Assertiveness in Children and Adolescents: Theoretical Problems and Methods of Measurement

Maria Oleś


The paper deals with the theoretical issues related with the problems of assertiveness and its studies in children and adolescents. Assertiveness is treated as one of the basic social skills, which makes it possible for a person to act in conformity with his or her own interest, to defend his or her rights without unnecessary fear or to express one’s own beliefs, emotions and thought in a frank, open and direct manner, without encroaching upon others’ rights. Assertive behaviour is linked with a good mood and mental well being. Now aggressiveness or submissiveness are opposite to assertiveness. Many psychological methods draw on to this distinction, including the methods of self-assessment.

A. Bandura’s social-cognitive theory is especially useful in explaining assertive behaviour. It lays theoretical foundations for the programmes of training social skills.

A review of methods includes: R. Deluty’s Children’s Action Tendency Scale (CATS), L. Michelson’s and R. Wood’s Children’s Assertive Behaviour Scale (CABS) as adapted by M. Oles, Adolescent Assertion Expression Scale (AAES) by J. Connor et al., and T. Ollendick’s Children’s Assertiveness Inventory (CAI).

Methodological problems of assertiveness measurement have been discussed on the basis of several examples of scales, with a view to their possibilities and limitations, and how they can be used under Polish conditions.

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