Date of Graduation
Adolescents experiencing difficulties in controlling their anger or disruptive behaviors have been targets of numerous behavioral treatment programs. However, problems with generalization across settings, long term treatment effects, and obtaining powerful adolescent reinforcers have limited the effectiveness of external behavior modification programs. Rather than focus on manipulation of consequences of aggressive behavior, numerous self-control studies have trained subjects to modify their own emotional arousal and verbal behavior when faced with aversive and stressful stimuli. This study evaluated the effects of self-monitoring and various cognitive behavior modification techniques on the reduction of angry and aggressive behaviors of residential, delinquent adolescents. Using a modified multiple baseline design across students, the aggressive behaviors of four students and four yoked, untreated control students were monitored with a direct observation system. Students received individual training in self-instructions, relaxation, use of coping statements, more assertive social interactions, the evaluation of one's own behavior and self-monitoring of anger and conflict experiences. Results from the behavioral observation system indicated a 49% mean reduction in aggressive responding and major reduction in actual incidents. Differences in the type of aggressive response used and the severity of responding were found across treatment subjects. Results from various pre and post pencil measures indicated an increase in the generation of solutions to problems, changes in staff perceptions of the adolescents' socio-emotional behaviors and an increase in reflectivity on a cognitive task. Treatment subjects showed reduced impulsive and aggressive responding to aversive stimuli whereas control subjects did not. The combination of various cognitive-behavioral self-control techniques served to reduce aggressive responding in natural environments and transferred to performance on cognitive tasks, and results were maintained at a seven-month follow-up assessment. The effectiveness of cognitive self-control techniques with explosive adolescents has been initially demonstrated and further research in this area is suggested.
Feindler, Eva La, "Cognitive And Behavioral Approaches To Anger Control Training In Explosive Adolescents." (1979). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8843.