Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. John S. Geisler

Second Advisor

Dr. Judy Halseth

Third Advisor

Dr. Suzanne Hedstrom


This research investigates the effect of social skills training on 46 first-time adjudicated males, ages 13 through 15 and placed on traditional probation. The independent variable was the type of group. Three types of groups were conducted: Group I (youth who received social skills training with their parents or guardians), Group II (youth who received social skills training without parents’ or guardians’ participation), and Group III (a control group of youth who did not receive social skills training). The dependent variable was the Jesness Inventory scales and subscales scores, and the type of offenses (status, misdemeanor, and felony). The research design used to assess changes in behavior was the three-group pretest, posttest 1 and posttest 2 design, with testing occurring at the beginning of placement into each group (pretest), 11 weeks later (posttest 2) and 11 weeks after the posttest 2 date or when a youth was discharged from probation (which ever came first). The data obtained for this study were analyzed in two ways: (1) A one-way analysis of variance was used to assess the mean number of offenses (status, misdemeanor, and felony) committed by members of all three groups to evaluate the initial mean differences among groups; and (2) the repeated measures analysis of variance assessed time/group interaction for mean number of offenses (status, misdemeanor and felony) and the Jesness Inventory scales and subscales scores. The significance level of this study was set at .05. Results for the initial pretest showed that groups were homogeneous. Results for the repeated measures analysis of variance could not reject the null hypotheses; no significant changes in behavior (as measured by the Jesness Inventory and recidivism) occurred. Some explanations are offered to account for the absence of significant results.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access