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The effects of an interactive, interpersonal curriculum upon the development of self in seventh-grade girls

Lynn Lazarus Serper, University of Massachusetts Amherst


This study evaluated the effects of an interactive, psychologically-oriented program upon pubertal growth, egocentrism, self-consciousness, and self-esteem for seventh-grade girls. An experimental group (N = 16) volunteered for an activity that taught about communication, stress-management, peer-refusal, and leadership, and applied their learnings to development of self. A sub-group (N = 11) taught a self-designed replication of this information to younger children. Three control groups were comprised of same-age girls: Those who volunteered for either Chorus (N = 15) or Sports (N = 6), and those who did not volunteer for an activity (N = 9) and were assigned to Study Hall. All students voluntariLy participated in this study. A pre-test, post-test design was applied to four measurements: The Puberty Scale, The Self Focus Sentence Completion: A Study of Egocentricity, The Self-Consciousness Scale, and a Self-Esteem Inventory, before and after the activity curricula. The results determined that all of the girls were significantly aware of their growth in height, perceived that their growth was similar to others, and the Sports Group was bothered by the growth. An examination of the conclusions related to the hypotheses revealed four significant findings about the experimental group: they achieved a balanced Self-Other egocentric ratio, they exhibited a decrease in social anxiety, they remained higher in private self-consciousness, and they demonstrated an increase in self-esteem. The three control groups did not shift from divergent to convergent thinking about self and other, even in a minimal way and showed marginal changes in self-consciousness and self-esteem. The Sports Group, however, revealed a significant decrease in self-esteem. The overall results indicate that a personal and interpersonal curriculum enhances positive psychological development in seventh-grade girls.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Secondary education|Developmental psychology

Recommended Citation

Serper, Lynn Lazarus, "The effects of an interactive, interpersonal curriculum upon the development of self in seventh-grade girls" (1995). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9541140.