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Enhancing social perspective taking in delinquent adolescents through cognitive flexibility in a hypermedia program

by Rubisch, John C.

Abstract (Summary)
The purpose of this study was to see if social perspective taking (SPT) could be enhanced in juvenile delinquents by a Cognitive Flexibility Hypermedia (CFH) program consisting of video vignettes. Seventy juvenile delinquents (forty-nine male, twenty one females) participated. The average age was 13.5. The ethnic composition was 46% Caucasian, 31% Black, and 23% Hispanic. Participants were randomly assigned to treatment and control groups. The former used a CFH program of video vignettes of adolescents on a lap top computer that was designed for this study. The CFH program was developed from the tenets of Cognitive Flexibility (Spiro & Jehng, 1990). The content of the vignettes were based on classroom materials that were originally in a text format (Rubisch, 1992). Participants could click on links to view how three characters perceived the same situation. Controls did not participate in the CFH program of video vignettes. After participating in the CFH, the SPT of treatment and control participants was measured by the Chandler Cartoon Sequence (CCS, Chandler, 1973) and the Twin Rivers Video (TRV). The CCS consisted of a series of cartoon panels. Participants were asked to look at the panels and tell a story from the perspective of the main character. They were then asked to tell a story from the perspective of a secondary character who did not have the same knowledge of events as the main character. The TRV, in a video format, was similar to the CCS. The TRV was constructed specifically for this study. Scores on the CCS and TRV were based on the ability of participants to separate knowledge that they knew from knowledge possessed by the bystander character. The Kruskal-Wallis test was used to test the hypotheses. Results were insignificant for the total population (p= .08). However, there were significant differences for the female subgroup between those that used the CFH program and those who did not (p= .03). This may be due to the fact that the characters in the CFH program were female. There was a .6441 correlation between the CCS and TRV in the measurement of SPT. Further research is warranted. iv
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School:Pennsylvania State University

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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