Title

A study of the effectiveness of using collegiate mentors to reduce violent behavior, improve self-concept, and increase academic success in an urban middle school

Document Type

Book

Publication Date

1994

Abstract

This dissertation was designed to determine whether mentoring programs which might be used in middle schools could be successful in increasing self concept in order reduce violent behavior and improve academic performance. The significance of this study lay in its intent to assess the outcomes of a semester-long intervention by collegiate mentors to effect a reduction in middle school violence by building self concept and improving academic success. Although there has been a substantial amount of literature documenting the linkages between violent behavior and self concept, and between self concept and academic success, there is little or no direct evidence that this destructive cycle can be broken through a mentoring program. This research addressed deficiencies in earlier studies by selecting the sample pool to include only students with parallel histories of violent behavior and a lack of academic success. Students in both the treatment and control groups were evaluated in terms of self-esteem through the use of the Bracken Multidimensional Self Concept Scale both before and after treatment. Student outcomes were monitored in the same terms used to select them for participation. The results were analyzed by performing a t-test for independent means in order to determine whether there were significant differences between the experimental and control groups with regard to grades, self concept, and violent behavior after the treatment. Where initial differences were found to have existed, analysis of covariance was utilized to control for these differences. A chi-square analysis was used to determine whether there was a significant difference before and after the study in terms of expulsions and exclusions. The study concluded that the mentored students in the experimental group showed significant increases in the dimensions of academic and total self concept. The mentored students also demonstrated a significant decline in violent incidents and exclusions. Changes in grades were not found to be significant. This study supported the idea that a low-cost mentoring program for middle school students is an effective method of raising self concept and reducing violent behavior.

Keywords

Education

Disciplines

Education

Publisher

The College of William and Mary

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