Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Roger R. Ries


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of breach of confidentiality on adolescents' level of trust using a pretest/posttest control group experimental design. The study used a normal population of eighth grade middle school students enrolled in average regular education classes in the Hampton Public School System. The initial sample consisted of 162 students (123 of which completed the entire study), designated as high or low trusters based on their scores on Rotter's Interpersonal Trust Scale, who were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups, and the groups randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatment conditions (Full Justification, Minimal Justification and Control), with high and low trusters equally distributed.;Dependent variables of trust and self-disclosure were assessed by Rotter's Interpersonal Trust Scale, Jourard's Self-Disclosure Questionnaire, and the High School Personality Questionnaire. Data was analyzed using multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA). Five research hypotheses were tested to determine whether there would be significant differences at the.05 level among groups, and whether there would be differential effects between high and low trusters.;The data analysis found no statistically significant differences among groups on the variables of trust, self-disclosure and the 14 factors assessing personality functioning on the High School Personality Questionnaire. There was a significant time effect for self-disclosure, with students, regardless of group, reporting a higher level of self-disclosure at posttest. There also was a significant differential effect between high and low trusters, on the trust measure and on two factors of the High School Personality Questionnaire (Cheerfulness and Withdrawal), with high trusters showing a decrease in their scores and low trusters showing an increase in their scores.;Further research is needed to verify the results of this study. Recommendations include the replication and extension of this study by increasing the sample size; using special populations of students such as unmotivated gifted students or potential dropouts; using students who actually seek assistance from counselors for personal problems rather than relying on volunteers; and varying the counseling style as well as sex of the counselor and student in the videotape presentation.



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