Examination of the Therapeutic Process in a Juvenile Probation Setting and Further Validation of the Group Assessment of Interpersonal Traits (GAIT)

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




The present study was undertaken to examine several questions ranging from simple, direct, detailed examination of juvenile probation officer behavior in a county juvenile court system, to a more technical question—Does this study provide additional validation of the Group Assessment of Interpersonal Traits? In addition, the study locks at the relationship between probation officer's verbal behaviors and their ratings of Therapist Talent.

Twelve juvenile probation officers (full-time and volunteer) and their probationers agreed to have four individual sessions audio recorded. Randomly selected segments of these tapes were rated by two sets of raters. Their verbal behaviors were categorized and ratings on Rogers' Therapist Talent dimensions of Empathy, Warmth, and Openness were made. Also, all the probation officers participated in an initial interpersonal skills exercise developed by Goodman (1972)—The Group Assessment of Interpersonal Traits (GAIT).

Frequency counts of the verbal behavior categories were made and t orrelations between verbal behaviors and Therapist Talent ratings were calculated. The results indicated that the probation officers provide a nonconfrontative, supportive, "friend" for the probationers to relate to. Even though direct correlations between GAIT verbal behaviors and verbal behaviors during the sessions were almost nonexistent, some suggestions ter use of .he GAIT ;r. “he selection end training of probation officers were proposed.

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