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The application of reinforcement and modelling techniques in group counselling with reference to delinquent and behaviourally-disturbed youths

McNeilly, Russell A.; (1978) The application of reinforcement and modelling techniques in group counselling with reference to delinquent and behaviourally-disturbed youths. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The purpose of the study was to apply reinforcement group counselling with delinquents and youths displaying delinquency proneness. Specific principles of behaviour modification were combined with humanistic group counselling and tested against a no-contact control condition. A manual of the procedure and the exploratory measurement of treatment outcome were designed and utilised. Reported research underscored the weaknesses of general group counselling (Ohlsen, 1970; Fullmer, 1970; Mahler, 1971; Dinkmeyer and Muro, 1971) and served as a base for strengthening the study. studies of .. delinquents and delinquency proneness influenced the design and precision of the method and showed a need for treatment and preventive approaches (West, 1972; Warren, 1972; Silaikeu, 1973). But methods using social and modelling reinforcements yielded favourable results with delinquent populations and indicated promise pertinent to the present research (Rose, 1972;Nye,1973; Hansen, 1972). A sample of 210 randomly chosen subjects was involved in the experiments from 1973 to 1976. In each of seven trials there were two experimental groups (Modelling and Social reinforcement) and one cont ro1 group, with ten subj ects in a group. The treatment involved the use of modelling, systematic social reinforcement, behavioural group techniques, rational emotive counselling and elements of reality therapy. The modelling group had live models, while the social reinforcement group had no models, but each member of the latter was trained to express social reinforcers appropriately. Group treatment was held twice weekly, in one and a half hour sessions, for a total of twenty-four hours over eight weeks, and the researcher shared leadership with members in all treatments. Group treatment was held twice weekly, in one and a half hour sessions, for a total of twenty- four hours over eight weeks, and the researcher shared leadership with members in all treatments. There were three main hypotheses which sought to test differences among the two experimental and the control conditions in terms of interval scales, nominal scales and self-rating scales respectively. The results indicated that modelling and social reinforcement did better than the control condition consistently. Using the adjusted values of the analysis of covariance and the sign test, significance was gained in favor of the experimental groups. Social reinforcement was the preferred means of treatment by a slight margin. Self ratings showed that the experimental groups were equally effective. Finally, the effects of the experiment were significantly maintained one month following the termination of treatment. Of the four measures used, the self concept personality scale was the weakest and least consistent; the scale of self-acceptance and acceptance of others was useful as it assessed appropriate behaviours consistent with treatment; the external rating was promising but availability of judges in the natural setting was not. always feasible; and personal rating constructed for the study showed greatest promise since it involved the subjects in a responsible way. The study lends strong support to the prototypal research that reinforcement group counselling is effective with adolescents who have behavioural problems, and should be applied as a preventive means of intervention in order to foster positive growth and development.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The application of reinforcement and modelling techniques in group counselling with reference to delinquent and behaviourally-disturbed youths
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by EThOS.
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1572397
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