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Abstract

The aim of this study was to design and evaluate a theory-grounded measure that taps staff beliefs about the possibility for change in an organization which serves children, youth and families at the community level. The rationale for measuring staff beliefs about change derived from a motivation theory that features two contrasting beliefs structures (entity vs. incremental), and the goals and behavioral dispositions associated with each (Dweck & Leggett, 1988). Twenty-nine individuals associated with the community-based organization completed the newly developed Implicit Beliefs About Change Scale (IBACS) and participatedi n a semi-structured interview. Quantitative analyses indicated that the IBACS has good internal consistency, and yields sufficient response variance. Content analysis of the semi-structured interviews, used to assess the scale's construct validity, uncovered distinctive and theory-consistent behavioral dispositions among those staff members whose beliefs regarding change could be characterized as either incremental or entity in nature. Implications for staff development and future research are discussed.

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