Masters of Social Work
School for Social Work
The purpose of the present study was to examine the extent to which race and self concept were associated in a group of disturbed adolescent girls in residential treatment. I The study drew on an earlier investigation of self concept, which conceived of the self concept as a part of the personality of an individual that acted as a motivating force. The study assumed that self concept was implicated in the dynamics of the disturbances that brought adolescents into treatment, and its purpose was directed towards securing a better understanding of the girls.
The study was conducted with a non-probability sample consisting of 19 of the 1|.6 girls in residential treatment at Hawthorne Cedar Knolls School during March, 1969. The sample included six black and 13 white girls, roughly matched by frequency distribution on age, intelligence, and socioeconomic class. Data on structural and content aspects of self concepts and ego ideals of the girls were secured in the form of responses to a questionnaire administered to the girls by social workers in small groups. The instrument was a modification of the Kuhn-McP art land test.
The data did not yield evidence that race was significantly associated with the structural aspects of the self concept and the ego ideal, nor with the content of the ego ideal. The major finding was that black girls in this sample described themselves in personally evaluative terms significantly more than did the white girls, who described themselves in group memberships and associations. Family composition was found to be significantly associated with several structural aspects of the self concept and ego ideal.
The findings suggest a relationship between race and the conceptions black and white disturbed adolescents form of themselves. The study did not, however, yield information on the nature of the other variables implicated in the relationship and both the size and nature of the sample preclude generalization beyond the sample.
© 1969 Cheryl A. Smith
Smith, Cheryl A., "The Self Concept of Black and White Disturbed Adolescent Girls in Residential Treatment" (1969). Masters Thesis, Smith College, Northampton, MA.