Wednesday, July 31, 2013

San Francisco California

One of the most admirable qualities an individual can have is the ability to be put in an unfortunate satiation and focus on the opportunity rather than the struggle. The Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco California, our fourth stop of the Mighty Fingers project, focuses on giving children from underprivileged homes and communities within the city the inspiration to make a better life for themselves.  When I asked these children my three questions all of their answers emphasized the determination they had to stay out of trouble and make a better future for themselves.  
            Any fun the girls had was at the club. At home their lives were “Work, school, stay safe.” Which usually involved staying inside their home. Roaming the streets was not a good idea because anyone who roamed the streets of their neighborhoods was “probably looking for trouble.”
            Many of the girls I talked to were inspired to stay out of trouble and make it through school with enough success to work their way out of their towns and move to a nicer place where crime is rare and people make an honest, safe living. When I asked the girls how they chose their friends the main answer was avoiding people who get in trouble
            “If I see a girl in school walking down the hallway and she is muggin’ looking at me bad I am gonna think she is mean and I am not gonna be friends with her,” said a girl from the Tenderloin in San Francisco, a portion of the city with very high crime rates.
            In the high crime areas of San Francisco that the girls were from, the friendship difficulties were more than just ‘who cheated on who.’ More serious disputes grew between once good friends, mainly because of gangs. In high school many girls and boys will join gangs, which encourage illicit activity and fights between friends.
            Though these unfortunate events happen and most probably always will, there are things being done to minimalize their occurrences, such as The Boys and Girls Club, which inspires children to be powerful by offering a kinship and a broadened education. All we need to do is show children the opportunity they have and so many of them will work harder and be exceptional kids as they strive to achieve success. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Experience using the What’s Your RA (Relational Aggression) Quotient? quiz written by Cheryl Dellasega

I am a recent graduate from the Counselor Education program at The College at Brockport State Univ. of NY. For the purpose of my Master’s Thesis research my study involved assessing the impact of group counseling on adolescent females that have been identified as instigators of relational aggression.
The study was a pre-test/post-test design, of which a group of 5 eighth grade female middle school students were invited to attend 8 group counseling sessions that lasted approximately 40 minutes, during the regular school day. Seven participants were interviewed to participate, a total of five students agreed to be a part of my study. Throughout the course of the study, I incorporated lessons from the workbook, Salvaging Sisterhood, written by Julia V. Taylor, designed to increase awareness about relational aggression and develop healthy conflict resolution skills.
Participants were administered the What is Your RA Quotient? quiz during the first group session. The surveys were completed anonymously; students were identified with a small symbol on the quiz which was kept in a locked cabinet for the duration of the study. At the conclusion of my study, the means of the pre and post surveys were calculated and a comparison was conducted through a Paired t-test. Now, I do not consider myself a statistical expert, however, I did find a decrease in Aggressive Behaviors, decrease in Bystander Behaviors that Support Aggression, a decrease in Behaviors Checked off by a Victim and an increase in Power Behaviors! Although results of the study did conclude a decrease in aggressive behaviors, the results were not significant; I suspect this is because of the small sample of group members.
During the course of the study, my group went from 5 to 4 participants, with one student suspended for the remainder of the school year as a result of Cyber-bullying. This was disappointing, however, a teachable moment for the rest of the girls. The school district takes cyber harassment and relational aggression very seriously. In order to reach a wider group of students, it is proposed that several groups taking place throughout the academic year would accomplish this. What is Your RA? quiz was a useful tool; I was able to measure the proposed outcome and my group counseling session, and I was fortunate to have found this instrument!

Michelle Jones, MSEd