The effect of a support group experience on children of divorce as measured by a test of self-esteem
This study investigated the effects of a support group experience on the measured self-esteem of children of divorced parents. Self-esteem was measured by the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory (SEI). A sample of 14 children was drawn from the population of children of divorce in the DeKalb area in northern Illinois. The experimental group was composed of eight children who were randomly selected and tested on the Coopersmith SEI before a 6-week support group experience. The control group was made up of six children who were randomly selected and given the Coopersmith SEI at the same time in the same setting as the experimental group. The experimental group then experienced a structured 6-week support group. Following the 6-week program the Coopersmith SEI was again administered to both groups in the same setting. The pretest-posttest control group design was employed to analyze gain scores and an independent samples t-test was used to determine if the self-esteem of the children who experienced the support group program was significantly different from the control group that did not undergo that experience. Subsequent to the second administration of the SEI, the original control group participated in a support group experience similar to that of the original experimental group. At the conclusion, scores from their control group experience were compared to scores from their support group experience, again employing the pretest-posttest control group design, calculating mean gain scores and comparing the two sets of scores by using the independent samples t̲-test. Both analyses showed no statistically significant differences at the .05 level of confidence. It is therefore concluded that within the limitations of this study, a support group experience of 6 weeks duration does not improve the self-esteem of children from divorced families.