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The Impact of Unresolved Loss on Adolescent Anger and Defiant Behavior

Description: This study examines the impact of issues of loss on adolescents. It was hypothesized that adolescents who experienced incidents of loss which were not adequately supported or processed to the point of resolution are much more likely to exhibit more angry and defiant behaviors than those who did not have such life experiences. Three instruments were used to identify loss and related impact. The first is the Interview Process, designed to identify issues of loss and screen for problematic behavior. This tool is used to qualify the participant for the study, and to designate which study group the participant will be assigned. The Family Constellation Exercise is an experiential assessment tool that exemplifies how emotionally close or distant the participant feels in relation to his or her nuclear family members. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Assessment - Adolescent version (MMPI-A) is used to identify behaviors and thought patterns associated with anger and defiance.The study was able to conclude that there is a strong potential for unresolved loss to negatively impact an adolescent. The study also discovered that many teenagers who do not exhibit angry or defiant behaviors have also experienced loss, yet do not act out anger. Suggestions are made as to why this is so, and implications for future research are made.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Myers, Janell
Partner: UNT Libraries