Jeff Carroll

Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

William Pfohl

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Spivack and Shure’s (1974) Interpersonal Cognitive Problem-Solving (ICPS) model was evaluated on Educable Mentally Retarded (EMR) children. The major question was whether the implementation of Shure and Spivack’s (1978) Kindergarten Interpersonal Problem-Solving Program (KIPS) would enhance the ICPS skills and behavioral adjustment of EMR children up to the level needed for successful integration into the regular classroom. The study included 40 EMR children from ages eight to fourteen. The subjects were divided equally into two groups, one receiving Shure and Spivack’s (1978) KIPS program and one receiving informal social skills training. These groups were divided further into a younger group, ages eight to nine, and an older group, ages ten to fourteen. In both treatment groups the special education teachers directly administered the program to the children. The experimenter served as a consultant to the teachers. Two evaluation measure were used, Spivack and Shure’s (1974) Preschool Interpersonal Problem-Solving Test (an alternative thinking measure) and Kendall and Wilcox’s (1979) Self-Control Rating Scale (a behavioral adjustment measure). An analysis of variance was utilized to assess both evaluation measures. It was found that on the Preschool Interpersonal Problem-Solving Test there were significant main effects for the type of training the subject received (F=17.14, p<.01), the age of the subjects (F=6.26, p<.05), and pre- versus post-testing (F=56.11, p<.01). There were two significant interactions, a three-way interaction between age of subjects, type of training, and pre- versus post-testing (F=6.60, p<.05), and a two-way interaction between type of training and pre- versus post-testing (F=56.11, p<.01). The Newman-Keul’s Multiple Range Test was used to analyze the interactions. It was found that both the young and old experimental groups obtained a significant increase in their Preschool Interpersonal Problem-Solving Test scores from pre- to post-testing (p<.01) while neither the young nor the old control groups had a significant increase from pre- to post-test. On the other evaluation measure, the Self-Control Rating Scale, a significant main effect was found for pre- versus post-testing. There were no other significant main effects or interactions found. These finding suggest that Shure and Spivack’s (1978) KIPS program increases alternative thinking and ICPS skills, and improve the self-control of elementary aged EMR children. This study, beside being effective, was also cost-efficient. The program lasted only about five and one-half weeks and took only 10 to 40 minutes each day to present. In addition, the consultation model was used which reduced the amount of time the experimenter had to spend running the study. Inferences from the findings of this study may be limited, due to the possible lack of equivalent samples. The control and experimental groups were not matched according to SES and IQ. From the results of this study and other problem-solving studies involving children, there appear to be many areas that need to be further investigated.


Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Elementary Education and Teaching