The effects of musical performance, rational emotive therapy and vicarious experience on the self-efficacy and self-esteem of juvenile delinquents and disadvantage children.

Kennedy, R. (1998). The effects of musical performance, rational emotive therapy and vicarious experience on the self-efficacy and self-esteem of juvenile delinquents and disadvantage children. (Doctoral dissertation) University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

Abstract:

The investigator conducted a study to assess the effect of music performance on disadvantaged and delinquent teenagers on their musical self-efficacy and self-esteem. The investigator randomly assigned 45 participants evenly into one of five conditions: (1) guitar and performance practice; (2) guitar, rational emotive therapy, and performance practice; (3) guitar and rational emotive therapy; (4) guitar and observation of peer performance; and (5) only the 30 minute guitar lessons. All participants also received 30 minutes of guitar lessons during the duration of the three month study. The students were assessed on self-efficacy and self-esteem at the beginning of the study, after three months, and again one month later. Results showed that students receiving instruction on musical performance techniques, with or without rational emotive therapy, improved their self-esteem and self-efficacy compared to students in the other conditions.

Key Findings:

The group of students who received 30 minutes of performance practice and the group who received 15 minutes of rational emotive therapy and 15 minutes of performance practice along with guitar training showed significantly higher self-efficacy and self-esteem than other conditions. Further, the rational emotive therapy and observation of per performance groups scored lower than the guitar only groups indicated as these conditions had a negative impact on students.

Significance of the Findings:

Students who receive instruction on musical performance techniques and students who received both instruction on musical performance techniques and rational emotive therapy showed greater self-esteem and self-efficacy compared to the students in the other conditions. Music educators and those using music as therapy may want to add performance technique instruction with instrumental training for improved impact on students’ self-esteem and self-efficacy.

Methodology:

The 45 disadvantaged and delinquent teenage participants received 30 minutes of guitar lessons for three months and were randomly assigned to one of the following five conditions: (1) received 30 minutes of performance practice; (2) received 15 minutes rational emotive therapy and 15 minutes of performance practice; (3) received 30 minutes of rational emotive therapy; (4) observed their peers perform for 30 minutes; or (5) only the 30 minute guitar lessons. The students were assessed on self-efficacy and self-esteem at the beginning of the study, three months later at the end of instruction, and again one month later. Self-efficacy was assessed using the Self-Efficacy Scale and self-esteem was measured using the Rosenberg Self-Esteem measure. Analyses of variance (ANOVAs) and multiple analyses of variance (MANOVAs) were used to test the effects of the different conditions and the times the participants were tested on their self-esteem and self-efficacy.

Limitations of the Research:

The major limitation to this research is the low sample size – with 45 participants, each condition was only nine youth. The study also had too many conditions, which makes it difficult to distinguish what attributed to the results. It is possible that only 15 minutes of performance technique training could produce similar results.

Questions to Guide New Research:

Could the study be replicated using a larger sample and better defined groups? How long are the improvements in self-esteem and self-efficacy shown in two of the groups sustained?