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THE ABILITY TO SAY ‘YES’ OR ‘NO’: A SURVEY ON ASSERTIVENESS AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS Noushad P P Lecturer in Social Sciences Farook Training College Calicut Kerala, PIN 673632 & Dr. Mohamedunni Alias Musthafa Lecturer in Education Department of Education University of Calicut Calicut University P O Kerala, PIN 673635 Abstract In democracy assertiveness has a vital role to play. An assertive person recognizes and expresses his rights to exist without violating the rights of others. The main purpose of the present study was to find out gender difference, differences due to locale and type of management of the schools in which the sample subjects were enrolled on Assertiveness at the secondary school level. The investigators adopted Rathu Assertiveness Scale to measure the variable. The study shows that the assertiveness of secondary school students needs improvement. The study also reveals that there is no significant gender difference and difference in terms of the type of management under which the school functioned on assertiveness but there is a significant difference between students of Rural and Urban schools. To become successful in the modern competitive world one must stand up for one's lights, no matter what the circumstances. One should be able to correct the situations when one's rights are being violated. This is to be done while protecting and respecting the rights of others. This assertive behaviour will prepare the individual for living in a dynamic living society. Assertion involves direct expression of one's feelings, preferences, needs or opinions in a manner that is neither threatening nor punishing towards another person (Galassi & Galassi, 1979); but assertion does not involve an excessive amount of anxiety or fears. Assertion is primarily a way to get what one wants, and express opinions without punishing, threatening or putting down the other person (Galassi & Galassi, 1979). To be assertive, one must become aware of one's own needs. In a situation where one's needs are being violated one can express one's needs in a direct and non-aggressive way. The other person may have had no intention of violating one's needs, and may graciously make a change that makes both feel better. If a person appropriately expresses a wish not to do what was requested, the other person will adjust his expectations of the person, and will be less likely to make requests in the future. Assertiveness helps to improve communication skills, self-esteem and decision-making ability.

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It helps to overcome shyness and anger. Feelings and ideas can be expressed in an honest way, which make the relationships more genuine. The respect you show for other people can lead others to respect you more. Assertiveness also gives more control over environment, reducing anxiety Assertiveness is the courage to be ourselves and help us show the world who we really are: our likes and dislikes, our thoughts, feelings and short comings. It is about communicating honestly with family, friends and colleagues. As we become more assertive, we drop the mask and show our true selves. We proclaim: "This is who I am, this is what I feel, and these are my needs". Assertiveness is the ability to say yes or no when one want to; it is the freedom to be oneself in all circumstances. It is the ability to get what we want when we want it (Walker, 2001). Gupta et al., (2002) investigated the effect of different techniques of

assertiveness training on students’ self-concept. After the experiment, it was found that assertiveness training enhanced the level of self-concept of students. Stake et al., (2005) conducted an experiment on the effect of assertiveness training on self-esteem of adolescent girls. After providing assertiveness training significant changes in self-esteem scores were found. Jinsi (2006) investigated relationship between Self Assertiveness and Emotional Intelligence of Higher Secondary Students. She found significant relationship between Self Assertiveness and Emotional Intelligence of Higher Secondary Students. Since adolescent stage is a transition in all aspects of development, it is crucial to develop the assertive behaviour at this stage itself expecting its wider transfer value in the later stages of life. Hence a study on the assertive behaviour of secondary school students could be highly relevant. The major purpose of the present study was to find out whether there exist any significant difference in Assertiveness of the pupils across the subsamples based on Gender, Locale of the School and Type of Management of the school. Sample The present study was carried out on a representative sample 590 students of Class IX of Secondary Schools of Kerala state. The sample was drawn by stratified sampling method giving due representation to factors like gender, locale and type of management of the school. Instrument An ‘Assertiveness Inventory’ developed by Rathu (1973) was used as the tool.. This inventory consists of thirty-two statements, and each statement is given five possible responses – “Always, Often, ‘Can’t Say’, Sometimes, Not at all”. Out of the thirty-two statements, twenty are negatively scoring and twelve are positively scoring. The scores on each item are added to get the total assertiveness score. The validity of Rathus Assertiveness Schedule was established by correlating the scores of the present scale with the scales of the California psychological Inventory. The correlation coefficient obtained was 0.52. The Reliability of Rathu’s Assertiveness schedule

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was re examined using the test retest method over a three-week period. schedule thus administered to 103 seventh graders yielded correlation of 0.74 Procedure

As a preliminary analysis the important statistical constants such as arithmetic mean, median, mode, standard deviation, skewness and kurtosis of the scores on Assertiveness were computed for the total sample and for the relevant subsamples formed on the basis of Gender, locale and Type of Management of the schools. TABLE 1 DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS ON ASSERTIVENESS SCORES OF TOTAL SAMPLE AND SUBSAMPLES GROUPS Category N Mean Median Mode S.D.

Total Sample Male

590

111.447

112

116

13.792

287

111.561 111.339 110.312 112.629

112 112 111 113

116 118 119 117

13.519 14.068 13.360 14.155

Female Urban Rural

303 301 289

Govt. Schools Private Schools

295

110.603

111

110

12.873

295 112.291 113 116 14.627

The value of Arithmetic Mean, normality of distribution.

Median and Mode for the variable Assertiveness are

111.47, 112, 116 respectively. These values are almost equal which shows the possibility of

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In order to study gender difference in Assertiveness the means and standard deviation of the Assertiveness Scores of Male and Female subsample groups were subjected to two tailed test of significance of difference between means. The data and results of 't' test of the select independent variable of male and female in the total sample are presented in Table 2 TABLE 2 TEST OF SIGNIFICANCE OF DIFFERENCE IN MEAN ASSERTIVENESS SCORES OF MALE AND FEMALE SUBSAMPLE GROUPS

Group compared Variable Compared N1 Assertiveness 287 Male M1 111.56 σ1 13.519 N2 301 Female M2 111.339 σ2 14.068

Critical ratio

Level of significance 0.05

1.94

The critical ratio obtained is less than the table value OF 't' required for significance at 0.05 level. There exists no significant difference in the mean scores of Assertiveness between male and female. This shows that male and female are identical in their Assertiveness. The mean and standard deviation of Independent variable Assertiveness of Rural and Urban subjects of the total sample were subjected to two tailed test of significant of difference between means. The basic data for test of significance and the obtained critical ratio for rural and urban subjects are presented in Table 3. TABLE 3 TEST OF SIGNIFICANCE OF DIFFERENCE IN THE MEAN SCORES OF ASSERTIVENESS BETWEEN RURAL AND URBAN PUPILS Group Compared Variable Compared N1 Assertiveness 289 Rural M1 112.629 σ1 14.155 N2 301 Urban M2 110.312 σ2 13.360 Level of significance 0.05

Critical ratio

2.046

The critical ratio obtained is greater than the table value of 't' required for significance at 0.05 level.If the critical ratio is greater than the table value it shows that there is significant difference in the mean scores of Assertiveness between rural and urban pupils. The rural

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subsample group has a higher mean score than the urban subsample. In other words, rural students are more assertive than the urban students. The test of significant for the difference between the mean scores of Assertiveness of Government School and Private School pupils were calculated. Data and Results of the test of significance for the difference are presented in Table 4. TABLE 4 TEST OF SIGNIFICANCE OF DIFFERENCE IN THE MEAN SCORES ON ASSERTIVENESS BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE SCHOOL PUPILS Groups Compared Variable Compared N1 Assertiveness 295 M1 110.603 σ1 12.873 N2 295 M2 112.291 σ2 14.627 1.488 Government Private Level of significance 0.05

Critical ratio

The critical ratio obtained is less than the table value of 't' required for significance at 0.05 level. This shows that there is no significant difference in the mean scores of Assertiveness between Government and Private School pupils. It also indicates that Government and Private School Pupils are Identical in their Assertiveness. Results There is no gender difference among the secondary school students on Assertiveness. The 't' value obtained (2.046) showed that Rural pupils show higher mean value than the Urban pupils. Again, the 't' value obtained (0.048) showed that there exist no significant difference in the mean scores on assertiveness of Government and Private school pupils. It means that Government and Private school pupils are identical in their Assertiveness. Conclusion These findings have considerable implications for the students, teachers, adolescents, parents, managers, administrators, counsellors and for the society at large. The students who have problems regarding communication and self expression, cannot not assert for their rights. Further investigations may be conducted to identify the factors causing locale difference in Assertiveness of secondary students. Teachers can facilitate students to become assertive through modeling, encouragement, and other strategies which will enhance the confidence and ability of students. References

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Anderson, D.C. (1980). The Relationship Among Assertion, Aggression, and Self Concept. Unpublished Ph.D Thesis, University of South Florida. Arnov, N. E. (1981). Judgement of assertiveness specific component variables. A doctoral dissertation verginia. Polytechnic Institute of state University Virginia. Betts & Francis (1977). The relevance of anxiety and assertiveness in urban field students. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. EJ 174876). Breckling, L.R. & Ullman, S.E. (2005). Self Defence or Assertiveness Training of Women's Responses to Sexual Attacks. Journal of interpersonal violence. 20: 738-762. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. EJ 690508). Chapman, A. (2008). Assertiveness and self-confidence : how to help build boast and develop selfconfidence and Assertiveness. Business Balls Space.13,:56-464 Dunham, R.G. & Brower, H.T. (1984). The effects of assertiveness training in the non University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Galassi & Galassi (1979). Relationship between Assertiveness and factorially validated Cognitive Therapy and Research Journal. 6:45-52 Gupta, M: Hooda, R.C: & Kumar, J, (2002). Effect of different techniques of assertiveness training on students self-concept: Recent Researches in Education and Psychology. 7:19-24. Jenyar (2007) Ten assertive rights of an Individual. New York: Political Prisoner. Jinsi, A.J. (2006). Self Assertiveness and Emotional Intelligence of Higher Secondary Students. Unpublished M.Ed dissertation, Farook Training College, University of Calicut. Rathu, S.D. (1973). The Rathu's Assertiveness Schedule in Corcorna, K. & Sisher, J. (Eds). Measures for Clinical Practices: A Source Book. New York. Stake, E.J.; Deville, C.J. & Pennell, C.L. (2005). The effect of Assertiveness training on Performance Self-esteem of Adolescent girls. Netherlands: Springer traditional

role assumption of geriatric nurse practitioners. Unpublished doctoral dissertation,

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