Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Kenneth Bullmer

Second Advisor

Dr. Edward Trembley

Third Advisor

Dr. Mal Robertson

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Jack Stewart


Conduct disordered behavior of male adolescents constitutes a major social problem. There are many disagreements among clinicians and researchers about the factors which cause and maintain antisocial child behavior.

The purpose of this study was to learn more about the differences between two types of conduct disordered boys and their families: Stealers and Aggressors. The Family Environment Scale Form R and Form I were used to obtain parental and child measures of perceptions of family social climates. The Health and Daily Living Form was used to obtain measures of parental mental and physical health, social resources, and family life change events.

The research sample consisted of 50 adolescent males receiving inpatient psychiatric treatment and their parents. The subjects were placed into three groups: Stealers (N = 16), Aggressors (N = 17), and a comparison group termed Internalizers (N = 17), which consisted of neurotically adjusted adolescent males and their parents.

Results obtained indicated that none of the criterion instrument measures revealed significant mean differences among the three research groups. However, some significant mean differences were revealed when family social climate perceptions of the three research groups were compared to a nonclinical normative sample.

Based on these results it was concluded that there were no significant mean differences between the Stealer and Aggressor groups in terms of the criterion instrument scores. As expected, Aggressor families reported greater efforts than Stealer families to control family member's behavior. These results were large though nonsignificant. Compared to Aggressor adolescents, Stealer adolescents reported greater achievement frustrations and strivings.

Members of conduct disordered families possessed some inaccurate perceptions about their families' social environments. These misperceptions may be associated with an inability to accurately assess their family problems. Therefore, these misperceptions may also be associated with an inability to make satisfactory progress through psychotherapy.

It was recommended that further research be designed which would use additional assessment devices, larger samples, and the inclusion of Stealer adolescents selected from detention center populations.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access