The Effect of Conflict Theory Based Decision-Making Skill Training Psycho-Educational Group Experience on Decision Making Styles of Adolescents*

Article excerpt

Abstract

In this study, the effect of conflict theory based decision making skill training group applications on decisior making styles of adolescents was investigated. A total of 36 students, including 18 students in experimental group and 18 students in control group, participated in the research. When assigning students to experimental group or control group, Decision Making Scale for Adolescents, Socio-Economic Status Scale, Problem Solv- ng Inventory, Self-Esteem Scale, Locus of Control Scale, and Parental Style Inventory were used. While the experimental group participated in a psycho-educational based group application that was based upon Conflict Theory, the control group did not participate in any kind of application. The findings of the research mdicatec that decision making skill training group applications increased the self-esteem level of adolescents and the application of adaptive coping style, whereas there was a decline in the application of maladaptive coping style and this effect seemed to be long term

Key Words

Adolescents, Decision Making, Decision Making Styles, Decision Making Skill Training

In this increasingly developing and changing world, people face more frequently the kind of situations that demand decision-making processes. Deve¬loping technology in particular has introduced a variety of options for people. An individual in a routine daily life can take very simple decisions but also social, economical, educational, political and professional decisions too that have the potential to change the course of their lives. If the individual is capable of making effective decisions, this ability accelerates the satisfaction taken from life and sen¬se of wellness; if the reverse situation is true then the individual feels entrapped in life (Çolakkadi-oglu & Güçray 2007). Decisions indeed shape and direct our lives in a certain sense.

Researchers focusing on decision-making process have generally described decision-making as the process of selecting one specific option amongst a list of potential alternatives (Beyt-Marom, Fisc-hoff, Jacobs-Quadrel, & Furby 1991; Furby & Beyt-Marom, 1992; Miller & Byrnes, 2001; Nelson, 1984; Von Winterfeldt, & Edwards, 1986; Zunker, 1998) and they have noted that decision-making process is under the influence of intuition, attachment, fa¬mily, peer pressure, memory, prejudice, informati-on coding, feeling, motivation, stress, psychoactive substances, personality traits and problem-solving (Byrnes, 1998; Klaczynski, Byrnes, & Jacobs, 2001; Sinangil, 1993). Initially, decision-making had been described as an unteachable skill and considered to develop- just like language development, mental maturation and social communication- parallel to rise in age (Baron & Brown, 1991). However recent studies have manifested that decision-making skill can be taught (Baron & Brown; Byrnes; Byrnes, Miller, & Reynolds, 1999; Fletcher & Wooddell, 1981; Fuligni & Eccles, 1993; Klaczynski et al. 2001; Lewis, 1983; Mann, Harmoni et al. 1989; Schvane-veldt & Adams, 1983; Simon, 1980; Strauss & Clark, 1992; Taal & De Carvalho, 1997). In that aspect cer¬tain programs aiming to develop decision-making skills have been generated (Bal, 1998; Botvin, 1983; Ersever, 1996; Mann, Harmoni et al., 1989; Mann, Harmoni, Power, Beswick, & Ormond, 1988; Nic-kerson, Perkins, & Smith, 1985; Ross, 1981; Schin-ke & Gilchrist, 1984; Spitzhoff, Ramirez, & Wills, 1982; $eyhun, 2000; Taal & De Carvalho).

A review of foreign literature presented that there are numerous educational programs focusing on developing decision-making skills of adolescents to support them in taking more logical and rati-onal decisions. The researches conducted in our country are limited to two studies analyzing de¬cision-making skills of university (Ersever, 1996) and primary education ($eyhun, 2000) students. Nonetheless there is not a single research based on conflict theory covering secondary education grade 9 students, testing the effects of psycho-educational group based group applications on decision-ma¬king styles of students. …