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

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