Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)


School of Education

Degree Name



The large predominantly Black high school in DeKalb County, Georgia, selected as the locale of the study had an enrollment of 1,391 students during the 1974-75 school year. Of these 1,391 students, 267 were enrolled in the tenth grade. Of these 267 tenth graders, 56 were identified from student attendance reports as being frequently absent from school. It was upon these 56 frequently absent students that the attention of this research was focused.

The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of using Sociodrama in group counseling as a technique for increasing the average daily school attendance and the self-image of these high school students, in comparison with one counseling group where an Eclectic technique was used and one group which did not receive any type of structured counseling. It was hypothesized that students in the Sociodrama group would attend school more regularly, feel better about themselves as students and that their teachers would think more highly of them.

The 56 students were randomly placed in three groups; 14 students in the Eclectic Counseling group, 14 students in the Sociodrama counseling 1 group and 28 students in the Control group. The counseling groups met in 50 minutes, twice-weekly, counseling sessions for 8 weeks led by the same two co-facilitators. Pre and post testing and data collection were done on (a) the students average daily attendance before and during the experimental period, (b) the students mean scores on the How I See Myself scale (I. Gordon) before and after the experimental period, and (c) the mean rating scores the teachers gave the students on the Florida Key (W. W. Purkey, B. N. Cage, and W. Graves), before and after the experimental period.

Minor hypotheses were tested by the use of an analysis of variance, and when so indicated, the "t" test was used for specific comparisons. There were no statistically significant differences in average daily attend ance, student concept of self as a student, nor teacher perceptions of students for the three groups involved. The groups were the same at the beginning of the period of time in question and they were the same at the end. It is noted, however, that there were significant changes pre versus post mean score ratings on the How I See Myself scale and the Florida Key. There was no way of attributing these changes to the effectiveness of any type of group counseling or to no counseling at all. The significant differ ences between the data collected before and after the experimental period on these instruments were noted for all three groups and in the same positive direction.

What does seem to be operating is the Hawthorne effect. The students had attention focused on them and therefore felt better about themselves as students. The teachers were aware that the students were receiving some kind of treatment reported to be beneficial to them and therefore saw the students in such a more postitive light as to rate them significantly higher. If this were true, then it is also possible that the students sensed a more positive change in the teachers1 per ception of them and therefore behaved differently and felt differently about themselves as students. Friendly attention may be the key after all.

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