising levels of violence that are occurring in many schools across the country.

Young people are inundated by the glorification of violence in the media as portrayed on

television, movies, video games, and in popular music. The problem of violence poses

great concerns about the psychological well-being of children, adolescents, and adults.

A recent article in the Journal of Counseling & Development examines the social

context of bullying behaviors in early adolescents. According to Espelage, Bosworth,

and Thomas (2000), bullying behaviors can create serious consequences for both the

victim and the perpetrator. The entire climate of a school can be affected by unchecked

threats and intimidation. Bullies are more at risk of becoming physically abusive as

adults and of having a criminal record.

Bandura (1973, 1986) contended that the external environment contributes to

acquiring and maintaining aggressive behaviors. Children learn from peers and adults to

use aggressive means to achieve their goals. Aggression, which is the antecedent of

violence, has been found to also be associated with peer rejection and peer pressure (The

American Teacher, 1999), degree of drug use in adolescence, and adolescent delinquency

(U. S Department of Justice, 1991). Adult criminality such as abuse, neglect, and other

negative behaviors perpetrated toward youth also exacerbates youth violence.

About 10 % of all 1992 high school seniors reported that they did not feel safe at

school while 23 % reported that there were often fights between different racial/ethnic

groups (U.S. Department of Education, Digest of Education Statistics 1999). In 1996,

students ages 12 through 18 were victims of nearly 255,000 incidents of nonfatal serious

violent crime at school. About 671,000 such crimes took place away from school (U.S.

Department of Education, 1998).

Teachers as well as students are at risk for experiencing violence in the schools.

From 1992 to 1996, teachers were victims of 1,581,000 nonfatal crimes at school,

including 962,000 thefts and 619,000 violent crimes including rape, sexual assault,

robbery, aggravated and simple assault (U.S. Department of Education, 1998).

In 1998, 1,598 children under the age of 18 were murdered (U.S. Department of

Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1998). Although school associated violent

deaths have decreased in recent years, multiple victim homicides in schools have

increased (U. S. Department of Education & U. S. Department of Justice, 1999). 1,470

children under the age of 18 were arrested for murder in 1998; 3,769 were arrested for

rape; 51,360 adolescents were arrested for aggravated assault; and 32,232 young people

under the age of 18 were arrested for having weapons in 1998 (U.S. Department of

Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1998).

Numerous social and environmental stressors impact the propensity for youth

violence. Among other factors include a growing diversity of K-12 student enrollment

All of the school shootings that have occurred over the past several years have been

perpetrated by white male students from middle class and suburban backgrounds.

Factors were evident that cultural-racial factors were implicit in the Columbine tragedy as

Harris and Klebold explicitly stated that they intended to shoot as many non-white

students as they could during their killing spree (Daniels, Arrendondo, &

D'Andrea, 1999). The media also explored the possibility that Christian students were

targeted by the two killers.

Students are finding easy access to hate groups that are involved in racist

behavior. The Southern Poverty Law Center identified 537 hate groups in 1997 (Daniels,

Arrendondo, & D'Andrea, 1999). Groups such as these are experiencing large increases

due to the primary recruiting tool that is provided by the internet.

Tensions from the lack of empathic understanding and the kinds of racial

problems that have been embedded in our consciousness as a nation, are likely to surface

as schools become more culturally diverse. The nation is shifting from a country that is

composed of a majority of persons who come from white European backgrounds to one

of a majority of individuals who are non-white and non-European. In 1997, the diversity

of the enrollment of K-12 students in the United States was 17.0% Black; 14.4%

Hispanic; 3,9% Asian American/Pacific Islander; 1.2% American Indian; 36.5% Non-

White; and 63.5% White (U.S. Department of Education, 1999). To add to the

imbalance, teachers are overwhelmingly represented by White females (84.7%).

Other problems associated with violence in our schools include sexual and gender

violence. Gays, lesbians, and women are devalued by our society. The National Health

and Education Consortium reports that every 12 seconds in the United States a woman is

battered (Daniels, Arredondo, & D'Andrea, 1999). Gays are being beaten and murdered

in our society and devalued often times in the schools.

Poverty promotes forms of personal violence. Poverty is suffered by 13,467,000

children in our country that renders them vulnerable to economic, educational, physical,

psychological and social problems (U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the

Census, 1998). Dignity and self-worth are eroded away, leaving individuals frustrated

and poised to react from the tension with sometimes violent and aggressive behaviors.

Combating the problem of school violence is a monumental task. Schools are

approaching the tide of violence by having zero tolerance policies for serious offenses, by

formal violence prevention and/or violence reduction programs, and by incorporating

conflict management, social skills training, counseling and other therapeutic activities

into the school curriculum. The reality is however, that to accomplish violence

prevention strategies in schools, more counselors and facilitators are needed to do the

work. According to Guerra (1998), there are approximately 90,000 school counselors

working in the U.S. public schools, with an average counselor-to-student ration of 517:1.

President Clinton joined with the U.S. Conference of Mayors that has called for the hiring

of 100,000 new school counselors. With that addition the ratio of counselor-to- students

would decrease to 250:1 (Guerra, 1998).

Still another problem engendered by the risk of violence in schools is the nature

and role of assessment. "The School Shooter," a 52-page study commissioned by the

FBI, backed by the Critical Incident Response Group, and the National Center for the

Analysis of Violent Crime, has been released (Simmons, 2000). The report presents a

four-part assessment tool for use by educators and counselors to identify children and

teens who may be on the edge of violent behavior. Counselors and educators have voiced

concerns about the instrument and according to Simmons (2000), cautions are being

sounded about responsible use of the instrument and the possible harm that could cause

for students who have been identified according to the "The School Shooter."

History of the Therapeutic Aspects of Art Processes

According to psychoanalytic theory, "men naturally create symbols because of the

human mental equipment they inherit" (Feldman, 1970, p. 150). Victor Lowenfeld

(1957), pioneer of art education in his classic Creative and Mental Growth, captured the

essence of the instinctual need and drive that humans have for creative expression:

One of these intrinsic qualities is that every human being is endowed
with a creative spirit. Soon after birth he begins to investigate and
explore the use of his ability for new adventures. New findings in
psychology consider this one of the "basic drives" a drive without
which we cannot exist; the ability to create is probably what distinguishes
man most from animals. (p. 432-433)

Since ancient times, man has resorted to the creative processes for spiritual and

emotional healing and as an avenue for transcendence above the psychic pain wrought by

the struggles and challenges of life. As man moved beyond cave paintings and began

creating art for everyday use, ceremonial use, ritual use, and art as a form of

communication with the spirits, art became infused with meaning. The artist's

involvement with the material took on the form of a magical and spiritual union. The

body, mind, and spirit forces of the external world in relationship to the unconscious and

conscious man created the healing elements in primitive art. The connection between art,

the psyche, the body and the spirit were completely fused in the life of the primitive man

and greatly linked to his psychological well-being.

Ernst Harms, founder and former editor of the International Journal ofArt

Psychotherapy, studied the history of the healing effects of arts by tracing back to biblical

sources which describe how King Saul urged David to cure his depression by playing the

harp (Harms, 1975).

In 1925, Nolan C. Lewis used free painting with adult neurotics as a modality for

healing (Naumburg, 1947). And as early as 1915, Margaret Naumburg, founder of the

Walden School, wrote about her awareness of the relationship between children's

drawings and psychotherapy as she became convinced that free art expression

represented a symbolic form of speech that was basic to all education (Naumburg, 1947).

Under the direction of Nolan C. Lewis, Naumburg initiated an experimental research

program in the use of spontaneous art in therapy with behavior-problem children at New

York State Psychiatric Unit Her prolific writing and seminars spearheaded growing

interest in the field of art as therapy and stimulated mental health professionals and

educators to question and explore the possibilities of art as a therapeutic tool.

Early practitioners of psychoanalysis recognized the value of creative processes

for mental health. Jung (1956) encouraged patients to draw in spontaneous fashion their

innermost feelings and fantasies. "Art was perceived as a revealing and healing activity

by a number of pioneering psychiatrists early in this century" (Vondracek & Corneal,

1995, p. 294). Jung saw art and symbolic creations as a key to the unconscious and

collective unconscious.

Elinor Ulmon, an art educator, trained under Naumburg and added significant

impetus to the development of art as a therapeutic modality. In 1961, she published the

first issue of the Bulletin ofArt Therapy, which continues to be a major publication in the

field. The American Art Therapy Association was officially launched in 1969 with the

goal of art therapy as "help for the individual child or adult to find a more compatible

relationship between his inner and outer worlds" (Corsini, 1981, p.3).

Although the healing and empowering qualities of the creative processes have

been established historically, contemporary use of art as a therapeutic medium has been

received with some criticism. Difficulties arise because managed care has created time

constraints and the need for empirical research. As revealed by numerous case studies,

counseling strategies that employ creative processes have been proven successful with a

wide variety of populations but these methods are difficult to quantify and to produce

measurable outcomes, often requiring more time than brief therapy permits. Vondracek

and Corneal (1995) contend that the nature of the creative experience of producing art is

subjective and perhaps the quantitative methods of research are inadequate or

inappropriate for understanding and evaluating art processes.

Sheppard (1994) studied art processes as healing forces that bring about

"harmony of body, mind, and spirit" (p.103). As a nurse and artist, Sheppard conducted a

qualitative investigation of nurses across the country who answered the question of

"where do we go when we wish to heal ourselves or when we want to re-create

ourselves?" Interviews and written questionnaires formed the basis for this

phenomenological study that produced unanimous response to the notion of art as a

healing force. Sheppard's research involved talk about the healing power of art in the

lives of the nurses who were interviewed as well as in their practices with clients. She

concluded through the study that: (1) Art heals by empowering the individual to bring

forth something from nothing. Suffering is often turned into creative energy, bringing the

creator in touch with personal power through the artistic act. (2) Art heals by offering

individuals a way to understand their deeper selves, by contacting the beauty of

expression of our inner natures. And (3) art heals in a direct fashion when used as a

therapeutic tool, through images and symbols that can enact physical healing.

Dossey, Guzzetta, and Kenner (1985) studied how patients could draw their

disease processes with simple crayons and paper. By combining art with relaxation and

imagery, patients drew healing images. Music and relaxation was researched with

coronary care patients. They reported that they felt better and had fewer complications

than did the control group or relaxation alone group.

The Arts in Medicine movement has reestablished the age-old connection

between body-mind-and spirit "For the nurse or physician in the medical center, art and

healing involves observing how thoughts, emotions, and images change the body. As we

make art, we see images. The images involve the firing of neurons in different areas of

the brain" (Samuels & Lane, 1998, p. 82). According to this study, when an individual

produces art, the possibility of a deep sense of joy or the release of tension, stimulates the

healing state of the body to engage. The hypothalamic pathways of the parasympathetic

nervous system send messages to the cells. A chemical change also takes place in the

brain. The hypothalamus sends messages to the adrenal glands to release endorphins and

neurotransmitters release endorphins, which can relieve pain and make the immune

system more effective. "The endorphins are like opiates, or mind-altering drugs, and they

make a person feel expanded, connected, at one, relaxed, vibrating, tingling, at peace"

(Samuels & Lane, 1998, p. 85). This physiological phenomenon has a positive effect on

the perception of well-being and mental health. Emotional burdens and burnout can be

relieved by engaging in art processes. When an individual creates symbols of internal

experiences, meanings that can be understood by a therapist can be discussed and the

client feels affirmed (Linesch, 1993).

The use of art can enhance the expression of fantasy, which can be a source of

satisfaction and accomplishment, according to Oster and Gould (1987). "By graphically

representing some of these feelings, clients bring them out in the open, confront them,

and learn to gain control over them. When this has been achieved, individuals in therapy

can then begin to feel more in control emotionally, which makes it easier to think for

themselves and gain a better sense of identity" (p. 64).

Moon (1994) cites additional intrinsic healing qualities of art that can promote

healing and mental health: (I) Art is existential. Expression leads to mindfulness, which

leads to change/action. (2) The arts are authentic modes of communication where stories

of selihood can be safely told. (3) Art is soul and from the depths of human experience,

creative processes make meaning visible and concrete. (4) Art is mastery and facilitates a

link with self-discipline, which is bound to self-regard. (5) Images produced by an

individual are living metaphors that invite reverence and respect. (6) Expressive

processes are empowering:

The empowering nature of art therapy is found in its capacity
to accept and embrace distress, not in its desire to rid the patient
of it. The arts bring our deepest fear, loneliness, and anguish to our
attention. Rather than 'cure' these discomforting aspects of life,
art therapy enables the persons to live with them courageously and
with meaning. (Moon, 1994, p. 146)

(7) Art is play-dynamic, sensual, mysterious, filled with fantasy and provides a safe

atmosphere for expression of emotions. And finally, (8) art is relationship because it

engages people with self and others and provides a structure for chaos.

Wadeson (1980) proposed that the creative experience allows one to escape

oneself in a kind of transcendent process that induces the feeling of being part of a more

universal experience than the unique condition of one's own life. She suggested that a

profound understanding of oneself is obtained through that integration, which in itself can

be extremely healing. In essence, art processes are therapeutic by changing ones

physiology and attitude.

Art Education in the Schools

Art education in the schools was pioneered by Victor Lowenfeld (1957), whose

publication of the Eighth Edition of Creative and Mental Growth in 1987,27 years after

his death, is a tribute to the vitality of the author's ideas on art education. His basic

philosophy was to develop in every human being the uppermost potential creative ability.

Lowenfeld lectured at Harvard and Columbia from 1939 to 1946 and became a member

of the faculty of the Pennsylvania State University, where he remained until his death in

1960. There he established the first major center for doctoral research and study in art

education. His writings and teachings have rendered him the most influential figure in

American art education.

Lowenfeld's work contributed to the description and analysis of the evolution of

children's art through a series of developmental stages. The description of these stages

remains a valuable tool for every art teacher and art therapist today (Ulman, 1987).

Lowenfeld stressed the importance of nonvisual (bodily) experience as a resource for

expression. In addition, he stressed the use of creative activity as a means of self-

realization and stressed the establishment of rapport between teacher and student as of

great importance. "The establishment of rapport depends greatly on the teacher's ability

to identify himself with his case, to put himself in his place" (Lowenfeld, 1957).

This feeling of empathy is one of the most important prerequisites, according to

Lowenfeld (1957).

Lowenfeld's monumental chapter on "Therapeutic Aspects of Art Education" that

appeared in the Third Edition (1957) assists art educators today in clarifying problems in

the schools through analyzing the extreme cases that he brought forward in this work.

The influence of the broadening effect of art on the development of speech, the relieving

effect of creative activity upon our emotions, and the influence on our mental growth has

been demonstrated by mentally defective subjects whose rigid patterns were difficult to

change, but nevertheless, changed. Lowenfeld's work further impacts contemporary art

education in the schools by confirming that through improving sensory experiences, self

concept is elevated, tension is alleviated, and the self gains contact and connection with

the environment.

Fowler (2000) of the Getty Foundation, contends that when we have strong arts

programs in the schools, we have strong schools. According to Fowler (2000), "The arts

humanize the curriculum while affirming the interconnectedness of all forms of

knowing" (p. 1). Art in the schools teaches divergent thinking and encourages students to

come up with different answers rather than ingrained learned responses. Creative

problem solving that is encouraged by the arts, invites student participation in the

learning process instead of telling them how to think. Art engages the minds of students

and encourages them to sort out alternatives through the medium of expression. Critical

thinking, analysis, and judgment are all involved in engagement with the creative

process. Art is an engaging way to learn and fosters independent thinking, which is the

basis of creativity.

Art education in the schools is a way to bridge the individual to a broader culture.

It is a basic way by which individuals define who they are. Taylor (1999) forges a link

between the performing artists and art educators by encouraging the aptitude of creating

the capacity for imagining something that does not exist which in turn fosters empathy.

"Empathy for others factor into understanding yourself and feeling connected to your

own kind and the broader your empathy is, the greater your ability to interact with people

from more diverse backgrounds. The arts are about, for, and by all of us" (Taylor, 1999,

p. 10). The arts in schools put students in touch with their own and other people's

feelings. The arts develop capacity for compassion and humaneness. In concert with

Taylor, Fowler (2000) of the Getty foundation contends that it is not intellect that

connects us to other people; it is feeling. The arts give us a means for communicating

human essence and serve as ways we can identify with those who live with us on our

planet. The arts teach respect.

Art in schools serves as language. Murray Sidlin, conductor of the New Haven

Symphony, is cited by Boyer (2000):

When words are no longer adequate, when our passion is greater
than we are able to express in a usual manner, people turn to art.
Some people go to the canvas to paint; some stand up and dance.
But we all go beyond our normal means of communicating and this
is the common human experience for all people on this planet.
(Boyer, 2000. p. 1)

Art education is basic according to Boyer (2000) because it expands language. The arts

are languages that reach all people at their deepest most essential level. The quality of a

civilization is often measured by the breadth of the symbols it uses.

Art education plays an important role in the school curricula: the release of

students' imaginations (Greene, 1995) and to reveal in a visual sense the students' beliefs

about themselves, their roles and their place in society. Willis and Schubert (1991)

perceive art education as a powerful way for students to explore their world, know

themselves, and become better human beings. Miller (2000) contends that there is

"mounting evidence that suggests that the study of the arts actually increases the growth

of neural pathways, aids in improving memory, and promotes creative problem solving"

(p.75). The arts in schools are important to every discipline (Amrnstine, 1990; 1995;

Collins, 1995; Eisner, 1991; Greene, 1995; Harste, 1994).

The inclusion of character education in art education is one proactive response to

the condition of the world. The affective curricular focus is aimed toward educational

and social change. Ethnographic studies are conducted exploring socio-political beliefs

students bring to their artwork; working with refugees; teaching students with physical

limitations; issues of success at learning; and the study of folk art as a catalyst for

learning are some of the important issues with which art educators are grappling (Bolin,

1999). One of the thrusts of art education is to raise the people's consciousness, which is

the first step to social change.

Ideas drawn from connective aesthetics (Gablik, 1995) and enlightened listening

(Levin, 1989) are among important issues brought to art education in the schools today.

Feminist pedagogy (Sandell, 1991), including caring, connections, community, modeling,

dialogue, practice and confirmation (Noddings, 1984, 1992) are examined through action

research projects by art educators and artists (Irwin, Crawford, Mastri, Neale, Robertson,

& Stephenson, 1997). Art teachers are employing deconstructionist practices as

reconstructionist curriculum in order to educate students to be attentive to nuance (Gude,


Art education in the schools provides a proactive approach to prevention of drop-

outs (Unsworth, 1990) and the development of empathy (Stout, 1999) by forging a caring

connection between teacher and student. Rather than being the information giver, the art

teacher becomes a facilitator who takes a more empathic approach. A moral-cognitive

approach to education has its foundation in the arts where students' thoughts and feelings

can be turned toward imaginative exploration. Through aesthetic experience, students

can live new experiences and move beyond the limitations of self
karg Group Develomnnal Guidanc and hIntrvnions

Large group developmental guidance is a parsimonious and facilitative attempt to

reach large numbers of students through proactive and preventative interventions planned

around a series of lessons that are part of an organized guidance curriculum (Myrick,

1993). Large group guidance is supported by many in the literature as a means of coping

with the growing numbers in counselor student loads (Borders & Drury, 1992; Corey,

1995; and Praport 1993). Counselors become available to greater numbers of students

through large group counseling units (May & Housley, 1996; Phillips & Phillips, 1992).

Strong support exists for the effectiveness of large group guidance interventions (Prout &

Prout, 1998).

Before counselors were employed in the schools, students were dependent upon

classroom teachers to help with any personal, social, or career-related issues. As

developmental guidance became instituted throughout our schools, counseling and

guidance curriculum has been designed to enhance personal, social, vocational, and

academic growth of the student "The primary goal is to help students learn more

effectively and efficiently" (Myrick, 1993, p. 1).

The Developmental Model of Guidance and Counseling

Since human development occurs in stages over time, the developmental guidance

approach is based on the rationale that the developmental process can be enhanced.

Planned, age-appropriate educational interventions are developed that help students

acquire knowledge, basic skills, self awareness, and attitudes necessary for successful

mastery of normal developmental tasks essential for effective functioning and happiness

(Borders & Drury, 1992; Wittmer, 1993). Personal services are offered to students

through the developmental guidance curriculum in which life skills are identified and

emphasized as a part of helping to prepare students for adulthood. The guidance

curriculum is complementary to the academic curriculum (Myrick, 1993).

The developmental model gives students the opportunity to investigate problems

that they might encounter in their personal development in advance of onset.

Developmental guidance interventions are often focused on helping students understand

themselves and others. Developmental guidance counselors assist students in making the

connection between thinking, feelings, and behaviors so they can make responsible

choices while understanding their own and others' feelings.

The opportunity for learning about self and others is an essential part of the

organized curriculum of developmental guidance. Skills that are learned around this

basic premise enhance the total learning experience of the student Caring conditions that

promote the respect and dignity in an environment of positive interpersonal interaction

support the developmental model. Conditions of caring, understanding, acceptance,

respect, and trustworthiness are among the values that are promoted by developmental

guidance and have been cited as most desirable in a helping relationship (Carkhuff&

Berenson, 1967; Rogers, 1957).

Among the goals that most characterize the developmental guidance and

counseling model are: (1) understanding the school environment; (2) understanding self

and others; (3) understanding attitudes and behavior; (4) decision making and problem

solving; (5) interpersonal and communications skills; (6) school success skills; (7) career

awareness and educational planning; and (8) community pride and involvement (Myrick,


Large Group Guidance Interventions

Prevention, human growth and development, study skills, social skills, making

friends, conflict resolution, college and careers choices are examples of large group

developmental guidance units. Units are planned and outlined with a specific number of

sessions, usually between six and eight class period sessions.

Activities that engage the students in experiential learning and promote both

cognitive and affective domains are included in the session planning. These types of

activities that utilize multiple learning styles and intelligence (Gardner, 1993) and which

have a feeling-focus (Wittmer & Myrick, 1989) are those which have the most

fimdamental psychological basis for learning. Art activities, metaphors, games, magic,

humor, literature, role playing, and creative writing are examples of experiential


Many reasons are cited in the literature for the efficacy of group-work that apply

to large group developmental guidance. Reasons for using group-work can be

summarized as follows: (1) Social learning is largely done in groups; therefore group-

work provides a relevant context for practice. (2) People with similar needs can provide

mutual support for each other, and help with mutual problem solving. (3) Group

members can learn from the feedback from other members. (4) Group members can try

new roles, from seeing how others react, and can be supported and reinforced.

(5) Groups can be catalysts for developing latent resources and abilities. (6) Groups are
more suitable for certain individuals, e.g., those who find the intimacy of individual work
too intense. And (7) groups can be more democratic, sharing power and responsibility
(Leibman, 1986).

Art Processes in School and Counseling Literature

Hoffman and Lamme (1989), authors of the book Learning from the Inside Out,

express the commitment of the inclusion of the expressive arts within the educational

curriculum. Children make connections between unfamiliar ideas and their own lived-

through experience in order to find personal meaning in new information. This is the

process of learning from the inside. It is the contention of these authors that expressive

arts contribute significantly to learning, while fostering divergent thinking, the

development of the imagination, and self and other awareness. Creative modalities are

powerful connections that join cognitive and affective experiences. According to these

scholars, the creative arts make curriculum come alive, giving meaning and value to the

learning experience.

Cochran (1996) utilized play and art therapy to help culturally diverse students

overcome barriers to school success. Citing Axline (1947) and Oaklander (1978) as

pioneers in the field of play, art is seen as a component of play. Axline (1947) defined

the significance of play and play therapy this way:

Play therapy is based upon the fact that play is the child's natural
medium of self-expression. It is an opportunity which is given to
the child to "play out" his [or her] feelings and problems just as,
in certain types of adult therapy, an individual "talks out" his [or her]
difficulties. (p.9)

Play and art are both healing and growth oriented processes. Using expressive art

in school counseling activities gives the student the opportunity to work symbolically

through confusions, anxieties, and conflicts (Cochran, 1998).

Hill and Tollerud (1996) infused art and creative experiences in group counseling

for restoring dignity to at-risk youth. The authors defined dignity as "a perception of

respect and competence that allows a person to feel valued, to be authentic, to grow and

learn, and to value and care about others" (p.122). Hill and Tollerud advocated the use of

art as a valuable part of restoring personal dignity that affects one's ability to interact

peacefully with others. Creativity and self-expression are facilitated by the counselor

who encourages students to write, keep a journal, draw, work with clay, and experiment

with other artistic endeavors. Dignity is enhanced by creative experiences because they

foster self-worth (Brown, 1971) and link students to their own uniqueness.

Kahn (1999) encouraged the school counselor to use arts-based interventions with

adolescents. Issues of self-esteem, behavior, and interventions focused on alcohol use

and abuse are among those addressed in this practical and empowering model of


Chochran (1998) advocated the use of art and play (Child Centered Play Therapy)

to promote the counseling relationship in order to facilitate change in students with

conduct disorder. Art and play provide safe and appropriate means of expressing intense

feelings that might otherwise be expressed through violent and aggressive ways.

Parker (1999) incorporated art in both counseling and consultation interventions

as a means for building in rituals into family dynamics. This author advocated ritual as a

means of understanding personal significance and roles in relation to others. Ritual gives

security, structure, and meaning to the individual's life and enriches the family

experience. By drawing symbols (Jung, 1970; May, 1991) to express meaning for family

or to encapsulate precious family experiences, powerful lingering memories are made.

Symbolic action can be especially effective in conveying abstract concepts such as love,

unity, and forgiveness which are all empowering qualities that enhance both the success

of the family and the personal, educational, and social success of the individual.

Creativity and humor are important elements in the enhancement of student

resilience according to Parr, Montgomery, and DeBell (1998). These authors contend

that "Resilience can be manifested in and nurtured by creativity. The creative arts

provide an outlet for students to express their feelings, to work out their issues, and to

explore life. Creative problem solving often opens up new possibilities, clearing the way

for alternative solutions never considered before" (p.27).

Omizo, Omizo, and Kitaoka (1999) utilized art and guided affective and cognitive

imagery to enhance the self-esteem among Hawaiian children in a public elementary

school. Among the issues effectively addressed in this study through art and guided

visualization were: problem solving, self-defeating behaviors, self-affirmation, family,

relaxation, self-esteem, and enhancement of the imagination. A MANOVA on the

posttest dependent measures revealed significant differences between experimental and

control groups on general self-esteem and on academic/school-related self-esteem.

The importance of the use of the arts in therapy and counseling for Native

Americans was discussed by Dufrene and Coleman (1994). These authors advise that

any counseling orientation or approach is usually recognized as an intrusion by Native

Americans, and strongly suggest acknowledgment of spirituality and art in the Native

culture with Native clients. The authors contend that since Native Americans regard art

and ritual as an element of life, the counselor and educator should consider investigation

of dance, poetry, and the plastic and graphic arts as possibility for inclusion in the

counseling intervention.

Hayes (2000) wrote about the power of artistic expression to convey life

experiences and to facilitate communication. The author suggested art as a solo approach

to open the door for other psychotherapeutic interventions. Mask-making was cited as an

experiential activity that helps individuals that have been institutionalized. According to

Hayes (2000), masks can assist individuals who are depressed, who have personality

disorders, or who are abusing drugs to reclaim their identity. Artistic expression is often

the first step in involving institutionalized individuals in treatment

Sabol-Grinberg (2000) reviewed an author's attempt to help people connect

through the healing arts. Among those that were mentioned are dance, art, music, and

creative writing. "Expressions can be an image or a series of images- not necessarily

words. Just as music facilitates emotion, so does art" (Sabol-Grinberg, 2000, p.11).

Visual arts provide a non-threatening approach for children and adolescents to

express innermost thoughts, feelings and ideas (Geldard & Geldard, 1999). By drawing a

picture, young persons can externalize thoughts or feelings, and by placing themselves in

the picture, he or she can be observed as separate from self. This allows one to reframe,

and adjust attitudes, feelings, and beliefs, and reintegrate those cognitions into

consciousness. Art in therapy or group counseling experiences can assist one in working

through conflicting ideas and feelings; exploration of feelings; development of insight;

exploration of family relationships, and identification of themes. Art assists in

relationship building between counselor and client and is a natural symbolic language

that enhances personal meaning and sense of self.

Teachers As Facilitators

ACA guidelines recommend that schools should have one counselor for every 250

students. Currently, the average ratio is an average of 513 students to one counselor

(Guerra & Schmidt, 1999). Although counselors are trained to work with the many

problems that are facing our youth today, it impossible for counselors to forge a caring

connection with each individual student that can make a difference for them personally,

socially, emotionally, and cognitively.

Counselors are bridging the gap by training teachers in facilitative techniques and

stressing the infusion of affect in the school environment. To assist in providing this

caring connection for all students, more emphasis is being placed upon cooperation,

communication, and collaboration. Affect within the school setting can be thought of as

personal awareness, creative behavior, interpersonal understanding (within and across

groups), affect in teaching styles and methods, and affect as experienced with adult

models. Affect enters the curriculum when any experience influences how young people

see themselves, the world around them, and their place in that world (Beane, 1990).

Bemak (2000) discusses the role of the counselor as collaborator who provides in-

service in facilitative methods to classroom teachers. By de-expertizing the school

counselor, the goal of developmental guidance is achieved. "Teachers are the heart of a

schools guidance program. They work directly with students in their classes and student-

teacher relationships influence the school atmosphere" (Myrick, 1993, p. 61). Good

guidance permeates the entire school environment where each individual is respected and


Davis and Garrett (1998) recommend a proactive approach by counselors to

bridge the gap between counseling and teaching. Because of frequent contact between

students and teachers, students often feel more comfortable talking with a teacher rather

than a counselor about their concerns. Counselors can actually capitalize on this dynamic

by asking teachers to attend initial counseling sessions with students. Teachers add

valuable insight and often achieve a sense of empowerment when they have a close

working relationship with the counselor. "Having them participate in the facilitative

relationship as an expert or mentor only reaffirms their professionalism and expertise as

an educator, as well as giving them a first-hand view of what the school counselor does"

(Davis & Garrett, 1998, p. 55).

Wittmer and Myrick (1989) discuss the powerful impact that a teacher as

facilitator can have on the lives of his or her students. According to these pioneers in the

field of developmental guidance, a teacher who is committed to facilitating learning is

one who is attentive, genuine, understanding, respectful, knowledgeable, and

communicative. In addition, they provide learning situations where learning is personally

meaningful, positive and nonthreatening, self-initiated, self-evaluated, and feeling-


Wittmer and Myrick (1989) have collected data from students about teachers who

have had a positive impact Among those qualities of facilitative teachers that are listed

by students are: good listeners, empathic, caring, concerning, genuine, warm, interested,

knowledgeable, trusting, friendly, sense of humor, dynamic, and ability to communicate.

Wittmer and Myrick (1989) express that "If we are to facilitate personal growth, we must

have the ability and the courage to enter into the lives of our students, feeling their

failures, successes, triumphs, and disappointments. We must be willing to share their

hurt and their pride" (p. 19).

The willingness to hold paradox together is the mark of a facilitative teacher.

Action and rest, thought and feeling, tears and laughter are intimate and inseparable

companions (Palmer, 1998). The individual needs both community and solitude; both

relationship and individuality. When individuality splits from community, it is no longer

rich and fulfilling but becomes loneliness and isolation. When community splits from

solitude, it becomes an impersonal crowd rather than a rich network of culture. The

facilitative teacher assists understanding of self and others as the individual develops

within a network of caring, cooperation, and communication.

Art Teacher as Facilitator

The art classroom is a natural environment for the development of understanding

of self and others. Art media naturally dredges up the emotional content of the

unconscious and symbols expressed in artistic expressions are fertile ground for working

through personal issues relating to ideas, beliefs, feelings, and behaviors. In the art

classroom, head is not separated from heart; facts are not separated from feelings; theory

is not separated from practice; and teaching is not separated from learning. Due to the

richly affective content of the art curriculum that links humankind in a web of creative

experience and celebration of diversity, connections are naturally made between self and

medium, self and others, student and teacher.

The art teacher is in the position to be naturally facilitative. The art educator

often looks at teaching as his or her art and the students as the medium. Empathic

understanding is a core concept of art education, infused as a standard of practice in the

curriculum. Benchmarks of standards of practice focus on understanding diversity and

the celebration of cultural contributions to the richness of artistic heritage (Florida

Department of Education, Sunshine State Standards, 2000).

Merle Flannery (1995) in her book Principles of Teaching Art, described the

type of impact that a facilitative and empathic teacher can have on students within the


The art teacher, as artist of the human soul, has the task of being
a unique living force that unfolds through another living force- the
student There is a dynamism between teacher and student To
develop this dynamism to its full potential, the artist (teacher or
painter) must learn about his or her medium. Knowledge of the
medium, gives the artist the aesthetic power to allow for and to help
themedium become most fully itself. The artist can act through the
medium while at the same time letting it take its own direction.
The medium "gives" itself to the artist and lets itself be formed,
actualizing this particular potential in the hands of a particular
artist. The artist's aesthetic vision and power is able to bring new
form to the medium which would not have been possible without
the particular teacher's unique action (p.237-238).

Palmer (1998) discussed the fact that good teachers facilitativee teachers) possess

a capacity for connectedness. He contended that the connections are not made with

methods but in the heart where intellect and emotion and spirit converge within self. This

space in the heart of the teacher is the crucible where the potential and the truth of each

individual student is encouraged to be heard, to be appreciated, to be celebrated.

According to Palmer (1998), the facilitative teacher reads between the lines and listens to

the voice before it is spoken:

What does it mean to listen to a voice before it is spoken? It means making
space for the other, being aware of the other, paying attention to the other,
honoring the other. It means not rushing to fill our student's silences with
fearful speech of our own and not trying to coerce them into saying things
that we want to hear. It means entering empathically into the student's
world so that he or she perceives you as someone who has the promise of
being able to hear another person's truth. (Palmer, 1998, p.46)


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a teacher

facilitated large group counseling intervention on locus of control, level of risk of

initiated violence, and level of emotional empathy of high school art students in grades

nine, ten, eleven, and twelve. More specifically, the arts-based intervention focused on

experiential processes that actively engage students in affective, perceptual kinds of

understanding that lead to creative expression and communication as a form of action.

This intervention was aimed at helping students identify their own beliefs, feelings, and

emotions as well as to encourage their active involvement in trying to sense, perceive,

share, and conceptualize another person's manner of experiencing the world. In addition,

this intervention was involved in helping students increase internal resources that assist in

moderating violent behavior by refraining from an empathic point of reference.

Treatment and control groups completed pre-and postmeasures of locus of

control, risk of initiated violence, and emotional empathy. Art teachers were trained as

facilitators prior to delivery of the counseling intervention.

The population of interest was ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade art

students from public high schools in north Central Florida. Originally, 7 public high

schools in Alachua County were invited to participate in the study, including 1

Developmental Research School. In addition, 2 high schools in Levy County; 1 high

school in Gilcrest County; and 1 high school in Clay County were invited to participate.

One or two schools from each of the counties agreed to take part in the study, however, 3

dropped out before completion of the intervention and postmeasures.

The resultant sample of participating schools consisted of 1 Developmental

Research School (University of Florida), 2 high schools from Alachua County, and 1

high school from Gilcrest County. The students ranged from ages 14-18 and were from

several racially and economically diverse north central Florida communities.

The population of Alachua County, the largest county in the study, was

approximately 250,000 in 2000. This number includes 55,000 University of Florida

students. Alachua County public schools, as reported by the Florida Department of

Education (2001), had approximately 9,104 students in 7 high schools. Racial and ethnic

makeup of the schools' students included approximately 61% White, 30% African

American 5% Hispanic, 3.5% Asian, and less than 1% Native American/Alaskan Native

students. The breakdown of gender was approximately 50% male and 50% female. Of

those students, 21% received free and reduced lunch.

In those high schools, 37,331 acts of aggression and violence were reported for

the 1999-2000 school year. Of those cases, 70% were perpetrated by males and 30% by

females (Florida Department of Education 2000). Violence may be defined differently

among the schools but districts across the state are probably comparable.

The two Alachua County High Schools that completed the study were Gainesville

High School and Hawthorne High School. Demographically, Gainesville High School

had 1,842 students: 950 females and 892 males. Of those students 1,086 were White; 560

African American; 117 Hispanic; 63 Asian; 2 Native American/Alaskan Native; and 14

Mixed Race students (School Board of Alachua County, phone conversation, May 2001).

The high school population consisted of 52% female students and 48% of male students.

Hawthorne High School had a total of 302 students for the 2000-20001 school

year (School Board of Alachua County, phone conversation, May 2001). Of the students

193 were White; 105 African American; 3 Hispanic; 0 Asian; and 1 Native American.

Gender breakdown was approximately 500% female and 50% male.

P.K. Yonge, the Developmental Research School of the University of Florida, had

418 high school students in the academic year 2000-2001, and a racial and ethnic makeup

of 281 White; 86 African American; 31 Hispanic; 6 Asian; 3 American Indian/ Alaskan

Native students; and 11 Multi-Racial. Gender breakdown consisted of 46% male and

54% female.

Gilcrest County had a population of 9,667 in 2000 (NACO, National Association

of Counties, 2001). Bell High School, another participant in the study, reported having

379 students (Bell High School, phone conversation, May 2001). Bell students were

predominately White with 375 in that category; 2 African American; 2 Hispanic; 0

Asians; 0 Native American/Alaskan Native; and 0 Multi-Racial. Gender breakdown was

50% male and 50 % female.

Statewide demographics are similar to those of Alachua County and those of P.K.

Yonge Developmental Research school with the exception being the African American

and Hispanic populations. African American students state-wide in a district average

26% while the state average for Hispanic students is 17%. Some of Florida's districts in

South Florida have an increased concentration of Hispanic students, which could account

for the increase in mean. Statewide, statistics are probably similar to those in Alachua

County for act of aggression and violence. However, the problem with interpretation of

the numbers stems from definitions of violence which vary from school to school and

district to district.

Limited reports from the schools participating in the study suggest that males are

more likely than females to be involved in incidents of violence and aggression. Data

also suggests that whites are more likely than students of other ethnic or racial categories

to be involved in aggression or violence.
amplig Procedures

Permission to conduct the study was requested of the University of Florida's

Institutional Review Board. Following that approval, the Departments of Research and

Evaluation of the Alachua County, Gilcrest County, Levy County, and Clay County

School Boards were approached for approval to administer the guidance interventions.

Each principal received a copy of the application for research that explained the purpose

of the study, briefly summarized the research design, and projected the amount of time

involved to complete the study. An accompanying letter was sent to the principles and

art teachers (Appendix A). Principals and art teachers decided collaboratively whether or

not to volunteer their school for the study.

Within each school choosing to participate, high school art students were

considered as the target population consisting of students from grades nine, ten, eleven,

and twelve. The teachers' classes were coded. One intact class was randomly assigned

as the experimental group and another class was randomly assigned as the control group.

A letter (Appendix A) was sent to the parents of students in both the experimental and

control groups concerning the nature of the intervention and asking permission to include

their child in the research study. Those students whose parents gave permission

participated as an intact class. Any students of the experimental and control group who

did not return parental permission were positioned in another area of the school to work

on previously assigned work during the delivery of the pre-and postmeasures and during

the intervention if they were in the experimental group. Students in the control group

who returned parental permission took the pre-and postmeasures but did not receive the


Resultant Sample

Of the 7 art teachers from Alachua, Gilcrest, Levy, and Clay counties in north

central Florida who initially agreed to participate in the study, 4 were able to complete

the intervention and the posttests within the allotted time frame of the study. The sample

included approximately N=1 53 students from 4 high schools. The assignment resulted in

78 students in the test group and 75 in the control group. Demographics from each of the

participating schools can be found on Tables 3-1 and 3-2.

Table 3-1
Total Enrollment and Lunch Status by Participating School

School # Enrollment % Free/Reduced Lunch
1 302 48.7
2 379 45
3 1842 16.3
4 ,418 20

Table 3-2
Students by Race for Participating School

School # % of Student by Race
White Af. American Hispanic Asian Native American Mixed
1 64 35 .010* 0.000* .003* .003*
2 99 .005* .005* 0.000* 0.000* 0.000*
3 59 30 .060* .030* .010* .007*
4 67 21 .070* .014* .007* .026*
*Notes less than 1%

Approximately 153 students participated in the study. Of those students, 78 were

assigned to treatment and 75 to control groups. The size of the intact groups varied from

17-23 students per large group guidance test group and from 15-25 for control group.

The demographics for the total sample as well as the treatment and control groups can be

found in Table 3-3 and Table 3-4.

Table 3-3
Demographics of Sample by Sex and Race

Groupings Female Male M NA A H AA W
Total sample n=153
Treatment 40 38 7 0 1 1 14 55

Control ,41 34 2 1 5 5 17 45

Table 3-4
Demograhics of Sample by Age and Class in School

Groupings Age Class in School
14 15 16 17 18 19 9 10 11 12
Total Sample, n= 153 9 49 39 40 14 2 52 41 38 22
Treatment, n=78 6 29 16 19 6 2 31 19 18 10
Control. n= 75 3 20 23 21 8 0 21 22 20 12

Research Design

The research design that was used in this study was a pre-post control group

design with intact classes, as shown in Table 3-5. Students completed the Children's

Nowicki-Strickland Internal-External Locus of Control Scale (CNSIE); the Risk of

Eruptive Violence Scale (REV); and the Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES),

after random assignment to the treatment or control groups. Following the delivery of the

intervention, all measures were given again. The control group design and use of pre-

and postmeasures served to control for most sources of internal validity (Mertens, 1998).

High school art teachers trained as facilitators delivered the Walk a Mile in My

Shoes intervention. A workshop was presented by the researcher that included training in

high facilitative techniques for processing the experiential cognitive-affective activities.

The Facilitator's Manual was also reviewed during the training workshop (Appendix D).

Table 3-5
Prepost Control Group Design

Conditions Pre Post
Treatment R Oi 02 03 X Oi 02 03
Control R 01 02 03 01 02 03
R = Random assignment of classes to groups
X = Large group guidance intervention for high school art students
Oi= Children's Nowicki-Strickland Internal-External Locus of Control Scale
02= Risk of Eruptive Violence Scale (REV)
03= (CNSIE) Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES)

The following hypotheses were evaluated at the .05 level of significance in this


* There will be no significant difference between the treatment and control group on
locus of control, as measured by the Children's Nowicki-Strickland Internal External
Locus of Control Scale (CNSIE).

* There will be no significant difference between students in the treatment and
control group on risk of initiated violence, as measured by the Risk of Eruptive
Violence Scale (REV).

* There will be no significant difference between treatment and control group students
on emotional empathy, as measured by the Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale

* There will be no significant interaction between treatment and gender.

Teacher-Facilitator Training

The researcher trained all of the art teachers who agreed to participate in the

study. Those involved in the study were all State of Florida certified art teachers.

Among the four teachers who finished the study, 1 holds a bachelor's degree, 2 hold a

master's degree, and 1 holds both a master's and specialist degree. The average

experience of the group of teachers was 20 years.

The "Teacher as Facilitator" (Table 3-6) workshop was held to train each of the

participating art teachers. At the workshop, the teachers received a guidance kit

containing the description of the project, information about the research procedures,

timelines, and guidelines to follow. Copies of the dependent measures with detailed

instructions and a training manual was also dispersed to the facilitator trainees.

The training manual included outlines of facilitative techniques, scripts for each

intervention activity and questions for processing the activities. Overheads of artwork,

audiotapes with recorded literature and hard copies of the printed literature were included

in the manual for the teacher. All materials were reviewed and discussed.

A simulation of the cognitive-affective activities was conducted to give teachers

first-hand experience regarding the experimental conditions of the study. The simulation

and all workshop materials were covered in attempt to control for differences in delivery

of the intervention. The procedures for collecting data were also explained. All teachers

were invited to consult with the researcher as needed.

Intact art classes were randomly assigned to treatment and control conditions.

Teachers were then given instructions on number-coding pre- and postmeasures to

protect the identity of the participants. Instructions for the administration of the

dependent instruments were reviewed and questions answered to insure uniformity of

delivery. All of the materials in the guidance kit as well as the student materials were

reviewed. The objectives and procedures for each activity were emphasized, as well as

encouragement to follow the facilitator's scripted leads, facilitative responses, and

processing questions.

Table 3-6
Teacher as Facilitator Workshop Outline

* Nature of the Study

* Relations of Emotional Empathy With Control and Violence

Negative correlation of risk of initiated violence with emotional empathy and
their relationship to locus of control
Characteristics of aggression and violence in schools
Extent of the problem
Empathy and the art connection
Teacher as facilitator: Extending that which you already do
Reducing the risk of initiated violence through cognitive-affective intervention

* Research Procedures
Overview of the Design
Informed consent
Collecting pre- and posttest data

* Simulation of Delivery of Large Group Guidance Intervention

* Time-Line and Dates for Returning Materials

* Questions and Answers

Consistent and uniform procedure was practiced by the participants in the

intervention activities simulation experience. All of the art and literature used in the

intervention activities was discussed along with the possible emotional states that could

be evoked by the works explored. Questions were posed and answered.

Teachers were reminded of the research procedures throughout its duration by

calls of encouragement and clarification by the researcher. The researcher carried a cell

phone to insure immediate response to the teachers' consultation needs.

Guidance Unit Pescripfion

With the art teacher as facilitator, the group counseling intervention was delivered

in a large group format with intact high school art classes. The intervention was

delivered in six sessions that took place over a time frame of a single grading period.

Each session constituted forty-five to fifty minutes. This approach assisted teachers in

lesson planning and was less disruptive to their regular curriculum. The first meeting

with the students was used to administer and collect the dependent premeasures. The six

sessions focused on the arts-based guidance unit and activities. Postmeasures were

administered after the intervention was completed.

The intervention was designed around the theme of Walk A Mile in My Shoes.

Upon first introducing the study to the students, the teacher as facilitator classified goals

for the large group guidance process and thanked students for their willingness to

participate in the experimental research. Trust and acceptance was extended by insuring

students that their responses would not be judged or graded. Activities were preceded by

psycho-educational background information concerning the growing diversity of our

nation and the nature of school and societal violence. Discussion questions that were

outlined in the facilitator's manual were generated to set the stage for defining empathy

and linking lack of understanding with non-acceptance, discrimination, and other

negative attitudes and actions. A brief outline of the sessions can be found in Table 3-7.

The complete Walk a Mile in My Shoes intervention can be found in Appendix D.

Table 3-7
Walk a Mile in My Shoes: Guidance to End Violence

Session # Title of Session Content Objectives

Session #1 "I Shined Their Shoes" 1. Increase knowledge of link of
lack of empathy to violence
2. Explore issues that impact
3. Experiential art and literature
activity to express feelings and
cognitions through word and
Understanding Suffering from Racism symbols

Session #2 "My Shoes Came from 1. Link control and empathy
the Dumpster" 2. Reinforce goals 1,2,3 above

Understanding Suffering from Poverty and Homelessness
Session #3 "My Shoes Carry a Heavy 1. Link thinking, feelings, behavior
Load" 2. Reinforce goals above

Understanding Suffering from Weight Bigotry and Sexism

Session #4 "My Shoes Never Touch 1. Increase knowledge of self and
the Ground" others
2. Reinforce goals from previous
Understanding Suffering from Physical and/or Mental Disabilities

Session #5 "He Hit Me With His Shoe 1. Increase knowledge of emotional
then Assaulted Me" and physical scars that affect mood
and behavior
2. Reinforce goals from above
Understanding Suffering from Abuse and Domestic Violence

Session #6 "Persecution Accompanies 1. Increase knowledge of need to
the Path of My Shoes" accept, respect, and live at peace
with each others' differences
2. Reinforce above goals
Understand Suffering from Cultural or Religious Intolerance Termination.

After the introductory material, Walk a Mile in My Shoes was then moved into the

activity phase. Students listened to passages from literature and viewed works of art that

were highly emotive, involving human beings in various life situations. Students were

encouraged to sense, perceive, conceptualize and respond as if they were the main

characters in both the art and the literature that was being experienced. The goal was to

embrace some of the phenomenological perspective of the character and try to perceive

the world in some measure as experienced by that individual.

Students responded initially with stream of consciousness writing. They were

instructed to identify feelings and to write how they were feeling without worrying about

grammar and punctuation. After the writing, symbolic images were drawn, painted, or

modeled from clay, to recreate moods and meanings.

After engagement with the media, teachers processed the experiential learning by

asking open questions about thinking, feeling, and doing. Teachers used clarifying,

summarizing, and feeling-focussed responses to expand the activity and link participants'

ideas. To make the leap (linking and extending the activity process), teachers encouraged

students to identify their own faulty beliefs, reframe, and extend the experience to

possible future situations.

Students learned to identify how the lack of empathic understanding can lead to

aggression and violence and were encouraged to use empathic self-talk to intercede when

they felt at-risk for self-initiate violence. Students were encouraged to have the

understanding that each individual is personally responsible for breaking the chain of

indifference, prejudice, oppression, abuse, and neglect that is engendered by lack of

empathic understanding of others. Locus of control was explored while linking activities.

The Walk a Mile in My Shoes unit ended by summarizing what had been covered

throughout the six sessions. Students were invited to talk about their experiences and

describe what kind of beliefs, attitudes, and strategies for understanding and accepting

others they would employ in the future. Students reviewed how lack of empathic

understanding exacerbates negative attitudes, anger, oppression, and initiated violence

and were encouraged to take what they had learned into their peer groups, families, and

into their future.

Students who participated in treatment were compared to the control group

students on the dependent measures, with the control group maintaining normal

classroom routine during the intervention phase of the study. Both groups were given the

instruments measuring locus of control, risk of initiated violence, and empathy during the

same time frame.

Dependent Variables

The following measures were used to assess effects of treatment: the Children's

Nowicki-Strickland Internal External Locus of Control Scale (CNSIE), the Risk of

Eruptive Violence Scale (REV), and the Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES).

The CNSIE is found in Appendix C. The BEES and the REV scales have not been

included in Appendix C, since the author of these scales, Albert Mehrabian, restricts the

duplication of any of his test items in the published document.

Children's Nowicki-Strickland Internal External Locus of Control Scale (CNSE

A pencil and paper self-report measure of 40 yes or no questions, the Children's

Nowicki-Strickland Internal External Locus of Control Scale was developed in 1969 and

is appropriate for children ages 9-18. Constructed on the basis of Rotter's (1966)

definition of the internal-external control of reinforcement dimension as an attempt to

measure locus of control in children, the items describe various reinforcement situations

across interpersonal and motivational areas. Reinforcement situations include affiliation,

achievement, and dependency (Nowicki & Strickland, 1973). Scores are based on the

number of responses that indicate an external locus of control orientation to the

statement, with possible score ranges of from 0-40. Higher scores indicate a more

external locus of control than do the lower scores.

Nowicki and Strickland's sample included students of average intelligence in

Grades 3 through 12 from all socioeconomic groups. Extensive samples of reports on

internal consistency and reliability estimates for the CNSIE are almost all found to be

above the .60 level (Nowicki & Duke, 1983). Since the CNSIE is additive and items are

not comparable nor are they arranged according to difficulty, split-half reliabilities

probably tend to underestimate the true internal consistency scale (Nowicki & Duke,


Nowicki and Strickland (1973) report data showing moderate relationships among

the CNSIE and other measures of locus of control. There were significant correlations of

.31 and .51 for black third (N=182) and seventh graders (N=171) when comparisons were

made to the Intellectual Achievement Responsibility scale (Crandall, Katkovsky, &

Crandall, 1965). The correlation with the Bialer-Cromwell scale was found to be

significant at .41 (g < .05) for 26 white students ages 9-11 (Nowicki & Duke, 1983).

Although the literature does not point to studies that suggest a direct correlation

between levels of emotional empathy and locus of control, Winkler and Doherty (1983)

relate individual locus of control to problem-solving behavior in two cross-cultural

samples of married couples. According to their findings, greater externality was

associated with higher levels of verbal aggression and of physical violence. Externality

was also associated with angry response style. Internals reported less verbal and physical

aggression and were less likely to respond with anger to a provocative statement from

their spouse. These results gave empirical support to the hypothesized relationship

between externality and aggression. External wives were more likely to respond by

kidding or teasing when provoked.

Risk of Erungtive Violence Scale (REV)

The Risk of Eruptive Violence Scale (Mehrabian, 1996) was designed to discern

individuals who generally convey a non-aggressive outward appearance and non-violent

behaviors, but who on rare occasions can snap and initiate violence and destruction. The

rationale that is given by the author of the measure is that some individuals who appear

quiet, withdrawn and restrained, can actually be seething with anger, carrying frustration

concerning their wishes to hurt individuals who have offended them or whom they have

imagined offend them (Mehrabian, 1996). The REV is a 35-item pencil and paper self-

report of agreement or disagreement with each of the items listed in the measure. A 9-

point Likert-type scale is used to indicate (+4) very strong agreement through (-4) very

strong disagreement with the statements. The scale is meant to provide an accurate

description of attitudes and feelings. The REV takes approximately 10 minutes to

administer. Acquiescence bias is controlled for by 24 items that are positively worded or

positively scored and by 11 items that are worded in such a way that disagreement shows

more risk of violence. These items are negatively scored. This balance of negatively

worded items against positively worded ones contributes to the control for the unwanted

agreeableness. Acquiescence bias is only partially controlled for due to the unequal

number of positively worded items.

When correlating the REV with other measures, norms are not necessary and

unstandardized raw scores are sufficient for the correlation. To compare scores with the

rest of the population, however, the norms of the REV of the general population are as

follows: Mean = -59 and Standard Deviation = 48. There is a general population trend to

disagree with items of the REV. Sex differences reveal male norms as: Mean = -33 and

Standard Deviation = 57. Female norms are: Mean = -85 and Standard Deviation = 39.

Gender differences reveal that males are generally more violent than women.

The REV has been shown to be very high in internal consistency with a

coefficient alpha of.94 (Mehrabian, 1996). The REV has been factor analyzed for a

principal components solution. The eigenvalue plot and the Scree Test (Catell, 1966)

revealed a one-factor solution with eigenvalues of the first three factors as 13.75,2.42,

and 1.91, respectively (Mehrabian, 1997).

High convergent validity of the REV is indicated by its correlation with two other

scales of aggression and violence. According to Mehrabian (1997), the REV correlated

.74 (p < .01) with the brief Anger and Aggression Scale (Maiuro, Vitaliano, & Cahnlm,

1987) and .56 with the Violence Risk Scale (Plutchik & Van Praag, 1990). Spearman's

formula to correct for attenuation yielded a correlation of .93 between the REV and the

Brief Anger and Aggression Scale and a corrected correlation of.78 between the REV

and the Violence Risk Scale.

Miller and Eisenberg (1996) have found that violence and empathy have negative

intercorrelation. The REV is negatively correlated with both the emotional Empathic

Tendency Scale (Mehrabian & Epstein, 1972) and the balanced Emotional Empathy

Scale (Mehrabian, 1996). Correlations are -.43 (p < .01) and -.50 (p < .01) respectively.

The Risk of Eruptive Violence Scale also correlates negatively (Q = -.49, p < .01) with a

general measure of Optimism-Pessimism (Scheier, Carver & Bridges, 1994).

Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES)

The Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES) was designed by Albert

Mehrabian in 1996 to help distinguish persons who typically are able to experience more

of others' feelings from persons who are less responsive to the emotional experiences of

others. An updated version of the Emotional Empathic Tendency Scale (EETS), the

BEES, measures both the vicarious experience of others' feelings and interpersonal

positiveness in a balanced way. It is a questionnaire with 30 items and uses a 9-point

Likert-style format. Individuals answer with responses ranging from very strong

agreement (+4) to very strong disagreement (-4). 15 of the items are worded as positive

instances of presence of empathic feelings and 15 indicate the absence of such feelings to

reduce bias due to acquiescence (Urbina, 1999). The test is designed to measure the

emotional, rather than the cognitive aspects of empathy and is appropriate for individuals

and groups ages 15 and older. It is a hand scored measure and yields a single total-scale

score. It can be used with individuals and groups and takes approximately 10-15 minutes

to administer.

The validity of the Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale is evidenced indirectly

with high positive correlation of .77 with the earlier version, the Emotional Empathic

Tendency Scale (EETS) (Mehrabian & Epstein, 1972). Reviews of available literature

indicate strong validity of the scale (Chlopan, McCain, Carbonell, & Hagen 1985;

Mehrabian, Young, & Sato, 1988). Experimental evidence from the EETS yielded that

persons with higher emotional empathic tendency scores, compared with those with

lower scores are more likely to be affiliative, non-aggressive, score higher on measures of

moral judgment, have arousable and pleasant temperaments, and rate positive social traits

as important. In addition, highly empathic individuals are more prone to be altruistic in

their behavior toward others and are more likely to volunteer to help others (Mehrabian,

Young, & Sato, 1988).

The Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES) relates significantly and

negatively with a correlation of-.31 to the Maiuro, Vitaliano, and Cahnlm (1987) Scale of

Aggression at V< .01. (Mehrabian, 1997). In the same study, the BEES significantly and

negatively related to the Risk of Eruptive Violence (REV) (Mehrabian, 1996) measure

with a correlation of -.50 at p < .01. The BEES consistently exhibited stronger relations

with the measures of aggression, violence and optimism than the earlier version

of the scale, the EETS, indicating greater construct validity of the BEES. Miller and

Eisenberg (1988) found generally low but significant negative relations between the

EETS and its variants with measures of aggressive and externalizing/antisocial behaviors.

According to Johnson (1999) in his review of the BEES, the construct validity of

the measure has been studied in terms of pleasure, arousal, and dominance, which are

factors specified in Mehrabian's (1997) personality model. A regression equation

weighted equally on the pleasure and arousal factors indicates that highly empathic

individuals tend to be both pleasant (positive) and arousable (reactive). Although further

testing is recommended before the instrument can qualify as a clinical instrument, test

reviewers indicate that it can be viewed as an adequate measure for research purposes.

Johnson (1999) also reports adequate internal consistency (reliability) of the BEES

(Cronbach's alpha=.87).

The norms for the full-length Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES) are:

Mean = 45 and Standard Deviation = 24 (Mehrabian, 2000). These numbers reflect

combined male and female norms and are applicable and appropriate most of the time.

Male norms are as follows: Mean = 29 and Standard Deviation = 28. Female norms tend

to be generally higher (Mehrabian, Young, & Sato, 1988) and are: Mean = 60 and

Standard Deviation = 21. Raw scores are computed for each subject by summing

responses to the 15 positively worded items and by subtracting from this quantity the sum

of the individual's responses to the negatively worded items. The raw scores are then

converted to z scores, yielding an easy interpretation of the meaning of the score. When

correlating with other variables, unstandardized raw scores are sufficient without norms.

The BEES lends itself to statistical analysis done on samples that include

individuals of both sexes and age ranges.

Research Procedures

The art instructor at each of the participating schools administered all of the

pretreatment measures approximately one week before delivering the large group

guidance intervention. To insure confidentiality, all answer sheets were coded. The

investigator was provided with information regarding the school, age, gender, and race of

each individual participant for use in the analysis. Gender was the variable of interest in

regard to the treatment.

During the Facilitator Workshop, art teachers were trained in uniform procedures

for the delivery of the Children's Nowicki-Strickland Internal External Locus of Control

Scale (CNSIE), the Risk of Eruptive Violence Scale (REV), and the Balanced Emotional

Empathy Scale (BEES). Teachers were instructed to read all of the items of each

measure to the students in order to control for differences in delivery and differences in

reading levels of the participants. All of the pre-instrumentation was collected and

delivered to the researcher prior to the delivery of the treatment intervention. Uniform

time frame for delivery of the intervention was adhered to by the participating teachers.

The six treatment sessions took place within a single grading period with each

session taking approximately 45-50 minutes. Upon terminating the intervention, the

teachers again administered the CNSIE, the REV, and the BEES to students in both the

treatment and control groups. All data was placed in large envelopes and was collected

and analyzed by the researcher.

Data Anplysis

A mixed model ANCOVA was performed on all measures for both the treatment

and control groups in order to determine whether the observed differences between

means were due to chance or to systematic differences among treatment populations

(Shavelson, 1996). Predictable individual differences were removed from the dependent

variable, providing a truer estimate of experimental error and a more powerful test of the

null hypothesis. Pretest scores served as the covariate to adjust posttest scores. Random

assignment of groups to either control or treatment conditions increased the validity for

using the ANCOVA.

The ANCOVA examined two main effects of gender and group. An alpha level

of .05 significance was set for each of the hypotheses. The .05 level of significance gave


sufficient power and was a reasonable probability level for determining the effectiveness

of the intervention strategy for high school art students.


This study examined the effectiveness of a large group counseling intervention for

high school art students with teachers as facilitators. Art teachers delivered the

intervention to art classes mixed with students from grades nine, ten, eleven, and twelve.

Arts-based sessions were designed to influence students' perceived levels of control, risk

of initiated violence, and levels of empathic awareness.

The effectiveness of the large group counseling intervention was assessed by

analysis performed on pre-and postmeasures using an analysis of covariance model

(ANCOVA). Three dependent measures were used to gather data related to the effects of

the intervention. The measures included the (a) Children's Nowicki- Strickland Locus of

Control Scale (CNSIE), (b) Risk of Eruptive Violence Scale (REV), and (c) Balanced

Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES).

Data on the three dependent measures were collected from 153 students in grades

nine, ten, eleven, and twelve attending 4 public high schools. Intact art classes were used

in a convenience sample of an experimental research design of randomly assigned

treatment and control classes. The assignment resulted in 78 students in the test group

and 75 students in the control group. Assumptions were checked to provide support for

the use of ANCOVA as an appropriate statistical analysis. Results may be found in

Appendix E. All statistical tests were conducted at a .05 confidence level.

Data Analysis

Three dependent variables were used to investigate four hypotheses.

Supplemental statistics supporting correlation of variables can be found in Appendix E.

Students' Perceived Locus of Control

The Children's Nowicki-Strickland Internal External Locus of Control Scale

(CNSIE) was used to investigate the effects of treatment on the students' perceived locus

of control. Scores on this instrument could range from a possible 0-40, with points

assigned for each corresponding external choice. Higher scores indicate a more external

control orientation than lower scores that indicate more internal control orientation.

External control orientation is associated with more problematic behavior.

The first hypothesis focused on the locus of control construct:

Hoi: There will be no significant difference between treatment and control
group on locus of control, as measured by the Children's Nowicki-
Strickland Internal External Locus of Control Scale (CNSIE).

An ANCOVA was conducted on the CNSIE to test the stated null hypothesis (Table 4-1).

Main effects of treatment. A Significant treatment effect was found for the

CNSIE scores at .05. Both males and females in the treatment group had lower posttest

means than their counterparts in the control groups. Males in the control group had a

posttest mean of 15.50, while posttest mean for treatment males was 13.21. Females in

the control group had a posttest mean of 12.82, while females in treatment had a posttest

mean of 12.29 (Table 4-2).

Group and gender both appear to influence the CNSIE according to the ANCOVA

results. Therefore, Hoi was rejected. A significant interaction was found between gender

and pre-CNSIE (1p=.025). The significant interaction of gender by pre-CNSIE is plotted

on Figure 4-1.

Table 4-1
Statisic Results ANCOVA- CNSIE

Source SS df MS F Sig.

Corrected 2175.012 5 435.002 29.163 .000
Intercept 221.833 1 221.833 14.871 .000
Pre-CNSIE 1882.816 1 1882.816 126.222 .000
Group 63.709 1 63.709 4.271 .041*
Gender 117.165 1 117.165 7.855 .006*
Gender*Pre- 76.209 1 76.209 5.109 .025*
Group*Gender 2.595 1 2.595 .174 .677
Error 2192.752 147 14.917
Total 4367.765 152
R Squared=.498 (Adjusted R Squared=.481)
*Significance at p < .05

Table 4-2
Dscritive Statistics Post-CNSIE

Group Gender N Mean SD
Treatment Female 41 12.29 6.16
Male 37 13.21 4.51
Total 78 12,73 5.42
Control Female 41 12.82 5.01
Male 34 15.50 5.20
Total 75 14.04 5.24
Total Female 82 12.56 5.59
Male 71 14.30 4.95
Total 153 13,37 5.36

As Figure 4-1 shows, when comparing those who scored low on the pretest, males

were more external than females on the posttest On the other hand, when scoring high

on the pretest, females were more external than males on the posttest These findings

indicate that females in this sample who tended to be internal on locus of control initially

were more internal than the boys on the posttest who were internals. It also indicates that

girls in the sample who tended to be more external initially on locus of control were

higher or more external than the boys on the posttest who tend to be externals.

0 X X
6 3Iw --
.I6 KMale

0 -." Female
0 10 20 30


Figure 4-1. Gender by Pre-CNSIE Interaction

Students'Perception of Risk of Eruptive Violence

To investigate the effects of treatment on the students' perceptions of their

personal risk of initiated violence, the results of the REV scale were subject to analysis

(Table 4-3). Levene's test of equality of error variance tested the null hypothesis that the

error variance of the dependent variable was equal across groups. Tests of between-

subjects effects was used to analyze pre and post scores of both treatment and control

groups to determine if a gender interaction existed (Table 4-3).

Table 4-3
Statistical Results ANCOVA- REV

Source SS df MS F p
Corrected 361370.947 4 90342.737 83.401 .000
Intercept 3336.955 1 3336.955 3.081 .081
Pre-REV 304327.975 1 304327.975 280.944 .000*
Group 2248.301 1 2248.301 2.076 .152
Gender 3054.585 1 3054.585 2.820 .095
Group*Gender 695.286 1 695.286 .642 .424
Error 160318.399 148 1083.232
Total 521689.346 152
R Squared=.693 (Adjusted R Squared=.684)
*Significance at 11 < .05

Females in the treatment group had a posttest mean of -49.85. Males in treatment

had a posttest mean of -23.16. Control group females had a posttest mean of

-60.53 while posttest mean for males in control was -12.38 (Table 4-4). Scores for both

positively and negatively worded items created a range with higher scores corresponding

to higher risk of eruptive violence.

Table 4-4
Descriptive Statistics Post-REV









The second hypothesis tested focused on the construct of risk of initiated


Ho2 There will be no significant difference between treatment and control
group on risk of initiated violence as measured by the Risk of Eruptive
Violence Scale (REV).

Main effects of treatment. There was not a significant treatment effect for this

dependent measure. Therefore the stated null hypothesis was not rejected. Statistical

results can be found on Table 4-3.

Students' Perception of Emotional Empathy

The Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES) was used to measure the

dependent variable of perception of emotional empathy. Levene's test of equality of

variance checked the ANCOVA assumption of equal variance and a test of between-

subjects effects was also conducted (Table 4-5). Scores were determined by scaled

answers to positively and negatively worded items with the higher scores corresponding

to higher levels of emotional empathy.

The following null hypothesis was tested with regard to the construct of perceived

emotional empathy:

Hos There will be no difference between the treatment and control
group as measured by the Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES).

Table 4-5
Statistical Results ANCOVA-BEES

Source SS df MS F p
Corrected 183018,832 4 45754.708 94.217 .000
Intercept 2646.091 1 2646.091 5.499 .021*
Pre-BEES 141026.694 1 141026.694 290.400 .000*
Group 1269.022 1 1269.022 2.613 .108
Gender 2402.524 1 2402.534 4.947 .028*
Group*Gender 64.018 1 64.018 .132 .717
Error 71873.064 148 485.629
Total 254891.895 152
R Squared=.718 (Adjusted R Squared=.710) *Significance at 1 < .05

Females in the treatment group had a posttest mean score of 37.36 while males in

treatment resulted in a posttest mean score of 8.4. Females in the control group had a

posttest mean of 37.19 and males had a posttest mean of .26 (Table 4-6).

Table 4-6
Descriptive Statistics Post-BEES

Group Gender N Mean SD
Treatment Female 41 37.36 38.10
Male 37 8.45 32.86
Total 78 23.65 38.34
Control Female 41 37.19 31.65
Male 34 .26 47.93
Total 75 20.45 43.69
Total Female 82 37.28 34.81
Male 71 4.53 40.69
Total 153 22.08 40.95

Main effects of treatment It appears that the level of emotional empathy was not

impacted by the treatment as measured by the BEES. Since no significant difference was

found, the null hypothesis was not rejected. However, a gender main effect was indicated

in the test of between-subjects effects. (Table 4-6).

Both treatment and control groups males scored lower than females in both

groups at p=.028. Lower scores indicated a lower level of perceived emotional empathy.

This however, showed no significant influence of treatment A more detailed statistical

report can be found in Table 4-5.

The following null hypothesis was examined with regard to interaction of

treatment and gender and the dependent variables:

Ho4: There will be no significant interaction between treatment and gender
as measured by the CNSIE, REV, and the BEES.

Two-way interactions. The treatment effect by gender was examined with the ANCOVA

model using posttest means to test the null hypothesis. A test of between-subjects effects

was conducted to determine if the covariate interacted with the fixed variable of gender.

Although a significant gender and pre-CNSIE interaction was found at 9=.016 and a

gender effect was found with both pre and post-BEES, no significant interactions were

found between treatment and gender as measured by the CNSIE, REV, or the BEES.

Therefore, the null hypothesis H04 was not rejected.

Other Fndins

The arts-based teacher facilitated counseling intervention for high school art

students utilized literature and both contemporary and classic visual art forms to stimulate

discussion and address the dependent variables. Delivered in six sessions, content

focused on the enhancement of empathy, locus of control, and the prevention of

violence. An experiential activity was included in each session.

Because of the nature of this study, it was important to try to explore what the

students were experiencing. Therefore, students were invited to identify feelings and

emotions as if they were the characters in the art and literature and also express in writing

and in graphic form how that exploration influenced their own thinking, feeling, and

behaving. The researcher collected the writing and artwork from the students. For

instance, the following are some examples from the written and visual expressions

rendered by some of the treatment participants. Other examples can be found in

Appendix F. Student writings are not edited for spelling or grammar and are quoted

exactly as written. Original artwork was done in both color and black media. Student

intentionality may be somewhat affected due to the black and white copy of the images.

Student Responses to Session One Goal: Understanding Suffering from Racism


Sc S a

QXAJ. cJ(U( c ,,-,e AAJUr 01o joo 6 1 +ker 0

Figure 4.2. Student Artwork Session One: "We Shouldn't Care What Color Someone Is"
"I feel like people in this world today never gave up the lock and key toward
racism. Because right now as a Black African-American, I still don't feel safe.

I'm afraid one day someone might hurt me just for the color of my skin. But I won't let

my guard down. I am ready and able to defend myself."

"I think it [the incident portrayed in the art and literature] was wrong. I have

always been raised that everyone is the same-equal. It really hurts me to know that this

kind of stuff actually happens in today's world. Maybe not in that kind of situation

[referring to the literature], but with people calling other people Niggers or Crackers.

That's just like walking up to someone and calling that person a Bitch."

"As the character I am enraged. That man shouldn't have kicked me. I am also

sad. Sad that some one would do this to me. It isn't right. I think I am sad. I am sad

that people do these kind of things to others. It couldn't be more wrong. If I saw that

happening, I would help the kid. But fighting would be my last resort!"

[Reaction to the literature] I would feel hate and enraged toward them but at the

same time I would feel sonrry for the men who kicked me because they are so closed-

minded and just have no idea they are so hateful. I felt really angry because people can

be so uninformed and just plain out stupid. It really upsets me when I hear about or see

things like this. When you see someone mistreated like that you just wanna scream."

"I would feel ashamed and embarrassed. Mostly shocked. I would wonder, what

did I do to him? Why is he so mad at me? I would be embarrassed and ashamed because

of my skin color because I'm not like everyone else and there's nothing I could do about

it I would want not to hurt or cause equally inflicting pain on this person, I would just

want to explain and make these people understand what it's like to be different I feel sad

that people actually did go through misery and embarrassment as well as [being] victims

of discrimination."

Figure 4-3. Student Artwork Session One: "The Monster of Racism"

Summary of the Study

A summary of the results of the ANCOVAs for this study are presented below.

Results are organized by dependent variable. Of the four hypothesis in this study only

one was rejected.

Students' Perception of Locus of Control Orientation as Measured by the CNSIE Scale

* There was a significant difference between the way treatment and control group
students rated their own locus of control orientation following the intervention.

* There was a significant difference between the way males and females rated their
own locus of control orientation.

* There was a significant gender and Pre-CNSIE interaction. When comparing those
who scored low on the pretest, males scored higher and were more external than
females on the posttesLt. On the other hand, when scoring high on the pretest, females
were more external than males on the posttest. These findings seem to indicate that
females in this sample who tended to be internal on locus of control initially were

more internal than the boys on the posttest who were internals. It also indicates that
girls in the sample who tended to be more external initially on locus of control were
higher or more external than the boys on the posttest who tend to be externals.

Students' Perceptions of Risk of Initiated Violence on the REV Scale

" There was no significant difference between the way in which treatment and control
group students rated their own risk of initiated violence.

* There was no significant difference in the way males and females rated their own
level of risk of initiated violence.

Student's Perceptions of Levels of Emotional Empathy on the BEES Scale

* There was no significant difference in the way treatment and control group students
rated themselves on levels of emotional empathy.

* Gender was a main effect in the tests of between-subjects effects for the BEES.
Girls in the sample scored higher than did the boys on the dependent measure,
indicating that the girls perceived themselves as having more emotional empathy than
did the boys.

" There was no significant gender and treatment interaction for the BEES.

Other Findings

* Students who participated in treatment expressed empathic feelings in written
form that identified their perceptions of the experiences of the characters depicted in
literature and art in the experiential large group counseling sessions.

* Students expressed their own feelings and beliefs in written form in response to
art and literature presented in the large group counseling sessions.

* Students used various art media to create graphic images that reflected their
reactions to the literature, art, and to their own written responses to the experiential
counseling sessions.

* Affective data collected from the arts-based intervention suggests the potential of the
intervention to:
ignite the imagination
to give students an opportunity to freely express themselves both verbally and
to open opportunities for alternative choices
to develop empathic awareness
to influence the capacity to care.
These may decrease initiated violence. More examples are found in Appendix F.

Results of Correlations Among Dependent Measures

* The Children's Nowicki-Strickland Internal External Locus of Control
(CNSIE) Scale has a significant positive correlation with the Risk of Eruptive
Violence (REV) Scale. This supports the notion that individuals with external locus
of control have more problematic behavior than internal individuals.

* The Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES) has a significant negative
correlation with both the CNSIE and the REV, which indicates that individuals with
higher levels of empathy tend to also have lower risk of initiated violence and are
more internal in their perceptions of locus of control. Table of supplemental statistics
supporting this summary may be found in Appendix E.

In the next chapter, conclusions are made based on results presented in Chapter 4.

Methodological limitations, implications, and recommendations for additional research

are discussed.



The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of an arts-based

teacher-facilitated large group counseling intervention. Specifically, high school art

students from grades nine, ten, eleven, and twelve in multi-age intact classes from 4

public high schools participated in the study (N=153). The study was designed to

increase personal control and empathic awareness while decreasing the risk of initiated

violence. Classes were randomly assigned to treatment and control groups. Adjusted

group means were used in the analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) for each of the

dependent measures.

Four art teachers who had received training and a scripted training manual,

delivered the intervention to the art students. An intervention of six sessions featured

information with visual art and literature that focused on helping students understand the

social, physical, and emotional conditions of others and how understanding can reduce

the risk of initiated violence. Sessions were devoted to issues of racism, poverty, body

bigotry, disability, abuse, and religious and ethnic persecution. The intervention was

delivered in a single grading period.

The group format provided a setting where students were able to freely discuss

the topics and write about feelings that were identified by stepping into the shoes of the

characters presented in the art and literature. Students were also given the opportunity to


express their feelings symbolically through an experiential art activity associated with

each session. Facilitators stressed to the students that neither their art nor their writings

would be judged or censored in any way.

Art students who participated in the test groups were compared to the art students

in the control groups on three dependent variables. The first dependent variable, locus of

control, was measured by the Nowicki-Strickland Internal External Locus of Control

Scale (CNSIE). Students responded to 40 statements by circling yes or no as each

response was read to them by the teacher-facilitator. Scores were based on the number of

responses that indicated external locus of control orientation concerning the statement.

The scores had a possible range of 0-40. Higher scores indicated a more external

orientation than did the lower scores. External responses as raw numbers were used in

the ANCOVA analysis. The related hypothesis HOi was rejected.

The second variable, risk of initiated violence, was measured by the Risk of

Eruptive Violence Scale (REV). The REV asked students to rate themselves in terms of

items related to their tendency to have aggressive, violent, or destructive behavior. The

REV contains 35 items that were read to the students. Students responded by reporting

their degree of agreement or disagreement with each item in terms of a number on a

Likert-type scale. Responses to sums of negatively worded items were subtracted from

sums of positively worded items to obtain the students' scores. Raw scores were used in

the ANCOVA analysis to compare treatment and control groups. Higher scores

represented a higher risk of initiated violence. H02, which dealt with this construct was

not rejected.

The third dependent variable, students' perceptions of level of emotional

empathy, was measured by the Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES). Items on

this instrument focus on one's tendency to feel vicariously the emotional experiences of

others. Questions on the 30-item scale were read to the students by the teacher-

facilitators and students responded by indicating degree of agreement or disagreement

with each item by choosing a number on a Likert-type scale. Scores were obtained by

subtracting the sums of responses to negatively worded items from sums of responses to

positively worded items. Total raw scores were analyzed using the ANCOVA. Higher

scores indicated individuals who are generally more responsive to the emotional

expressions and experiences of others. H03, which focused on students' perceptions of

balanced empathy, was not rejected. Additionally, H04, which dealt with interaction

between treatment and gender was not rejected.

Other findings were collected from the test group as responses to the arts-based

information presented in the large group counseling intervention. Sketches, drawings,

paintings and written responses were among the symbolic data collected. Students

reflected by writing and producing graphic symbols about thoughts, feelings, and

behaviors from both their own and the characters' views in the art and literature.


The outcomes of the study were mixed. Conclusions are discussed with regard to

each of the dependent variables and the experiential data.

Students' Perceptions of Locus of Control

Group and gender both effected the results of the CNSIE. The ANCOVA

performed for this dependent measure revealed significant treatment effectiveness at .05.

A significant interaction between gender and pre-CNSIE was also revealed by the

ANCOVA analysis.

Overall pre-and posttest means indicated that girls in the sample tended to be

more internal than did the males of the sample. Students in the treatment group had

lower posttest mean scores than did students in the control group, showing treatment

effectiveness. The higher scores of control group students indicated more external

orientation of locus of control.

External orientation is associated with a tendency for more problematic behavior.

Persons with an external locus of control may be less successful in coping with stressful

situations than are individuals who generally believe that they are in control of the events

of their lives. Problems associated with external locus of control include: low influence

resistance; low resistance to temptation; inability to tolerate discomfort while helping

another individual; low ability to defer gratification; short future time perspective; high

suicide ideation; and negative future outlook. Persons who are emotionally disturbed,

persons who have learning disabilities, and individuals who are delinquent are more

likely to have an external locus of control.

On the other hand, individuals with internal locus of control orientation tend to

show more pro-social behavior as well as having a tendency to show more insight about

their own social behaviors and the consequences that evolve from them. Males, who are

more internal, tend to show more insight and to be more cooperative. This characteristic

is especially important when considering peer pressure and its effect on violence. It is

therefore concluded that this guidance unit has the potential to influence internality and

may reduce violence.

Students' Perceptions of Risk of Eruptive Violence

The analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) performed on this dependent measure

revealed that there was not a significant difference between treatment and control group

students for perceived risk of violence. Therefore, it was concluded that the arts-based

large group counseling intervention did not significantly impact the students' propensity

toward initiated violence.

Student's Perceived Level of Emotional Empathy

The ANCOVA for this dependent measure showed no significant difference

between perceptions of emotional empathy of students in the treatment and control

groups. It was concluded that the arts-based counseling intervention did not significantly

impact the levels of emotional empathy of the students.

The only variable that significantly effected the BEES scores was the gender of

the participant Females in both treatment and control groups scored significantly higher

than did the males on the postmeasure. The higher scores of the females indicated higher

levels of perceived emotional empathy.

Other Findig

Written and pictorial reactions were collected from the students in the treatment

group. Their reflections were responses to the information, discussion, art, and literature

that composed the arts-based large group counseling intervention. Students were

instructed to identify feelings through reflective writing by stepping into the shoes of the

characters that were represented in visual art and selections of literature. They were also

instructed to write about their own personal feelings and to represent those feelings in

symbolic graphic form.

Various studio media were offered for the experiential activities including colored

markers, charcoal, watercolor, and pastels. Students also made preliminary sketches and

then used clay to create sculptural images that celebrated their own bodies. This activity

followed the session on body bigotry.

Many of the student writings and visual images reflected an understanding of the

feelings that were presented by individuals portrayed in the art and literature. Some

students responded with empathic awareness of pain or suffering due to the conditions of

racism, bigotry, oppression, abuse, or disability. Other students responded with an

ambivalent attitude that reflected knowledge of the emotional and physical state of the

character but with personal feelings that were contrary. As indicated by the art and

written material that was collected, students expressed themselves freely, which seems to

indicate synergistic action due to the intervention. Words, symbols, and graphic schemata

emerged as images from the cognitive-affective processes. Students identified feelings,

beliefs, and projected possible behaviors that could result from the cognitive and

affective states that were revealed through the art and literature. This information added

depth to the data collected.


Results of the current study suggest that the arts-based counseling intervention

appeared to significantly impact locus of control but did not significantly impact the risk

of initiated violence, or the emotional empathy of high school art students as measured by

the instruments selected. It was interesting to note, however, that the variable of gender

had a significant main effect on two of the dependent measures.

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