Investigating the Effects of Group Practice Performed Using Psychodrama Techniques on Adolescents' Conflict Resolution Skills

Article excerpt

Abstract

The aim of this study is to examine the effects of group practice which is performed using psychodrama techniques on adolescents' conflict resolution skills. The subjects, for this study, were selected among the high school students who have high aggression levels and low problem solving levels attending Haci Zekiye Arslan High School, in Nigde. They were divided into three groups, the experimental, placebo and control groups. Each group consisted of 12 high school students, 6 boys and 6 girls. The Scale for Identification of Conflict Resolution Behavior, developed by Koruklu, was used to collect data. Psychodrama group practices one of which lasted for 90-120 minutes were applied to the experimental group once a week for 10 weeks. Inventory was administered to experimental and control groups before and after treatment and 12 weeks after the treatment, it was administered to the experimental group once again. Data were analyzed with Kruskal Wallis, Mann-Whitney U and Wilcoxon tests. The findings show that aggression levels of the students who were in the experimental group were dropped significantly and problem solving levels were increased compared to the placebo and control groups. The effect could also be seen 12 weeks later after the treatment. The results have shown that group practices which are performed using psychodrama techniques have favorable effects on adolescents' conflict resolution skills.

Key Words

Conflict Resolution, Problem Solving, Aggression, Psychodrama, Adolescent.

Adolescence is a transitional stage of physical and mental human development generally occurring between puberty and adulthood (Kulaksizoglu, 2004). While parents of adolescents are feeling mixed emotions about independendence of adolescent, an adolescent wishes to gain independence (Gander & Gardiner, 2001). In the attempt to gain the identity of adolescents in the face of the changing environment and new conditions may experience some difficulties and challenges. Emotional accumulations can cause conflict (Kulaksizoglu, 2004).

Conflict is a situation which occurs when two or more motives affect an individual at the same time. A person who have difficulties while deciding and who start to feel anxious is possibly in conflict (Cüceloglu, 1994). On the other hand conflict occurs in undesirable situations and conflict can occur with strain (Gürüz & Temel-Eginli, 2008). The process of conflict takes place in four stages. These stages are: being aware of the conflict, developing emotional reaction towards conflict, having the intention of performing various behaviors considering the developed emotions and reactions and the transformation of the intentions into real behaviors (Demiray, 2008). Conflict can affect our lives both in negative and positive ways. According to Beckmone (2002 cited in Demiray, 2008), the conflicts which results from different wishes and needs and which are indispensable for people's life force an individual to learn and develop him.

Psychodrama is a research technique which helps the participants to reanimate the events in their lives instead of just talking about the psychological and social problems of them (Blatner, 2002). Providing catharsis, gaining insight, testing the facts, developing rational thoughts, learning and behavior changes in psychodrama are aimed to take place in the psychodrama sessions in which this technique is utilized (Dökmen, 2005).

Given the research findings conducted in Turkey and abroad on conflict and violence, it is seen that the adolescents have difficulties in coping with their anger and aggressive behaviors, preventing the violence, expressing their emotions in a right way, and even being aware of the structure of their feelings and thoughts. Besides it is established they are inadequate in solving problems. Furthermore, the benefits of having the experience of group or participating in various psycho-educational groups in order to cope with these situations and experimental operations are found out to be effective (Akdeniz, 2007; Aytek, 1999; Bundy, 2001, 2003; Cenkseven, 2003; Duran & Eldeleklioglu, 2005; Fong, 2006; Hermann & McWhirter, 2003; Kipper, 2002; Mundy, 1997; Racelyte, 2006; Sipsas, 2000; Tekinsav-Sütçü, 2006; Uçak-Simsek, 2003; Uysal, 2006). …