The effect of leader presence on change in a personal growth group
This study investigated leader presence effect by dividing a sample of 127 volunteer undergraudate students into 15 small groups of 5-10 members. The students were arbitarily placed into groups with an attempt to balance each group in regard to age, sex, and availability. Eight of the small groups had a leader present and 7 of the groups had no leader present. All 15 groups met for 2 consecutive hours for 5 consecutive weeks. All 15 groups received the same instructions. The 8 leader-present groups were instructed by the leader reading a typed script taken from the tape recordings which were used to instruct the no-leader-present groups. The leaders were graduate students in the Guidance and Counseling Department at Ball State University. The tape recorded instructions were selected from the Encountertapes for Personal Growth Groups designed by Betty Berzon.The Personal Orientation Inventory and the Interpersonal Check List were administered to each of the subjects prior to their group experience and immediately following the final session. An analysis of covariance was computed for these data.. The subjects completed a self report scale at the conclusion of each session. Chi squares were computed for these data. The .05 level of confidence was established for rejection of the null hypotheses. At the conclusion of the final session each subject also completed an open ended questionnaire on which they reacted to the five week group experience. The questionnaire data were reported descriptively.An analysis of the data indicated that there was no significant differences between participants in the leader-present groups and in the no-leader-present groups. All of the null hypotheses were accepted.Discussion of the findings and recommendations for further study pertaining to leader presence effect on personal growth groups were made.