Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair(s)

E. Wayne Wright


E. Wayne Wright


Elwin C. Nielsen


Whorton Allen


C. Jay Skidmore


The present study was designed to investigate the effectiveness of two methods of goal specification in Assertion Training groups as assessed by two self-report measures, the Goal Attainment Scaling process and the Assertion Inventory. An Assertion Training group method having specific behavioral steps for approaching individualized goals was represented as the Therapist-Directed Assertion Training group. The second Assertion Training group was a Self-Directed group that allowed subjects to independently set and approach their own goals without the assistance of therapists in setting goals. Subjects were selected from among individuals who volunteered for the Assertion Training group in response to solicitation in general psychology classes, newspaper articles and circulars. Of the 76 subjects who filled out registration materials, 63 remained in the study, with 21 each assigned to the two treatment groups, and to a Waiting List Control group. While the Waiting List Control group participated in pre- and post-screening only, the Treatment groups underwent four weeks of group assertion training. The Self-Directed group was essentially encouraged to seek personally relevant goals, whereas the Therapist-Directed group members, with the help of a therapist, set up long- and short-range goals, which were monitored weekly by use of the Behavior Monitoring Progress Record. The level of assertion as assessed by the dependent measures appeared to be significantly enhanced by providing the Therapist-Directed group treatment or to a lesser extent by using the Self-Directed group method. The rationale for the study as well as the analysis of differences between groups are presented. Implications of the limitations and results of the present study are related to recommendations for future studies.



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