• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Title Page
 Acknowledgement
 Table of Contents
 Abstract
 Introduction
 Review of the literature
 Methods and procedures
 Analysis of results
 Results, recommendations,...
 Appendices
 References
 Biographical sketch














Title: Small group counseling with elementary school children of divorce /
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 Material Information
Title: Small group counseling with elementary school children of divorce /
Physical Description: vi, 96 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Wilkinson, Gary Scott, 1946-
Donor: unknown ( endowment )
Publication Date: 1976
Copyright Date: 1976
 Subjects
Subject: Group counseling   ( lcsh )
Children of divorced parents   ( lcsh )
Counselor Education thesis Ph. D
Dissertations, Academic -- Counselor Education -- UF
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Thesis: Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography: Bibliography: leaves 88-94.
Statement of Responsibility: by Gary S. Wilkinson.
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: Vita.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00098135
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 000175829
oclc - 03043807
notis - AAU2306

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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page i-a
    Acknowledgement
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
    Abstract
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
    Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Review of the literature
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
    Methods and procedures
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
    Analysis of results
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
    Results, recommendations, and conclusions
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
    Appendices
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
    References
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
    Biographical sketch
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
Full Text














SMALL GROUP COUNSELING WITH ELEMENTARY
SCHOOL CHILDREN OF DIVORCE








By

GARY S. WILKINSON


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL
FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY





UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1976















ACKNOL.EDGIIEnNT S


The author wishes to acknowledge those people who have

helped in the completion of this study.

Dr. Robert D. Myrick, chairman of the writer's supervisory

committee, provided excellent guidance and direction along

with invaluable enthusiasm. Dr. E. L. Tolbert and Dr. Don

Avila, members of the supervisory committee, guided and sup-

ported this writer in a very facilitative manner.

Robert T. Bleck, co-writer of the Children's Divorce Group,

gave energetic support to this writer throughout the course of

this study.

Chari Campbell, Christine Cook, Beth Dovel, Linda Moni

and Sylvia Stuart are sincerely thanked for their interest

and committed work in leading the groups studied in this

research.

The encouragement, faith, and love of the writer's wife,

Mary Ann, has continually renewed and completed him as a person.

Her part in his life has been immeasurable. His children,

Chrisy and Paul, have given the author their youthful joy

which has been so i-portant in his own enthusiasm and motivation.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS


Page

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ...................................... ii

ABSTRACT............................................... iv

CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION............................. 1

CHAPTER II: REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE................ 5

CHAPTER III: METHODS AND PROCEDURES................. 30

CHAPTER IV: ANALYSIS OF RESULTS .................... 43

CHAPTER V: RESULTS, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND
CONCLUSIONS..................................... 61

APPENDIX A: TEACHER RATING FORM ON BEHAVIOR RELATED
WITH ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE....................... 71

APPENDIX B: PARENTAL CONSENT LETTER................. 73

APPENDIX C: THE CHILDREN'S DIVORCE GROUP............ 75

APPENDIX D: COMFORT SCALE........................... 83

APPENDIX E: DIVORCE ATTITUDE MEASURE................. 84

REFERENCES ............................................. 88

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.................................. 95








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


SMALL GROUP COUNSELING WITH ELEMENTARY
SCHOOL CHILDREN OF DIVORCE

By

Gary S. Wilkinson

August, 1976


Chairman: Robert D. Myrick
Major Department: Counselor Education


The purpose of this study was to measure the therapeutic

effectiveness of a developmentally based group couiselin. unit

on fourth and fifth grade children of divorce who were exhib-

iting academic behavior problems in the classroom. Specificalcl

the study examined five hypotheses regarding the subjects and

their family and divorce attitudes, self-esteem, clasroo;.

behavior, and school attendance as related to, or in the

absence of, the Children's Divorce Group (CDG).

Children of divorce who exhibited behavioral ,proble is

related to academic performance were selected froi: the fourth

and fifth grades of five schools in Alachua Councy, Flo-ida.

From a group of children whose parents had given WrictLen

approval for the research, an experimental group (N=26) and a

control group (N=24) werer rando.ily selected from a separate








list of boys and girls for each school. There were 27 girls

and 23 boys included in the research.

The research lasted a total of seven weeks. During the

first week the Teacher Rating Form on Behavior Related to

Academic Performance (BRAP) was administered to the teachers

of each child of divorce in the fourth and fifth grades at each

of the five schools. The custodial parents of the 10 lowest

scoring girls and the 10 lowest scoring boys in each school

were sent a letter requesting permission for their child to

be included in the study. From the positive responses the

experimental and control groups were selected during the second

week.

Over the next four weeks the treatment, the CDC, was led

by the elementary counselor in each school. The control group

received no treatment at this time.- During the seventh week

the posttreatnent data were collected.

The data collected were analyzed by a 2x2 analysis of

variance to determine the effects of the 2 independent vari-

ables (group and sex of subject) on each of the 15 depender'nt

variable measures. These data related directly to tlhe folIo" ing

hypotheses:

1. There will be no significant difference between
the CDG group and the control group regarding
attitudes on family and divorce, as measured by
the Divorce Attitude Measure.








2. There will be no significant difference between
the CDG group and the control group regarding
self-esteem, as measured by the Coopersmith Self-
Esteem Inventory.

3. There will be no significant difference between
the CDG group and the control group regarding
classroom behavior, as 1,easur-ed by teachers on
the Devereux Elementary School Behavior Rating
Scale and the Teacher Rating Form on Behavior
Related to Academic Performance.

4. There will be no significant difference between
the CDG group and the control group regarding
school attendance, as measured by school attend-
ance recorda.

5. There will be no significant differences between
sex of subjects in the CDG group and the control
group as assessed by the five criterion measures.

No significant differences were found for Hypotheses One,

Two, and Four at the .05 level of confidence. These null

hypotheses were supported. Hypotheses Three and Five were

rejected at the .05 level of confidence. A significant dif-

ference between groups was found on one of the behavior ratings

on the Devereux Eler~entary School Behavior Rating Scale (DESB).

The treatment group received the more positive rating on com-

prehension. Between sexes there were significant differences

on four behavior ratings on the DESB (classroom disturbance,

impatience, inattentive-withdrawn, and irrelevant-responsiveness

Girls received more positive ratings in these areas.















CHAPTER I


INTRODUCTION
I

The effect of a divorce upon the children in a family is

something which research has been unable to identify accurately,

To date there are only a few research studies published dealing

with this topic, and their findings are limited because of

procedural and design errors. Nevertheless, it is generally

accepted thai: d-.ivorce is an event which can create traur-atic

adjustments for the children who are involved. These new

adjustments can bring intense emotions with which the, child

needs to cope. Can group counseling meet the needs of the

children of divorce?
eL.

Purp,_s. cCf the Study

The purpose of this study was to :reasu:re the thierapultic

effectiveness of a developmentally based group, counseling unit,

the Chii.d-ren's Divorce Group (CDG), on fourth and fifth grade

children of civorceF who were exhibiting behavioral probl.i: a in

the cl.assrzoo!,. The following four questions wec'e iiuvestigateLd:

i. What L ffzect will the CDG have on. a group me.rber's








attitude toward peers, father, mother, and divorce?

2. What effect will the CDG have on a group member's

level of self-esteem?

3. What effect will the CDG have on a teacher's percep-

tion of the overt behavior of the group members?

4. What effect will the CDG have on the group member's

school attendance?


Need for This Study

The increase of divorce as a solution to marriages which

are in conflict iniariably lead to an increased number of

children faced with adjustment problems. Some adjustments

revolve around such things as a net hoiCe, peer rejection, pcr-

sonal insecutiaL financialal uncertainty, less time with one or

both parents, a felt rejection from one or both parents, and

bitter postdivorce battles between parents. Intense enrotions

of guilt, rejection, hate, anger, hostility, fear, depression,

relief, love, and elation can individually or in combination

becoiime pervasive in the life of the child. Understandably,

this separation experience in a young; person's life can be

critical in the overall developricnt. The foundation for an

eimotionaily and physically healthy adult is formed in the ear-y

years. The ability of the child to cope with these adj':usL:rt;its

and deal with ith, er.otions may spell the difference betlw,"een

personal ful fiillment and perscnai tragedy.









Schools are a significant part of a young person's life

in terms of both the time and the preparation received for

adulthood. It is logical to conclude that our educational

institutions should be interested and involved in providing

developmental assistance to those individuals who are faced

with critical life situations such as the divorce of one's

parents. To date there are few, if any, published strategies

on the manner in which elementary schools can provide some

specific assistance to the child involved in divorce. The

small group counseling unit studied here, the CDG, is one which

is based upon the principles and the goals of developmental

group counseling and can be used by school personnel.

Developmental group counseling has become an important

technique in the professional repertoire of the elementary

school counselor. The basic goals of developmental groups for

the group member are to (a) know and understand himself, (b)

develop self-acceptance and a feeling of being worthwhile in

his own right, (c) develop methods of coping with the develop-

mental tasks of life, (d) develop self-direction, better problem

solving skills, and better decision making abilities, and (e)

develop sensitivity to the needs of others (Dinkmeyer & Caldwell,

1970).

As well as having similar goals, the CDG has specific

strategies within the unit which are very much like those used






4

in other developmental group activities. Because of this, if

the CDG is found to be effective in the areas under investiga-

tion, then eleimentary counselors can provide aid for these

children in a manner which is familiar and within their pro-

fessional cofmpeincies.


Orga1icatiorn of the Study

The remainder of this study is organized into four addi-

tional chapters plus appendices. Chapter II includes a review

of the literature on divorce in the United States, effects of

divorce on children, therapeutic techniques used with children

of divorce, and group counseling in the schools. Chapter III

contains I.he methods and procedures of the study,including

the- hypothesev., the design of the study, the descriptions of

the criterion measures, and the treatment. 'Th research

findings are presented in Chapter IV. Chapter V includes a

summary of tie scudy and a discussion of the results as well

as recn':mrendations for further stuly.














CHAPTER II


REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE


The review of the literature related to this study is

focused on the following areas: (a) the statistics and

changing attitudes concerning divorce in the United States;

(b) the effects of divorce on children; (c) the therapeutic

help for children of divorce; and (d) the effects of group

counscli-ng approaches with school children.


Divorce in the Uni ted States

Recent statistics compiled by the U.S. National Center

for Health Statistics (1974) sho..wed that the number of d.vorceLs

during, the 12-month period ending in August 1974 va.s 948,000.

This was a 56,000 increase in the rate from the previous year

and a rise of more than 450,000 since 1964 (Sprey, 1969).

In Florida during 1974 there were 59,417 divorces decreed.

The rate for the state was 7.2 per 1,000 people. This figure

is the highest among Southeastern states and one of th.

highest in the rout;try. For evey 1;.00 m-arriages performed

in Fblorida in 1974 t.ber were 65.8 divorces. In Alachua








County, Florida, there were nearly 1,000 divorces in 1974

(Thompson, 1976).

Several socioeconomic changes during the last few decades

have been hypothesized as having an effect on this sharp rise

in divorce: (a) an increased educational level for women

making them financially more independent; (b) an overall

family income increase to a level where couples can afford

the cost of a divorce; (c) an increased availability of free

legal aid; and (d) the Vietnam War which complicated the tran-

sition of millions of men into marriage or made marital adjust-

ments more difficult than normal. Other changes which may

have contributed to the increased divorce rate are less ecocnom.ic

in nature: (a) a greater social acceptance of divorce as a

means for resolving marriage difficulties; (b) the relaxed

attitudes about divorce by a growing number of religious

denominations; (c) the relatively objective study of marriage

and family relationships at the high school and college levels ;

(d) the increase in the degree of equality of the sexes, making

the social adjustment of persons not married easier; and (e)

the reform in the divorce laws, particularly the no-fault

divorce law which by January of 1974 had been adopted in some

for~. by 24 states (Glick, 1975).

With the growth in the divorce rate there has been the

expected incrcr.se in the number of children affected by divorce,








The latest U.S. Government statistics or the number of chil-

dren involved in divorce are from 1971 (U.S. Department of

H.E.W., 1975). At this time there was a rate of 1.22 children

under 18 per divorce decree. Using this rate figure to esti-

mate the ntuiber of children involved in divorce for the 12-

month statistics in 1974 reported above (948,000), there were

over one million children affected during this period. Using

the same method of estimation for the State of Florida, there

were approximately 70,000 children involved by divorce in 1974.

In Alachua County the figure would be approximately 1,200

children of divorce in 1974.

At present almost 20 percent of all children under 18 are

affected by divorce. In total nurtbers there are nearly 13,000,0

children in the United States who are involved with divorce.

it has been predicted that within a few years the children of

divorce may in fact become the majority of all children (Xaltc;:rs

1976).

Attitudes have changed about divorce in the United SLates

(Despert, 1953; Gardner, 1970; Gettleman & Markowitz, 1974;

Glick, 1975; Grollman, 1969; Harper, 1959; Kessler, 1976;

Krantzler, 1973; Nyo & Berardo, 1973). The consensus of these

writers is that divorce is not necessarily a negative process.

To the contrary, divorce can at times he a positive, personal

growth-producing experience for both the adults and children

involved.








With the more relaxed and liberal attitudes regarding

divorce there has been an increasing interest in helping those

involved with divorce through the traumatic stages, which are

often a part of the separation process. Kessler (1976) listed

the goals for her Divorce Adjustment Groups as follows: (a)

to help individuals regain emotional autonomy; (b) to mitigate

the debilitaUing aspects of divorce; (c) to provide a place to

safely discharge some of th" emotionality of divorce; (d) to

help people develop a broader concept of divorce; (e) to assist

people in meeting new friends in a meaningful way; and (f) to

enable people to learn coping mechanisms that they can use in

dealing with other losses.

Gettleman and Markowitz (1974) in The Courage to Divorce

focus on the "anti-divoruce establishment' which includes mental

health professionals, courts, churches, and the mass media.

They contend thsc the hard line biases offered by these insti.-

tutions against divorce can obstruct individuals from reaching

happiness and personal fulfillment.

Krantzler (1973) wrote in Creative Divorce about the

emotional stages a divorced person must proceed through in

order that he or she can accept divorce as the solution, not

a punishment. These stages are (a) initial denial that the

relationship has ended, (b) powerful feelings of hostility

and anger toward the absent person, (c) pervasive feelings cf






9

guilt, (d) a withdrawal from those parts of the past too pain-

ful to cope with, (e) a gradual testing and retesting of

reality, and (f) an eventual letting-go from the influence of

the past relationship so that a new life can begin.

The attitude that divorce produces a tragic effect upon

children has also been contested. There is increasingly a

more realistic understanding that a conflict-filled environ-

ment of an unhappy, but unbroken home, can be more devastating

to children than parent separation. Despert (1953) was one of

the first writers to advocate this position challenging the

adage that marriages should bL kept together for the sake of

the children. Research evidence supports Despert's early

contention and has convinced miust child specialists that

divorce is not necessarily a tragic and threatening influence

upon children, although it is a disruptive influence in their

lives that does necessitate an adjustment.

Conspicuously ignored in the helping strategies concerning

divorce is a plan of action specifically designed for children.

Despite the dramatic changes in divorce attitude, little is

usually done to directly help children adjust better to the

inevitable changes created by divorce.

With the changing attitudes about divorce and the increasing

number of children being affected, an imperative question to

answer is, "What are the effects of divorce on children?"








The Effects of Divorce on Children

The amount of literature on the effects of divorce on

children is disappointing. A review of twenty years of

Psychological Abstracts, a review of a decade of Dissertation

Abstracts, and an Educational Resources Information Center

search provided relatively few studies focused on this area.

This section reviews that literature along with other sources

found by the researcher.

Subjective and/or Clinical Opinion

The emotional difficulties experienced by children when

their parents divorce has been described in the literature.

Many of these articles are, however, based on subjective or

clinical opinion and are unsupported by any form of research

data, e.g., Berstein and Robey, 1962; Esman, 1971; Gardner,

1956; Hudson and Hudson, 1969; Mahler and Rabinovitch, 1956;

Fannrn and Schild, 1960; Rice, 1970; and Westmran, 1972.

Westman (1972) discussed the effects of divorce on chil-

dren at four age levels: infancy, early childhood, school-aged

children, and adolescence. In the infancy period he believes

that the effects on children are mostly secondary as a result

of the rew.ainicng parLent's eutoti.onal stability. Divorce during

the early childhood, Westman wrote, is the most damaging period

because this is the stage of life which i s mosc important in

the child' pcrscn-alit; dvelopiment. It is at this t:int that






11

the oedipal complex is being resolved and the departure of the

father can cause excessive guilt and subsequent damage to the

self-concept.

The school-aged period is when the child can intellec-

tually understand the divorce. Often times he is still hurt

deeply by the rejection of the departing parent. According to

Westman, it is likely that a depressive reaction will develop

at this point, leading to a disinterest in school or perhaps

withdrawn behavior. Westman believes that divorce during the

adolescent stage has the least affect on personality develop-

ment because, for the most part, the personality structure has

already formed by this time.

Westman concluded that most children are not clinically

affected by divorce. He said that the experience of divorce

constitutes stress and frustration that can potentially

strengthen cpcing skills, the capacity to master stress, and

the general course of personality development. Because of

this, he advocates strongly that psychiatrists and other mental

health workers should become involved with children during the

divorce process to prevent emotional disorder as a result of

the crisis experience.

Esman (1971) wrote that marital conflict creates tensions

that can adversely affect the child's growth. He provided

several case studies showing the reaction of children to the






12

family disturbance. Esman stated that the emotional reactions

of the child are usually the most obvious manifestation of

marital discord. He recommended that family physicians be

aware of these manifestations so that prompt intervention may

serve to forestall emotional damage when the marriage itself

may be beyond repair.

Rice (1970) wrote that divorce creates serious emotional

financial, moral, and social problems of long duration and

great intensity. He recommended that specially trained

guidance counselors deal with parents, children, and attorneys

when divorce takes place. He also suggested that special

judges and/or counselors on domestic relations matters take

measures before and after the divorce for the prevention of

emotional disturbances in minor children.

Hudson and Hudson (1969) also stated that the children

of divorce can be adversely affected by the separation process.

They recommended that the marriage counselors take an active

role in working with adolescents through an educative process

so that the conflict, guilt, and hostility of both parents and

children can be minimized.

Berstein and Robey (1962) thought that hostility in the

divorce process can be particularly debilitating to the chil-

dren involved. They felt that the conflicts of divorced

parents distort the norn-al process by which a child develops.






13

Like some of the preceding authors, Berstein and Robey suggested

intervention to reveal the basic problems and help establish

better conditions for the emotional development of these chil-

dren. They thought that the pediatrician is the most logical

professional to help the family through this time of stress.

Pannon and Schild (1960) opined that divorce reflects a

failure in interpersonal relationships and that social case-

work can minimize this failure for the child. They felt that

divorce can interfere with reality testing and that within the

helping situation the child can learn to deal with the reality

factors. This is supposed to lessen the amount of frustration

and disappointment that exists because of the divorce and free

the child to maKe satisfying affectional relationships.

The separation of parents has two significant effects on

children according to Gardner (1956). These are that the

child's self-concept and the child's concepts of other human

beings will be unavoidably affected. Gardner focused much of

his discussion on the ego development of the child and the

possible effects on the child of different ways divorce can be

handled by parents. He concluded that divorce will have a

potentially adverse effect on the developing self-concept and

humaan-being concept of the child, no matter how the parents

handle the situation.

Using a psychoianalyticail framework, Mahler and Rabinovitch






14

(1956) suggested that divorce causes deep inner conflict which

becomes apparent as the child gets older. Unbalanced identi-

fication and disturbance in the solution of normal developmental

conflicts may be expressed by the child in neurotic symptom

formation as well as unpredictable acting out and serious

deformraties of character. Even if the marital discord n:ay

not always lead to manifest neurotic symptoms in the child,

Mahler and Rabinovitch believe that the child's attitudes and

outlook on life are affected. This may later appear as uncon-

scious patterns which impair the choice of sexual and marital

partners. When the child of divorce becomes an adult, he nay

repeat in a similar or complementary way the trauaLiatic situ-

ations which the divorce of his parents stamped on his pliable

personality structure as a child.

Evidence Based on Research Findings

McDermnott (1968) stated,

It is difficult to separate the effects of divorce
from those of the prolonged trauma and strain pre-
ceding it. The child's reactions also depend upon
such factors as his or her age, sex, extent and
nature of family disharmony prior to divorce, each
parent's personality and previous relationship with
the child, the child's relationship with siblings,
as well as the emotional availability of all impor-
tant people during the divorce period, and his or
her own personality strengths and capacities to
adjust to str-sses such as separation in the past..
Furthermore, in any study of the child's reaction
to the d: vorce, ic is important to recognize the
censidcrable difficulty in differentiating the
im.pat of several factors: 1) direct impact on the









child of the strife around the divorce; 2) immedi-
ate reactions of the child to the loss of a parent;
3) the impact of the divorce on the remaining parent
reverberating in the child; and 4) the impact, prob-
ably sometime later, of the loss of a parental
model. (p. 1424)

With this in mind, the most significant research studies of

the effects of divorce on children are reviewed.

Retrospective Studies

Several studies examined specific abnormal populations

of individuals and in retrospect determined the percentage of

this population which came from divorced homes. The specific

abnormal populations studied in this manner are juvenile

delinquents (Glueck & Glueck, 1950), attempted suicide and

psychiatric out-patients (Bruhn, 1962), attempted suicide in

college students (Blaine & Carmen, 1968), psychiatric in-

patients (Gregory, 1966), depressive adults (Munro, 1966),

depressive children (Caplan & Douglas, 1969), and psycho-

neurotics (Ingham, 1949).

In an early study Glueck and Glueck (1950) found that

21 percent of the juvenile delinquent boys studied came from

homes where the parents were separated or divorced. It was

also found that a significantly higher proportion of delinquent

boys came from homes broken by abandonment, desertion, or

divorce than those broken by parent death. In almost every

case, however, other factors figured prominently, in particular









the economic situation and the physical condition of these

broken homes.

Bruhn (1962) discovered that individuals who undergo

factors of gross disorganization, regardless of their parental

home background, are more likely to attempt suicide than

receive the services of a psychiatric out-patient clinic. It

was also found that a higher percentage of individuals from

broken homes attempted suicide than were included in the psy-

chiatric out-patient group. The definition of a broken home

was, however, the absence or loss of one or more parents, by

death or by separation due to marital disharmony, for periods

of six months or more before the patient reached the age of 15.

It is, therefore, impossible to see the specific effects of

divorce separate from parental death or temporary separation.

Blaine and Carmen (1968) also studied the cases of attempt'

suicides and suicides but focused entirely on college students.

They found among other things that there are slightly more

instances of attempts and strikingly more suicides in students

from families where there had been separation, divorce, or

death of a parent. This study, like Bruhn's suggests a rela-

tionship between a parental background of separation and divorce

with suicide and attempted suicide. Definitive conclusions

cannot be drawn because of the inclusion in both studies of

parental death within the broken home category.








Munro (1966) investigated the incidence of parental dep-

rivation in depressive patients against a control group of

general hospital out-patients. The results show that the

percentage of individuals separated from a parent during

childhood is not significantly different in both groups. He

also found there was no significant difference between groups

as to paternal or maternal absence. This study is limited as

to its generalizability to children of divorce because the

parent absence group also included temporary separations

greater than three months.

Caplan and Douglas (1969) found through an analysis of

early histories of a group of children with depressed mood

and another group of nondepressed neurotic children that the

early separation experiences were more common among depressed

than among nondepressed neurotic children. For almost every

type of separation studied, that is, separation due to death,

divorce, desertion, illness, or foster home placement, the

percentage of depressive subjects was higher than that of

the nondepressed neurotic control group.

Gregory (1966) studied the effects of parental loss on

psychiatric in-patients. The results of this study do not

suggest that any form of permanent parental loss during child-

hood is associated with a vulnerability to depression or any

other specific category of neurosis or psychosis in later lifi-.







18

Again this study does not have an exclusive category for paren-

tal divorce but includes it with illegitimacy and desertion.

Ingham (1949) investigated several aspects of family

relationships between a group of psychoneurotic college stu-

dents and a normal control group of college students. The

results were that separation of parents, mental illness of

parents, lack of adjustment between parents, rejection by

parent figures, parental overrestriction, mental illness in

siblings or disturbed relationships between them, and disrup-

tion of subject's marriage are indicated considerably more

frequently in those students suffering from psychoneurosis

than in the college population at large. It is noteworthy

that there was no significant difference between the psycho-

neurotic group and the control group for broken homes as a

result of parental death. This suggests that the parental

separation is more disturbing than an absence of a parent

due to death.

School Studies

Four of the research studies found in reviewing the

literature were on the effects of divorce upon children within

the school environment (Felner, Stolberg, & Cowen, 1975; Giel

& Van Luijk, 1968; Kelly, North, & Zingle, 1965; McDermott,

1968).

Felner, Stolberg, and Cowen (1975) studied the impact of







two types of potential crisis-producing experiences on the

referral patterns of maladapting primary grade school children,

parental separation/divorce and parental death. Each group

was first compared to a normal control group and then with

each other. Each crisis group had a significantly higher

overall maladjustment score than its respective control group.

Children of separation and divorce had significantly more

aggression and acting out problems than the controls. The

children with histories of parental death were significantly

more anxious, depressed, and withdrawn than their controls.

These significant differences held up when comparisons were

made directly between crisis groups. The authors further

stated that intervention is the key to educate children how

to effectively cope with crisis situations.

Giel and Van Luijk (1968) studied the effects on children

of divorce in junior high school in Ethiopia. There was no

significant difference in the percentage of divorced children

in the schools (37%) and the percentage of children of divorce

showing behavioral abnormalities (35%) among a group of

referred children. These results may not be generalizable

to the United States because of the vast differences in atti-

tude, culture, and socioeconomic factors between the countries.

Kelly, North, and Zingle (1965) measured the effect of

divorce on junior high students using three variables: school






20

attendance, reading achievement, and teacher rating of behavior

problems. In comparison to a control group, only the school

attendance comparison was significant,with the children of

divorce having the greater number of school absences.

McDermott's study (1968) was less impressive in its

research design because of the small group it studied and the

lack of a control group. However, the results showed that to

the majority of nursery school children investigated (10 out

of 16) divorce had an observable impact and represented a

major crisis. Eight of the ten affected children were classi-

fied as sad, angry children. Other clinically observed

phenomena were the inability to master anxiety and depression

through play, regression to previously mastered levels of

development, and increased school absences. McDermott also

suggested that preventive measures should be undertaken most

logically by the schools. He advocated the identification of

and intervention with these children for preventive purposes.

Broken Homes vs. Unbroken Homes

Four other studies reported the findings of a direct com-

parison of broken homes with unbroken homes on several variables

(Burchinal, 1964; Landis, 1955; McDermott, 1970; Nye, 1957).

Burchinal (1964) compared unbroken homes, broken homes,

and three types of reconstituted homes on personality and

social relationship variables with adolescents. Nonsignificant







21

differences among groups were found on the personality char-

acteristics, participation in school or community activities,

mean school grade points, and the number of schoolmates the

respondent thought liked him or her. A significant difference

was found for school absences,with the unbroken home group

having the fewest missed school days. This study, however,

did not distinguish happy and unhappy unbroken homes as did

the Nye and Landis studies.

Landis (1955) compared the attitudes of college students

from happy unbroken homes, unhappy unbroken homes, and broken

homes toward marriage and the family. In all cases he found

children from happy unbroken homes had the most positive atti-

tudes. The attitudes of students from broken homes and

unhappy unbroken homes were similar by some criteria. How-

ever, by other criteria the attitudes of those from broken

homes were more positive than those from unhappy unbroken homes.

McDermott (1970) studied 1,487 children evaluated at a

psychiatric hospital. They were divided into either a divorce

group (116) or a group in which the families were intact. He

concluded that the children of divorce were more likely to

aggressively act out and show signs of depression than the

intact family group. He believed that the problems resulting

from divorce were shorter in duration and more sharply defined

than in.the other group. He concluded that the child of






22

divorce is likely to identify with the absent parent's behavior

as a way to deal with the loss and conflict surrounding it.

There in fact was a high correlation between the child's

symptoms and the description of the absent parent. A weakness

in this study is that McDermott did not distinguish between

happy intact families and unhappy intact families.

Nye (1957) in his work with adolescents distinguished

between happy and unhappy unbroken hoees as well as broken

homes. His results were similar to Landis' findings. In

areas of church, school, and delinquent companionship there

were no differences between broken and unhappy unbroken homes.

Significant differences between the two groups on psychoso-

matic illness, delinquent behavior, and parent-child adjustment

were found. In these areas the children from broken homes

showed better adjustment. Nye also found that the children

of divorce do not have poorer adjust;rment than those from homes

broken in other ways.

Other Studies

Several other studies on 0 various- tonics related to the

effects of divorce on children iar reported: mother's percep-

tions (Goode, 19556); child's crtltudc-s (Landis, 1960); self-

esteem (Romenberg, 1972); i;other and child's personaliry

characteristics (Loeb & Pr" ce, I 9'86); and irocationa l rmatiuritv

(Woodbury & Pate, 19 7).








Goode (1956) surveyed divorced mothers and found that

almost all mothers were worried about the effects of divorce

on their children, but almost all remarried mothers subsequently

thought their children's lives had improved after the divorce.

They also believed that the substitute care during work or

dates was either good or excellent. The extent to which the

mothers perceived their children as having behavior problems

varied directly with the degree of trauma the mother experienced

Goode stated that alinost all mochers believed that their chil-

dren had better lives as divorced children than they would

have had as children, in families with continual marital conflict

Landis (1960) pointed ):vt that it is unsound to group

together and discuss a.!3 childre.i of divorced hoies as if they

were a hon.cgeneouis group affected in the same ways by the

divorces of their parents. He distinguished between those

who could remember the divorce and those who could not as well

as those who felt their hoies were happy or unhappy before

the divorce. The results indicated that the attitudes of ihe

college students about the divorce differed considerably

depending upon these two variables. The younger child who

could remember the divorce tended to be less aware of the

traumatic effects of divorce than older children. Those who

felt their homes were happy before the divorce were more

traumatized thai those who knew che family was unhappy. It








was also seen that the wcrst predivorce situations from the

children's perceptions were the cases in which the parents

were less likely to remarry.

Rosenberg (1972) found that self-esteem was affected by

divorce depending on several variables. First, if the child

was Jewish or Catholic there was a clear effect on lowering

the self-esteem. This was not so for the Protestant children

surveyed. Another important variable was the mother's age at

the time of the divorce. If she were young, there was a clear

lowering of the child's self-esteem; and, if she were older,

there was no effect. Self-esteem was also dependent upon

remarriage in that the children whose mothers remarried seemed

to be more disturbed than those whose mothers remained single.

The effects of subculture norms, the stability of the mother,

and the readjustment to ne; familly circumstances were, thereby,

important in the level of self-esteem shown by the children of

divorce.

.oeb and Price (1963) studtid the effect: of the mother's

personality in che contribution to the difficulties of the

children from broken homes. More MMPI records of 44 divorced

and separated mothers indicated perscnialicy disturbance than

did records of continuously r.rried e:-ther's. Characteristics

cited as being significantly different were impulsiveness,

anger, and noncnforrm't.y usually associated withI conduct






25

disorders (high Pd score on the MMPPI). Child patients of the

divorced and separated mothers were more frequently rated aggres

sive than the children of the continuously married mothers.

The level of psycopathic deviate (Pd) as measured on the MMPI

on both groups of mothers was not associated with che rated

aggressiveness of the children. This suggests that there may

have been an interaction with an unidentified variable and the

Pd scores of the mothers.

Woodbury and Pate (1974) studied the differences in scores

on each of six areas of the Cognitive Vocational Maturity Test

between groups of delinquents: parents living together and

parents divorced. From the analysis of the 42 ajudicated

delinquents it was suggested that the divorce group possesses

less knowledge about careers and less mature attitudes than do

delinquents whose parents remained married. This lent support

to the idea that aversive family relations of delinquents can

influence vocational maturity.

Research Conclusions

Most of the studies reviewed showed associational reia-

tionships between divorce and various effects on children.

The nost supported effects were that these children tended to

be more aggressive aend depr-ioed than children from intact

families. Other significant r''eltionships were found in

decreased school. attendance, self-esteem, and vocational






26

maturity. The results of all these studies are, however, com-

plicated by tho complex process of divorce. There was strong

support for the idea that divorce is less harmful in its

effects on children than an unhappy unbroken home.

Each of the studies presented in this section was not

experimental but descriptive in nature. In light of this, it

is impossible to definitely state that divorce has a signifi-

cant effect upon the children involved. All that can be said

with confidence is that there is an association between divorce

and several behavioral problems of the children involved. In

what ways are help offered to the children of divorce?


Therapeutic Help for the Children of Divorce

Indirect Eelo

Much has been written about the ways to indirectly help

the children of divorce. Some of these writings suggested

approaches for parents (Ard & Ard, 19(9; Berstein & Robey,

1962; Bitterman, 1963; Chap2,an, 1974; Despert, 1953; Esmac,

1971; Fisher, 1973; Garcdn.e, 1970, Gettlem-an & Markowitz, 197-:;

Grollman, 1969; Ha'lett, 1974; Tudson & Hildson, 1969; Laury i

Meerloo, 1967; a;.iler & RltbirL1vtch, 1956; Rice, 1.70; Senn &

Solnit, 1968; Sheffner & Suarez, 1975).

Others suggested indirect aid t'hroii r'.odJificatiro' of cthL

family y cou-rt (rrcDermutt. 1970; Sheiffinr & Scarez, 19751. On.







27

writer specifically suggested that mental health specialists

consult with school personnel (Lindemann, 1956).

Each of the above writers stated that the child can

benefit by the manner in which an important third party deals

with him or her. None of these studies had research data to

support the theories.

Direct Help

Fewer writers have advocated that children of divorce

receive direct help from professional mental health workers

(Bitterman, 1968; Felner, Stolberg, & Cowen, 1975; Hudson &

Hudson, 1969; Pannon & Schild, 1960; Rice, 1970; Westman,

Cline, Swift, & Kramer, 1970). No specific programs of coun-

seling or therapy were suggested by the authors. Also, no

research data have been published as to the effectiveness of

direct intervention by mental health workers. In addition

there are no published reports on the use of group counseling

or therapy approaches with children from divorced families.

What results have been found about group counseling in the

schools?


The Effects of Group Counseling with School Children

The results of various forms of group counseling have

been studied as to its effectiveness in changing achievement

and adjustment. Positive results of nondirective play therapy

(Moulin, 1970), selected guidance activities (Crider, 1966),






28

combination of remedial reading and group counseling (Strickler,

1965), and group counseling with students and their mothers

(Shatter, 1957) have been found in work on reading achievement.

Overall grade point average increases have been seen with boys

receiving behavioral group counseling (Winkler, Teigland,

Munger, & Kranzler, 1965) and with boys and girls receiving

behavioral group counseling (Randolph & Hardage, 1973). Other

studies on achievement and group counseling have been negative

(Clements, 1963; Crow, 1971, Ohlsen & Gazda, 1965).

Group counseling techniques have also shown to be effec-

tive on adjustment as well as achievement. In all of the

above studies exce-t Moulin's (1970), there were significant

changes in social and/or personal adjustment. Positive changes

in sociometric level have been found as a result of traditional

group counseling (Kranzier, Mayer, Doyer, & Munger, 1966;

Schiffer, 1967: Thornh 6 Miure, 1973). No change in socio-

metric level was found after group counseling in other studies

(Biasco, 1966; Kranzler, 1968; Mayer, Kranzler, & Maahcs, 1967;

Oldridge, 1964).

Group behavior mo-di.fication techniques have also shown

positive results on various social variables (Barclay, 1967;

Clenvent & Milne, 1967; Hansen, Niland, &: Zani, 1969; Hinds,

1968).

More traditional group anproaches have beeni- effective on






29

various adjustment variables such as attitudes toward school,

learning, peers, teachers, attendance, and self-concept (Crow,

1971; Lodato, Sokoloff, & Schwartz, 1964; Mann, 1968; Palnio &

Kuzniar, 1972; Quatrano & Bergland, 1974).

Howard and Zirmpfer (1972) in their review of the liieraLure

on group counseling in the schools state that the overall direc-

tion is more positive than negative.


Summary

With the rising number of children from divorced homes

attending schools, the educational system will find it neces-

sary to deal with the behavioral effects of divorce on these

children. Although the evidence about the effects of divorce

on children is inconclusive, most writers believe that the

divorce of one's parents is a crisis situation to the child.

The child can either personally grow from his ability to cope.

with the crisis or develop serious emotional problems because

of his inability to handle the situation well. To date there

have been no published reports of systematic approaches to

this problem in tlhe schools. Because group counseling is

presently mcng- th-e kills if frost eleclent.-ry school co'nsc lorS

and it is seen a.is hav.rin sotae pas tive results with children,

this study is focustcd on using such techuiqu.es with children

of divorce uho re ha :.n~i sont! bel.a-7ioral difficulties i-i L he

classroom.














CHAPTER III


METHODS AND PROCEDURES


The child whose parents are divorced is confronted with

stressful adjustments which are likely to create intense

emotions. The child can grow in personal adjustment if he

can learn to identify, clarify, and cope with these feelings.

If a child can successfully adjust to his new family life, he

is likely ro become a stronger and more flexible individual.

When an indiviidal child casino adjust satisfactorily and his;

emotions are unidentified and unclear leading to inappropriate

behavior, thec the child is likely to develop serious emotional

problems. These problems may be reflected in decreased self-

esteemr, and increased behavioral difficulties.

This study tested and attempted to critically analyse a

siall group counse.ling uni-t, the Children's Divorce Group (CDG),

desi.gne.d specifically for the child whose parents are divor:cd.

It was intended that the CDG .7ili provide the opportunity for

the chi.ld who is having behavior diffi.cnl:ies in the class-

room to exahminc his or her feelings and devise new alternative. -

to deal with the problems associated with divorce. I the

30








group setting the child would find an accepting and under-

standing environment with peers who have faced similar

circumstances.

Chapter IIl deals with the hypotheses, population,

sampling procedures, experimental design, experimental condi-

tions, and the criterion instruments used in this study. An

explanation of how the data were collected and analyzed con-

cludes the chapter.


Hypotheses

This study focused on five hypotheses related to chiidL-:en

whose parents are divorced and the children's adjustmc-nt as

related to, or in the absence of, a sr.all group counsel)ing

unit (CDG), The following major null hypotheses were tesa:ed:

1. There will be \o significant difference between
the CDG groTup and the control group regarding
attitudes on family and divorce, as iieasures by
the Divorce Attitude Measure.

2. There will be no significant difference between
the ),G gEr-oup and the corcrrol group regarding
self-esteerm, as measured by the Coopersmith Self-
Ettee:r I..ven: -CrI.

3. The::- w ill b3 n.o sign ficant differe-nce be-tween
the CU-' group and the control group regarding
classic; 'evio, a i'-'.o cs [Sred by teachers on
the DCevcCr..< .letir-nTary School. Behavior Ratit
Scale '.d t-he Teacher Rntipg For m on Behavior
Relstd _3to ANcaderLi, Pi.fcrtrcmance.

4. There 'ill be no significant djff erence between
the CDG group and the Contrcl gro.'p regar-din'-
school r at- .Ltedainc c as ;me.asuL-red y school atte-d-
ance rcccrds.








In addition, the followjig "uincr null hypothesis was

tested:

5. There will be no significant differences between
sex of eFubects in the CDG group and the control
group as assessed by the five criterion measures.


population and Sampling Procedures

Population

The population for this study was selected from those

fourth and fifth grade children in five Alachua County sclool.n

whose parents had been divorced (N=250). All the. schools are

racially integrated and have a 65 percent .white and a 35 per-

cent black population. The proportion of boys and g;Lrl i:.

each school is about equal. Students in thb: educate 'ta.li

retarded and emotionally disturbed special education ciAs ..es

were excluded because of their exceptionrc ty.

From this group the exper.ienter, with the h"elp cf tlhe

school counselors and classroom teachers, identified thors bhys

and girls who were exhibiting problems in behavior related tc

academic performance. This was done by having the c assroc'

teachers fill o.-L the Teacher Rating For,. on Behavior Rlc:--ted'

to Acade.tmic Per f+o-:rance (Appendix A) for all those in the g.r-c

desci-ibed above, The 10 lowest scoring boys and the 10 'iow,;f

scoring girls fro;' each school made uo the pop:.ilat,. J.: Io': .is

study.








Sampling Procedure

The custodial parent of each child in the population was

sent a letter outlining the purpose cf the study and asking

for permission to include the child in the study (Appendix B).

From the positive parental consent responses the sample was

chosen.

If in a school there were six or more positive returns

from each of the girls' group and the boys' group, the experi-

menter randomly assigned three boys and three girls to the

experimental group and three boys and three girls to the

control group. This was done by randomly numbering each child

with parental consent and then selecting the first three chosen

from a list of random numbers as the experimental group and the

next three as the control group. The remainder of the children,

if any, were selected for alternate positions. If in a school

there were fewer than six boys or six girls with parental con-

sent, the experimenter randomly assigned half the boys or

girls to the experimental group and half to the control group.

In the case of an odd number of boys or girls, the additional

child was added to the experimental group. The number of boys

and girls in the experimental and control groups for each

school is shown in Table 1.

Those students selected to be included in the groups were

interviewed, given a brief explanation of group counseling,







34




TABLE 1

NUMBER OF BOYS AND GIRLS IN THE EXPERIMENTAL
AND CONTROL GROUPS FOR EACH SCHOOL


School Experimental Control Group Total

Stephen Foster
Boys 2 2
Girls 3 3

Kirby Smith
Boys 2 2
Girls 2 1

Rawlings
Boys 3 3
Girls 3 3

Terwilliger
Boys 2 2
Girls 3 3

Williams
Boys 3 3
Girls 3 3

TOTAL
Boys 12 12 24
Girls 14 13 27


26 25


Combined






35

and asked if they would like to participate. The counselors

consulted with the .classroom teachers to gain support for the

treatment program and to find a suitable time for the group

counseling unit.

Five professional counselors, all female, were selected

for this study. Each counselor met the following criteria:

(a) certified as an elementary school counselor by the Florida

State Education Department; (b) employed as an elementary

school counselor in Alachua County; (c) had at least one year

of professional elementary school counseling experience; and

(d) was instructed in the CDG unit.


The Design of the Study

Overview

The experim-ental design of this study was the randomized

posttest only design (Isaac & Michael, 1971). The experi-.ent.

lasted a total of seven weeks.

Procedures

During the first week the counselors asked the teachers

to coiplelte the Rating Formr on Behavior Related to Academic

Performance (?RAP) The experimental and control groups for

each school u :e'e selected from those boys and girls who receiv._

thIe wo;est scores ij. their respective groups. A lett'-

requestin- ij.nfcrmed con iernt was, sent to the parents having

custody oi those: child'rin "I the study.








During the second week the counselors interviewed the

students in both the experimental and the control groups to

give them an overview of the treatment and to get their con-

sent. In addition, the experimenter received parent permission

slips.

The third through the sixth weeks was the time that the

experimental group received the CDG unit. The control group

during this time period received no treatment. The seventh

week was the posttreatment assessment period. All measures

were administered five days after the final group session to

both the experimental and control groups.


The Children's Divorce Group

The Children's Divorce Group '(Appendix C) takes eight

sessions to complete. The main goals of the unit are

1. To clarify the child's feelings about the divorce
2. To help the child -u.derstand that others are experi-
encing similar feelings
3. To help the child gain a realistic picture of the
divorce situation
4. To assist the child in learning new ways of coping
with. the feelings associated with divorce.

With the attainment of these goals it was hypothesized that

thbe majc.r null hypotheses of the study would be rejected.

Object lives of Coc

The specific objectives for the children in eai:h of t':;e

CDG sessions are as follows:








Session 1 a- get to know one another
b- seif-discclsure (nondivorce related)
c- discuss ground rules for group

Session 2 a- self-discolsure (nondivorce related)
b- increase feelings vocabulary

Session 3 a- self-disclosure (divorce related)
b- develop feelings-behaviors-consequences
list

Session 4 a- self-disclosure (divorce related)

Session 5 a- self-disclosure (divorce related)
b- develop list of problems related to divorce
c- dramatize problem situations through role
playing

Session 6 a- self-disclosure (divorce related)
b- dramatize problem situations associated
with divorce through puppet play
c- develop alternative ways to cope with
problems

Session 7 a- self--disclose about positive changes since
the divorce

Session 8 a- give personal feedback to each other
b- express feelings about the group
c- close group

The CDG has been designed and refined over che last two

years by the researcher and another elementary school counselor.

Pilot Studies

Two pilot studies were conducted with children in gracic.

three, four, and five. In the spring of 19/5 the experiment

conducted a pilot scudy involving third, fourth, and fifth grsde

children i.n Littlewoc-d Elemcc.iary School Gainesv.ille, Florir'ia

The group sessi-ont were n'c. s;.vct.ured, as in the present: stuJy,

but some cf the: samn experiences wer; use3d.






38

In this first pilot study there were six children randomly

selected for the experimental group and six children for the

control group. A Comfort Scale (Appendix D), a self-rating

form developed by the researcher, measured the degree of the

child's comfort in talking about the divorce with other chil-

dren, father, mother, and other adults. This scale also

measures the child's comfort level in thinking about the

divorce. The Comfort Scale was administered to both the con-

trol and experimental groups before and after the experimental

group received treatment. The children in the experimental

group increased their comfort level on every item after the

treatment while the control group did not change appreciably

on any of the items.

A second pilot study was done in the fall of 1975 at P. K.

Yonge Laboratory School and Littlewood Elementary School.

Fifteen fourth and fifth grade students were involved in this

study. Each of them received the treatment which consisted

of the structured group experiences presented in this study.

The results on the Comfort Scale were similar to the first

pilot study. On each item there was a definite increase in

comfort level from pretest to posttest. There was no control

group in this second pilot study.


Instruments to Be Used in the Study

This study included five criterion measures. Two instrument








were administered to the students. One of the instruments,

the Divorce Attitude Measure, was developed by the researcher.

The Self-Esteem Inventory measured how subjects view their

personal worth. The administration of these tests to the

students took approximately 30 minutes.

The Devereux Elementary School Behavior Rating Scale and

the Teacher Rating Form on Behavior Relating to Academic Per-

formance were administered to the teachers. The counselors

reviewed the class attendance registers and recorded the daily

attendance of the students.

Divorce Attitude Measure (DAM)

The DAM (Appendix E) measures the child's attitude about

five areas associated with divorce: (a) comfort level in

talking and thinking about divorce; (b) child-peer relation-

ships; (c) child-father relationship; (d) child-mother relation-

ship; and (e) general divorce attitude. There are 25 items on

the instrument, 5 each for the five subtests. The children

respond on a Likert-type scale of strongly disagree, disagree,

uncertain, agree, and strongly agree. Of the 25 items, 12 are

phrased in the positive while 13 are worded in the negative.

For the positively worded items one point is assigned for a

response as strongly disagree, two for disagree, three for

uncertain, four for agree, and five for strongly agree. On

the negative items the point values are assigned in the reverse






40

order. In this manner the maximum score is 125 and the minimum

score is 25 (range = 100). The instructions and the 25 items

were read aloud to the children.

A test-ret.st reliability measure was taken of the instru-

ment with a np 'uct f:cieli'.: correlation of the two administration

of the instrument to 22 students of .83 with a two-week interval

Self-Esteem Ivnventory (SEI

The Self-Esteemr Inventory was authored by Stanley Cooper-

smith of tiie University of California, Davis, California (1967).

Most of the 58 items on the SEI are based upon the 1954 Rogers

and Dymand scale. All of the items on the scale have been

worded for use with children 8 to 10. Each child read and

listened to the 58 items read to thee :by the counselor. The

alternative responses to the items are "Like me' or 'Unlike

me .'"

The SEI is a self-report instrument with five siubscle.s:

(a) General Self; (n) Social Self-Peers; (c) Home-Parents;

(d) Lie Scale; and (e) School-Academic. A total score is also

obtained by multiplying by two the total number of approp-ia..e

responses on all scales, except the Lie Scale. The highest

possible total! score is 100.

Test-retest. reliability obtained fcr the SEI over a five-

week period with a sample:: of 30 fifth grade children was .,3..

, Reliability af; ter a threo-y-ar interva- with a -different sa.;.il

of 56 children wjs .70 (Coc.p.ersiith, 1967).








Coopersmith obtained content validity by having five

psychologists sort the items either into a high self-esteem

group or a low self-esteem group. A test of comprehensibility

for the final items was performed with 30 children (Coopersmith,

1967).

The Devereux Elementary School Behavior Rating Scale (DESB)

The DESB is a rating scale of overt behavior related to

classroom achievement and is a rating form filled out by

teachers. This instrument was developed by Spivak and Swift

(1967). The scale contains 47 items which are separated into

11 dimensions: classroom disturbance; impatience; disrespect-

defiance; external blame; achievement anxiety; external reliance;

comprehension; inattentive-withdrawn; irrelevant responsiveness;

creative initiative; and need for closeness to the teacher.

Of the items, 26 are scored on a five-point scale of frequency

while the remainder are scored on a seven-point scale of

intensity.

Each child's raw score on the 11 dimensions can be con-

verted into standard score units. The demographic data

collected are name, age, sex, grade, school, teacher's name,

subject, and date.

A test-retest reliability coefficient of .87 was obtained

on all factors by the authors. This was based on 128 students

with a one week interval between administrations of the DESB.







42

Test-retest correlations were also obtained for each item. The

median coefficient was .76 with a range of .72 to .82 (Spivak &

Swift, 1967).

Teacher Rating Form on Behavior Related to Academic Performance
(BRAP)

The BRAP was developed by Myrick and Susman (1972). It

is a nine-item rating scale of teachers' perceptions on the

behavior of their students. The behaviors are associated with

academic performance in the classroom. These included starting

work on time, paying attention, completing assignments, and

other observable behaviors. The respondent reports the per-

ceived frequency of a behavior by rating each of the nine items

on a five-point Likert-type scale.

Attendance

The school attendance of the children was recorded by

each teacher in the class register. The counselors used the

registers to count the number of days each student was absent

during the posttreatment assessment period (five school days

following the last group counseling session).














CHAPTER IV


ANALYSIS OF RESULTS


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects

of small group counseling, the Children's Divorce Group (CDG),

on children of divorce who were also identified by their

teachers as having some behavior problems associated with

academic learning. Using randomization and a posttest only

design model, a total of 15 dependent variables was monitored

for both boys and girls in both the COG and control groups.

This chapter reports a systematic analysis of the data col-

lected from these criteria measures as related to the five

hypotheses that were investigated in this study.

A 2x2 analysis of variance was selected to determine the

effects of the two independent variables (treatment and sex

of subject) on each of the 15 dependent variables. This

analysis enabled the researcher to test the equality of all

the means, the effects of the independent variables on the

dependent variables, and the interaction effect. The level of

confidence used in this research was the .05 level.








Hypothesis One: Attitudes Toward Family and Divorce

It was hypothesized that there would be no significant

differences between students' attitudes in the CDG group and

control group about family and divorce as measured by the

Divorce Atticude Measure (DAM). An inspection of Table 2

indicates that the subjects who received treatment had a

higher mean on the DAM (84.11) than the subjects in the con-

trol group (79.36). These scores indicated that the CDG group

had more positive attitudes toward family and divorce than the

control group.

The analysis of variance data reported in Table 3 indi-

cated no statistically significant difference, however, between

means for the experimental and control groups. There were no

statistically significant interaction effects between group

and sex. Each of the F values was lower than the F statistic

needed for significance at the .05 level of confidence (4.06).

Therefore, null Hypothesis One was corroborated.

Hypothesis Two: Self-Esteem

It was hypothesized that there would be no significant

differences between students' self-esteem in the CDG group and

control group as measured by the Cooperamith Self-Esteem

Inventory (SEI). An inspection of Table 4 indicates that the

subjects who received CDG had a lower mean on the SEI (54.46)

than the subjects in the control group (53.33). These scores











TABLE 2

MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS ON THE DIVORCE ATTITUDE
MEASURE FOR EXPERIMENTAL AND CONTROL GROUPS


Experimental Control
(N-26) (N=24)
Standard Standard
Mean Deviation Mean Deviation

84.11 10.88 79.36 10.29







TABLE 3

SUMMARY TABLE FOR ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE FOR THE DIVORCE
ATTITUDE MEASURE BY GROUP AND SEX


Source of Sum of Mean F
Variance df Squares Square Value

Group 1 322.97 322.97 2.55

Sex 1 66.55 66.55 .52

Interaction 1 242.08 242.08 1.91

Within 46 5831.43 126.77







46

indicate that the control group had a more positive self-esteem

measurement than the experimental group.

Yet, the analysis of variance data reported in Table 5

indicated no statistically significant difference between means

for the experimental and control groups. There were no statis-

tically significant interaction effects between group and sex.

Each of the F values was lower than the F statistic needed for

significance at the .05 level of confidence (4.06). Therefore,

null Hypothesis Two was corroborated.

Hypothesis Three: Classroom Behavior

It was hypothesized that there would be no significant

differences between students' classroom behavior in the CDG

group and the control group as measured by teachers on the

Devereux Elementary School Behavior Rating Scale (DESB) and

the Teaching Rating Form on Behavior Related to Academic Per-

formance (BRAP). There were 11 separate classroom behaviors

measured on the DESB and, therefore, 11 mean scores for both

the experimental and control.groups to report in Table 6.

The mean scores for the experimental group of D 2, D 3, D 4,

D 5, D 7, D 9, and D 10 are higher than those for the control

group. D 1 was even for both groups while the remainder were

lower for the experimental group than the control group. Only

D 6, D 7, D 8, and D 10 differences were in the direction

hypothesized by the experimenter.













TABLE 4

MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS ON THE SELF-ESTEEM
INVENTORY FOR EXPERIMTENTAL AND CONTROL GROUPS


Experimental Control
(N=26) .(N=24)
Standard Standard
Mean Deviation Mean Deviation

54.46 13.80 58.33 14.16







TABLE 5

SUMMARY TABLE FOR ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE FOR THE SELF-
ESTEEM INVENTORY BY GROUP AND SEX


Source of Sum of Mean F
Variance df Squares Sauare Value

Group 1 157.12 157.12 .72

Sex 1 175.77 175.77 .80

Interaction 1 202.80 202.80 .92

Within 46 10101.25 219.60









TABLE 6

MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS ON THE DEVEREUX ELEMENTARY
SCHOOL BEHAVIOR RATING SCALE FOR EXPERIMENTAL
AND CONTROL GROUPS


Experimental Control
(N=26) (N=24)
Standard Standard
Subscale Mean Deviation Mean Deviation

D 1 (Classroom
Disturbance) 11.58 4.52 11.58 3.69

D 2 (Impatience) 11.62 4.82 11.58 3.19

D 3 (Disrespect-
Defiance) 7.66 2.98 7.34 3.02

D 4 (External
Blame) 9.31 3.86 9.13 3.52

D 5 (Achievement
Anxiety) 10.54 3.43 9.83 3.56

D 6 (External
Reliance) 14.73 4.93 16.88 4.35

D 7 (Comprehension) 13.23 3.13 11.17 3.21

D 8 (Inattentive-
Withdrawn) 10.69 5.30 11.17 4.50

D 9 (Irrelevant-
Responsiveness) 7.92 2.65 7.62 2.96

D 10 (Creative
Initiative) 10.58 3.35 9.25 3.07

D 11 (Need for Close-
ness to the
Teacher) 12.31 3.24 13.62 4.32







49

The analysis of variance data for the DESB, reported in

Tables 7-17, indicated a statistically significant difference

at the .05 level of confidence between means for the experi-

mental and control groups on only one subscale, D 7 (Table 13).

The F value of D 7 (5.14) is greater than the F statistic

needed for significance at the .05 level of confidence (4.06).

The experimental group received a significantly higher mean

score on the dependent variable measuring comprehension. As

seen in Tables 7-12 and Tables 14-17 there were no other statis-

tically significant differences found between experimental and

control groups mean scores. There were no statistically signifi-

cant interaction effects between group and sex. Each of the F

values was lower than the F statistic needed for significance

at the .05 level of confidence (4.06).

An inspection of Table 18 indicates that the subjects who

received the CDG had lower differences between pretest and post-

test mean scores (1.00) on the BRAP than subjects in the control

group (2.29). These scores indicate that the control group

improved their classroom behavior more than the experimental

group.

The analysis of variance data on the BRAP reported in

Table 19 indicated no statistically significant difference

between means for the experimental group and control group at

the .05 level of confidence. There were no statistically

significant interaction effects between group and sex.








TABLE 7

SUMMARY TABLE FOR ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE FOR THE DEVEREUX
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL BEHAVIOR RATING SCALE (D 1)
BY GROUP AND SEX


Source of Sum of Mean F
Variance df Sues Square Value

Group 1 .01 .01 .00

Sex 1 120.66 120.66 6.44*

Interaction 1 .35 .35 .02

Within 46 861.49 18.73


*p .05





TABLE 8

SUMMARY TABLE FOR ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE FOR THE DEVEREUX
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL BEHAVIOR RATING SCALE (D 2)
BY GROUP AND SEX


Source of Sum of Mean F
Variance df Squares Square Value

Group 1 .07 .07 .00

Sex 1 233.02 233.02 11.84"

Interaction 1 6.29 6.29 .32

Within 46 905.17 19.68


p <.05








TABLE 9

SUMMARY TABLE FOR ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE FOR THE DEVEREUX
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL BEHAVIOR RATING SCALE (D 3)
BY GROUP AND SEX


Source of Sum of Mean F
Variance df Squares Square Value

Group 1 1.33 1.33 .13

Sex 1 36.84 36.84 3.64

Interaction 1 .31 .31 .03

Within 46 465.74 10.12


TABLE 10

SUMMARY TABLE FOR ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE FOR THE DEVEREUX
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL EEHAVIOR RATING SCALE (D 4)
BY GROUP AND SEX


Source of Sum of Mean F
Variance df Squares Square Value

Group 1 .9A .94 .06

Sex 1 21.42 21.42 1.39

Interaction 1 13.14 18.14 1.18

Within 46 708.94 15.41








TABLE 11

SUMMARY TABLE FOR ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE FOR THE DEVEREUX
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL BEHAVIOR RATING SCALE (D 5)
BY GROUP AND SEX


Source of Sum of Mean F
Variance df Squaress Square Value

Group 1 8.22 8.22 .61

Sex 1 .43 .43 .03

Interaction 1 22.69 22.69 1.68

Within 46 622.90 13.54


TABLE 12

SUMMARY TABLE FOR ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE FOR THE DEVEREUX
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL BEHAVIOR RATING SCALE (D 6)
BY GROUP AND SEX


Source of Sum of Mean F
Variance df Squares Square Value

Group 1 52.48 52.48 2.17

Sex 1 23.32 23.32 .96

Interaction 1 16.13 16.13 .67

Within 46 1114.65 24.23








TABLE 13

SUMMARY TABLE FOR ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE FOR THE DEVEREUX
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL BEHAVIOR RATING SCALE (D 7)
BY GROUP AND SEX


Source of Sum of Mean F
Variance df Suares Square Value

Group 1 58.18 58.18 5.14"

Sex 1 6.84 6.84 .60

Interaction 1 19.16 19.16 1.69

Within 46 520.83 11.32


p < .05



TABLE 14

SUMMARY TABLE FOR ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE FOR THE DEVEREUX
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL BEHAVIOR RATING SCALE (D 8)
BY GROUP AND SEX


Source of Sum of Mean F
Variance df Squares Square Value

Group 1 4.12 4.12 .15

Sex 1 131.40 131.40 4.68*

Interaction 1 16.00 16.00 .57

Within 46 1290.94 28.06


p <.05








TABLE 15

SUMMARY TABLE FOR ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE FOR THE DEVEREUX
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL BEHAVIOR RATING SCALE (D 9)
BY GROUP AND SEX


Source of Sum of Mean F
Variance df Squ ares Square Value

Group 1 1.49 1.49 .17

Sex 1 61.66 61.66 6.85"

Interaction 1 6.05 6.05 .67

Within 46 414.08 9.00


p < .05





TABLE 1.6

SUMMARY TABLE FOR ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE FOR THE DEVEREUX
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 3EHAVIO; RATING SCALE (D 10)
BY GROUP AND SEX


Source of Smui of Mean F
Variance df SQuares Square Value

Group 1 25.97 25.97 2.24

Sex 1 8.72 8.72 .75

Interaction 1 26.77 26.77 2.31

Within 46 532.54 11.58








TABLE 17


SUMMARY TABLE FOR ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE FOR THE DEVEREUX
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL BEHAVIOR RATING SCALE (D 11)
BY GROUP AND SEX


Source of Sum of Mean F
Variance df Scuares Square Value

Group 1 19.28 19.28 1.23

Sex 1 .72 .72 .05

Interaction 1 9.83 9.83 .63

Within 46 722.38 15.70












TABLE 18

MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS FOR CHANGE SCORES ON THE
TEACHER RATING FORM ON BEHAVIOR RELATED TO
ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE FOR EXPERIMENTAL AND
CONTROL GROUPS


Experimental Control
(M_ =26) __ N).___
Standard Standard
Mean Deviation Mean Deviation

1.00 A,59 2.29 5.25








TABLE 19

SUrMMARY TABLE FOR ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE FOR CHANGE SCORES
ON TEACHER RATING FORM ON BEHAVIOR RELATED TO ACADEMIC
PERFORMANCE BY GROUP AND SEX


Source of Sum of Mean F
Variance df Squares Square Value

Group 1 19.94 19.94 .74

Sex 1 2.30 2.30 .09

Interaction 1 .95 .95 .04

Within 46 1237.83 26.91



Null Hypothesis Three was rejected because of the statis-

tically significant difference between the experimental group

and the control group means on D 7 (comprehension).

Hypothesis Four: School Attendance

It was hypothesized that there would be no significant

differences between students' school attendance in the CDG

group and the control group as measured by school attendance

records. Table 20 indicates slightly higher mean school

absences (.43) for the experimental group than the control

group (.41).

The analysis of variance data reported in Table 21 indi-

cated no statistically significant difference between maans

for the experimental group and the control group at the .05

level of confidence. There were no statistically significant;













TABLE 20

MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS ON ATTENDANCE
FOR EXPERIMENTAL AND CONTROL GROUPS


Experimental Control
(N=26) (N=24)
Standard Standard
Mean Deviation Mean Deviation

.43 .63 .41 1.02









TABLE 21

SUIMARY TABLE FOR ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE FOR
ATTENDANCE BY GROUP AND SEX


Source of Sum of Mean F
Variance df Squares Square Value


Group


Interaction


46 38.15


Within






58

interaction effects between group and sex. Each of the F values

was lower than the F statistic needed for significance at the

.05 level of confidence (4.06). Null Hypothesis Four was

corroborated.

Hypothesis Five: Sex Differences

It was hypothesized that there would be no significant

differences between the sex of subjects in the CDG and control

groups as measured by the 15 dependent variables. An examina-

tion of Table 22 indicates that females had a higher mean

score for the DAM, D 5, D 7, D 10, and BRAP (change) than did

the males. On the other 10 dependent variables the males had

higher mean scores.

In Tables 7, 8, 14, and 15 the analysis of the variance

data indicate statistically significant differences between

sexes on the dependent variables of D 1, D 2, D 8, and D 9

respectively. Each of these F values exceeds the F statistic

needed for significance at the .05 level of confidence (4.06).

In the rating of classroom disturbance, impatience, inattentive-

withdrawn, and irrelevant responsiveness females scored

significantly more positively than did males. No other F

values for sex comparisons in Tables 7-15 exceeded the F

statistic (4.06). Null Hypothesis Five was rejected.


Summary of Results

Statistically significant difference at the .05 level of







59


TABLE 22

MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS BY SEX OF SUBJECT


Female Male
(N-27) (N-23)
Standard Standard
Variable Mean Deviation Mean Deviation

DAM 82.81 11.55 80.70 9.48

SEI 54.52 14.66 58.43 13.16

D 1 (Classroom
Disturbance) 10.15 3.85 13.26 4.45

D 2 (Impatience) 9.59 3.22 13.96 5.00

D 3 (Disrespect-
Defiance) 6.71 2.53 8.44 3.56

D 4 (External
Blame) 8.59 3.07 9.96 4.43

D 5 (Achievement
Anxiety) 10.26 3.12 10.13 3.94

D 6 (External
Reliance) 15.11 4.16 16.52 5.23

D 7 (Comprehension) 12.56 2.66 11.87 3.76

D 8 (Inattentive-
Withdrawn) 9.44 4.46 12.65 5.68

D 9 (Irrelevant-
Responsiveness) 6.74 2.21 9.00 3.49

D 10 (Creative
Initiative) 10.29 3.40 9.52 2.99

D 11 (Need for Close-
ness to the
Teacher) 12.82 3.84 13.09 3.66

BRAP (Change) 1.82 4.35 1.39 5.59

School Attendance .41 .96 .43 .65






C0

confidence was found on one subscale of the DESB (comprehension'

between experimental and control group mean scores. No signifi-

cant differences were found between experimental and control

group mean scores on the other 14 dependent variables. There

were significant differences on four DESB subscales (classroom

disturbance, impatience, innattentive-withdrawn, and irrelevant

responsiveness) between female and male group mean scores. No

significant differences were found between sexes on the other

11 dependent variables. No significant interaction effects

between group (experimental-control) and sex (female-male)

were found on any of the 15 dependent variables.















CHAPTER V


RESULTS, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND CONCLUSIONS


The purpose of this study was to measure the therapeutic

effectiveness of a developmentally based group counseling unit

on fourth and fifth grade children of divorce who were exhib-

iting academic behavior problems in the classroom. Specifically

the study examined five hypotheses regarding the subjects'

family and divorce attitudes, self-esteem, classroom behavior,

and school attendance.

Children of divorce who exhibited behavioral problems

related to academic performance were selected from the fourth

and fifth grades of five schools in Alachua County, Florida,

From a group of children whose parents had given written

approval for the research, an experimental group (N=26) and

a control group (N=24) were randomly selected from a separate

list of boys and girls for each school. There were 27 girls

and 23 boys included in the research.

These subjects were administered the criterion measures

which examined attitudes toward family and divorce: the Divorcs

Attitude AMeasure (DAI), self-esteem, the Self-Estoeer Invencorv

61









(SEI), classroom behavior, the Devereux Elementary School

Behavior Rating Scale (DESB), and the Teacher Rating Form on

Behavior Related to Academic Performance (BRAP), and school

attendance. The BRAP was used for selection criteria and was

administered before and after the treatment. The remainder

of the dependent variable measures were administered after the

CDG unit was completed. The research lasted a total of seven

weeks.

During the first week the BRAP was administered to the

teachers of each child of divorce in the fourth and fifth grades

at each of the five schools. The custodial parentsof the 10

lowest scoring boys and the 10 lowest scoring girls in each

school were sent a letter requesting permission for their

child to be included in the study. From the 64 positive

responses the experimental and control groups were selected

during the second week.

Over the next four weeks the CDG unit was led by the

elementary school counselor in each school. The control group

received no counselor intervention at this time. During the

seventh week the posttreatment data were collected.

The data collected were analyzed by a 2x2 analysis of

variance to determine the effects of the two independent vari-

ables (group and sex of subject) on each of the 15 dependent

variables. These data related directly to the following

hypotheses:








1. There will be no significant difference between
the CDG group and the control group regarding
attitudes on family and divorce, as measured by
the Divorce Attitude Measure.

The analysis of variance comparing the means of the experi-

mental and control groups indicated no statistically significant

differences at the .05 level of confidence. Null Hypothesis

One was confirmed.

2. There will be no significant difference between
the CDG group and the control group regarding
self-esteem, as measured by the Coopersmith Self-
Esteem Inventory.

The analysis of variance comparing the means of the experi-

mental and control groups indicated no statistically significant

difference at the .05 level of confidence. Null Hypothesis Two

was confirmed.

3. There villa be no significant difference between
the CDG group and the control group regarding
classroom behavior, as measured by teachers on
the Devereux Elementary School Behavior Rating
Scale and the teacher Rating Form on Behavior
Related to Academic Performance.

The analysis of variance comparing the means of the experi-

mental and control groups indicated a statistically significant

difference on D 7 (comprehension) at the .05 level of confidence

The experimental group received the higher (positive) mean

score on behavior related to comprehending the curriculum and

teacher in the classroom. No other statistically significant

differences related to treatment were indicated ar the .05 level

of confidence. Ni(- Hypothesis Three was rejected.








4. There will be no significant difference between
the CDG group and the control group regarding
school attendance, as measured by school attend-
ance records.

The analysis of variance comparing the means of the experi-

mental and control groups indicated no statistically significant

difference at the .05 level of confidence. Null Hypothesis

Four was confirmed.

5. There will be no significant differences between
sex of subjects in the CDG group and the control
group as assessed by the five criterion measures.

The analysis of variance comparing the means of boys and

girls on the DAM, SEI, BRAP (change), and school attendance

indicated no statistically significant differences at the .05

level of confidence. Statistical significance was found at

the .05 level on the following DESB subscales: D 1 (classroom

disturbance); D 2 (impatience); D 8 (inattentive-withdrawn);

and D 9 (irrelevant-responsiveness). In each case the girls'

mean was the more positive. On the remaining scales of the

DESD there were no statistically significant differences due

to sex of subject at the .05 level of confidence. Null

Hypothesis Five was rejected.


Discussion of Results

The only statistically significant resultsfound related

to the small group.counselicg was that the subjects who

receiveci the CDG were betei shble to comprehend the curriculum
;i17 J\'/ : ^






65

and the teacher than were the control subjects. There are two

possible explanations for this result. First, the CDG may

have dealt with unresolved conflict and/or intense feelings in

a therapeutic way, allowing the subject to focus more accurately

on the classroom activities. The second plausible explanation

is that the statistical significance was an experimental-wise

error in that 5 percent probability exists that the signifi-

cance was due to chance.

The three DESB items on the comprehension subscale (D 7)

ask the teacher to rate how well the child gets the point of

what he reads or hears in class, is able to apply what he has

learned to a new situation, and knows the material when called

upon to recite in class. Further research is needed to deter-

mine if the significance on this dimension can be justly related

to the CDG.

There were four significant differences between boys and

girls on the DESB. The results indicated that the boys were

more disturbing (D 1), impatient (D 2), inattentive-withdrawn

(D 8), and irrelevant (D 9) in their classroom behavior as

rated by teachers. This significance is not related to treat-

ment. The results describe a rated behavioral difference

between boys and girls of divorce across both experimental

and control groups. In the DESB manual (Spivack & Swift, 1967)

it is stated that boys tend to score higher on D 1 (classroom







66

disturbance), D 2 (impatience), D 3 (disrespect-defiance), and

D 6 (external reliance). The results of this study confirm

these findings with boys and girls of divorce on subscales D 1

and D 2. No significant differences were found on subscales

D 3 and D 6. The significant differences found on D 8 and D 9

were not anticipated on inspection of the DESB manual. This

may indicate that the boys of divorce are significantly higher

in these areas than the girls of divorce while girls and boys

in general are comparable. These findings support further

investigation into the possible different effect divorce has

on girls and boys.


Limitations

There were several possible limitations to this study.

The population under study was different than the one investi-

gated in the pilot studies. In this study the children of

divorce with behavior problems related to academic performance

made up the population. In the pilot studies therewere no

selection criteria other than the fact that the children had

divorced parents. The combination of two selection criteria

may have made the effects of the CDG more difficult to measure.

When only the one selection criterion was used, as in both the

pilot studies, there were considerable effects attributed to

the CDG unit.






67

This study attempted to measure the effects of small group

counseling with children of divorce on various measures. The

CDG unit consisted of eight sessions over a period of three

to four weeks. There is a possibility that the CDG unit was

inadequate in terms of duration. This may be of particular

significance in light of the academically related behavior

problem population used in this study. Those students who

demonstrate such behavioral problems may actually need more

sessions than does a more representative sample of the whole

student population.

Instrumentation could also have been a significant limita-

tion in this study. The instruments used in this research to

measure the dependent variables may not have been sensitive

enough to detect slight differences from a short-term small

group counseling unit. A factor analysis of the items and

further validation of the DAM was intended for this study.

This proved unworkable because of restrictions placed on the

researcher by the local school district from which the sub-

jects for such analysis were to be chosen.

The final limitation of this study was that the size of

the sample was relatively small. This made it difficult to

find significance on the dependent variables because of the

statistical power of the analysis. A larger sample would

reduce the experimental error considerably. On four of the









variables (DAM, D 6, D 8, and D 9) the differences were in

the expected directions, but significance was not reached.


Recommendations

The experimenter believes that a replication of this study

with some modifications is warranted. The results of the two

pilot studies suggested that the CDG was effective in changing

the comfort level of children in dealing with divorce issues.

As well, considerable subjective reports from counselors, chil-

dren, and parents indicate that the CDG has had beneficial

effects. The lack of statistical significance is contradictory

to those opinions. Further study is recommended to investigate

this contradiction.

The lengthening of the CDG to 12-14 sessions instead of

the 8 sessions may provide the children a greater chance to

deal with the sometimes confused and intense emotional experi-

ences surrounding divorce. This would also provide a greater

length of time in which behavioral changes can occur.

The focus of the CDG perhaps might be shifted to include

all children of divorce, not just those who are experiencing

academic behavior problems. The population selected for this

study is one with which it is difficult to work and achieve

success. Further study about the effects of the CDG on chil-

dren of divorce in general or on children of divorce with

superior academic behavior nay provide significant results.









Conclusions

As a result of this study, it can be concluded that there

was little statistically significant effect. with fourth and

fifth grade children of divorce in regard. to family and

divorce attitudes, self-esteem, classroom behavior, and school

attendance due to the Children's Divorce Group. Only one

measure of classroom behavior, comprehension, was found to be

significantly different between experimental and control groups.

The most noteworthy finding from this study was that there

was a significant difference due to the sex of subject on the

way teachers rate classroom behavior of children with divorced

parents. Boys of divorce were significantly more disruptive,

impatient, inattentive, and irrelevant than were girls of

divorce. It can be concluded that there are differences

between the way teachers rate the classroom behavior of boys

and girls of divorce, respectively.

The data collected and analyzed in this study presented

contradictory findings to earlier work done on the CDG. The

subjective reports from counselors, parents, and students

suggest that the CDG does have some positive effects in

enabling the child of divorce to more effectively cope with

family adjustments. The staggering increase in the number of

children associated with divorce points to the need for effec-

tive counselor intervention methods in this area.




































APPENDICES















APPENDIX A


TEACHER RATING FORM
ON
BEHAVIOR RELATED WITH ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE


Please circle the appropriate number:


(Name) shows the

1. Contributes to discussions-

1 2 3
Never Rarely Occasionally

2. Does not start assignments-

1 2 3
Never Rarely Occasionally

3. Completes assignments-

1 2 3
Never Rarely Occasionally

4. Does not work without individual

1 2 3
Never Rarely Occasionally

5. Attends to assigned tasks-

1 2 3
Never Rarely Occasionally

6. Does not follow directions-

1 2 3
Never Rarely Occasionally

71


following behaviors:



4 5
Often Very frequently



4 5
Often Very frequently


4
Often

teacher

4
Often


Very frequently

attention-

5
Very frequently


4 5
Often Very frequently



4 5
Often Very frequently








7. Attempts new activities-

1 2 3 4 5
Never Rarely Occasionally Often Very frequently

8. Does not do homework correctly-

1 2 3 4 5
Never Rarely Occasionally Often Very frequently

9. Demonstrates a readiness to work-

1 2 3 4 5
Never Rarely Occasionally Often Very frequently
















APPENDIX B


PARENTAL CONSENT LETTER


March 17, 1976

To the Parent of

During the next few weeks the elementary guidance counselor
in your child's school will be offering a structured group
counseling unit for children with divorced parents. One of the
important aspects of this project is to study the effectiveness
of such counseling on the child's academic behavior in the
classroom.

Your child has been selected through the counselor in your
child's school as a possible participant in this study. With
your approval, your child would be asked to complete two atti-
tude measures. These measures would take about thirty minutes
to complete. In addition, your child's teacher would be asked
to complete rating forms on behavior related to academic
performance.

Some of the children selected will be asked, in addition
to the attitude measurement, to participate in the small group
counseling. These groups will meet twice weekly for four weeks.
In each of the several groups which have been completed during
the last year both parents and children have made very positive
comments about the group sessions.

This project is an innovative program to be offered by
your school's guidance counselor. Because it involves sensi-
tive and personal feelings and experiences, the guidance
personnel will treat the group counseling sessions and the
measurement data with the utmost respect and confidentiality.








Please indicate below if you approve of your child's
participation in this project. If you have any questions
regarding any aspect of this project, please contact your
child's guidance counselor.

Sincerely,



Gary S. Wilkinson
Elementary Guidance Counselor
P. K. Yonge Laboratory School



I approve of my child's participation.

I do not approve of my child's participation.

I would like more information. Please call me at

the following telephone number


Signature















APPENDIX C


THE CHILDREN'S DIVORCE GROUP


Robert T. Bleck Gary S. Wilkinson
Littlewood Elementary P. K. Yonge School


Goals:

1. Clarify child's feelings about the divorce.

2. Help child understand that others are experiencing
similar feelings.

3. Help child gain a realistic picture of the divorce
situation.

4. Assist child in learning ways of coping with the
feelings associated with divorce.


Session I

Objectives:

1. Children will hear the names of all others in the
group.

2. The group will cooperatively discuss some simple and
important rules for group discussion

3. Children will write and listen to secret statements
about each other.

Activities:

1. Naming each other. The counselor asks, "Is there any-
one in the group who can name everyone else?" All

75









those who wish to try are given a chance to do so.
The counselor also tries to name every child. If
anyone succeeds in naming the first names he/she
is then asked to name all the surnames.

2. Discussion rules. "Sometimes people have trouble
when they work in groups. What are some easy rules
that might help our discussions to be better?"
Some common rules are

(a) Take turns speaking, only one at a time
(b) Raise your hand, if you want to talk
(c) Anything said is O.K.
(d) Think about what the others are saying
(e) Things that are said here are private for the
group

3. Sharing a secret. The counselor explains "Everyone
here knows something about everyone else. We can
see how each other dresses, the color of our eyes
and skin, or how we comb our hair. All this we can
see. However, we all have information about our-
selves that maybe only a few people know. We would
call this our secrets. A good way to get to know
each other better is to share something secret about
ourselves." The counselor then gives a personal
example of a secret. "I might write about a time
I got in trouble and was caught. I might write
about something that I did this summer or something
unpleasant that happened to me, or something pleas-
ant that happened." The counselor collects the
papers and reads to the group, pointing out simi-
larities and differences where appropriate. The
children are then encouraged to verbally share any
other secrets that might have come to mind.


Session II

Objectives:

1. Each child will have the opportunity to self-disclose
to members of the group.

2. A list of feeling words, categorized as pleasant or
unpleasant, will be made by the group to increase
the group members'feeling vocabulary.









Activities:

1. An animal like you. The counselor says, "Last time
we shared secrets and we started to become better
acquainted with each other. Today we are going to
do something a little different. I'm going to hand
out a piece of colored paper and I would like you
to draw a picture of one animal that you feel is
most like you. For example, I would draw a lion
because sometimes I growl at people if they get me
mad. I knew somebody else who once drew a bear
because he was very lazy and liked to sleep a lot.
Someone else drew a mouse because he liked to eat
a lot of cheese. Some people I know drew deer
because these people were as gentle as little deer.
Remember, try to think of an animal that is most
like you. After you draw your animal, cut it out
and write your name on the front of it." When
everyone is finished, the counselor encourages
group members to share their animal, giving reasons
for their selection. Similarities and differences
in choices are pointed out.

2. Pleasant and unpleasant feeling words. The counselor
says, "As people get to know each other better it is
important they recognize and share their feelings.
Now, we are going to list as many feelings as we can
think of. We'll make two lists because some feelings
can be pleasant, while others might be unpleasant.
Let's list as many as we can." If the children are
having difficulty the counselor can provide assistance
by asking questions such as, "What kind of feeling do
you have on your birthday? What kind of feelings do
you have if you are playing a game and losing?"


Session III

Objectives:

1. Children will see a filmstrip on divorce.

2. A list of feelings, behaviors and consequences that
the children can identify from the filmstrip will
be made.

3. Other feelings associated with divorce, but not evident
in the filmstrip, will also be listed similarly.









Activities:

1. Filmstrip and discussion. Counselor introduces film-
strip, "Understanding Changes in the Family: Divorce,"
to the group members. After the filmstrip the coun-
selor encourages the members to identify and discuss
the various feelings exhibited by the characters in
the filmstrip. The counselor asks members to recall
specific scenes and helpsthem discuss the feelings,
behavior, and consequences pertaining to the scenes.
Each feeling ---- behavior ---- consequence sequence
is listed on a large sheet of paper.

Next the counselor asks, "Are there any other feelings
associated with divorce which we can add to our list?"
With the entire list the counselor then asks, "Would
anyone like to share a time when they had one of
these feelings related to their family?" The coun-
selor leads the members to disclose the feeling ----
behavior ---- consequence sequence by asking, "What
did that feeling make you do?" and "What happened as
a result of what you did?" These sequences are
listed on another sheet of paper.


Session IV

Objectives:

1. Children will share personal feelings about divorce.

Activities:

1. Personal shield. The counselor says, "Last time we
discussed many feelings which are associated with
divorce. Today we are going to continue dealing with
the feelings and behaviors surrounding divorce through
pictures. On each of the shields that I'm handing
out, there are four separate parts. For each part I
will describe what I would like you to draw." The
counselor then gives the following directives:

(a) Draw a picture about a good time you had with
your family.
(b) Draw a picture about a time when you had an
unpleasant time with your family., '
(c) Draw a picture which stands for why you'think
your parents got a divorce.









(d) Draw a picture of something you would like
to see happening with your--family-in the
next.year.

When everyone is finished the counselor asks the group
members to place their shields in front of them so all
can see. A volunteer is then asked to share and de.:
scribe one or more of the drawings to the others. The
counselor will reflect feelings which have surfaced
as a result of the sharing. Similarities and dif-
ferences are pointed out where appropriate.


Session V

Objectives:

1. Children will develop a list of problem situations
associated with divorce.

2. Children will select from the list those situations
which are of most concern to them.

3. Children will dramatize selected situations through
roleplaying.

4. Children will discuss the various feelings which are
portrayed in the roleplay.

Activities:

1. Brainstorming problems. Counselor says, "During the
last few weeks we have discussed many of the feelings
and behaviors associated with families which are not
together anymore. Now we are going to talk about.
many of the problems which are created by the divorce.
To do so, let's make a list of as many problems as we
can think of. Don't be afraid to mention any problem
which comes to mind."

2. Ranking problems. The counselor continues: "Let's
try to decide which 2 or 3 of these are the ones
most important to the group." The group then votes
on the problem situations which are most important
to them.

3. Roleplay problems. The counselor then structures the
roleplay of important situations by asking the members









what characters are needed and recruiting volunteers
to play these characters. The counselor can give
further direction by describing an appropriate
setting and suggesting beginning dialogue. If neces-
sary other group members may assist the characters
in dialogue or action. Each roleplay will last
between 3 and 5 minutes. After each roleplay situa-
tion, the counselor leads a discussion focusing on
the important feelings and behaviors of each character.
The consequences of each character's action should be
further discussed.


Session VI

Objectives:

1. Children will dramatize selected problem situations
through puppetplay.

2. Children will discuss feelings evoked through the
puppetry.

3. Children will dramatize alternative ways of handling
the problem situations and discuss the various con-
sequences of each alternative.

Activities:

1. Puppet plays. Counselor says, "Last time we listed
many problem situations which occur when families
spilt up. We had a chance to roleplay a few of these
and discuss the feelings and behavior of each play.
Today we will use puppets to dramatize any of the
problem situations discussed last time or any new one
you may wish to add. Who would like to be the director
of our first play? The director will make up a story
and tell the other characters who they are and what
he wants them to do. The director can pick any
member from the group to help him." After the puppet
play the counselor leads a group discussion of the
feelings, behaviors, and consequences of the char-
acters in the play.

The counselor then asks the members to suggest alter-
native ways of dealing with the enacted problem. Once
these are clarified the puppet play can be re-enacted









using the new alternatives. As before, the discus-
sion will center on feelings, behaviors, and
consequences.

Other puppet plays can be created as time allows.


Session VII

Objectives:

1. Children will discuss positive aspects of the divorce
situation.

Activities:

1. Divorce collage. Counselor says, "During these few
weeks we have been talking about the problems and
unpleasant feelings surrounding divorce. Today I'd
like us to think about those things which have turned
out to be pleasant or positive as a result of your
parents separating. Some children I know have said
that it has been easier to have their friends visit
because they now don't have to worry about their
parents fighting. Other children have said that
after the breakup they have gotten to know one of
their parents a lot better. Let's now make a collage
of those pleasant situations which have come about
because of the divorce. Look through these magazines
and cut out pictures which could stand for those
situations. You may also draw pictures to represent
situations which you cannot find in the magazines."
When children are through, the counselor encourages
them to share their collages. The counselor reflects
and clarifies where appropriate and points out simi-
larities and differences mentioned by group members.

The counselor then says, "Has anyone ever shared
these ideas and feelings with one or both of your
parents? Do you feel that it might be important for
them to hear these ideas and feelings? How do you
feel about sharing these collages with them? What
are some other ways we can tell them these pleasant
things?"







82

Session VIII

Objectives:

1. Children will give and receive positive feedback.

Activities:

1. Positive feedback. The counselor says: "Often we
want to tell each other how we feel about them, but
sometimes we find it hard to put into words. Telling
a person how you feel about what they are doing or
what they have done is called feedback. I would like
a volunteer to sit in the hot seat. Now I would like
the rest of the group to give this person positive
feedback, or tell him only your pleasant thoughts
about him." Each child who wishes to volunteer for
the hot seat is given the opportunity.















APPENDIX D


COMFORT SCALE


Circle One Name:

1. Thinking about my parents divorce:

Very
Uncomfortable
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

2. Talking to other children about the divorce:

Very
Uncomfortable
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

3. Talking to my mother about the divorce:

Very
Uncomfortable
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

4. Talking to my father about the divorce:

Very
Uncomfortable
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

5. Talking to other adults about the divorce:

Very
Uncomfortable
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8


Very
Comfortable
9 10



Very
Comfortable
9 10



Very
Comfortable
9 10



Very
Comfortable
9 10



Very
Comfortable
9 10















APPENDIX E


DIVORCE ATTITUDE MEASURE

by
Gary S. Wilkinson


NAME SCHOOL DATE

PLEASE CIRCLE THE APPROPRIATE NUMBER-

1. It bothers me to think about my parents' divorce.

1 2 3 4 5
Strongly Disagree Uncertain Agree Strongly
Disagree Agree

2. It upsets me to talk to other children about the divorce.

1 2 3 4 5
Strongly Disagree Uncertain Agree Strongly
Disagree Agree

3. Talking to my mother about the divorce is hard.

1 2 3 4 5
Strongly Disagree Uncertain Agree Strongly
Disagree Agree

4. Talking to my father about the divorce is hard.

1 2 3 4 8
Strongly Disagree Uncertain Agree Strongly
Disagree Agree

5. I get upset when other adults talk with me about the divorce.

1 2 3 4 5
Strongly Disagree Uncertain Agree Strongly
Disagree Agree
84









6. I get along well with children my age.

1 *2 3
Strongly Disagree Uncertain
Disagree

7. It is hard to share my feelings with m

1 2 3
Strongly Disagree Uncertain
Disagree

8. My classmates understand me.

1 2 3
Strongly Disagree Uncertain
Disagree

9. I feel lonely.

1 2 3
Strongly Disagree Uncertain
Disagree

10. When I am upset, my friends are a big

1 2 3
Strongly Disagree Uncertain
Disagree

11. My father does not understand me.

1 2 3
Strongly Disagree Uncertain
Disagree

12. Knowing what my father thinks of me is

1 2 3
Strongly Disagree Uncertain
Disagree

13. I know my father's feelings about the

1 2 3
Strongly Disagree Uncertain
Disagree


4
Agree


y friends

4
Agree


5
Strongly
Agree



5
Strongly
Agree


4 5
Agree Strongly
Agree


4
Agree


help.

4
Agree




4
Agree


important

4
Agree


divorce.

4
Agree


5
Strongly
Agree



5
Strongly
Agree



5
Strongly
Agree

t.

5
Strongly
Agree



5
Strongly
Agree







86

14. When my father and I talk, I am able to say just what I
want to say.


1 2 3 4
Strongly Disagree Uncertain Agree
Disagree

15. My father is a big help when I am upset.

1 2 3 4
Strongly Disagree Uncertain Agree
Disagree

16. My mother does not understand me.

1 2 3 4
Strongly Disagree Uncertain Agree
Disagree

17. Knowing what my mother thinks of me is important

1 2 3 4
Strongly Disagree Uncertain Agree
Disagree

18. I know my mother's feelings about the divorce.

1 2 3 4
Strongly Disagree Uncertain Agree
Disagree

19. When my mother and I talk, I am able to say just
want to say.

1 2 3 4
Strongly Disagree Uncertain Agree
Disagree

20. My mother is a big help when I am upset.

1 2 3 4
Strongly Disagree Uncertain Agree
Disagree

21. My home life has become more difficult since my
divorced.

1 2 3 4
Strongly Disagree Uncertain Agree
Disagree


5
Strongly
Agree



5
Strongly
Agree



5
Strongly
Agree



5
Strongly
Agree



5
Strongly
Agree

What I


5
Strongly
Agree



5
Strongly
Agree

parents


5
Strongly
Agree









22. If I had one wish it would be to get my parents
again.

1 2 3 4
Strongly Disagree Uncertain Agree
Disagree

23. The divorce has brought about some good changes

1 2 3 4
Strongly Disagree Uncertain Agree
Disagree

24. I spend a great deal of time worrying about my
divorce.

1 2 3 4
Strongly Disagree Uncertain Agree
Disagree

25. I am embarrassed when others find out my parents
divorced.

1 2 3 4
Strongly Disagree Uncertain Agree
Disagree


87

together


5
Strongly
Agree

in my life.

5
Strongly
Agree

parents'


5
Strongly
Agree

s are


5
Strongly
Agree















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