A problem solving intervention for aggressive adolescent males: A preliminary investigation

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Dr. Hoyer


Annsville Youth Center, Decision Making Training

Subject Categories

Counseling Psychology


An intervention to teach aggressive adolescents the interpersonal problem-solving process was developed and its effectiveness was assessed. Teams of male residents (aged 14-17) of Annsville Youth Center were randomly assigned to a treatment group (N = 21), who received the eight week Decision Making Training, brief instructions (N = 21) and no treatment (N = 8) control groups. Subjects were tested before and after the intervention period on the problem-solving measures--Adolescent Problems Inventory, Situations Test, Means-Ends Procedure, Optional Thinking Test and Awareness of Consequences Test. Additional data were obtained from counselors' behavior reports, the facility behavior log, and a midstudy questionnaire. It was hypothesized that, after training, the treatment group would improve their scores on the problem solving measures, show an increase in positive behaviors and a decrease in negative behaviors, as compared to the control groups. The results showed that the treatment group did not improve significantly after training, compared to the control groups on the problem-solving measures or on the behavioral measures. Trends within the groups indicated that the treatment group increased positive behaviors and decreased negative behaviors, whereas the control groups tended to reverse this pattern.