A student’s creditability and personal development are essential elements for college success

A student’s creditability and personal development are essential elements for college success

Donald F. DeMoulin

The study examines change in relation to the personal development and creditability of students as they progress through a college in Tennessee. It is suggested as a model for all colleges to insure that personal development and creditability of students occurs. Clearly, female students tend to do better than male ones, but for this group of 216 students both male and female student show excellent progress in such development. The PDT test promises to be an excellent means for use by high schools and colleges to insure progress is being made in the personal development of students.

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The American Psychiatric Association used 26 advisory committees in the development of DSM-III-R and DSM-IV (1994) where the Global Assessment Functioning Scale was determined to be critical in the health and success of individuals. It consists of a five point scale where a rating of 5 suggests excellent Global Functioning, a rating of 3 as average, and a rating of 1 as the absence of effective Global Functioning. The problem with the DSM-IV scale is that it fails to identify any of the critical elements involved in Global Functioning or Personal Development; so that specific change can be planned. From Third Force Psychology and Person-Centered Theory by Rogers (1945) and Maslow 1954) we learn that Global Functioning is based on the Personal Development of the individual, and the PDT seeks to use some of those critical elements.

Assessing Personal Development

The Personal Development and Confluence Test (PDT) (Cassel & Chow, 2001) is designed to measure the Personal Development of youth and adults. It is comprised of 200 true/false type items with 25 in each of the 8 part scores. It is based on Dewey’s definition of a democracy–the interdependence of independent individuals. The first 4 part scores measure Personal Maturity for the Independence element in the Dewey definition, and the second 4 part scores measure Social Integration for the interdependence one. Each one of the 8 part scores provides a meaningful understanding of the functional basis of Personal Development.

I. Personal Maturity–able to compete and succeed in an economic based society:

1. Self-efficacy–Exercise of personal control with high expectations and long staying power, and the development of long-term goals..

2. Coping Skills–possession of personal manipulative skills with a willingness and ability to develop others as needed.

3. Positive Assertiveness–begins with character education involving use and abuse of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs; and including action towards goal-attainment.

4. Locus of Control–belief that success is not luck, but scientific decision making.

II. Social Integration–ability to get along with all kinds of people–different races and religions:

5. Conformity–accept and become an integral part of community and nation with behavior like others and with a “team” like spirit.

6. Sympathy–ability to empathize and put self in place of the other person, and feel their pain and pleasures.

7. Self-esteem–sensing that peers have a lofty and important image of you as a team member.

8. Caring–Whatever happens to one person or animal anywhere in the world is important to all persons everywhere.

Confluence Score

The Confluence Score is comprised of 42 items; which includes 21 pairs of the 200 PDT items, and deals squarely with agreement and harmony of one’s responses–creditability. The idea derives from the earlier use of a “LIE” score in the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (1970). About half of those 21 pairs are direct opposites, and the other half lack agreement with the other item in the pair in varying degrees. If the individual, for example, scores one of those items in the pair “true,” and fails to score the second item in the pair “false,” there is a lack of congruence–agreement or harmony. In this sense, then, the “Confluence Score” is a measure of “creditability” of the person taking the test; as well as the test results. It may mean, of course, that the Test Taker did not read or understand the items involved. What ever the mason for such failure, the notion of creditability still holds. People are inclined to want to make self look favorable and tend to answer test questions in agreement with own positive image; often not in agreement with facts. The Confluence Score seeks to verify creditability of the test taker as well as the test results.

Validity of Confluence Score

Validity means the statistical degree of agreement between the item or score and other data of relevance. It is clear beyond any doubt that the Confluent Score could be used very effectively to predict the student’s PDT scores (Personal Development of students) (every PDT score correlates -0.359 or higher); or even the student’s GPA (Grade Point Average) (r = -0.132). The Confluence Score is an integral part of the PDT test–same items used to measure Personal Development; not an addition as in the Minnesota Multiphasic Inventory (1970).

1. Male students tend to have higher Confluence Scores than females–(every score has a negative (-) correlation except CAR (Caring) based on “Sign” statistical concept, and 5 of the 8 scores are statistically significant at the 01 level or better.

2. For all part scores on the PDT test there is a significantly high positive correlation with the Confluent Score, and with the lowest correlation being -0.359 for ASS–the higher the PDT score the lower the Confluent Score.

3. There is a statistically significant relationship between the Confluent Score and the GPA of students at the 05 level of confidence (r = -0.132)–the higher the GPA the lower the CON score.

4. The Confluent Score has acceptable reliability when compared to the PDT-TOT score and corrected with the Spearman/Brown formula (r = 0.751).

Test Score Reliability

The data in Table 2 below shows the reliability for all of the part scores on the PDT test using the Spearman/Brown correction formula. In general, the PDT part scores have exceedingly high reliability indexes, and would not need to be corrected for effective use.

Gender Differences in Personal Development

The data contained in Table 3 below displays a comparison between the PDT scores for the 196 female students, and the 90 males. Every one of the part PDT scores except CAR (Caring) shows a difference favoring female students, and that difference is statistically significant at the 01 level or better for 5 of those scores. First, it should be noted that the female student had a mean age of 21.540; while the male students were slightly younger with a mean age of 21.289 years old. The two scores that show the greatest difference in favor of female students are: (1) Coping Skills–COP, and (2) Sympathy (SYM).

Student Growth in Creditability

The Confluent Score measures the “agreement and harmony” of the total involvement of an individual, and this always means “creditability” not only of the persons, but also of the production efforts h/she is presently involved in. The multiple regression analysis contained in Table 4 below suggests that as the individual college students in this study progress in Personal Development, they tend to progress equally in terms of total agreement and harmony of their actions. Every aspect of personal development as measured by the PDT part scores contributes to gains in creditability of the individual student and h/her work–better agreement and harmony. The greatest such change is with all part scores in concernt, and that is a guarantee that each and every part score on the PDT plays a critical role in the personal development of such students.

Personal Development and Student GPA

The data in Table 5 depicts a multiple correlation of part scores on the PDT and the Grade Point Average (GPA) of such students. It is clear that the PDT part scores are a reliable index of the school’s record of the students’ achievement progress as depicted in the GPA. The school GPA clearly represents a valid measure of student Personal Development; as well as student creditability–the higher the GPA, the better the improvement in personal development and creditability-agreement and harmony.

Table 1

Pearson r of PDT Scores and Data

(N=216)

Data &

Scores 1 2 3 4 5 6

1. Age 1000

2. Gender -022 1000

3. Grade 265 * 046 1000

4. EFF 091 -100 -019 1000

5. COP 040 -317 * -097 689 * 1000

6. ASS 002 -208 * -000 414 * 567 * 1000

7. LOC 120 -299 * -025 541 * 688 * 514 *

8. PERMAT 079 -276 * -050 822 * 901 * 715 *

9. CFM -003 -266 * -063 479 * 437 * 189 *

10. SYM 088 -345 * -055 324 * 488 * 480 *

ll. EST 022 -007 -166 684 * 597 * 497 *

12. CAR -075 037 -013 461 * 458 * 358 *

13. SOCINT 017 -207 * -097 677 * 681 * 531 *

14. PDTTOT 053 -261 * -079 803 * 849 * 668 *

15. CON -047 134 049 -496 * -548 * -359 *

16. GPA -114 -175 043 199 * 173 077

Data &

Scores 7 8 9 10 11 12

1. Age

2. Gender

3. Grade

4. EFF

5. COP

6. ASS

7. LOC 1000

8. PERMAT 843 * 1000

9. CFM 462 * 488 * 1000

10. SYM 438 * 519 * 424 * 1000

ll. EST 510 * 701 * 302 * 291 * 1000

12. CAR 400 * 517 * 352 * 410 * 471 * 1000

13. SOCINT 615 * 767 * 687 * 737 * 720 * 762 *

14. PDTTOT 786 * 948 * 619 * 660 * 757 * 666 *

15. CON -363 * -550 * -367 * -416 * -477 * -456 *

16. GPA -018 130 -015 034 123 079

Data &

Scores 13 14 15

1. Age

2. Gender

3. Grade

4. EFF

5. COP

6. ASS

7. LOC

8. PERMAT

9. CFM

10. SYM

ll. EST

12. CAR

13. SOCINT 1000

14. PDTTOT 930 * 1000

15. CON -590 * -602 * 1000

16. GPA 082 113 -132

* The 05 Sig of r = 0.138, and 01 sig. = 0.181

Table 2

Pearson r PDT Scores w/Spearman/Brown Correction

(N-216)

PDT Part Score PDT Total Score Pearson r Spearman/Brown

1. Self-efficacy PERMAT 0.822 0.802

2. Coping Skills PERMAT 0.901 0.917

3. Positive

Assertiveness PERMAT 0.715 0.835

4. Locus of Control

(Decision Making) PERMAT 0.843 0.914

5. Personal Maturity PDTTOT 0.948 0.972

6. Conformity SOCINT 0.687 0.827

7. Sympathy SOCINT 0.737 0.849

8. Self-esteem SOCINT 0.720 0.836

9. Caring SOCINT 0.762 0.885

10. Social Integration PDTTOT 0.930 0.961

11. Confluence PDTTOT -0.602 0.751

Table 3

Comparing PDT Score by Gender using a t-Statistic

(N=126 females and 90 males)

PDT Female Male

Scores Group Group Difference

1. Self-efficacy -EFF:

M 69.97 66.76 -3.21

SD 15.95 15.75

2. Coping Skills -COP:

M 80.00 69.87 -10.13

SD 13.43 17.02

3. Positive Assertiveness – ASS:

M 63.18 58.49 -4.69

SD 9.87 12.24

4. Locus of Control-LOC:

M 77.30 68.00 -9.30

SD 13.23 16.60

5. Personal Maturity – PERMAT:

M 290.54 263.56 -26.98

SD 43.05 51.09

6. Conformity-CFM:

M 66.41 58.93 -7.48

SD 13.94 12.68

7. Sympathy-SYM:

M 72.25 61.76 -10.49

SD 12.98 15.66

8. Self-esteem-EST:

M 74.60 74.40 -0.20

SD 13.64 17.55

9. Carng-CAR:

M 64.89 65.96 1.07

SD 15.03 13.58

10. Social Integration-SOCINT:

M 278.16 260.36 -17.80

SD 41.46 42.03

11. PDT total – PDTTOT:

M 569.02 523.91 -45.11

SD 78.93 87.18

12. Condolence Score-CON:

M 7.41 8.13 0.72

SD 2.46 2.90

13. GRADE Point Average-GPA

M 3.07 2.89 -0.18

SD 0.52 0.45

PDT t-Statistic Probability

Scores

1. Self-efficacy -EFF: 1.467 n.s.

M

SD

2. Coping Skills -COP: 4.888 0.000

M

SD

3. Positive Assertiveness – ASS: 3.110 0.002

M

SD

4. Locus of Control-LOC: 4.578 0.000

M

SD

5. Personal Maturity – PERMAT: 4.199 0.000

M

SD

6. Conformity-CFM: 4.035 0.000

M

SD

7. Sympathy-SYM: 5.374 0.000

M

SD

8. Self-esteem-EST: 0.096 n.s.

M

SD

9. Carng-CAR: 0.535 n.s.

M

SD

10. Social Integration-SOCINT: 3.094 0.002

M

SD

11. PDT total – PDTTOT: 3.963 0.000

M

SD

12. Condolence Score-CON: 1.972 0.050

M

SD

13. GRADE Point Average-GPA 2.593 0.010

M

SD

Table 4

Multiple Linear Regression Analysis of PDT

Scores Against Confluent Score (N=216)

Multiple Adj. R

PDT Scores in Concert R Squared Probability

1. PDTTOT 0.602 0.360 0.000

2. PERMAT 0.550 0.299 0.000

3. SOCINT 0.590 0.345 0.000

4. PERMAT+SOCINT 0.609 0.365 0.000

5. EFF+COP+ASS+LOC 0.577 0.320 0.000

6. CFM+SYM+EST+CAR 0.596 0.344 0.000

7. EFF+COP+ASS+LOC+CFM+SYM+EST+CAR 0.637 0.382 0.000

Table 5

Multiple Linear Regression Analysis of PDT Scores Against GPA

(N=216)

Adj.

Multiple Squared

PDT Scores in Concert R R Probability

1. PDTTOT 0.113 0.008 n.s.

2. PERMAT 0.130 0.012 0.006

3. SOCINT 0.082 0.002 n.s.

4. PERMAT+SOCINT 0.133 0.008 n.s.

5. EFF+COP+ASS+LOC 0.290 0.067 0.001

6. CFM+SYM+EST+CAR 0.140 0.001 n.s.

7. EFF+COP+ASS+LOC+CFM+SYM+EST+CAR 0.304 0.058 0.009

References

Cassel, R.N. (2001). Third Force Psychology use to foster Hall-Marks for success serves as the basis for Delinquency and Crime prevention. Education, 121(4), 642-648.

Cassel, R.N., and Blackwell, J. (2001) The LIE score on the PDT serves as an index for creditability of test taker and test results. Education, 121(3) pending.

Cassel, R.N., and Chow, P. (2001). The Personal Development Test. Chula Vista, California: Project Innovation.

Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and Education. New York: McMillan. P. 49.

DSM-IV. (1994). Diagnostical and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association.

Hathaway, S.R., and McKinley, J.C. (1970). Minnesota Personality Inventory. New York: Psychological Corporation.

Maslow, A.H. (1954). Motivation and Personality. New York: Harper and Brothers.

Rogers, C.R. (1945). Becoming a Person. Austin, Texas: The Hogg Foundation.

DR. DONALD F. DEMOULIN

University of Tennessee at Martin,

2243 Buchanan Road

Buchanan, Tennessee 38222

COPYRIGHT 2002 Project Innovation (Alabama)

COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group