COGNITIVE MEDIATED INTERVENTIONS TO DEVELOP SELF CONCEPT AND ASSERTIVE SKILLS AMONG CHILDREN WITH CONDUCT DISORDERS By Dr.Sony Mary Varghese[1]

INTRODUCTION

Conduct disorders one of the disruptive behaviour disorders involve a heterogeneous group of under controlled behaviors that range in type and severity (Frick, 1998. It encompasses a wide variety of under controlled behaviours like aggression, lying, destructiveness, vandalism, theft and truancy.  The connecting thread in this array of behaviours is the violation of societal norms and the basic rights of others (Jimerson, 2002).  Herbert and Webster Stratton (1994) pointed out that these anti-social behaviours have an enduring pattern and hence is deemed unmanageable by parents or teachers.  The severity and extent or the frequency and the intensity determine the abnormality of Conduct disorders (Forehand et al, 1979).      Dodge & Crick (1987) pointed out those students with Conduct disorders exhibit these characteristics as they are unable to process social information and encode relevant ones.  They show more biased attributions of others ambiguous social behaviours and generate less effective problem solutions thus exhibiting deficits in the behavior.

Gregory (1994) studied the self concept of 192 students with conduct disorders and found that they are significantly lower than non-disabled peers. This view is supported by Baumeister, Smart and Boden (1996) who studied the self concept of  80 students with conduct disorders and their peers pointed out that if students with conduct disorders perceives any threat to their biased view of self, it may lead to violence, which provides a way to avoid a lowering of self concept. But some of the researchers noticed that although students with conduct disorders may have low self concept, there is little support for the view that low self concept is the primary cause for antisocial behaviour. Rather antisocial behaviour leads lowering of self concept (Baumeister, Bushman and Campbell, 2000).Poor self concept of the students with conduct disorders may be attributed to rejection by peers (Gregory, 1994) which further lead to poor academic performance and ultimately ends in drop out.

A number of researches indicate that aggressiveness is prime component of conduct disorder, which results in violence and other physical fights (Grosenick, George and Lewis, 1991; Kaufman, Lloyd, Baher and Reidel, 1995). Dodge and Feldman (1990) studied about the social interaction and behaviour of students with conduct disorders at school and outside, found out that students with conduct disorders are aggressive as they lack assertive skills.

So the present study is intended to develop cognitive mediated interventions to develop self concept and assertive skills among children with conduct disorders.

[1] Assistant Professor, Peet Memorial Training College, Mavelikara

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