Date of Award

5-2003

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Degree Program

Educational Leadership with a Global Perspective

Department

College of Education

Abstract

This mixed methodology design uses two methods (qualitative and quantitative) to study, describe, examine, and analyze the effectiveness of the Teaching Family Model, a token economy teaching method, on male adolescents leaving care, in regards to behavior and self-esteem. The convenient sample consisted of ten male adolescents living in Florida.

The researcher used the Self-Evaluation Scale Form A (Cautela et al, 1983) to determine the level on each of its seven domains (body image, perception of own learning, others' perception, adaptive functioning, self-worth, self confidence, and socials skills). The results of this scale for each participant were analyzed and compared. The analysis included a correlational analysis identifying significant relationships between the domains.

The researcher used an audio-recorded interview of each participant. Each participant was asked 17 questions about their demographic information, including housing, employment and academics, level of self-esteem, level and time on motivational system, length of time at facility, Family Teacher contact, and behaviors. Each participant described their current status and what they liked or disliked about the home in regards to the components of the model. The components consisted of: a token economy motivation system wherein youth earn points and exchange them for privileges, a self government system that allows youths to participate in development of the rules and structure of their daily life, a focus on teaching social skills from a standardized social skills curriculum, an emphasis on normalization, and a continuous evaluation system, part of which involves the youth evaluating the teaching family couple. (Friman, 1999).

The analysis included a within case and across case identifying common threads in regards to their current status and the components of the model. The responses to these questions were compared with the results of the Self Evaluation Scale Form A (Cautela et al, 1983).

All of the participants report an increase in social skill use and self-esteem. One respondent reported an increase in aggression which was not an original behavior to work on. All of the respondent reported a moderate to high level of self-esteem. The model is effective on social skills and self-esteem; however there are deficits in relationship skills as reported by the respondents. All of the respondents are acclimated in their communities through the financial support from their employment, relatives, or government subsidiaries. There was corroboration between the Self Evaluation Scale Form A and self report data from the interviews. Four of the respondents also did not graduate from high school. Because there are factors that affect the success of this model, it is important that studies be conducted which contribute to the understanding of the overall effectiveness of this model.

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