Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair(s)

E. Wayne Wright


E. Wayne Wright


David Stone


J. Whorton Allen


Richly Crapo


The effect of a structured group approach on anxiety, using paraprofessionals, was investigated. The variables of setting (junior high school and youth rehabilitation center) and time (pre-post1 -posttest2) were also manipulated. Besides anxiety, four other variables were measured. Self-concept and anxiety were measured using the Piers-Harris Children's Self Concept Scale; peer rejection and peer acceptance were measured using the Peer Perception Questionnaire; teacher rating of student classroom behavior was measured using the Student Behavior: Teacher Rating Form.

Sixteen subjects who had been screened with the pretest were randomly assigned to either treatment or control conditions at each institution (two junior highs and two youth rehabilitation centers). Four group leaders used lesson plans for eight sessions over three weeks for treatment and also taught a matched control class on anxiety using lesson plans. Both treatment and control groups were told they would participate in a special class on anxiety. At the end of the treatment period and again after a one-month interval, the measures were readministered.

The data were analyzed by means of an analysis of variance for each of the five measures. The results indicate that self-concept, anxiety and teacher rating were affected by the main effect of treatment as well as setting and time. The treatment groups achieved the greatest degree of change during the treatment period (pre-posttest1). However, only the junior high school treatment groups continued to improve over time while the youth rehabilitation center treatment groups regressed. The control groups improved to a lesser extent during the treatment period but also regressed over time. Peer acceptance increased while peer rejection decreased over time regardless of treatment or setting. Implications of the results and limitations of the present study are related to recommendations.