Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


Dr. Polly Peterson


Self-esteem, social skills training, relaxation training, self-esteem building, parenting program, emotionally handicapped, Coopersmith Self-esteem Inventory (CSEI), Coopersmith/ Gilbert Behavioral Academic Self-Esteem (BASE), Van Nagel Parent- Child Influences Questionnaire.


The goal of the practicum was to increase self-esteem, lower anxiety, and improve social skills in 13 emotionally handicapped (EH) middle school boys. A fourth objective was to improve parent’s knowledge and skills as to how they could improve their children’s self-esteem via parenting classes. A multifaceted program for realizing these objectives consisted of social skills training, Budzynski’s Relaxation Training Program, a self-esteem improvement program, and parenting education classes. The eight-month multifaceted program was evaluated by means of post-tests using Coopersmith's Self-Esteem Inventory (CSI), the Coopersmith/Gilbert Behavioral Academic Self-Esteen (BASE), the Spielberger et al. Children' State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, the Gresham and Elliott Social Skills Questionnaire, and the Van Nagel Parent-Child Influence Questionnaire. Analysis of pre- and posttest data showed strong support for improving social skills and improving parent-child interaction. Improving self-esteem of the 13 EH boys was achieved using the CSI measure, but not when using the BASE measure. Reducing anxiety was achieved if one relaxed the requirement that only those boys who had a 50th percentile anxiety score on the pretest would be considered in the data analysis for this objective, under this relaxed restriction there was a lowering of anxiety in eight of the 13 EH boys. In general, the multifaceted program was deemed a success in realizing the practicum objectives.

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