Modeling As A Preparation For Surgery For The Parents Of Young Preschool Children (hospitalization, Anxiety, Adjustment)

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Counseling Psychology


An investigation was conducted to explore the effects of a standardized preschool preparation for the parents of young preschool children about to undergo surgery. A slide show, with accompanying taped dialogue, was developed with the content based on modeling and role theory. The experimental group parents viewed this presentation before their children were hospitalized.For the experimental group parents, the intervention reduced overall anxiety level as compared to that of the control group parents. Experimental group members also assimilated more pertinent information than did control group parents, and felt more at ease in communicating with the hospital staff. Both groups felt that they had been provided with adequate information about hospitalization. No differences were obtained between the two groups on observational or self report measures of competence.For children, there were no overall differences between experimental and control groups in hospital adjustment, although at the time of the blood test and entry into the operating room, the experimental group children were better adapted. Two weeks after hospitalization, control group children showed more signs of lingering separation anxiety than did experimental group children. No other differences, in posthospital behavior, were apparent at this time.Some interesting correlates of the basic results, above, were also investigated. Locus of control was found to be a stable trait in the sample exampled. A belief in internal control was found to be significantly and positively correlated with parental competence and assimilation of information. A belief in external or chance control was found to be correlated with assimilation of information. No relationships were obtained between children's adjustment and parental anxiety or competency.


Psychology, Clinical

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