October 1974

The Effects of Assertive Training on Self-Concept and Anxiety

Author Affiliations

From the Veterans Administration Hospital, Palo Alto, Calif (Dr. Percell), and the Southern Arizona Mental Health Center, Tucson, Ariz (Drs. Berwick and Beigel).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1974;31(4):502-504. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1974.01760160052011

The hypothesis that people who are assertive are also more selfaccepting and less anxious was tested by administering to 100 psychiatric outpatients an assertive inventory, a self-acceptance scale, and an anxiety measure. Results showed a substantial positive relationship for both men and women between the assertive inventory and the self-acceptance measure and a strong negative correlation for women only between the assertive inventory and the anxiety measure.

To test whether group assertive training would increase self-esteem and reduce general level of anxiety, as well as teach assertive skills, 24 patients were assigned to either an assertive training group or a relationship-control group for eight sessions. Subjects in the assertive training group showed significant increases in assertiveness, self-acceptance and significant decreases in anxiety relative to controls.