ARTS-BASED GUIDANCE INTERVENTION
FOR ENHANCEMENT OF EMPATHY, LOCUS OF CONTROL, AND
PREVENTION OF VIOLENCE
DIANNE LYNN SKYE
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Dedicated to my Mom who has lived a life of unconditional love and caring.
Edna Lutz Poling 3/21/13-
Sincere thanks are extended to Dr. Robert Myrick for serving as chairman of my
committee. As an educator and mentor, his professional advice and personal
encouragement have been a tremendous influence in my life and work and are greatly
appreciated. Thanks and appreciation are also given to Dr. David Miller who was
consistently kind and patient with my right brain blocks during the process of statistical
analysis. In addition, I would like to acknowledge committee members Dr. Larry Loesch
and Dr. Joe Wittmer for their support. I feel humbled and grateful to have had such
tremendous teaching from these pillars in the profession.
To Dr. Merle Flannery, the professor who first encouraged me to pursue a
doctorate degree, I extend admiration, gratitude, love, and great appreciation. Dr.
Flannery's teachings and phenomenal manner of seeing the world will always be with
Special thanks are given to the art teachers who delivered this art-based
counseling intervention. The study could not have been achieved without the sacrifice of
their time and effort. Especially notable is the courage of Lisa Hudson who stood before
her school board to defend the importance of the study when opposition arose.
Heart-felt gratitude is extended (a) to my husband and friend, Charles, for his
love, support, encouragement to reach my dreams, and the wonderful massages after
many weary hours of work; (b) to my sons T.L. Shane, and Shad Latson, and
Elliott Skye, for my greatest joys and the challenges of motherhood that have deepened
my passion for life-long learning; (c) to my mom who has always been my hero and
example of strength, dignity, and grace; (d) to my daughter-in-law Kristie for the tender
care she extends to my mother, for her friendship, love, data entry; and typing expertise;
(e) to my granddaughters Kyra, Zion, and Kamya who light up my life; (f) and lastly and
most importantly to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who is the perfect example of
empathic understanding and who gives my life purpose and meaning.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOW LEDGEM NETS ......................................................................................... i
ABSTARCT ............................................................................................................... vii
1 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................. 1
Purp se of the Study ................................................................................................. 4
Need for the Study ... ............................................................................................... 4
Theoretical Perspective .................................................................................... o ........ 8
Research Questions............................................................................................. 13
Definition of Terms................................................................................................ 14
Overview of the Remainder of the Study................................................................ 15
2 REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE............................................................... 17
Problems Associated with the Lack of Empathy..................................................... 18
Problems Associated with Levels of Control .......................................................... 24
Problems Associated with the Risk of Violence...................................................... 29
History of the Therapeutic Aspects of Art Processes............................................... 33
Art Education in the Schools .................................................................................. 38
Large Group Developmental Guidance and Interventions....................................... 42
Art Processes in School and Counseling Literature................................................. 45
Teachers As Facilitators......................................................................................... 49
3 M ETHODOLOGY ..............................................................................................53
Population and Descriptive Report ......................................................................... 53
Sampling Procedures.............................................................................................. 56
Research Design..................................................................................................... 58
Teacher-Facilitator Training ................................................................................... 60
Guidance Unit Description............................................................................... 62
Dependent Variables.............................................................................................. 65
Research Procedures............................................................................................... 71
Data Analysis ......................................................................................................... 72
4 RESULTS .............................................................................................................. 74
Data Analysis......................................................................................................... 75
Other Findings........................................................................................................ 81
Sum mary of the Study ............................................................................................ 84
5 SUM M ARY AND CONCLUSIONS ...................................................................... 87
Summ ary ................................................................................................................ 87
Conclusions ............................................................................................................ 89
Limitations ............................................................................................................. 93
Im plications ............................................................................................................ 95
Recomm endations .................................................................................................. 97
A CONSENT LETTERS FOR PARTICIPATION .................................................. 100
B RESEARCH PROCEDURES......................................... ..................................... 107
C RESEARCH INSTRUM ENTS.............................. ............................................ .. 113
D TEACHER-FACILATATOR TRAINING MANUAL ......................................... 117
E SUPPLEM ENTAL STATISTICS........................................................................ 146
F OTHER FINDINGS............................................................................................. 148
REFERENCES ......................................................................................................... 170
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ..................................................................................... 185
Abstract of Dissertation
Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida
in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the
Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
ARTS-BASED GUIDANCE INTERVENTION FOR ENHANCEMENT OF
EMPATHY, LOCUS OF CONTROL, AND PREVENTION OF VIOLENCE
Dianne Lynn Skye
Chairman: Dr. Robert Myrick
Major Department: Counselor Education
A teacher-facilitated large group guidance intervention for high school art
students was evaluated for its effects on locus of control (Children's Nowicki-Strickland
Internal External Locus of Control Scale), risk of violence (The Risk of Eruptive
Violence Scale), and levels of emotional empathy (The Balanced Emotional Empathy
Scale). The intervention was delivered by four art teachers to multi-grade level art
students in four North Central Florida public high schools.
A pretest-posttest nonequivalent control group design was used. Intact art classes
were randomly assigned to experimental or control conditions to assess the effects of the
dependent variables. The assignment resulted in 78 students in the test groups and 75 in
the control groups.
Six guidance sessions were delivered to the treatment groups within a single
grading period. The unit was developed with literature and art activities that centered on
awareness of empathic feelings and on perceptions of control related to management of
anger and violence. Control groups maintained normal classroom routine.
A mixed model analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was conducted on the locus of
control scores, risk of violence scores, and emotional empathy scores, to determine
significant treatment or interaction effects. Treatment effect was obtained on the measure
of locus of control at .05 level of significance. Both males and females in treatment had
lower posttest means (males M=13.21; females M=12.29) than their counterparts in
control (males M=15.50; females M=12.82). Lower scores indicated a movement toward
internal locus of control. No significant treatment or interaction effects were found
during the ANCOVA analysis of the REV or the BEES.
Other findings collected during the experiential process for each session
suggested treatment effectiveness. Written and graphic arts data showed that students
were affected by the content of the counseling intervention.
This type of intervention may be an important vehicle for a synergistic and
parsimonious relationship between guidance and art education. The arts-based
intervention may have the potential to ignite the imagination, strengthen schemata for
alternative choices, develop empathic awareness, and instill the capacity to care. These
benefits in turn may impact locus of control and may promote socially acceptable
An increase in school violence has raised the issue of empathic understanding and
teaching children to care as one of the most interesting and difficult questions in
education today (Barrow, 1975; DeRoche & Williams, 1998; Siccone & Lopez, 2000).
Complex environmental, social, personal, and educational issues stuff the emotional
baggage that is hauled into the classroom by the increasingly diverse student population
(Keys, Bemak, & Lockhart, 1998). Widespread concerns about angry and aggressive
student behaviors produce reactive strategies that often overlook social contexts that
foster the perpetration of violence. The shootings at Columbine High School have
triggered awareness of a reality that could happen in any school, making it important to
assess warning signs and to advocate effective strategies for preventing the manifestation
of violence (Daniels, Arrendondo, & D'Andrea, 1999).
America's youth are burdened by conditions of racism, poverty, unemployment,
neglect, crime, alcohol and drug abuse, and negative peer pressure. Confronted with
these conditions, many students internalize deep anger, accompanied by feelings of
hopelessness and frustration, rendering them ready to react in potentially dangerous ways
(Ascher, 2000). To exacerbate an alarmingly negative trend, the media glorifies violence
and does little to sensitize youth to human pain resulting from negative conditions.
Many individuals feel that they lack control over the outcomes of their lives and
they blame forces outside themselves. Externalized in their locus of control, a somewhat
desensitized generation of students is at risk for initiating acts of violence, intolerance
and crimes of hate.
Violence takes the form of bullying, intimidation, taunts, anger, and physical
aggression stemming from prejudice because of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, and
sexual orientation or disability (Siccone & Lopez, 2000). Although the potential for
violence impacts every student, public education in recent years has lost its power to pass
on core moral values to children that address these issues. The teacher's role has become
the role of one who delivers a value-free exchange of information and skills (DeRoche &
Williams, 1998). With current emphasis on test scores, technology, and the
preoccupation with cognitive processes, ways of knowing have been separated from ways
of caring (Bruner, 1986; Noddings, 1992).
In response to these conditions, there has been a shift in advocacy toward
educational research in the affective domain. Traditionally, the arts and developmental
guidance have provided a caring connection that addresses both cognitive and affective
functioning of the individual. Both the visual arts and developmental guidance give
students a powerful avenue for exploring their worlds, getting to know themselves and
others, and for becoming more highly functioning human beings (Myrick, 1993; Willis &
Large group developmental guidance is one type of counselor intervention in
schools that blends the cognitive-affective realms of learning. Prevention, social skills,
and understanding the relationship of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors are common goals
of the large group guidance interventions (Faust, 1968). Through the partnership of the
two curricular areas of art and guidance, the question of viable character and affective
education can be considered. Both art and guidance share the goal of understanding the
social, intellectual, emotional, psychological, and creative needs of the student (American
School Counselor Association, 1979; Lowenfeld, 1957), in order to assist the
development process of individuals in all areas.
The development of critical intelligence and the nurture of the human capacity to
care are the focus of recent educational research (Clark & Jenson, 1997; Stout, 1999).
Framed as an arts-based developmental guidance unit with the teacher as facilitator
(Wittmer & Myrick, 1989), a cognitive-affective intervention, Walk a Mile in My Shoes,
was delivered in a classroom where communal deliberation was the method and critical
awareness and mutual understanding were the goals.
The arts are a universal language by which humans define themselves. According
to Stout (1999), "the arts have the capacity to draw together students' thoughts and
feelings, turning them toward the imaginative exploration of the wide world of human
experience" (p. 23). Nucho (1987) concurs with the process of becoming aware through
the arts, which offer the opportunity to decode one's personal imagery, understand the
feelings of others, and assist in the integration of new experiences. Art processes
empower one to discern new avenues for behavior.
Exposure to emotionally arousing stimuli through teacher-facilitated
developmental guidance can create the opportunity to assist change in beliefs and feelings
that lead to changes in behavior. Vicarious experience through exposure to misfortune,
deprivation, or distress of others has the capacity to increase empathic responses (Bamrnett,
Howard, Melton, & Dino, 1982). Passion, often born out of adversity or the inability to
explain the realities of life, brings humans to explore and experience the arts
that serve as ways to record and react to impressions of the world. By incorporating
literature and works of visual art that have emotionally arousing stimuli, art educators as
facilitators in a developmental guidance format can encourage students to consider the
realities of others and to see similarities in their own personal issues and needs. These
stimuli can provide a basis for eliciting discussion about perceptions, feelings, and
behaviors and linking those perceptions to future actions.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of an arts-based large
group guidance unit on personal control, risk of initiating violence, and the emotional
empathy of high school students. More specifically, art teachers in north Florida
delivered the intervention to students enrolled in high school art education classes. The
unit consisted of literature, art activities, and discussions that focused on psychological
variables related to reducing teenage violence. An experimental design using pre- and
postmeasures was used to test differences between experimental and control groups.
Need for the Study
Youth violence in schools is rising and permeates every segment of our society.
Especially alarming is the availability of weapons and guns to youth. Indeed, growing
numbers of students are bringing guns to schools each day (Center to Prevent Handgun
Violence, 1990; Stephens, 1994). In 1992, 10% of all high school seniors reported that
they did not feel safe at school while 23% of all seniors reported fights between different
racial and ethnic groups (U.S. Department of Education, Digest of Education Statistics,
1999). Students ages 12 through 18 were victims of nearly 255,000 nonfatal incidents of
violent crime at school (U.S. Department of Education, 1998). Violence also impacts
teachers who were victims of 1,581,000 nonfatal crimes at school between 1992 and
1996 that included theft, rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated and simple assault
(U.S. Department of Education, 1998). During every hour of every school day, 900
teachers are threatened; and 2,000 students and 40 teachers become victims of violence
Although the sources of violence are deep and long-standing, many education
professionals attribute school violence to conditions outside of the classroom (Stephens,
1994). Among those exacerbating conditions are the breakdown of the family, poor
parenting practices, violent role models, and celebration of violence in the media (Bender
& Bruno, 1990; Met Life, 1994). Negative peer pressure both in and out of school
contributes to violence (Toby, 1994), as do drug and alcohol abuse (U.S. Department of
Justice, 1991), and racism or bias in the form of hate crimes (McCormick, 1999). In
addition, 18.90/% of all children live in poverty (U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of
the Census, 1998). These conditions engender emotional issues that potentially
contribute to the perception of loss of personal control and risk of initiated violence.
The answers to these problems are not simple. It has been argued that the
development of awareness of one's own emotional states and the ability to discern and
interpret the emotional states of others leads to increased empathy. Increased empathy
correlates positively with emotional competence and social competence (Saami, 1990).
These qualities in turn produce constructive coping that results in low levels of problem
behavior and low aggression as reported by teachers, peers, and mothers (Eisenberg,
Fabes, Murphy, Karbon, Smith, & Maszk, 1996).
Individuals who experience more success in coping with stressful situations are
those who generally believe that they are in control of the events of their lives. They
have an internal locus of control orientation (Krause, 1987). In addition, this belief in the
capacity to control or master events in one's life, empowers the individual with the
capability to evaluate potentially threatening situations and the capacity to solve
problems that might cause the stressful encounter (Folkman, 1984, Lazarus & Folkman,
Greater risk of initiating violence is generally associated with a more negative
outlook on life (Mehrabian, 1997). Some individuals are unable to cope with stress
engendered by oppressive family and social conditions of their lives and turn to violent
behavior in attempt to cope with stress (Chandler, 1985; Herzfeld & Powell, 1986).
These individuals usually attribute the outcomes of the events in their lives to conditions
outside of their control such as fate, luck, or powerful others.
Most school guidance counselors are trained to address issues of aggression and
violence through individual, small group, and classroom guidance interventions. Conflict
resolution, mediation, dispute resolution, stress inoculation, and anger management are
all programs designed to diffuse potentially violent situations (Skovholt, Cognetta, Ye, &
King, 1997). Although these programs are successful preventive strategies, the reality is
that the average high school counselor has between 350 and 530 students to serve. Those
services are further limited by noncounseling role requirements (Hardesty & Dillard,
1994; Napierkowski & Parsons, 1995). According to ACA guidelines, schools should
have one counselor for every 250 students (American Counseling Association, 2000).
Counselors cannot possibly address the personal issues of the entire school population.
High school art teachers are in a position to provide support for violence
intervention programs. Art educators who use a Disciplined Based Art Education (Clark,
1991) curriculum, teach their students to identify emotional and feeling states as well as
artist intentionality in the process of aesthetic criticism and judgment of works of art.
There are therapeutic aspects of art education as skilled art educators nurture students'
feelings of competence in a broadly beneficial way through the processes of recognition,
appreciation, and production of art (Wilson & Rubin, 1997). Art teachers employ
similarities between creative and therapeutic modalities as students are encouraged to
explore both the affective and cognitive processes involved in judging work of other
artists as well as being able to bring concrete representation to their own thoughts and
feelings through the production of visual art.
High school art teachers trained as facilitators can link and extend the activity
process by encouraging a heightened awareness of one's own emotional and cognitive
states as well as an empathic awareness of the personal and social conditions of others as
experienced vicariously through visual and written art forms. The question that remains,
however, is whether providing this direct service through a cognitive-affective large
classroom guidance intervention can increase empathy, affect internal locus of control,
and improve student behavior by reducing initiated violence.
School counseling literature has yielded little or no direct evidence to support
such a claim although the use of art in counseling for individuals with behavior problems
has been used in many settings (Alexander, 1990; Cheatham & Powell, 1986; Geldard &
Geldard, 1999; Gerber, 1994; Hill & Tollerud, 1996; Kramer, 1993; Unsworth, 1990).
Current education literature advocates comprehensive character or moral
education that promotes empathy and caring as an antidote to aggression and violence
(DeRoche & Williams, 1998; Ingall, 1997; Katz, Noddings, & Strike, 1999;
Kirscbenbaum, 1999; Noddings, 1992; Miller, 2000; Siccone & Lopez, 2000). Art
Education literature concurs with the concept that consciousness must be raised in order
for social change to take place (Albers, 1999; Bolin, 1999; Rettig & Rettig, 1999; Stout,
1999; Unsworth, 1990). However, no evidence exists of any outcome study that shows
the effectiveness of a large group classroom guidance intervention facilitated by art
teachers. There is a need to conduct a formal evaluation of art teacher-facilitated
guidance interventions designed to increase empathy and internal locus of control and
lessen the risk of initiated violence.
Framed as a developmental guidance unit (Myrick, 1993), this study was driven
by the theory that the unit should enhance the personal, social, vocational and academic
growth of the individual. All of those areas are affected by the individual's ability to
have an empathic understanding of others and ability to interact effectively in a world of
As an arts-based intervention, this study was also influenced by the
developmental theories of Victor Lowenfeld (1957) in the areas of creative and mental
growth. Lowenfeld embraces the notion that education is largely responsible for attitudes
and actions that are linked to behaviors. Lowenfeld (1957) wrote:
If we lead a rich life it is education which has sensitized us for it; if we
live in a spirit of cooperation, it is education which has in early years
recognized the need for it and thus planted the seed in us; if we live in
peace with ourselves, it is education which recognized spiritual harmony
as one of the greatest contributors to life; if we, however, live in discord
with ourselves, it is also education which has neglected to emphasize
emotional growth, the ability to adjust to new situations, and thus help
us solve our difficulties in life. (p. 1-2)
Emotion and the individual's capacity to experience emotional empathy for others
influences the student's personal, vocational, social, and academic growth, because all of
these areas are contingent on the individual's ability to successfully negotiate
Emotion plays a critical role in cognitive learning and personality development.
Training in interpersonal and empathic responding can help individuals recognize
different emotive states in themselves and others and can help individuals respond to
others positively, rather than in angry acting-out behaviors that can result in violence
(Cohen & Strayer, 1996; Eisenberg, Fabes, Murphy et al., 1996; Miller & Eisenberg,
1988). Large group guidance framed as an arts-based cognitive-affective intervention,
can provide the emotionally charged learning experiences that tend to increase empathic
feelings, increase positive responses to others, and help facilitate change in thinking,
feelings, and behaviors.
Art is a bridge that joins the creative and integrative capacities of the psyche and
helps contain emotion. This imaginative capacity allows the individual to experience
empathy with different points of view while decentering self and coming face to face
with the condition of others (Greene, 1995). Emotion is held within the process and
within the artwork, providing the individual with a means to reframe and reconsider
alternate ways of knowing, which can lead to change of thinking and behaving (Moon,
Individuals tend to learn more easily and retain what is learned when it is framed in an
emotional context (Goleman, 1995; Sylwester, 1995). Affective art is a personal
experience that focuses on experience, emotion, and thoughts of the individual,
incorporating at least six of the seven types of human intelligence described by Howard
Gardner (1993) in his Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Research shows that
"experience, particularly in childhood, sculpts the brain" (Goleman, 1995, p. 224).
Neural branching occurs when significant brain work is done that creates synapses
between nerve cells, which is analogous to building muscle through physical exercise
(Cardellichio & Field, 1997). This neural branching allows neural network connections
to shift about throughout life as conditions change and challenges emerge.
Environmental challenge and interactivity are important components in the mental
activity that nurtures synaptic plasticity. The use of emotion, experience, and learning
enhances the brain's construction and ability to make cognitive shifts (Abbott, 1997;
Kotulak, 1996; Sylwester, 1995). Wittmer and Myrick (1989) stated that "regardless of
subject matter or curriculum, the most fundamental psychological basis for learning
occurs when a student is emotionally involved" (p. 17).
Arts-based guidance interventions serve as ways we react to, share, and record our
impressions of the world. Involvement in the arts teaches divergent thinking and
encourage students to discover different answers rather than rote responses. The
aesthetic experience of literature and visual arts linked with facilitative guidance is an
opportunity for students to live vicariously new experiences that have the potential to
increase empathy. Through experiential activity they become embedded in the task and
"learn from the inside out rather than the outside in. Such figuring out requires critical
thinking, analysis, and judgment; students tend to stay on task because they are creating
their own world, not replicating someone else's" (Fowler, 2000, p.2).
Rettig and Rettig (1999) suggested that in addition to the use of real-life
emotional contexts to enhance learning, the use of different senses, promotion of student
self-direction, support of social learning, and encouragement of pattern finding can each
optimize the growth of the brain in terms of learning and experiences. Large group
cognitive-affective guidance interventions delivered by art educators who use literature
and works of art to stimulate empathic response, expand insight through student
participation in art processes. The process engages students in hearing (the literature),
seeing (the work of art), and touching and smelling (the art medium). The senses are
explored vicariously in both the literary and visual arts media that paint a sensuous
portrait of the experience of another human being.
Student self-direction enhances the learning experience when the student is given
the opportunity to tell his or her own story after the social group learning has taken place
by discussion of the story of the writer and the artist. The student extracts meaning from
the group discussion and projects personal meaning into his or her own visual or written
art form. Meaning is enhanced further by the teacher as facilitator who helps the student
verbalize by linking and extending the activity process (Myrick, 1993). Insight is
developed that appeals to both intellect and imagination by applying it to present and past
experiences. Students begin to see a pattern of connections between and among
individuals and societies through works produced by self and others. "The arts humanize
the curriculum while affirming the interconnectedness of all forms of knowing" (Fowler,
These multi-sensory activities agree with the work of Howard Gardner (1993) and
his theory of Multiple Intelligences. Experiences stored in several interrelated memory
networks have the power to optimize learning and to enhance the intellectual and
emotional growth of the individual. With these cognitive-affective activities, students
can begin to see that the experiences of others could possibly become their own and be
moved toward response. "When we see the other's reality as a possibility for us, we must
act to eliminate the intolerable, to reduce the pain, to fill the need, to actualize the dream"
(Noddings, 1984, p. 14). In other words, experiential activity can promote the capacity to
The arts enhance the potential for empathy by expanding the capacity to think in
the abstract and to imagine something better. Interconnectedness is brought about by the
realization of shared emotional experiences. Through emotional and sensory-laden
learning experiences, individuals find a sense of belonging to family, society, and culture.
The arts increase the potential for fulfillment of the human need for defining self.
"Empathy for others factors into understanding yourself and feeling connected to your
own kind and the broader your empathy is the greater your ability to interact with people
from more diverse backgrounds. The arts are about, for, and by all of us" (Taylor, 1999,
An arts-based large group guidance unit provides one approach to support student
need for understanding self and others. It is a theoretical approach that promotes
understanding through experiential activity that can impact learning and enhance social
skills needed to be successful in the school and social environment A cognitive-affective
approach emphasizes the examination and possible modification of thoughts, beliefs, and/
or expectations about self and others. "Study of the arts encourages a suppleness of mind,
a toleration for ambiguity, a taste for nuance, and the ability to make trade-offs among
alternative courses of action" (Springfield, 2000, p. 7-A).
Internal locus of control is a phenomenon sometimes considered in relationship to
dispositional and situational empathy. Based on Rotter's theory (1966), a locus of
control orientation is a belief about whether the outcomes of our actions are contingent on
what we do (internal control orientation) or on events outside our personal control
(external control orientation). Perceived locus of control influences our motivation,
expectations, risk-taking, and the outcome of our behaviors. Self-regulation is an
attribute of those with an internal locus of control. An individual with internal locus of
control perceives self as responsible for outcomes in his or her life, while the individual
with external locus of control most often blames society, luck, or some other force
beyond his or her control for personal successes and failures.
It is argued that people who tend to empathize with another's pain or distress are
likely to refrain from or cease aggression because of the emotional discomfort induced by
their vicarious response to the victim's emotional reactions (Eisenberg, 2000; Feshback,
1978). Whether or not an arts-based large group guidance intervention can increase
empathy and create a shift in locus of control continues to be evaluated.
Will students' perception of their locus of control change after they complete the arts-
based guidance unit?
Will students' risk of initiating violence change after completion of the arts-based
Will high school art students who participate in an arts-based guidance unit have
greater capacity for emotional empathy?
Do the students respond differently to the arts-based guidance unit according to
Definition of Terms
Affective art. An experiential process that focuses experience, emotion, and self.
It helps the individual recognize feelings that are being experienced while achieving
insight into feelings, thoughts, and behaviors through concentrated awareness. Affective
art processes combine the creative and integrative capacity of the psyche (Furrer, 1982;
Robbins & Sibley, 1976).
Cognitive. Cognitive aspects of an intervention are those processes that bring
about knowledge as individuals increasingly come to understand themselves and others
and gain different perspectives on their own motives and behaviors (Corsini & Wedding,
Empathy. The state of empathy or the ability to be empathic, is to perceive the
internal frame of reference (emotional components and meanings) of another person as if
one were that person but without losing the "as if' condition, retaining one's own identity
External locus of control. The perception or belief that a person's reinforcement
is under the control of others and outcomes of events in one's life are caused by forces
such as luck or chance and lie beyond one's control (Krause, 1987; Rotter, 1990).
Individuals who tend to favor this belief are referred to as externals.
Internal locus of control. The belief that a person has the ability to control
outcomes of events in life through effort, behavior, or personal characteristics such as
ability (Rotter, 1990). Individuals who tend to favor this belief are referred to as
Large group guidance. A counselor-led or facilitator-led intervention with more
than 10 students in a group. It is structured and exploratory and focuses on the
developmental needs of the students. Ideas, attitudes, feelings, beliefs, and behaviors are
explored. Prevention is a common goal for large group interventions (Myrick, 1993).
Locus of control. The degree to which the individual believes he or she is able to
influence the outcome of a situation (Rotter, 1990).
Teacher-facilitator. An individual who provides a positive, secure, and
nonthreatening classroom atmosphere in which students are encouraged to take risks,
explore ideas and feelings, and encouraged to be open. The teacher-as-facilitator
provides learning situations that are personally meaningful, positive, nonthreatening, self-
evaluated, and feeling focused. Personal growth is encouraged out of caring for others.
Learning is facilitated through open communication and maximizing the factors of
thinking, feeling, and doing (Wittmer & Myrick, 1989). In this study, the teacher-
facilitator delivers the large group guidance intervention.
Violence. A manifestation of anger and aggression that can be defined as a
symptom demonstrated by hostile outbursts (Madow, 1972). Violence can take the form
of bullying, intimidation, taunts, anger, and physical aggression stemming from prejudice
because of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability (Siccone &
Overview of the Remainder of the Study
The remainder of the study is organized into four chapters. Chapter 2 reviews the
literature focused on problems associated with lack of empathy, low levels of control,
and the risk of initiated violence. The literature of the history of therapeutic aspects of art
processes, art education in the schools, and developmental guidance and large group
guidance interventions are also reviewed. Literature related to the teacher as facilitator
and the dependent variables of this study are also presented in Chapter 2. Research
methodology and the procedures used are described in Chapter 3. Results of the study
are presented in Chapter 4. The summary, conclusions, discussion, limitations,
implications, and recommendations are included in Chapter 5.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
In 1999, the U.S. Department of Education gave $2.7 million to implement and
upgrade character education as a measure to counteract the multiple killings and
increased violence that have been taking place in our nation's schools (U.S. Department
of Education, 1999). While some schools seek change from the outside by adding guards,
metal detectors, and uniforms; others seek to improve school climate through preventive
measures that increase understanding and universal values (Guerra, 1998).
Empathy and caring are core components of character education that seek to help
students learn and assimilate core ethical values. Carl Rogers (1980) defined empathy as
the state of being able to perceive the internal frame of reference of another with
accuracy and with the emotional components and meanings which pertain thereto as if
one were the person but, without ever losing the "as if" condition. In essence, empathy
broadens the breadth of perception and range of emotional experience. Caring increases
connection, reaching out, and altruistic behaviors.
Those educators responsible for character education are charged with helping to
develop essential human capacities that give students an open-minded understanding and
for helping to develop effective personal response in dealing meaningfully with
complexity. "The process by which this development occurs is the maturing process
afforded by vicarious experience and the empathic identification with both familiar and
remote ideas, events and persons" (Gallo, 1989, p. 99).
Empathy fosters critical and creative thinking and should be adopted as an
important educational goal. Reasoning benefits from empathic understanding. When
empathy increases, the individual is predisposed to good judgment by engaging the
individual more fully with the issue. Thought and action have both cognitive and
affective components, as does empathic response. The cognitive component of empathy
is understanding how another feels, while the affective component is communion by "the
imaginative transposing of oneself into the thinking, feeling and actions of another"
(Gallo, 1989, p. 100).
Empathy is also a prerequisite of compassion and morality. By learning what
others think and feel, the individual is potentially enhanced with wisdom. This can lead
to the ability of making more positive decisions that may reduce the individual's risk for
choosing violent behaviors (Kirschenbaum, 1999).
Problems Associated with the Lack of Empathy
Lack of empathy is associated with Conduct Disorder. According to the
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (American Psychiatric
Association, 1994), the essential feature of Conduct Disorder is a pattern of persistent
behavior in which rights of others and societal norms are violated. Behavioral features
fall into four main categories: Aggressive conduct that causes or threatens physical harm
to people or animals; conduct that causes property loss or damage; deceitfulness or theft;
and serious violation of rules.
Children or adolescents with Conduct Disorder are often aggressive and react
aggressively toward others with such behaviors as bullying, threatening, and intimidating.
They may initiate fights; may use a weapon (bat, brick, broken bottle, knife, or gun) with
the intent to inflict serious physical harm; and may be physically cruel to people or
animals. Other violent actions against others associated with Conduct Disorder include
stealing while mugging, purse snatching, or armed robbery and forcing someone to
engage in sexual activity. Physical violence may involve rape, assault, and in some cases
Individuals with Conduct Disorder sometimes deliberately destroy others'
property. These acts of violence may take the form of deliberately setting fires with
intent to cause serious damage. Other deliberate actions with intent to cause damage
could include smashing car windows, school vandalism, or destruction of other real
Characteristically, individuals who lack empathy and display the features of
Conduct Disorder, are deceitful and commonly practice acts of theft. These behaviors
may include breaking into a house, a building, or a car. Habitual lying or breaking
promises is a frequent practice in order to obtain goods or favors or to avoid debts or
obligations. It is not uncommon for individuals with Conduct Disorder to be skilled at
conning others or to steal without confronting the victim by shoplifting and forgery.
Serious violation of rules is also characteristic of individuals with Conduct
Disorder. Pattern behaviors may include staying out late at night despite parental
guidelines; a habit of running away from home overnight; and truancy from school
beginning before the age of 13. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of
Mental Disorders-IV (1994):
Individuals with Conduct Disorder may have little empathy and little
concern for the feelings, wishes, and well-being of others. Especially
in ambiguous situations, aggressive individuals with this disorder frequently
misperceive the intentions of others as more hostile and threatening than is
the case and respond with aggression that they may feel is reasonable and
justified. They may be callous and lack appropriate feelings of guilt or remorse.
It can be difficult to evaluate whether displayed remorse is genuine because these
individuals learn that expressing guilt may reduce or prevent punishment
Individuals with this disorder may readily inform on their companions and try to
blame others for their own misdeeds. (p. 87)
Conduct Disorder is much more common in males but concerns are raised in the
misapplication of Conduct Disorder to individuals, such as persons from war-ravaged
countries, where aggressive behavior is a necessary means of survival. The context of the
individual must be considered when making the diagnosis and must be applied when the
behavior is symptomatic of the underlying dysfunction.
Symptoms vary as the age of the individual increases, along with cognitive and
sexual maturity. Typically, less severe behaviors emerge at first, whereas the more
severe emerge later. Males tend to exhibit the more confrontational forms of aggression
such as fighting, stealing, vandalism and school discipline problems; while females tend
to use more nonconfrontational behaviors such as lying, running away, substance abuse
Subtypes of Conduct Disorder are provided based on age at onset (Childhood-
Onset Type and Adolescent-Onset Type) and differ in nature of the presenting problems
(mild, moderate, or severe form). Childhood-Onset Type is defined by the onset of at
least one of the characteristics before age 10. Adolescent-Onset Type is defined by the
absence of any criteria characteristic before age 10. Severity specifiers range from
relatively minor harm to others (mild) to considerable harm to others (severe). Table 2-1
describes the diagnostic criteria of Conduct Disorder.
Diagnostic Criteria for Conduct Disorder (DSM-IV. 1994)
A repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in which the basic rights of others
or major age-appropriate societal norms or rules are violated, as manifested by the
presence of three (or more) of the following criteria in the past 12 months, with at
least one criterion present in the past 6 months.
Aggression to people and animals
Often bullies, threatens, or intimidates others
Often initiates physical fights
Has used a weapon that can cause serious physical harm to others (e.g., a
brick, bat, broken bottle, knife, gun)
Has been physically cruel to people
Has been physically cruel to animals
Has stolen while confronting a victim (e.g., mugging, purse snatching,
extortion, armed robbery)
Has forced someone into sexual activity
Destruction of property
Has deliberately engaged in fire setting with the intention of causing serious
Has deliberately destroyed others' property (other than by fire setting)
Deceitfulness or theft
Has broken into someone else's house, building, or car
Often lies to obtain goods or favors or to avoid obligations (often "cons"
Has stolen items of nontrivial value without confronting a victim (e.g.,
shoplifting, but without breaking and entering; forgery)
Serious violations of rules
Often stays out at nights despite parental prohibitions, beginning before age 13
Has run away from home overnight at least twice while living in parental or
parental surrogate home (or once without returning for a lengthy period)
If often truant from school, beginning before age 13 years
The disturbance in behavior causes clinically significant impairment in social,
academic, or occupational functioning
If the individual is age 18 years or older, criteria are not met for Antisocial
Table 2-1 continued
Specify type based on age at onset.
Childhood-Onset Type: onset of at least one criterion characteristic of
ConductDisorder before age 10 years
Adolescent-Onset Type: absence of any criteria characteristic of Conduct
Disorder before age 10 years
Mild: few if any conduct problems in excess of those required to make
the diagnosis and conduct problems cause only minor harm to others
Moderate: number of conduct problems and effect on others intermediate
between "mild" and "severe"
Severe: many conduct problems in excess of those required to make the
diagnosis or conduct problems cause considerable harm to others (pp. 90-91).
Individuals who lack empathy and meet the criteria for Conduct Disorder, have
higher injury rates and are more prone to school expulsion and problems with the law
than are other individuals. Aggressive and violent behavior, vandalism and deliberate
destruction; early tobacco, alcohol, and substance use and abuse; as well as precocious
sexual activity, have the capacity to greatly interfere with school and personal success.
These individuals often have poor relationships with adults and authority figures, rarely
perform at the level predicted by their IQ, and have higher rates of depression, suicidal
thoughts, suicidal attempts, and suicide itself than children without Conduct Disorder
(Shaffer, Fisher, Dulcan, Davies, Piacentini, Schwab-Stone, Lahey, Bourdon, Jensen,
Bird, and Canino,1996b).
Conduct Disorder in 9-to-17 year-olds varies from 1 to 4 %, depending on how
the disorder is defined and its severity (Shaffer, Fisher, Dulcan, Davies, Piacentini,
Schwab -Stone, Lahey, Bourdon, Jensen, Bird, and Canino, and Regier, 1996a). Early
onset of the disorder is seen predominantly in males and appears to be more common in
cities than in rural areas. Between a fourth and half of the children with Conduct
Disorder become antisocial adults (Rutter & Giller, 1984).
Social risk factors for Conduct Disorder include early maternal rejection,
separation from parents with no adequate alternative caregiver, early institutionalization,
family neglect, abuse or violence, parental marital discord, large family size, crowding,
and poverty (Loeber & Stouthamer-Loeber, 1986). The lack of attachment to parents or
family is thought to be one of the main factors leading to the eventual lack of regard for
rules, concern for others, or the rewards of society (Sampson & Laub, 1993).
Increasing emotional ties between parent and child may be an appropriate
intervention, as well as working with high-risk children on social interaction skills.
Providing academic help to reduce school failure can help prevent some of the negative
educational consequences of Conduct Disorder (Johnson & Brechenridge, 1982).
Need to Educate for Empathy
Education today must be that which meets the needs of diverse ethnic heritage,
widely different intellectual capacities, physical difference, and interest difference. Need
for care and empathy in our present culture is acute. Adolescents feel uncared for in
schools and in need for special relation (Noddings, 1992). Noddings, a leading authority
on character education, suggests that education should be organized around centers of
care where each individual feels cared for and where each individual learns to care for
other human beings. It is her contention that education should produce caring people,
instead of focussing exclusively on the drive for academic adequacy.
Empathic caring requires cultivation, determination, and commitment from
educators in order to pass that value on to students. To educate for empathy, awareness
of the consequences of actions toward other people and all life forms must be made
explicit Responsibility for suffering and insistence on justice for all people, opens hearts
to victims of violence, prejudice, and injustice. Empathy is a way of being. It is a self-
sustained awareness of self and others. Breggin (1997) summarizes the consequences of
increasing empathy in self and others:
Empathy is a force; it can motivate us to take stands on behalf of all sentient
beings- everyone and everything that thinks or feels. If more of us allowed
ourselves a full measure of empathy, women would find themselves treated as
equals, men and women would stop humiliating each other, child abuse would
end, racism would vanish, and definitive steps would be taken to end hunger,
poverty, and inadequate medical care. The planet we live on would become
safer from exploitation. (p. 126)
Batson (1991) hypothesized that empathy, due to intrinsic other-orientated
motivation, is likely to lead to other-oriented, altruistic helping behavior. It was found
that when people experience empathy, they infer that they value the welfare of persons in
need (Batson, Batson, Todd, & Brummett, 1995), and develop more positive attitudes
toward members of oppressed groups (Batson, Polycarpou, Harmon-Jones, Imhoff,
Mitchener, Bednar, Klein, & Highberber, 1997). Thus, individuals who have the capacity
to experience empathy would be relatively likely to assist other people, including
members of oppressed or stigmatized groups. Increased empathy would seem to be a
goal of early intervention for school and societal violence as well as for early and late
onset of Conduct Disorder in children and adolescents.
Problems Associated With Levels of Control
Literature on locus of control contrasts characteristics of internal locus of control
with external locus of control. Rotter (1966) emphasized that distinctions are made
depending upon whether or not the individual perceives a relationship between behavior
and what happens in their life. In his theory, a person's actions are predicted on the basis
of values, expectations, and the situation in which the individual finds him or herself.
The location of the locus of control construct is determined in the freedom of
movement, or obtaining positive satisfaction as a result of a set of related behaviors
directed toward a group of functionally related reinforcements. An individual has low
freedom of movement if he or she has a high expectancy of failure or punishment as a
result of his or her behaviors with which the individual tries to obtain the reinforcements
that constitute a particular need. High freedom of movement is generalized expectancy
of success resulting from the ability to remember and reflect upon specific expectancy
behavior or outcome sequences (Lefcourt, 1976).
Perceived control is a generalized expectancy for internal as opposed to external
control reinforcements. Expectancy of internal versus external control of reinforcement
involves a causal analysis of success and failure. The generalized expectancy of internal
control refers to the perception of events as being a consequence of one's own actions
and therefore are perceived as potentially under personal control. Individuals who
perceive that events are unrelated to one's own behavior and therefore beyond personal
control have an external locus of control (Rotter, 1966).
Kelman and Lawrence (1972) conducted a survey that linked locus of control with
responsibility attribution that may have bearing on the link between external locus of
control and the propensity to initiate violent behavior. In their study, a sample of
Americans were questioned about the trial of Lieutenant Calley, the officer in charge of a
platoon of men who were given orders to kill each and every person in the village of My
Lai, including infants, children, women, and the elderly. According to their findings,
resistance to orders and the acceptance of responsibility when one is compliant to them
derives from the individual's maintenance of a framework of personal causation and the
ability to differentiate or asses the quality of demand made upon that individual. This
concept is important when considering negative peer pressure and linking locus of control
to influence resistance to violence and aggression.
Johnson and Gormly (1972) conducted a study that provided some support for the
link between locus of control and resistance to temptation. Fifth grade boys and girls
were classified as cheaters and non-cheaters on the basis of a behavioral test A
significant difference on Crandall's IAR scale was obtained and showed that female
students who cheated were more external that their non-cheating peers. Male students
had results in the same direction.
Midlarski (1971) found that individuals who were more internal on locus of
control were more likely to help another individual than were externals, despite the fact
that they were penalized for doing so. Internals seem to be more tolerant of discomfort in
doing what they consider to be correct than are the externals. In a similar study of
Johnson, Ackerman, Frank, and Fionda (1968), subjects had to make the choice between
resisting pressures to commit immoral acts and suffering ostracism, loneliness, and other
psychological stressors. Internals tolerated pain for actively doing what they considered
correct, while they expressed a willingness to risk social rejection for maintaining what
they construed as proper behavior. These studies support the hypothesis that when an
individual believes that he or she is the responsible agent of the outcomes of his or her
own life, he or she will resist influences that aim to bypass the individual's sense of
moral justice. The individual with internal locus of control is more likely to respond only
to those appeals that address themselves to his or her own beliefs and values.
The concept of deferred gratification in relationship to locus of control may also
have some bearing on the rise of violent and aggressive behaviors. Bialer (1961)
conducted the first empirical study supporting the connection between locus of control
and the ability to defer gratification. He found that deferred gratification was associated
with internal locus of control since internals are better able to maintain the tension
associated with delays than externals. Externals decline to postpone immediately
available pleasures for distant goals when daily events occur. Distant goals require the
sacrifice of immediate pleasure. This inability to defer gratification could conceivable
account for shoplifting, theft, or even perpetration of violence against other individuals.
The external desires immediate gratification to fulfill his wants and needs.
Locus of control has also been correlated with time-related measures (Platt &
Eisenman, 1968). They found that internals have a longer future time perspective than do
externals, which may account for more risk taking behaviors that are associated with
Conduct Disorder and other behavioral disorders that often include violence and
aggression. Related to that study was a study of suicide by Melges and Weisz (1971).
Their findings indicated that increases in suicide ideation were associated with more
negative evaluation of the personal future and with less internal control. A negative
outlook for the future and external control expectancies were associated with each other
and with suicide ideation.
Researchers have attempted to use locus of control to understand difficulties in
psychological functioning in regard to persons who are emotionally disturbed, learning
disabled, and delinquent Duke and Mullens (1973) found that hospitalized
schizophrenics were more external than hospitalized non-schizophrenics. The
relationship between externality and abnormality has been also shown with alcoholics
(Nowicki & Hopper, 1974). Emotionally disturbed children in residential treatment were
found to be more external in their locus of control (Nelson, Finch, Montgomery, &
Externality is also associated with subjects with identified learning problems
(Hallahan, Gajar, Cohen, & Tarver, 1978). Nowicki (1981) found that children become
more internal with age, contrary to the findings for learning disabled children. This
suggests that increasing externality may result from the compounding of frustration and
helplessness in children with learning problems over time.
Juvenile delinquency as well as learning disabilities seem to be positively
associated with externality (Duke & Fenhagen, 1975). Beck and Ollendick (1975)
reported that while the overall level of locus of control is more external for the
delinquents, within the delinquent group itself some appear to be more internal. Those
delinquents who are more internal appear to engage in more positive behavior than do
their external peers. Similar to the normal population, delinquents became more internal
as a result of treatment or rehabilitation programs (Eitzen, 1974; Gaar, 1981).
Problems associated with locus of control seem to be linked with the dimension of
externality. Persons with an external locus of control are less successfidul in coping with
stressful situations than are individuals who generally believe that they are in control of
the events of their lives (Krause, 1987). To summarize, those problems include: low
influence resistance; low resistance to temptation; inability to tolerate discomfort while
helping another individual; low ability to defer gratification; short future time
perspective; high suicide ideation; and negative future outlook. Persons who are
emotionally disturbed, who have learning disabilities, and those who are delinquent are
more likely to have an external locus of control.
Problems Associated with the Risk of Violence
The shootings that took place at Columbine High School have brought into focus
the rising levels of violence that are occurring in many schools across the country.
Young people are inundated by the glorification of violence in the media as portrayed on
television, movies, video games, and in popular music. The problem of violence poses
great concerns about the psychological well-being of children, adolescents, and adults.
A recent article in the Journal of Counseling & Development examines the social
context of bullying behaviors in early adolescents. According to Espelage, Bosworth,
and Thomas (2000), bullying behaviors can create serious consequences for both the
victim and the perpetrator. The entire climate of a school can be affected by unchecked
threats and intimidation. Bullies are more at risk of becoming physically abusive as
adults and of having a criminal record.
Bandura (1973, 1986) contended that the external environment contributes to
acquiring and maintaining aggressive behaviors. Children learn from peers and adults to
use aggressive means to achieve their goals. Aggression, which is the antecedent of
violence, has been found to also be associated with peer rejection and peer pressure (The
American Teacher, 1999), degree of drug use in adolescence, and adolescent delinquency
(U. S Department of Justice, 1991). Adult criminality such as abuse, neglect, and other
negative behaviors perpetrated toward youth also exacerbates youth violence.
About 10 % of all 1992 high school seniors reported that they did not feel safe at
school while 23 % reported that there were often fights between different racial/ethnic
groups (U.S. Department of Education, Digest of Education Statistics 1999). In 1996,
students ages 12 through 18 were victims of nearly 255,000 incidents of nonfatal serious
violent crime at school. About 671,000 such crimes took place away from school (U.S.
Department of Education, 1998).
Teachers as well as students are at risk for experiencing violence in the schools.
From 1992 to 1996, teachers were victims of 1,581,000 nonfatal crimes at school,
including 962,000 thefts and 619,000 violent crimes including rape, sexual assault,
robbery, aggravated and simple assault (U.S. Department of Education, 1998).
In 1998, 1,598 children under the age of 18 were murdered (U.S. Department of
Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1998). Although school associated violent
deaths have decreased in recent years, multiple victim homicides in schools have
increased (U. S. Department of Education & U. S. Department of Justice, 1999). 1,470
children under the age of 18 were arrested for murder in 1998; 3,769 were arrested for
rape; 51,360 adolescents were arrested for aggravated assault; and 32,232 young people
under the age of 18 were arrested for having weapons in 1998 (U.S. Department of
Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1998).
Numerous social and environmental stressors impact the propensity for youth
violence. Among other factors include a growing diversity of K-12 student enrollment
All of the school shootings that have occurred over the past several years have been
perpetrated by white male students from middle class and suburban backgrounds.
Factors were evident that cultural-racial factors were implicit in the Columbine tragedy as
Harris and Klebold explicitly stated that they intended to shoot as many non-white
students as they could during their killing spree (Daniels, Arrendondo, &
D'Andrea, 1999). The media also explored the possibility that Christian students were
targeted by the two killers.
Students are finding easy access to hate groups that are involved in racist
behavior. The Southern Poverty Law Center identified 537 hate groups in 1997 (Daniels,
Arrendondo, & D'Andrea, 1999). Groups such as these are experiencing large increases
due to the primary recruiting tool that is provided by the internet.
Tensions from the lack of empathic understanding and the kinds of racial
problems that have been embedded in our consciousness as a nation, are likely to surface
as schools become more culturally diverse. The nation is shifting from a country that is
composed of a majority of persons who come from white European backgrounds to one
of a majority of individuals who are non-white and non-European. In 1997, the diversity
of the enrollment of K-12 students in the United States was 17.0% Black; 14.4%
Hispanic; 3,9% Asian American/Pacific Islander; 1.2% American Indian; 36.5% Non-
White; and 63.5% White (U.S. Department of Education, 1999). To add to the
imbalance, teachers are overwhelmingly represented by White females (84.7%).
Other problems associated with violence in our schools include sexual and gender
violence. Gays, lesbians, and women are devalued by our society. The National Health
and Education Consortium reports that every 12 seconds in the United States a woman is
battered (Daniels, Arredondo, & D'Andrea, 1999). Gays are being beaten and murdered
in our society and devalued often times in the schools.
Poverty promotes forms of personal violence. Poverty is suffered by 13,467,000
children in our country that renders them vulnerable to economic, educational, physical,
psychological and social problems (U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the
Census, 1998). Dignity and self-worth are eroded away, leaving individuals frustrated
and poised to react from the tension with sometimes violent and aggressive behaviors.
Combating the problem of school violence is a monumental task. Schools are
approaching the tide of violence by having zero tolerance policies for serious offenses, by
formal violence prevention and/or violence reduction programs, and by incorporating
conflict management, social skills training, counseling and other therapeutic activities
into the school curriculum. The reality is however, that to accomplish violence
prevention strategies in schools, more counselors and facilitators are needed to do the
work. According to Guerra (1998), there are approximately 90,000 school counselors
working in the U.S. public schools, with an average counselor-to-student ration of 517:1.
President Clinton joined with the U.S. Conference of Mayors that has called for the hiring
of 100,000 new school counselors. With that addition the ratio of counselor-to- students
would decrease to 250:1 (Guerra, 1998).
Still another problem engendered by the risk of violence in schools is the nature
and role of assessment. "The School Shooter," a 52-page study commissioned by the
FBI, backed by the Critical Incident Response Group, and the National Center for the
Analysis of Violent Crime, has been released (Simmons, 2000). The report presents a
four-part assessment tool for use by educators and counselors to identify children and
teens who may be on the edge of violent behavior. Counselors and educators have voiced
concerns about the instrument and according to Simmons (2000), cautions are being
sounded about responsible use of the instrument and the possible harm that could cause
for students who have been identified according to the "The School Shooter."
History of the Therapeutic Aspects of Art Processes
According to psychoanalytic theory, "men naturally create symbols because of the
human mental equipment they inherit" (Feldman, 1970, p. 150). Victor Lowenfeld
(1957), pioneer of art education in his classic Creative and Mental Growth, captured the
essence of the instinctual need and drive that humans have for creative expression:
One of these intrinsic qualities is that every human being is endowed
with a creative spirit. Soon after birth he begins to investigate and
explore the use of his ability for new adventures. New findings in
psychology consider this one of the "basic drives" a drive without
which we cannot exist; the ability to create is probably what distinguishes
man most from animals. (p. 432-433)
Since ancient times, man has resorted to the creative processes for spiritual and
emotional healing and as an avenue for transcendence above the psychic pain wrought by
the struggles and challenges of life. As man moved beyond cave paintings and began
creating art for everyday use, ceremonial use, ritual use, and art as a form of
communication with the spirits, art became infused with meaning. The artist's
involvement with the material took on the form of a magical and spiritual union. The
body, mind, and spirit forces of the external world in relationship to the unconscious and
conscious man created the healing elements in primitive art. The connection between art,
the psyche, the body and the spirit were completely fused in the life of the primitive man
and greatly linked to his psychological well-being.
Ernst Harms, founder and former editor of the International Journal ofArt
Psychotherapy, studied the history of the healing effects of arts by tracing back to biblical
sources which describe how King Saul urged David to cure his depression by playing the
harp (Harms, 1975).
In 1925, Nolan C. Lewis used free painting with adult neurotics as a modality for
healing (Naumburg, 1947). And as early as 1915, Margaret Naumburg, founder of the
Walden School, wrote about her awareness of the relationship between children's
drawings and psychotherapy as she became convinced that free art expression
represented a symbolic form of speech that was basic to all education (Naumburg, 1947).
Under the direction of Nolan C. Lewis, Naumburg initiated an experimental research
program in the use of spontaneous art in therapy with behavior-problem children at New
York State Psychiatric Unit Her prolific writing and seminars spearheaded growing
interest in the field of art as therapy and stimulated mental health professionals and
educators to question and explore the possibilities of art as a therapeutic tool.
Early practitioners of psychoanalysis recognized the value of creative processes
for mental health. Jung (1956) encouraged patients to draw in spontaneous fashion their
innermost feelings and fantasies. "Art was perceived as a revealing and healing activity
by a number of pioneering psychiatrists early in this century" (Vondracek & Corneal,
1995, p. 294). Jung saw art and symbolic creations as a key to the unconscious and
Elinor Ulmon, an art educator, trained under Naumburg and added significant
impetus to the development of art as a therapeutic modality. In 1961, she published the
first issue of the Bulletin ofArt Therapy, which continues to be a major publication in the
field. The American Art Therapy Association was officially launched in 1969 with the
goal of art therapy as "help for the individual child or adult to find a more compatible
relationship between his inner and outer worlds" (Corsini, 1981, p.3).
Although the healing and empowering qualities of the creative processes have
been established historically, contemporary use of art as a therapeutic medium has been
received with some criticism. Difficulties arise because managed care has created time
constraints and the need for empirical research. As revealed by numerous case studies,
counseling strategies that employ creative processes have been proven successful with a
wide variety of populations but these methods are difficult to quantify and to produce
measurable outcomes, often requiring more time than brief therapy permits. Vondracek
and Corneal (1995) contend that the nature of the creative experience of producing art is
subjective and perhaps the quantitative methods of research are inadequate or
inappropriate for understanding and evaluating art processes.
Sheppard (1994) studied art processes as healing forces that bring about
"harmony of body, mind, and spirit" (p.103). As a nurse and artist, Sheppard conducted a
qualitative investigation of nurses across the country who answered the question of
"where do we go when we wish to heal ourselves or when we want to re-create
ourselves?" Interviews and written questionnaires formed the basis for this
phenomenological study that produced unanimous response to the notion of art as a
healing force. Sheppard's research involved talk about the healing power of art in the
lives of the nurses who were interviewed as well as in their practices with clients. She
concluded through the study that: (1) Art heals by empowering the individual to bring
forth something from nothing. Suffering is often turned into creative energy, bringing the
creator in touch with personal power through the artistic act. (2) Art heals by offering
individuals a way to understand their deeper selves, by contacting the beauty of
expression of our inner natures. And (3) art heals in a direct fashion when used as a
therapeutic tool, through images and symbols that can enact physical healing.
Dossey, Guzzetta, and Kenner (1985) studied how patients could draw their
disease processes with simple crayons and paper. By combining art with relaxation and
imagery, patients drew healing images. Music and relaxation was researched with
coronary care patients. They reported that they felt better and had fewer complications
than did the control group or relaxation alone group.
The Arts in Medicine movement has reestablished the age-old connection
between body-mind-and spirit "For the nurse or physician in the medical center, art and
healing involves observing how thoughts, emotions, and images change the body. As we
make art, we see images. The images involve the firing of neurons in different areas of
the brain" (Samuels & Lane, 1998, p. 82). According to this study, when an individual
produces art, the possibility of a deep sense of joy or the release of tension, stimulates the
healing state of the body to engage. The hypothalamic pathways of the parasympathetic
nervous system send messages to the cells. A chemical change also takes place in the
brain. The hypothalamus sends messages to the adrenal glands to release endorphins and
neurotransmitters release endorphins, which can relieve pain and make the immune
system more effective. "The endorphins are like opiates, or mind-altering drugs, and they
make a person feel expanded, connected, at one, relaxed, vibrating, tingling, at peace"
(Samuels & Lane, 1998, p. 85). This physiological phenomenon has a positive effect on
the perception of well-being and mental health. Emotional burdens and burnout can be
relieved by engaging in art processes. When an individual creates symbols of internal
experiences, meanings that can be understood by a therapist can be discussed and the
client feels affirmed (Linesch, 1993).
The use of art can enhance the expression of fantasy, which can be a source of
satisfaction and accomplishment, according to Oster and Gould (1987). "By graphically
representing some of these feelings, clients bring them out in the open, confront them,
and learn to gain control over them. When this has been achieved, individuals in therapy
can then begin to feel more in control emotionally, which makes it easier to think for
themselves and gain a better sense of identity" (p. 64).
Moon (1994) cites additional intrinsic healing qualities of art that can promote
healing and mental health: (I) Art is existential. Expression leads to mindfulness, which
leads to change/action. (2) The arts are authentic modes of communication where stories
of selihood can be safely told. (3) Art is soul and from the depths of human experience,
creative processes make meaning visible and concrete. (4) Art is mastery and facilitates a
link with self-discipline, which is bound to self-regard. (5) Images produced by an
individual are living metaphors that invite reverence and respect. (6) Expressive
processes are empowering:
The empowering nature of art therapy is found in its capacity
to accept and embrace distress, not in its desire to rid the patient
of it. The arts bring our deepest fear, loneliness, and anguish to our
attention. Rather than 'cure' these discomforting aspects of life,
art therapy enables the persons to live with them courageously and
with meaning. (Moon, 1994, p. 146)
(7) Art is play-dynamic, sensual, mysterious, filled with fantasy and provides a safe
atmosphere for expression of emotions. And finally, (8) art is relationship because it
engages people with self and others and provides a structure for chaos.
Wadeson (1980) proposed that the creative experience allows one to escape
oneself in a kind of transcendent process that induces the feeling of being part of a more
universal experience than the unique condition of one's own life. She suggested that a
profound understanding of oneself is obtained through that integration, which in itself can
be extremely healing. In essence, art processes are therapeutic by changing ones
physiology and attitude.
Art Education in the Schools
Art education in the schools was pioneered by Victor Lowenfeld (1957), whose
publication of the Eighth Edition of Creative and Mental Growth in 1987,27 years after
his death, is a tribute to the vitality of the author's ideas on art education. His basic
philosophy was to develop in every human being the uppermost potential creative ability.
Lowenfeld lectured at Harvard and Columbia from 1939 to 1946 and became a member
of the faculty of the Pennsylvania State University, where he remained until his death in
1960. There he established the first major center for doctoral research and study in art
education. His writings and teachings have rendered him the most influential figure in
American art education.
Lowenfeld's work contributed to the description and analysis of the evolution of
children's art through a series of developmental stages. The description of these stages
remains a valuable tool for every art teacher and art therapist today (Ulman, 1987).
Lowenfeld stressed the importance of nonvisual (bodily) experience as a resource for
expression. In addition, he stressed the use of creative activity as a means of self-
realization and stressed the establishment of rapport between teacher and student as of
great importance. "The establishment of rapport depends greatly on the teacher's ability
to identify himself with his case, to put himself in his place" (Lowenfeld, 1957).
This feeling of empathy is one of the most important prerequisites, according to
Lowenfeld's monumental chapter on "Therapeutic Aspects of Art Education" that
appeared in the Third Edition (1957) assists art educators today in clarifying problems in
the schools through analyzing the extreme cases that he brought forward in this work.
The influence of the broadening effect of art on the development of speech, the relieving
effect of creative activity upon our emotions, and the influence on our mental growth has
been demonstrated by mentally defective subjects whose rigid patterns were difficult to
change, but nevertheless, changed. Lowenfeld's work further impacts contemporary art
education in the schools by confirming that through improving sensory experiences, self
concept is elevated, tension is alleviated, and the self gains contact and connection with
Fowler (2000) of the Getty Foundation, contends that when we have strong arts
programs in the schools, we have strong schools. According to Fowler (2000), "The arts
humanize the curriculum while affirming the interconnectedness of all forms of
knowing" (p. 1). Art in the schools teaches divergent thinking and encourages students to
come up with different answers rather than ingrained learned responses. Creative
problem solving that is encouraged by the arts, invites student participation in the
learning process instead of telling them how to think. Art engages the minds of students
and encourages them to sort out alternatives through the medium of expression. Critical
thinking, analysis, and judgment are all involved in engagement with the creative
process. Art is an engaging way to learn and fosters independent thinking, which is the
basis of creativity.
Art education in the schools is a way to bridge the individual to a broader culture.
It is a basic way by which individuals define who they are. Taylor (1999) forges a link
between the performing artists and art educators by encouraging the aptitude of creating
the capacity for imagining something that does not exist which in turn fosters empathy.
"Empathy for others factor into understanding yourself and feeling connected to your
own kind and the broader your empathy is, the greater your ability to interact with people
from more diverse backgrounds. The arts are about, for, and by all of us" (Taylor, 1999,
p. 10). The arts in schools put students in touch with their own and other people's
feelings. The arts develop capacity for compassion and humaneness. In concert with
Taylor, Fowler (2000) of the Getty foundation contends that it is not intellect that
connects us to other people; it is feeling. The arts give us a means for communicating
human essence and serve as ways we can identify with those who live with us on our
planet. The arts teach respect.
Art in schools serves as language. Murray Sidlin, conductor of the New Haven
Symphony, is cited by Boyer (2000):
When words are no longer adequate, when our passion is greater
than we are able to express in a usual manner, people turn to art.
Some people go to the canvas to paint; some stand up and dance.
But we all go beyond our normal means of communicating and this
is the common human experience for all people on this planet.
(Boyer, 2000. p. 1)
Art education is basic according to Boyer (2000) because it expands language. The arts
are languages that reach all people at their deepest most essential level. The quality of a
civilization is often measured by the breadth of the symbols it uses.
Art education plays an important role in the school curricula: the release of
students' imaginations (Greene, 1995) and to reveal in a visual sense the students' beliefs
about themselves, their roles and their place in society. Willis and Schubert (1991)
perceive art education as a powerful way for students to explore their world, know
themselves, and become better human beings. Miller (2000) contends that there is
"mounting evidence that suggests that the study of the arts actually increases the growth
of neural pathways, aids in improving memory, and promotes creative problem solving"
(p.75). The arts in schools are important to every discipline (Amrnstine, 1990; 1995;
Collins, 1995; Eisner, 1991; Greene, 1995; Harste, 1994).
The inclusion of character education in art education is one proactive response to
the condition of the world. The affective curricular focus is aimed toward educational
and social change. Ethnographic studies are conducted exploring socio-political beliefs
students bring to their artwork; working with refugees; teaching students with physical
limitations; issues of success at learning; and the study of folk art as a catalyst for
learning are some of the important issues with which art educators are grappling (Bolin,
1999). One of the thrusts of art education is to raise the people's consciousness, which is
the first step to social change.
Ideas drawn from connective aesthetics (Gablik, 1995) and enlightened listening
(Levin, 1989) are among important issues brought to art education in the schools today.
Feminist pedagogy (Sandell, 1991), including caring, connections, community, modeling,
dialogue, practice and confirmation (Noddings, 1984, 1992) are examined through action
research projects by art educators and artists (Irwin, Crawford, Mastri, Neale, Robertson,
& Stephenson, 1997). Art teachers are employing deconstructionist practices as
reconstructionist curriculum in order to educate students to be attentive to nuance (Gude,
Art education in the schools provides a proactive approach to prevention of drop-
outs (Unsworth, 1990) and the development of empathy (Stout, 1999) by forging a caring
connection between teacher and student. Rather than being the information giver, the art
teacher becomes a facilitator who takes a more empathic approach. A moral-cognitive
approach to education has its foundation in the arts where students' thoughts and feelings
can be turned toward imaginative exploration. Through aesthetic experience, students
can live new experiences and move beyond the limitations of self
karg Group Develomnnal Guidanc and hIntrvnions
Large group developmental guidance is a parsimonious and facilitative attempt to
reach large numbers of students through proactive and preventative interventions planned
around a series of lessons that are part of an organized guidance curriculum (Myrick,
1993). Large group guidance is supported by many in the literature as a means of coping
with the growing numbers in counselor student loads (Borders & Drury, 1992; Corey,
1995; and Praport 1993). Counselors become available to greater numbers of students
through large group counseling units (May & Housley, 1996; Phillips & Phillips, 1992).
Strong support exists for the effectiveness of large group guidance interventions (Prout &
Before counselors were employed in the schools, students were dependent upon
classroom teachers to help with any personal, social, or career-related issues. As
developmental guidance became instituted throughout our schools, counseling and
guidance curriculum has been designed to enhance personal, social, vocational, and
academic growth of the student "The primary goal is to help students learn more
effectively and efficiently" (Myrick, 1993, p. 1).
The Developmental Model of Guidance and Counseling
Since human development occurs in stages over time, the developmental guidance
approach is based on the rationale that the developmental process can be enhanced.
Planned, age-appropriate educational interventions are developed that help students
acquire knowledge, basic skills, self awareness, and attitudes necessary for successful
mastery of normal developmental tasks essential for effective functioning and happiness
(Borders & Drury, 1992; Wittmer, 1993). Personal services are offered to students
through the developmental guidance curriculum in which life skills are identified and
emphasized as a part of helping to prepare students for adulthood. The guidance
curriculum is complementary to the academic curriculum (Myrick, 1993).
The developmental model gives students the opportunity to investigate problems
that they might encounter in their personal development in advance of onset.
Developmental guidance interventions are often focused on helping students understand
themselves and others. Developmental guidance counselors assist students in making the
connection between thinking, feelings, and behaviors so they can make responsible
choices while understanding their own and others' feelings.
The opportunity for learning about self and others is an essential part of the
organized curriculum of developmental guidance. Skills that are learned around this
basic premise enhance the total learning experience of the student Caring conditions that
promote the respect and dignity in an environment of positive interpersonal interaction
support the developmental model. Conditions of caring, understanding, acceptance,
respect, and trustworthiness are among the values that are promoted by developmental
guidance and have been cited as most desirable in a helping relationship (Carkhuff&
Berenson, 1967; Rogers, 1957).
Among the goals that most characterize the developmental guidance and
counseling model are: (1) understanding the school environment; (2) understanding self
and others; (3) understanding attitudes and behavior; (4) decision making and problem
solving; (5) interpersonal and communications skills; (6) school success skills; (7) career
awareness and educational planning; and (8) community pride and involvement (Myrick,
Large Group Guidance Interventions
Prevention, human growth and development, study skills, social skills, making
friends, conflict resolution, college and careers choices are examples of large group
developmental guidance units. Units are planned and outlined with a specific number of
sessions, usually between six and eight class period sessions.
Activities that engage the students in experiential learning and promote both
cognitive and affective domains are included in the session planning. These types of
activities that utilize multiple learning styles and intelligence (Gardner, 1993) and which
have a feeling-focus (Wittmer & Myrick, 1989) are those which have the most
fimdamental psychological basis for learning. Art activities, metaphors, games, magic,
humor, literature, role playing, and creative writing are examples of experiential
Many reasons are cited in the literature for the efficacy of group-work that apply
to large group developmental guidance. Reasons for using group-work can be
summarized as follows: (1) Social learning is largely done in groups; therefore group-
work provides a relevant context for practice. (2) People with similar needs can provide
mutual support for each other, and help with mutual problem solving. (3) Group
members can learn from the feedback from other members. (4) Group members can try
new roles, from seeing how others react, and can be supported and reinforced.
(5) Groups can be catalysts for developing latent resources and abilities. (6) Groups are
more suitable for certain individuals, e.g., those who find the intimacy of individual work
too intense. And (7) groups can be more democratic, sharing power and responsibility
Art Processes in School and Counseling Literature
Hoffman and Lamme (1989), authors of the book Learning from the Inside Out,
express the commitment of the inclusion of the expressive arts within the educational
curriculum. Children make connections between unfamiliar ideas and their own lived-
through experience in order to find personal meaning in new information. This is the
process of learning from the inside. It is the contention of these authors that expressive
arts contribute significantly to learning, while fostering divergent thinking, the
development of the imagination, and self and other awareness. Creative modalities are
powerful connections that join cognitive and affective experiences. According to these
scholars, the creative arts make curriculum come alive, giving meaning and value to the
Cochran (1996) utilized play and art therapy to help culturally diverse students
overcome barriers to school success. Citing Axline (1947) and Oaklander (1978) as
pioneers in the field of play, art is seen as a component of play. Axline (1947) defined
the significance of play and play therapy this way:
Play therapy is based upon the fact that play is the child's natural
medium of self-expression. It is an opportunity which is given to
the child to "play out" his [or her] feelings and problems just as,
in certain types of adult therapy, an individual "talks out" his [or her]
Play and art are both healing and growth oriented processes. Using expressive art
in school counseling activities gives the student the opportunity to work symbolically
through confusions, anxieties, and conflicts (Cochran, 1998).
Hill and Tollerud (1996) infused art and creative experiences in group counseling
for restoring dignity to at-risk youth. The authors defined dignity as "a perception of
respect and competence that allows a person to feel valued, to be authentic, to grow and
learn, and to value and care about others" (p.122). Hill and Tollerud advocated the use of
art as a valuable part of restoring personal dignity that affects one's ability to interact
peacefully with others. Creativity and self-expression are facilitated by the counselor
who encourages students to write, keep a journal, draw, work with clay, and experiment
with other artistic endeavors. Dignity is enhanced by creative experiences because they
foster self-worth (Brown, 1971) and link students to their own uniqueness.
Kahn (1999) encouraged the school counselor to use arts-based interventions with
adolescents. Issues of self-esteem, behavior, and interventions focused on alcohol use
and abuse are among those addressed in this practical and empowering model of
Chochran (1998) advocated the use of art and play (Child Centered Play Therapy)
to promote the counseling relationship in order to facilitate change in students with
conduct disorder. Art and play provide safe and appropriate means of expressing intense
feelings that might otherwise be expressed through violent and aggressive ways.
Parker (1999) incorporated art in both counseling and consultation interventions
as a means for building in rituals into family dynamics. This author advocated ritual as a
means of understanding personal significance and roles in relation to others. Ritual gives
security, structure, and meaning to the individual's life and enriches the family
experience. By drawing symbols (Jung, 1970; May, 1991) to express meaning for family
or to encapsulate precious family experiences, powerful lingering memories are made.
Symbolic action can be especially effective in conveying abstract concepts such as love,
unity, and forgiveness which are all empowering qualities that enhance both the success
of the family and the personal, educational, and social success of the individual.
Creativity and humor are important elements in the enhancement of student
resilience according to Parr, Montgomery, and DeBell (1998). These authors contend
that "Resilience can be manifested in and nurtured by creativity. The creative arts
provide an outlet for students to express their feelings, to work out their issues, and to
explore life. Creative problem solving often opens up new possibilities, clearing the way
for alternative solutions never considered before" (p.27).
Omizo, Omizo, and Kitaoka (1999) utilized art and guided affective and cognitive
imagery to enhance the self-esteem among Hawaiian children in a public elementary
school. Among the issues effectively addressed in this study through art and guided
visualization were: problem solving, self-defeating behaviors, self-affirmation, family,
relaxation, self-esteem, and enhancement of the imagination. A MANOVA on the
posttest dependent measures revealed significant differences between experimental and
control groups on general self-esteem and on academic/school-related self-esteem.
The importance of the use of the arts in therapy and counseling for Native
Americans was discussed by Dufrene and Coleman (1994). These authors advise that
any counseling orientation or approach is usually recognized as an intrusion by Native
Americans, and strongly suggest acknowledgment of spirituality and art in the Native
culture with Native clients. The authors contend that since Native Americans regard art
and ritual as an element of life, the counselor and educator should consider investigation
of dance, poetry, and the plastic and graphic arts as possibility for inclusion in the
Hayes (2000) wrote about the power of artistic expression to convey life
experiences and to facilitate communication. The author suggested art as a solo approach
to open the door for other psychotherapeutic interventions. Mask-making was cited as an
experiential activity that helps individuals that have been institutionalized. According to
Hayes (2000), masks can assist individuals who are depressed, who have personality
disorders, or who are abusing drugs to reclaim their identity. Artistic expression is often
the first step in involving institutionalized individuals in treatment
Sabol-Grinberg (2000) reviewed an author's attempt to help people connect
through the healing arts. Among those that were mentioned are dance, art, music, and
creative writing. "Expressions can be an image or a series of images- not necessarily
words. Just as music facilitates emotion, so does art" (Sabol-Grinberg, 2000, p.11).
Visual arts provide a non-threatening approach for children and adolescents to
express innermost thoughts, feelings and ideas (Geldard & Geldard, 1999). By drawing a
picture, young persons can externalize thoughts or feelings, and by placing themselves in
the picture, he or she can be observed as separate from self. This allows one to reframe,
and adjust attitudes, feelings, and beliefs, and reintegrate those cognitions into
consciousness. Art in therapy or group counseling experiences can assist one in working
through conflicting ideas and feelings; exploration of feelings; development of insight;
exploration of family relationships, and identification of themes. Art assists in
relationship building between counselor and client and is a natural symbolic language
that enhances personal meaning and sense of self.
Teachers As Facilitators
ACA guidelines recommend that schools should have one counselor for every 250
students. Currently, the average ratio is an average of 513 students to one counselor
(Guerra & Schmidt, 1999). Although counselors are trained to work with the many
problems that are facing our youth today, it impossible for counselors to forge a caring
connection with each individual student that can make a difference for them personally,
socially, emotionally, and cognitively.
Counselors are bridging the gap by training teachers in facilitative techniques and
stressing the infusion of affect in the school environment. To assist in providing this
caring connection for all students, more emphasis is being placed upon cooperation,
communication, and collaboration. Affect within the school setting can be thought of as
personal awareness, creative behavior, interpersonal understanding (within and across
groups), affect in teaching styles and methods, and affect as experienced with adult
models. Affect enters the curriculum when any experience influences how young people
see themselves, the world around them, and their place in that world (Beane, 1990).
Bemak (2000) discusses the role of the counselor as collaborator who provides in-
service in facilitative methods to classroom teachers. By de-expertizing the school
counselor, the goal of developmental guidance is achieved. "Teachers are the heart of a
schools guidance program. They work directly with students in their classes and student-
teacher relationships influence the school atmosphere" (Myrick, 1993, p. 61). Good
guidance permeates the entire school environment where each individual is respected and
Davis and Garrett (1998) recommend a proactive approach by counselors to
bridge the gap between counseling and teaching. Because of frequent contact between
students and teachers, students often feel more comfortable talking with a teacher rather
than a counselor about their concerns. Counselors can actually capitalize on this dynamic
by asking teachers to attend initial counseling sessions with students. Teachers add
valuable insight and often achieve a sense of empowerment when they have a close
working relationship with the counselor. "Having them participate in the facilitative
relationship as an expert or mentor only reaffirms their professionalism and expertise as
an educator, as well as giving them a first-hand view of what the school counselor does"
(Davis & Garrett, 1998, p. 55).
Wittmer and Myrick (1989) discuss the powerful impact that a teacher as
facilitator can have on the lives of his or her students. According to these pioneers in the
field of developmental guidance, a teacher who is committed to facilitating learning is
one who is attentive, genuine, understanding, respectful, knowledgeable, and
communicative. In addition, they provide learning situations where learning is personally
meaningful, positive and nonthreatening, self-initiated, self-evaluated, and feeling-
Wittmer and Myrick (1989) have collected data from students about teachers who
have had a positive impact Among those qualities of facilitative teachers that are listed
by students are: good listeners, empathic, caring, concerning, genuine, warm, interested,
knowledgeable, trusting, friendly, sense of humor, dynamic, and ability to communicate.
Wittmer and Myrick (1989) express that "If we are to facilitate personal growth, we must
have the ability and the courage to enter into the lives of our students, feeling their
failures, successes, triumphs, and disappointments. We must be willing to share their
hurt and their pride" (p. 19).
The willingness to hold paradox together is the mark of a facilitative teacher.
Action and rest, thought and feeling, tears and laughter are intimate and inseparable
companions (Palmer, 1998). The individual needs both community and solitude; both
relationship and individuality. When individuality splits from community, it is no longer
rich and fulfilling but becomes loneliness and isolation. When community splits from
solitude, it becomes an impersonal crowd rather than a rich network of culture. The
facilitative teacher assists understanding of self and others as the individual develops
within a network of caring, cooperation, and communication.
Art Teacher as Facilitator
The art classroom is a natural environment for the development of understanding
of self and others. Art media naturally dredges up the emotional content of the
unconscious and symbols expressed in artistic expressions are fertile ground for working
through personal issues relating to ideas, beliefs, feelings, and behaviors. In the art
classroom, head is not separated from heart; facts are not separated from feelings; theory
is not separated from practice; and teaching is not separated from learning. Due to the
richly affective content of the art curriculum that links humankind in a web of creative
experience and celebration of diversity, connections are naturally made between self and
medium, self and others, student and teacher.
The art teacher is in the position to be naturally facilitative. The art educator
often looks at teaching as his or her art and the students as the medium. Empathic
understanding is a core concept of art education, infused as a standard of practice in the
curriculum. Benchmarks of standards of practice focus on understanding diversity and
the celebration of cultural contributions to the richness of artistic heritage (Florida
Department of Education, Sunshine State Standards, 2000).
Merle Flannery (1995) in her book Principles of Teaching Art, described the
type of impact that a facilitative and empathic teacher can have on students within the
The art teacher, as artist of the human soul, has the task of being
a unique living force that unfolds through another living force- the
student There is a dynamism between teacher and student To
develop this dynamism to its full potential, the artist (teacher or
painter) must learn about his or her medium. Knowledge of the
medium, gives the artist the aesthetic power to allow for and to help
themedium become most fully itself. The artist can act through the
medium while at the same time letting it take its own direction.
The medium "gives" itself to the artist and lets itself be formed,
actualizing this particular potential in the hands of a particular
artist. The artist's aesthetic vision and power is able to bring new
form to the medium which would not have been possible without
the particular teacher's unique action (p.237-238).
Palmer (1998) discussed the fact that good teachers facilitativee teachers) possess
a capacity for connectedness. He contended that the connections are not made with
methods but in the heart where intellect and emotion and spirit converge within self. This
space in the heart of the teacher is the crucible where the potential and the truth of each
individual student is encouraged to be heard, to be appreciated, to be celebrated.
According to Palmer (1998), the facilitative teacher reads between the lines and listens to
the voice before it is spoken:
What does it mean to listen to a voice before it is spoken? It means making
space for the other, being aware of the other, paying attention to the other,
honoring the other. It means not rushing to fill our student's silences with
fearful speech of our own and not trying to coerce them into saying things
that we want to hear. It means entering empathically into the student's
world so that he or she perceives you as someone who has the promise of
being able to hear another person's truth. (Palmer, 1998, p.46)
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a teacher
facilitated large group counseling intervention on locus of control, level of risk of
initiated violence, and level of emotional empathy of high school art students in grades
nine, ten, eleven, and twelve. More specifically, the arts-based intervention focused on
experiential processes that actively engage students in affective, perceptual kinds of
understanding that lead to creative expression and communication as a form of action.
This intervention was aimed at helping students identify their own beliefs, feelings, and
emotions as well as to encourage their active involvement in trying to sense, perceive,
share, and conceptualize another person's manner of experiencing the world. In addition,
this intervention was involved in helping students increase internal resources that assist in
moderating violent behavior by refraining from an empathic point of reference.
Treatment and control groups completed pre-and postmeasures of locus of
control, risk of initiated violence, and emotional empathy. Art teachers were trained as
facilitators prior to delivery of the counseling intervention.
The population of interest was ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade art
students from public high schools in north Central Florida. Originally, 7 public high
schools in Alachua County were invited to participate in the study, including 1
Developmental Research School. In addition, 2 high schools in Levy County; 1 high
school in Gilcrest County; and 1 high school in Clay County were invited to participate.
One or two schools from each of the counties agreed to take part in the study, however, 3
dropped out before completion of the intervention and postmeasures.
The resultant sample of participating schools consisted of 1 Developmental
Research School (University of Florida), 2 high schools from Alachua County, and 1
high school from Gilcrest County. The students ranged from ages 14-18 and were from
several racially and economically diverse north central Florida communities.
The population of Alachua County, the largest county in the study, was
approximately 250,000 in 2000. This number includes 55,000 University of Florida
students. Alachua County public schools, as reported by the Florida Department of
Education (2001), had approximately 9,104 students in 7 high schools. Racial and ethnic
makeup of the schools' students included approximately 61% White, 30% African
American 5% Hispanic, 3.5% Asian, and less than 1% Native American/Alaskan Native
students. The breakdown of gender was approximately 50% male and 50% female. Of
those students, 21% received free and reduced lunch.
In those high schools, 37,331 acts of aggression and violence were reported for
the 1999-2000 school year. Of those cases, 70% were perpetrated by males and 30% by
females (Florida Department of Education 2000). Violence may be defined differently
among the schools but districts across the state are probably comparable.
The two Alachua County High Schools that completed the study were Gainesville
High School and Hawthorne High School. Demographically, Gainesville High School
had 1,842 students: 950 females and 892 males. Of those students 1,086 were White; 560
African American; 117 Hispanic; 63 Asian; 2 Native American/Alaskan Native; and 14
Mixed Race students (School Board of Alachua County, phone conversation, May 2001).
The high school population consisted of 52% female students and 48% of male students.
Hawthorne High School had a total of 302 students for the 2000-20001 school
year (School Board of Alachua County, phone conversation, May 2001). Of the students
193 were White; 105 African American; 3 Hispanic; 0 Asian; and 1 Native American.
Gender breakdown was approximately 500% female and 50% male.
P.K. Yonge, the Developmental Research School of the University of Florida, had
418 high school students in the academic year 2000-2001, and a racial and ethnic makeup
of 281 White; 86 African American; 31 Hispanic; 6 Asian; 3 American Indian/ Alaskan
Native students; and 11 Multi-Racial. Gender breakdown consisted of 46% male and
Gilcrest County had a population of 9,667 in 2000 (NACO, National Association
of Counties, 2001). Bell High School, another participant in the study, reported having
379 students (Bell High School, phone conversation, May 2001). Bell students were
predominately White with 375 in that category; 2 African American; 2 Hispanic; 0
Asians; 0 Native American/Alaskan Native; and 0 Multi-Racial. Gender breakdown was
50% male and 50 % female.
Statewide demographics are similar to those of Alachua County and those of P.K.
Yonge Developmental Research school with the exception being the African American
and Hispanic populations. African American students state-wide in a district average
26% while the state average for Hispanic students is 17%. Some of Florida's districts in
South Florida have an increased concentration of Hispanic students, which could account
for the increase in mean. Statewide, statistics are probably similar to those in Alachua
County for act of aggression and violence. However, the problem with interpretation of
the numbers stems from definitions of violence which vary from school to school and
district to district.
Limited reports from the schools participating in the study suggest that males are
more likely than females to be involved in incidents of violence and aggression. Data
also suggests that whites are more likely than students of other ethnic or racial categories
to be involved in aggression or violence.
Permission to conduct the study was requested of the University of Florida's
Institutional Review Board. Following that approval, the Departments of Research and
Evaluation of the Alachua County, Gilcrest County, Levy County, and Clay County
School Boards were approached for approval to administer the guidance interventions.
Each principal received a copy of the application for research that explained the purpose
of the study, briefly summarized the research design, and projected the amount of time
involved to complete the study. An accompanying letter was sent to the principles and
art teachers (Appendix A). Principals and art teachers decided collaboratively whether or
not to volunteer their school for the study.
Within each school choosing to participate, high school art students were
considered as the target population consisting of students from grades nine, ten, eleven,
and twelve. The teachers' classes were coded. One intact class was randomly assigned
as the experimental group and another class was randomly assigned as the control group.
A letter (Appendix A) was sent to the parents of students in both the experimental and
control groups concerning the nature of the intervention and asking permission to include
their child in the research study. Those students whose parents gave permission
participated as an intact class. Any students of the experimental and control group who
did not return parental permission were positioned in another area of the school to work
on previously assigned work during the delivery of the pre-and postmeasures and during
the intervention if they were in the experimental group. Students in the control group
who returned parental permission took the pre-and postmeasures but did not receive the
Of the 7 art teachers from Alachua, Gilcrest, Levy, and Clay counties in north
central Florida who initially agreed to participate in the study, 4 were able to complete
the intervention and the posttests within the allotted time frame of the study. The sample
included approximately N=1 53 students from 4 high schools. The assignment resulted in
78 students in the test group and 75 in the control group. Demographics from each of the
participating schools can be found on Tables 3-1 and 3-2.
Total Enrollment and Lunch Status by Participating School
School # Enrollment % Free/Reduced Lunch
1 302 48.7
2 379 45
3 1842 16.3
4 ,418 20
Students by Race for Participating School
School # % of Student by Race
White Af. American Hispanic Asian Native American Mixed
1 64 35 .010* 0.000* .003* .003*
2 99 .005* .005* 0.000* 0.000* 0.000*
3 59 30 .060* .030* .010* .007*
4 67 21 .070* .014* .007* .026*
*Notes less than 1%
Approximately 153 students participated in the study. Of those students, 78 were
assigned to treatment and 75 to control groups. The size of the intact groups varied from
17-23 students per large group guidance test group and from 15-25 for control group.
The demographics for the total sample as well as the treatment and control groups can be
found in Table 3-3 and Table 3-4.
Demographics of Sample by Sex and Race
Groupings Female Male M NA A H AA W
Total sample n=153
Treatment 40 38 7 0 1 1 14 55
Control ,41 34 2 1 5 5 17 45
Demograhics of Sample by Age and Class in School
Groupings Age Class in School
14 15 16 17 18 19 9 10 11 12
Total Sample, n= 153 9 49 39 40 14 2 52 41 38 22
Treatment, n=78 6 29 16 19 6 2 31 19 18 10
Control. n= 75 3 20 23 21 8 0 21 22 20 12
The research design that was used in this study was a pre-post control group
design with intact classes, as shown in Table 3-5. Students completed the Children's
Nowicki-Strickland Internal-External Locus of Control Scale (CNSIE); the Risk of
Eruptive Violence Scale (REV); and the Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES),
after random assignment to the treatment or control groups. Following the delivery of the
intervention, all measures were given again. The control group design and use of pre-
and postmeasures served to control for most sources of internal validity (Mertens, 1998).
High school art teachers trained as facilitators delivered the Walk a Mile in My
Shoes intervention. A workshop was presented by the researcher that included training in
high facilitative techniques for processing the experiential cognitive-affective activities.
The Facilitator's Manual was also reviewed during the training workshop (Appendix D).
Prepost Control Group Design
Conditions Pre Post
Treatment R Oi 02 03 X Oi 02 03
Control R 01 02 03 01 02 03
R = Random assignment of classes to groups
X = Large group guidance intervention for high school art students
Oi= Children's Nowicki-Strickland Internal-External Locus of Control Scale
02= Risk of Eruptive Violence Scale (REV)
03= (CNSIE) Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES)
The following hypotheses were evaluated at the .05 level of significance in this
* There will be no significant difference between the treatment and control group on
locus of control, as measured by the Children's Nowicki-Strickland Internal External
Locus of Control Scale (CNSIE).
* There will be no significant difference between students in the treatment and
control group on risk of initiated violence, as measured by the Risk of Eruptive
Violence Scale (REV).
* There will be no significant difference between treatment and control group students
on emotional empathy, as measured by the Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale
* There will be no significant interaction between treatment and gender.
The researcher trained all of the art teachers who agreed to participate in the
study. Those involved in the study were all State of Florida certified art teachers.
Among the four teachers who finished the study, 1 holds a bachelor's degree, 2 hold a
master's degree, and 1 holds both a master's and specialist degree. The average
experience of the group of teachers was 20 years.
The "Teacher as Facilitator" (Table 3-6) workshop was held to train each of the
participating art teachers. At the workshop, the teachers received a guidance kit
containing the description of the project, information about the research procedures,
timelines, and guidelines to follow. Copies of the dependent measures with detailed
instructions and a training manual was also dispersed to the facilitator trainees.
The training manual included outlines of facilitative techniques, scripts for each
intervention activity and questions for processing the activities. Overheads of artwork,
audiotapes with recorded literature and hard copies of the printed literature were included
in the manual for the teacher. All materials were reviewed and discussed.
A simulation of the cognitive-affective activities was conducted to give teachers
first-hand experience regarding the experimental conditions of the study. The simulation
and all workshop materials were covered in attempt to control for differences in delivery
of the intervention. The procedures for collecting data were also explained. All teachers
were invited to consult with the researcher as needed.
Intact art classes were randomly assigned to treatment and control conditions.
Teachers were then given instructions on number-coding pre- and postmeasures to
protect the identity of the participants. Instructions for the administration of the
dependent instruments were reviewed and questions answered to insure uniformity of
delivery. All of the materials in the guidance kit as well as the student materials were
reviewed. The objectives and procedures for each activity were emphasized, as well as
encouragement to follow the facilitator's scripted leads, facilitative responses, and
Teacher as Facilitator Workshop Outline
* Nature of the Study
* Relations of Emotional Empathy With Control and Violence
Negative correlation of risk of initiated violence with emotional empathy and
their relationship to locus of control
Characteristics of aggression and violence in schools
Extent of the problem
Empathy and the art connection
Teacher as facilitator: Extending that which you already do
Reducing the risk of initiated violence through cognitive-affective intervention
* Research Procedures
Overview of the Design
Collecting pre- and posttest data
* Simulation of Delivery of Large Group Guidance Intervention
* Time-Line and Dates for Returning Materials
* Questions and Answers
Consistent and uniform procedure was practiced by the participants in the
intervention activities simulation experience. All of the art and literature used in the
intervention activities was discussed along with the possible emotional states that could
be evoked by the works explored. Questions were posed and answered.
Teachers were reminded of the research procedures throughout its duration by
calls of encouragement and clarification by the researcher. The researcher carried a cell
phone to insure immediate response to the teachers' consultation needs.
Guidance Unit Pescripfion
With the art teacher as facilitator, the group counseling intervention was delivered
in a large group format with intact high school art classes. The intervention was
delivered in six sessions that took place over a time frame of a single grading period.
Each session constituted forty-five to fifty minutes. This approach assisted teachers in
lesson planning and was less disruptive to their regular curriculum. The first meeting
with the students was used to administer and collect the dependent premeasures. The six
sessions focused on the arts-based guidance unit and activities. Postmeasures were
administered after the intervention was completed.
The intervention was designed around the theme of Walk A Mile in My Shoes.
Upon first introducing the study to the students, the teacher as facilitator classified goals
for the large group guidance process and thanked students for their willingness to
participate in the experimental research. Trust and acceptance was extended by insuring
students that their responses would not be judged or graded. Activities were preceded by
psycho-educational background information concerning the growing diversity of our
nation and the nature of school and societal violence. Discussion questions that were
outlined in the facilitator's manual were generated to set the stage for defining empathy
and linking lack of understanding with non-acceptance, discrimination, and other
negative attitudes and actions. A brief outline of the sessions can be found in Table 3-7.
The complete Walk a Mile in My Shoes intervention can be found in Appendix D.
Walk a Mile in My Shoes: Guidance to End Violence
Session # Title of Session Content Objectives
Session #1 "I Shined Their Shoes" 1. Increase knowledge of link of
lack of empathy to violence
2. Explore issues that impact
3. Experiential art and literature
activity to express feelings and
cognitions through word and
Understanding Suffering from Racism symbols
Session #2 "My Shoes Came from 1. Link control and empathy
the Dumpster" 2. Reinforce goals 1,2,3 above
Understanding Suffering from Poverty and Homelessness
Session #3 "My Shoes Carry a Heavy 1. Link thinking, feelings, behavior
Load" 2. Reinforce goals above
Understanding Suffering from Weight Bigotry and Sexism
Session #4 "My Shoes Never Touch 1. Increase knowledge of self and
the Ground" others
2. Reinforce goals from previous
Understanding Suffering from Physical and/or Mental Disabilities
Session #5 "He Hit Me With His Shoe 1. Increase knowledge of emotional
then Assaulted Me" and physical scars that affect mood
2. Reinforce goals from above
Understanding Suffering from Abuse and Domestic Violence
Session #6 "Persecution Accompanies 1. Increase knowledge of need to
the Path of My Shoes" accept, respect, and live at peace
with each others' differences
2. Reinforce above goals
Understand Suffering from Cultural or Religious Intolerance Termination.
After the introductory material, Walk a Mile in My Shoes was then moved into the
activity phase. Students listened to passages from literature and viewed works of art that
were highly emotive, involving human beings in various life situations. Students were
encouraged to sense, perceive, conceptualize and respond as if they were the main
characters in both the art and the literature that was being experienced. The goal was to
embrace some of the phenomenological perspective of the character and try to perceive
the world in some measure as experienced by that individual.
Students responded initially with stream of consciousness writing. They were
instructed to identify feelings and to write how they were feeling without worrying about
grammar and punctuation. After the writing, symbolic images were drawn, painted, or
modeled from clay, to recreate moods and meanings.
After engagement with the media, teachers processed the experiential learning by
asking open questions about thinking, feeling, and doing. Teachers used clarifying,
summarizing, and feeling-focussed responses to expand the activity and link participants'
ideas. To make the leap (linking and extending the activity process), teachers encouraged
students to identify their own faulty beliefs, reframe, and extend the experience to
possible future situations.
Students learned to identify how the lack of empathic understanding can lead to
aggression and violence and were encouraged to use empathic self-talk to intercede when
they felt at-risk for self-initiate violence. Students were encouraged to have the
understanding that each individual is personally responsible for breaking the chain of
indifference, prejudice, oppression, abuse, and neglect that is engendered by lack of
empathic understanding of others. Locus of control was explored while linking activities.
The Walk a Mile in My Shoes unit ended by summarizing what had been covered
throughout the six sessions. Students were invited to talk about their experiences and
describe what kind of beliefs, attitudes, and strategies for understanding and accepting
others they would employ in the future. Students reviewed how lack of empathic
understanding exacerbates negative attitudes, anger, oppression, and initiated violence
and were encouraged to take what they had learned into their peer groups, families, and
into their future.
Students who participated in treatment were compared to the control group
students on the dependent measures, with the control group maintaining normal
classroom routine during the intervention phase of the study. Both groups were given the
instruments measuring locus of control, risk of initiated violence, and empathy during the
same time frame.
The following measures were used to assess effects of treatment: the Children's
Nowicki-Strickland Internal External Locus of Control Scale (CNSIE), the Risk of
Eruptive Violence Scale (REV), and the Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES).
The CNSIE is found in Appendix C. The BEES and the REV scales have not been
included in Appendix C, since the author of these scales, Albert Mehrabian, restricts the
duplication of any of his test items in the published document.
Children's Nowicki-Strickland Internal External Locus of Control Scale (CNSE
A pencil and paper self-report measure of 40 yes or no questions, the Children's
Nowicki-Strickland Internal External Locus of Control Scale was developed in 1969 and
is appropriate for children ages 9-18. Constructed on the basis of Rotter's (1966)
definition of the internal-external control of reinforcement dimension as an attempt to
measure locus of control in children, the items describe various reinforcement situations
across interpersonal and motivational areas. Reinforcement situations include affiliation,
achievement, and dependency (Nowicki & Strickland, 1973). Scores are based on the
number of responses that indicate an external locus of control orientation to the
statement, with possible score ranges of from 0-40. Higher scores indicate a more
external locus of control than do the lower scores.
Nowicki and Strickland's sample included students of average intelligence in
Grades 3 through 12 from all socioeconomic groups. Extensive samples of reports on
internal consistency and reliability estimates for the CNSIE are almost all found to be
above the .60 level (Nowicki & Duke, 1983). Since the CNSIE is additive and items are
not comparable nor are they arranged according to difficulty, split-half reliabilities
probably tend to underestimate the true internal consistency scale (Nowicki & Duke,
Nowicki and Strickland (1973) report data showing moderate relationships among
the CNSIE and other measures of locus of control. There were significant correlations of
.31 and .51 for black third (N=182) and seventh graders (N=171) when comparisons were
made to the Intellectual Achievement Responsibility scale (Crandall, Katkovsky, &
Crandall, 1965). The correlation with the Bialer-Cromwell scale was found to be
significant at .41 (g < .05) for 26 white students ages 9-11 (Nowicki & Duke, 1983).
Although the literature does not point to studies that suggest a direct correlation
between levels of emotional empathy and locus of control, Winkler and Doherty (1983)
relate individual locus of control to problem-solving behavior in two cross-cultural
samples of married couples. According to their findings, greater externality was
associated with higher levels of verbal aggression and of physical violence. Externality
was also associated with angry response style. Internals reported less verbal and physical
aggression and were less likely to respond with anger to a provocative statement from
their spouse. These results gave empirical support to the hypothesized relationship
between externality and aggression. External wives were more likely to respond by
kidding or teasing when provoked.
Risk of Erungtive Violence Scale (REV)
The Risk of Eruptive Violence Scale (Mehrabian, 1996) was designed to discern
individuals who generally convey a non-aggressive outward appearance and non-violent
behaviors, but who on rare occasions can snap and initiate violence and destruction. The
rationale that is given by the author of the measure is that some individuals who appear
quiet, withdrawn and restrained, can actually be seething with anger, carrying frustration
concerning their wishes to hurt individuals who have offended them or whom they have
imagined offend them (Mehrabian, 1996). The REV is a 35-item pencil and paper self-
report of agreement or disagreement with each of the items listed in the measure. A 9-
point Likert-type scale is used to indicate (+4) very strong agreement through (-4) very
strong disagreement with the statements. The scale is meant to provide an accurate
description of attitudes and feelings. The REV takes approximately 10 minutes to
administer. Acquiescence bias is controlled for by 24 items that are positively worded or
positively scored and by 11 items that are worded in such a way that disagreement shows
more risk of violence. These items are negatively scored. This balance of negatively
worded items against positively worded ones contributes to the control for the unwanted
agreeableness. Acquiescence bias is only partially controlled for due to the unequal
number of positively worded items.
When correlating the REV with other measures, norms are not necessary and
unstandardized raw scores are sufficient for the correlation. To compare scores with the
rest of the population, however, the norms of the REV of the general population are as
follows: Mean = -59 and Standard Deviation = 48. There is a general population trend to
disagree with items of the REV. Sex differences reveal male norms as: Mean = -33 and
Standard Deviation = 57. Female norms are: Mean = -85 and Standard Deviation = 39.
Gender differences reveal that males are generally more violent than women.
The REV has been shown to be very high in internal consistency with a
coefficient alpha of.94 (Mehrabian, 1996). The REV has been factor analyzed for a
principal components solution. The eigenvalue plot and the Scree Test (Catell, 1966)
revealed a one-factor solution with eigenvalues of the first three factors as 13.75,2.42,
and 1.91, respectively (Mehrabian, 1997).
High convergent validity of the REV is indicated by its correlation with two other
scales of aggression and violence. According to Mehrabian (1997), the REV correlated
.74 (p < .01) with the brief Anger and Aggression Scale (Maiuro, Vitaliano, & Cahnlm,
1987) and .56 with the Violence Risk Scale (Plutchik & Van Praag, 1990). Spearman's
formula to correct for attenuation yielded a correlation of .93 between the REV and the
Brief Anger and Aggression Scale and a corrected correlation of.78 between the REV
and the Violence Risk Scale.
Miller and Eisenberg (1996) have found that violence and empathy have negative
intercorrelation. The REV is negatively correlated with both the emotional Empathic
Tendency Scale (Mehrabian & Epstein, 1972) and the balanced Emotional Empathy
Scale (Mehrabian, 1996). Correlations are -.43 (p < .01) and -.50 (p < .01) respectively.
The Risk of Eruptive Violence Scale also correlates negatively (Q = -.49, p < .01) with a
general measure of Optimism-Pessimism (Scheier, Carver & Bridges, 1994).
Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES)
The Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES) was designed by Albert
Mehrabian in 1996 to help distinguish persons who typically are able to experience more
of others' feelings from persons who are less responsive to the emotional experiences of
others. An updated version of the Emotional Empathic Tendency Scale (EETS), the
BEES, measures both the vicarious experience of others' feelings and interpersonal
positiveness in a balanced way. It is a questionnaire with 30 items and uses a 9-point
Likert-style format. Individuals answer with responses ranging from very strong
agreement (+4) to very strong disagreement (-4). 15 of the items are worded as positive
instances of presence of empathic feelings and 15 indicate the absence of such feelings to
reduce bias due to acquiescence (Urbina, 1999). The test is designed to measure the
emotional, rather than the cognitive aspects of empathy and is appropriate for individuals
and groups ages 15 and older. It is a hand scored measure and yields a single total-scale
score. It can be used with individuals and groups and takes approximately 10-15 minutes
The validity of the Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale is evidenced indirectly
with high positive correlation of .77 with the earlier version, the Emotional Empathic
Tendency Scale (EETS) (Mehrabian & Epstein, 1972). Reviews of available literature
indicate strong validity of the scale (Chlopan, McCain, Carbonell, & Hagen 1985;
Mehrabian, Young, & Sato, 1988). Experimental evidence from the EETS yielded that
persons with higher emotional empathic tendency scores, compared with those with
lower scores are more likely to be affiliative, non-aggressive, score higher on measures of
moral judgment, have arousable and pleasant temperaments, and rate positive social traits
as important. In addition, highly empathic individuals are more prone to be altruistic in
their behavior toward others and are more likely to volunteer to help others (Mehrabian,
Young, & Sato, 1988).
The Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES) relates significantly and
negatively with a correlation of-.31 to the Maiuro, Vitaliano, and Cahnlm (1987) Scale of
Aggression at V< .01. (Mehrabian, 1997). In the same study, the BEES significantly and
negatively related to the Risk of Eruptive Violence (REV) (Mehrabian, 1996) measure
with a correlation of -.50 at p < .01. The BEES consistently exhibited stronger relations
with the measures of aggression, violence and optimism than the earlier version
of the scale, the EETS, indicating greater construct validity of the BEES. Miller and
Eisenberg (1988) found generally low but significant negative relations between the
EETS and its variants with measures of aggressive and externalizing/antisocial behaviors.
According to Johnson (1999) in his review of the BEES, the construct validity of
the measure has been studied in terms of pleasure, arousal, and dominance, which are
factors specified in Mehrabian's (1997) personality model. A regression equation
weighted equally on the pleasure and arousal factors indicates that highly empathic
individuals tend to be both pleasant (positive) and arousable (reactive). Although further
testing is recommended before the instrument can qualify as a clinical instrument, test
reviewers indicate that it can be viewed as an adequate measure for research purposes.
Johnson (1999) also reports adequate internal consistency (reliability) of the BEES
The norms for the full-length Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES) are:
Mean = 45 and Standard Deviation = 24 (Mehrabian, 2000). These numbers reflect
combined male and female norms and are applicable and appropriate most of the time.
Male norms are as follows: Mean = 29 and Standard Deviation = 28. Female norms tend
to be generally higher (Mehrabian, Young, & Sato, 1988) and are: Mean = 60 and
Standard Deviation = 21. Raw scores are computed for each subject by summing
responses to the 15 positively worded items and by subtracting from this quantity the sum
of the individual's responses to the negatively worded items. The raw scores are then
converted to z scores, yielding an easy interpretation of the meaning of the score. When
correlating with other variables, unstandardized raw scores are sufficient without norms.
The BEES lends itself to statistical analysis done on samples that include
individuals of both sexes and age ranges.
The art instructor at each of the participating schools administered all of the
pretreatment measures approximately one week before delivering the large group
guidance intervention. To insure confidentiality, all answer sheets were coded. The
investigator was provided with information regarding the school, age, gender, and race of
each individual participant for use in the analysis. Gender was the variable of interest in
regard to the treatment.
During the Facilitator Workshop, art teachers were trained in uniform procedures
for the delivery of the Children's Nowicki-Strickland Internal External Locus of Control
Scale (CNSIE), the Risk of Eruptive Violence Scale (REV), and the Balanced Emotional
Empathy Scale (BEES). Teachers were instructed to read all of the items of each
measure to the students in order to control for differences in delivery and differences in
reading levels of the participants. All of the pre-instrumentation was collected and
delivered to the researcher prior to the delivery of the treatment intervention. Uniform
time frame for delivery of the intervention was adhered to by the participating teachers.
The six treatment sessions took place within a single grading period with each
session taking approximately 45-50 minutes. Upon terminating the intervention, the
teachers again administered the CNSIE, the REV, and the BEES to students in both the
treatment and control groups. All data was placed in large envelopes and was collected
and analyzed by the researcher.
A mixed model ANCOVA was performed on all measures for both the treatment
and control groups in order to determine whether the observed differences between
means were due to chance or to systematic differences among treatment populations
(Shavelson, 1996). Predictable individual differences were removed from the dependent
variable, providing a truer estimate of experimental error and a more powerful test of the
null hypothesis. Pretest scores served as the covariate to adjust posttest scores. Random
assignment of groups to either control or treatment conditions increased the validity for
using the ANCOVA.
The ANCOVA examined two main effects of gender and group. An alpha level
of .05 significance was set for each of the hypotheses. The .05 level of significance gave
sufficient power and was a reasonable probability level for determining the effectiveness
of the intervention strategy for high school art students.
This study examined the effectiveness of a large group counseling intervention for
high school art students with teachers as facilitators. Art teachers delivered the
intervention to art classes mixed with students from grades nine, ten, eleven, and twelve.
Arts-based sessions were designed to influence students' perceived levels of control, risk
of initiated violence, and levels of empathic awareness.
The effectiveness of the large group counseling intervention was assessed by
analysis performed on pre-and postmeasures using an analysis of covariance model
(ANCOVA). Three dependent measures were used to gather data related to the effects of
the intervention. The measures included the (a) Children's Nowicki- Strickland Locus of
Control Scale (CNSIE), (b) Risk of Eruptive Violence Scale (REV), and (c) Balanced
Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES).
Data on the three dependent measures were collected from 153 students in grades
nine, ten, eleven, and twelve attending 4 public high schools. Intact art classes were used
in a convenience sample of an experimental research design of randomly assigned
treatment and control classes. The assignment resulted in 78 students in the test group
and 75 students in the control group. Assumptions were checked to provide support for
the use of ANCOVA as an appropriate statistical analysis. Results may be found in
Appendix E. All statistical tests were conducted at a .05 confidence level.
Three dependent variables were used to investigate four hypotheses.
Supplemental statistics supporting correlation of variables can be found in Appendix E.
Students' Perceived Locus of Control
The Children's Nowicki-Strickland Internal External Locus of Control Scale
(CNSIE) was used to investigate the effects of treatment on the students' perceived locus
of control. Scores on this instrument could range from a possible 0-40, with points
assigned for each corresponding external choice. Higher scores indicate a more external
control orientation than lower scores that indicate more internal control orientation.
External control orientation is associated with more problematic behavior.
The first hypothesis focused on the locus of control construct:
Hoi: There will be no significant difference between treatment and control
group on locus of control, as measured by the Children's Nowicki-
Strickland Internal External Locus of Control Scale (CNSIE).
An ANCOVA was conducted on the CNSIE to test the stated null hypothesis (Table 4-1).
Main effects of treatment. A Significant treatment effect was found for the
CNSIE scores at .05. Both males and females in the treatment group had lower posttest
means than their counterparts in the control groups. Males in the control group had a
posttest mean of 15.50, while posttest mean for treatment males was 13.21. Females in
the control group had a posttest mean of 12.82, while females in treatment had a posttest
mean of 12.29 (Table 4-2).
Group and gender both appear to influence the CNSIE according to the ANCOVA
results. Therefore, Hoi was rejected. A significant interaction was found between gender
and pre-CNSIE (1p=.025). The significant interaction of gender by pre-CNSIE is plotted
on Figure 4-1.
Statisic Results ANCOVA- CNSIE
Source SS df MS F Sig.
Corrected 2175.012 5 435.002 29.163 .000
Intercept 221.833 1 221.833 14.871 .000
Pre-CNSIE 1882.816 1 1882.816 126.222 .000
Group 63.709 1 63.709 4.271 .041*
Gender 117.165 1 117.165 7.855 .006*
Gender*Pre- 76.209 1 76.209 5.109 .025*
Group*Gender 2.595 1 2.595 .174 .677
Error 2192.752 147 14.917
Total 4367.765 152
R Squared=.498 (Adjusted R Squared=.481)
*Significance at p < .05
Dscritive Statistics Post-CNSIE
Group Gender N Mean SD
Treatment Female 41 12.29 6.16
Male 37 13.21 4.51
Total 78 12,73 5.42
Control Female 41 12.82 5.01
Male 34 15.50 5.20
Total 75 14.04 5.24
Total Female 82 12.56 5.59
Male 71 14.30 4.95
Total 153 13,37 5.36
As Figure 4-1 shows, when comparing those who scored low on the pretest, males
were more external than females on the posttest On the other hand, when scoring high
on the pretest, females were more external than males on the posttest These findings
indicate that females in this sample who tended to be internal on locus of control initially
were more internal than the boys on the posttest who were internals. It also indicates that
girls in the sample who tended to be more external initially on locus of control were
higher or more external than the boys on the posttest who tend to be externals.
I ,- GENDER
0 X X
6 3Iw --
0 -." Female
0 10 20 30
Figure 4-1. Gender by Pre-CNSIE Interaction
Students'Perception of Risk of Eruptive Violence
To investigate the effects of treatment on the students' perceptions of their
personal risk of initiated violence, the results of the REV scale were subject to analysis
(Table 4-3). Levene's test of equality of error variance tested the null hypothesis that the
error variance of the dependent variable was equal across groups. Tests of between-
subjects effects was used to analyze pre and post scores of both treatment and control
groups to determine if a gender interaction existed (Table 4-3).
Statistical Results ANCOVA- REV
Source SS df MS F p
Corrected 361370.947 4 90342.737 83.401 .000
Intercept 3336.955 1 3336.955 3.081 .081
Pre-REV 304327.975 1 304327.975 280.944 .000*
Group 2248.301 1 2248.301 2.076 .152
Gender 3054.585 1 3054.585 2.820 .095
Group*Gender 695.286 1 695.286 .642 .424
Error 160318.399 148 1083.232
Total 521689.346 152
R Squared=.693 (Adjusted R Squared=.684)
*Significance at 11 < .05
Females in the treatment group had a posttest mean of -49.85. Males in treatment
had a posttest mean of -23.16. Control group females had a posttest mean of
-60.53 while posttest mean for males in control was -12.38 (Table 4-4). Scores for both
positively and negatively worded items created a range with higher scores corresponding
to higher risk of eruptive violence.
Descriptive Statistics Post-REV
The second hypothesis tested focused on the construct of risk of initiated
Ho2 There will be no significant difference between treatment and control
group on risk of initiated violence as measured by the Risk of Eruptive
Violence Scale (REV).
Main effects of treatment. There was not a significant treatment effect for this
dependent measure. Therefore the stated null hypothesis was not rejected. Statistical
results can be found on Table 4-3.
Students' Perception of Emotional Empathy
The Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES) was used to measure the
dependent variable of perception of emotional empathy. Levene's test of equality of
variance checked the ANCOVA assumption of equal variance and a test of between-
subjects effects was also conducted (Table 4-5). Scores were determined by scaled
answers to positively and negatively worded items with the higher scores corresponding
to higher levels of emotional empathy.
The following null hypothesis was tested with regard to the construct of perceived
Hos There will be no difference between the treatment and control
group as measured by the Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES).
Statistical Results ANCOVA-BEES
Source SS df MS F p
Corrected 183018,832 4 45754.708 94.217 .000
Intercept 2646.091 1 2646.091 5.499 .021*
Pre-BEES 141026.694 1 141026.694 290.400 .000*
Group 1269.022 1 1269.022 2.613 .108
Gender 2402.524 1 2402.534 4.947 .028*
Group*Gender 64.018 1 64.018 .132 .717
Error 71873.064 148 485.629
Total 254891.895 152
R Squared=.718 (Adjusted R Squared=.710) *Significance at 1 < .05
Females in the treatment group had a posttest mean score of 37.36 while males in
treatment resulted in a posttest mean score of 8.4. Females in the control group had a
posttest mean of 37.19 and males had a posttest mean of .26 (Table 4-6).
Descriptive Statistics Post-BEES
Group Gender N Mean SD
Treatment Female 41 37.36 38.10
Male 37 8.45 32.86
Total 78 23.65 38.34
Control Female 41 37.19 31.65
Male 34 .26 47.93
Total 75 20.45 43.69
Total Female 82 37.28 34.81
Male 71 4.53 40.69
Total 153 22.08 40.95
Main effects of treatment It appears that the level of emotional empathy was not
impacted by the treatment as measured by the BEES. Since no significant difference was
found, the null hypothesis was not rejected. However, a gender main effect was indicated
in the test of between-subjects effects. (Table 4-6).
Both treatment and control groups males scored lower than females in both
groups at p=.028. Lower scores indicated a lower level of perceived emotional empathy.
This however, showed no significant influence of treatment A more detailed statistical
report can be found in Table 4-5.
The following null hypothesis was examined with regard to interaction of
treatment and gender and the dependent variables:
Ho4: There will be no significant interaction between treatment and gender
as measured by the CNSIE, REV, and the BEES.
Two-way interactions. The treatment effect by gender was examined with the ANCOVA
model using posttest means to test the null hypothesis. A test of between-subjects effects
was conducted to determine if the covariate interacted with the fixed variable of gender.
Although a significant gender and pre-CNSIE interaction was found at 9=.016 and a
gender effect was found with both pre and post-BEES, no significant interactions were
found between treatment and gender as measured by the CNSIE, REV, or the BEES.
Therefore, the null hypothesis H04 was not rejected.
The arts-based teacher facilitated counseling intervention for high school art
students utilized literature and both contemporary and classic visual art forms to stimulate
discussion and address the dependent variables. Delivered in six sessions, content
focused on the enhancement of empathy, locus of control, and the prevention of
violence. An experiential activity was included in each session.
Because of the nature of this study, it was important to try to explore what the
students were experiencing. Therefore, students were invited to identify feelings and
emotions as if they were the characters in the art and literature and also express in writing
and in graphic form how that exploration influenced their own thinking, feeling, and
behaving. The researcher collected the writing and artwork from the students. For
instance, the following are some examples from the written and visual expressions
rendered by some of the treatment participants. Other examples can be found in
Appendix F. Student writings are not edited for spelling or grammar and are quoted
exactly as written. Original artwork was done in both color and black media. Student
intentionality may be somewhat affected due to the black and white copy of the images.
Student Responses to Session One Goal: Understanding Suffering from Racism
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Figure 4.2. Student Artwork Session One: "We Shouldn't Care What Color Someone Is"
"I feel like people in this world today never gave up the lock and key toward
racism. Because right now as a Black African-American, I still don't feel safe.
I'm afraid one day someone might hurt me just for the color of my skin. But I won't let
my guard down. I am ready and able to defend myself."
"I think it [the incident portrayed in the art and literature] was wrong. I have
always been raised that everyone is the same-equal. It really hurts me to know that this
kind of stuff actually happens in today's world. Maybe not in that kind of situation
[referring to the literature], but with people calling other people Niggers or Crackers.
That's just like walking up to someone and calling that person a Bitch."
"As the character I am enraged. That man shouldn't have kicked me. I am also
sad. Sad that some one would do this to me. It isn't right. I think I am sad. I am sad
that people do these kind of things to others. It couldn't be more wrong. If I saw that
happening, I would help the kid. But fighting would be my last resort!"
[Reaction to the literature] I would feel hate and enraged toward them but at the
same time I would feel sonrry for the men who kicked me because they are so closed-
minded and just have no idea they are so hateful. I felt really angry because people can
be so uninformed and just plain out stupid. It really upsets me when I hear about or see
things like this. When you see someone mistreated like that you just wanna scream."
"I would feel ashamed and embarrassed. Mostly shocked. I would wonder, what
did I do to him? Why is he so mad at me? I would be embarrassed and ashamed because
of my skin color because I'm not like everyone else and there's nothing I could do about
it I would want not to hurt or cause equally inflicting pain on this person, I would just
want to explain and make these people understand what it's like to be different I feel sad
that people actually did go through misery and embarrassment as well as [being] victims
Figure 4-3. Student Artwork Session One: "The Monster of Racism"
Summary of the Study
A summary of the results of the ANCOVAs for this study are presented below.
Results are organized by dependent variable. Of the four hypothesis in this study only
one was rejected.
Students' Perception of Locus of Control Orientation as Measured by the CNSIE Scale
* There was a significant difference between the way treatment and control group
students rated their own locus of control orientation following the intervention.
* There was a significant difference between the way males and females rated their
own locus of control orientation.
* There was a significant gender and Pre-CNSIE interaction. When comparing those
who scored low on the pretest, males scored higher and were more external than
females on the posttesLt. On the other hand, when scoring high on the pretest, females
were more external than males on the posttest. These findings seem to indicate that
females in this sample who tended to be internal on locus of control initially were
more internal than the boys on the posttest who were internals. It also indicates that
girls in the sample who tended to be more external initially on locus of control were
higher or more external than the boys on the posttest who tend to be externals.
Students' Perceptions of Risk of Initiated Violence on the REV Scale
" There was no significant difference between the way in which treatment and control
group students rated their own risk of initiated violence.
* There was no significant difference in the way males and females rated their own
level of risk of initiated violence.
Student's Perceptions of Levels of Emotional Empathy on the BEES Scale
* There was no significant difference in the way treatment and control group students
rated themselves on levels of emotional empathy.
* Gender was a main effect in the tests of between-subjects effects for the BEES.
Girls in the sample scored higher than did the boys on the dependent measure,
indicating that the girls perceived themselves as having more emotional empathy than
did the boys.
" There was no significant gender and treatment interaction for the BEES.
* Students who participated in treatment expressed empathic feelings in written
form that identified their perceptions of the experiences of the characters depicted in
literature and art in the experiential large group counseling sessions.
* Students expressed their own feelings and beliefs in written form in response to
art and literature presented in the large group counseling sessions.
* Students used various art media to create graphic images that reflected their
reactions to the literature, art, and to their own written responses to the experiential
* Affective data collected from the arts-based intervention suggests the potential of the
ignite the imagination
to give students an opportunity to freely express themselves both verbally and
to open opportunities for alternative choices
to develop empathic awareness
to influence the capacity to care.
These may decrease initiated violence. More examples are found in Appendix F.
Results of Correlations Among Dependent Measures
* The Children's Nowicki-Strickland Internal External Locus of Control
(CNSIE) Scale has a significant positive correlation with the Risk of Eruptive
Violence (REV) Scale. This supports the notion that individuals with external locus
of control have more problematic behavior than internal individuals.
* The Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES) has a significant negative
correlation with both the CNSIE and the REV, which indicates that individuals with
higher levels of empathy tend to also have lower risk of initiated violence and are
more internal in their perceptions of locus of control. Table of supplemental statistics
supporting this summary may be found in Appendix E.
In the next chapter, conclusions are made based on results presented in Chapter 4.
Methodological limitations, implications, and recommendations for additional research
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of an arts-based
teacher-facilitated large group counseling intervention. Specifically, high school art
students from grades nine, ten, eleven, and twelve in multi-age intact classes from 4
public high schools participated in the study (N=153). The study was designed to
increase personal control and empathic awareness while decreasing the risk of initiated
violence. Classes were randomly assigned to treatment and control groups. Adjusted
group means were used in the analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) for each of the
Four art teachers who had received training and a scripted training manual,
delivered the intervention to the art students. An intervention of six sessions featured
information with visual art and literature that focused on helping students understand the
social, physical, and emotional conditions of others and how understanding can reduce
the risk of initiated violence. Sessions were devoted to issues of racism, poverty, body
bigotry, disability, abuse, and religious and ethnic persecution. The intervention was
delivered in a single grading period.
The group format provided a setting where students were able to freely discuss
the topics and write about feelings that were identified by stepping into the shoes of the
characters presented in the art and literature. Students were also given the opportunity to
express their feelings symbolically through an experiential art activity associated with
each session. Facilitators stressed to the students that neither their art nor their writings
would be judged or censored in any way.
Art students who participated in the test groups were compared to the art students
in the control groups on three dependent variables. The first dependent variable, locus of
control, was measured by the Nowicki-Strickland Internal External Locus of Control
Scale (CNSIE). Students responded to 40 statements by circling yes or no as each
response was read to them by the teacher-facilitator. Scores were based on the number of
responses that indicated external locus of control orientation concerning the statement.
The scores had a possible range of 0-40. Higher scores indicated a more external
orientation than did the lower scores. External responses as raw numbers were used in
the ANCOVA analysis. The related hypothesis HOi was rejected.
The second variable, risk of initiated violence, was measured by the Risk of
Eruptive Violence Scale (REV). The REV asked students to rate themselves in terms of
items related to their tendency to have aggressive, violent, or destructive behavior. The
REV contains 35 items that were read to the students. Students responded by reporting
their degree of agreement or disagreement with each item in terms of a number on a
Likert-type scale. Responses to sums of negatively worded items were subtracted from
sums of positively worded items to obtain the students' scores. Raw scores were used in
the ANCOVA analysis to compare treatment and control groups. Higher scores
represented a higher risk of initiated violence. H02, which dealt with this construct was
The third dependent variable, students' perceptions of level of emotional
empathy, was measured by the Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES). Items on
this instrument focus on one's tendency to feel vicariously the emotional experiences of
others. Questions on the 30-item scale were read to the students by the teacher-
facilitators and students responded by indicating degree of agreement or disagreement
with each item by choosing a number on a Likert-type scale. Scores were obtained by
subtracting the sums of responses to negatively worded items from sums of responses to
positively worded items. Total raw scores were analyzed using the ANCOVA. Higher
scores indicated individuals who are generally more responsive to the emotional
expressions and experiences of others. H03, which focused on students' perceptions of
balanced empathy, was not rejected. Additionally, H04, which dealt with interaction
between treatment and gender was not rejected.
Other findings were collected from the test group as responses to the arts-based
information presented in the large group counseling intervention. Sketches, drawings,
paintings and written responses were among the symbolic data collected. Students
reflected by writing and producing graphic symbols about thoughts, feelings, and
behaviors from both their own and the characters' views in the art and literature.
The outcomes of the study were mixed. Conclusions are discussed with regard to
each of the dependent variables and the experiential data.
Students' Perceptions of Locus of Control
Group and gender both effected the results of the CNSIE. The ANCOVA
performed for this dependent measure revealed significant treatment effectiveness at .05.
A significant interaction between gender and pre-CNSIE was also revealed by the
Overall pre-and posttest means indicated that girls in the sample tended to be
more internal than did the males of the sample. Students in the treatment group had
lower posttest mean scores than did students in the control group, showing treatment
effectiveness. The higher scores of control group students indicated more external
orientation of locus of control.
External orientation is associated with a tendency for more problematic behavior.
Persons with an external locus of control may be less successful in coping with stressful
situations than are individuals who generally believe that they are in control of the events
of their lives. Problems associated with external locus of control include: low influence
resistance; low resistance to temptation; inability to tolerate discomfort while helping
another individual; low ability to defer gratification; short future time perspective; high
suicide ideation; and negative future outlook. Persons who are emotionally disturbed,
persons who have learning disabilities, and individuals who are delinquent are more
likely to have an external locus of control.
On the other hand, individuals with internal locus of control orientation tend to
show more pro-social behavior as well as having a tendency to show more insight about
their own social behaviors and the consequences that evolve from them. Males, who are
more internal, tend to show more insight and to be more cooperative. This characteristic
is especially important when considering peer pressure and its effect on violence. It is
therefore concluded that this guidance unit has the potential to influence internality and
may reduce violence.
Students' Perceptions of Risk of Eruptive Violence
The analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) performed on this dependent measure
revealed that there was not a significant difference between treatment and control group
students for perceived risk of violence. Therefore, it was concluded that the arts-based
large group counseling intervention did not significantly impact the students' propensity
toward initiated violence.
Student's Perceived Level of Emotional Empathy
The ANCOVA for this dependent measure showed no significant difference
between perceptions of emotional empathy of students in the treatment and control
groups. It was concluded that the arts-based counseling intervention did not significantly
impact the levels of emotional empathy of the students.
The only variable that significantly effected the BEES scores was the gender of
the participant Females in both treatment and control groups scored significantly higher
than did the males on the postmeasure. The higher scores of the females indicated higher
levels of perceived emotional empathy.
Written and pictorial reactions were collected from the students in the treatment
group. Their reflections were responses to the information, discussion, art, and literature
that composed the arts-based large group counseling intervention. Students were
instructed to identify feelings through reflective writing by stepping into the shoes of the
characters that were represented in visual art and selections of literature. They were also
instructed to write about their own personal feelings and to represent those feelings in
symbolic graphic form.
Various studio media were offered for the experiential activities including colored
markers, charcoal, watercolor, and pastels. Students also made preliminary sketches and
then used clay to create sculptural images that celebrated their own bodies. This activity
followed the session on body bigotry.
Many of the student writings and visual images reflected an understanding of the
feelings that were presented by individuals portrayed in the art and literature. Some
students responded with empathic awareness of pain or suffering due to the conditions of
racism, bigotry, oppression, abuse, or disability. Other students responded with an
ambivalent attitude that reflected knowledge of the emotional and physical state of the
character but with personal feelings that were contrary. As indicated by the art and
written material that was collected, students expressed themselves freely, which seems to
indicate synergistic action due to the intervention. Words, symbols, and graphic schemata
emerged as images from the cognitive-affective processes. Students identified feelings,
beliefs, and projected possible behaviors that could result from the cognitive and
affective states that were revealed through the art and literature. This information added
depth to the data collected.
Results of the current study suggest that the arts-based counseling intervention
appeared to significantly impact locus of control but did not significantly impact the risk
of initiated violence, or the emotional empathy of high school art students as measured by
the instruments selected. It was interesting to note, however, that the variable of gender
had a significant main effect on two of the dependent measures.