Date of Award

4-17-2009

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Susan Tinsley Li, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Alyson Williams, Ph.D.

Abstract

Many adolescent girls struggle with peer victimization, relational aggression, and interpersonal conflict. The purpose of the current study was to determine whether a brief intervention could potentially reduce relational aggression by teaching girls social problem solving skills for dealing with relationships. This study utilized a convenience sample obtained from a day-long conference called the Girls Today Program. Participants included 19 girls who were studied at the beginning of the conference, at the end of the day’s activities, and one month later. Kirkpatrick’s Learning Evaluation Model was employed to evaluate participant’s reactions, learning and demonstration of skills, intention and perceived ability as related to social problem skills for dealing with relational aggression. In general, girls in the current study denied experiences of relational aggression. They reported that they enjoyed the conference, learned new skills, and intended on using the skills. However, girls reported low levels of perceived ability for dealing with relational aggression and were unable to demonstrate improvement in social problem solving skills in this study. The present findings suggest that although girls enjoy talking about topics related to peers, a one-day intervention may not be sufficient to create behavioral change. Suggestions are presented, for enhancing the efficacy of community programs that target girl’s relationships, including accounting for social desirability, facilitating perceived ability, providing continued support and skill building, and enhancing organization.

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