Date of Award:

1978

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Michael Bertoch

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to clarify the role of anxiety management techniques (cue-controlled relaxation, systematic desensitization) as components of an assertiveness training program.

Volunteers from Utah State University and the surround ing community were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups and a control group which were used in a pre-post change comparison design. Treatment groups consisted of: (1) cue-controlled relaxation plus assertiveness training, (2) systematic desensitization plus assertiveness training, and (3) assertiveness training extended. The control group was a delayed treatment control. All subjects were administered pre-tests with the following instruments: two self report inventories (the College Self-Expression Scale and the Rathus Assertiveness Scale) and a Behavioral Performance Test. The Behavioral Performance Test consisted of ten separate multiple stimulus role playing situations (five pre-test and five posttest) which were videotaped and rated on four performance variables: (1) verbal content, (2) percent of eye contact, (3) assertive affect, and (4) overall assertiveness.

All treatment groups were exposed to four two-hour sessions of basic assertiveness training which consisted of shaping procedures (i.e. behavioral rehearsal, modeling, etc.). Treatment groups I and II were provided six additional hours of training in cue-controlled relaxation and systematic desensitization, respectively, while Group III was provided six additional hours of basic assertiveness instruction. Each of the treatment groups received equal amounts (14 hours) of training exposure over an eight-week period. At the conclusion of training, all subjects were posttested using the same measures used for pre-testing.

The results of the study indicated (l) that no one treatment approach can be considered superior or inferior to the other in its effectiveness in increasing assertive behavior, and (2) that all treatment groups showed significantly greater ability to increase assertiveness than was evidenced with the control group.

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