The effects of guided group interaction on the locus-of-control, self-concept, and attendance of high school students

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

E. John Kleinert, Committee Chair


The purpose of the study was to determine the effects of a program of guided interaction on small groups of high school students (10-15) in regard to their Locus of Control, self-concept and attendance and whether there was a differential effect for boys and girls. The study was conducted in an urban school of 1216 students. One hundred ten students in grades nine through twelve participated in the study. The control group consisted of 61 students and the treatment group consisted of 49 students, divided into four interaction groups.The treatment group was given six weeks of weekly guided group interactions during their lunch breaks, including discussions about goal-setting, self-affirmation, quality circles and interpersonal relations. The interactions took place in February through mid-April of the 1990-1991 school year. Post-testing using Rotter's I-E Locus of Control Scale and the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale occurred at the end of April. Interviews with ten students were conducted in May. Student attendance was monitored by peers and absences were tabulated.Research questions were analyzed using one-way and two-way ANOVA. The research design used was the Post-Test Control Group Design.Data relevant to the areas being studied showed that in Locus of Control scores in the treatment group were significantly more internal than scores in the control group. There were no significant differences in self-concept scores between students in the treatment group and those in the control group. The treatment group had significantly fewer absences than the control group. There was no significant treatment/gender interaction, nor was there a significant difference in scores between the four treatment groups. Responses on student interviews indicated that students enjoyed the interactions and found them to be worthwhile. In particular, they found goal-setting to be very useful.Specific recommendations were made for additional research studies in the subject and areas of concern for practitioners were discussed.


Education, Secondary; Education, Social Sciences; Education, Curriculum and Instruction

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