THE BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY AND ITS PROBLEM
Adolescence is the period when a child grows into an adult. It is a time of transformation for they are not regarded in early childhood nor adulthood – an identity building stage (UNICEF, 2008). During this stage of development, teenagers face several challenges that leads to confusion and vulnerability involving the holism a person, from the physical changes to the development, social skills, personality and spirituality and it seems that the success of adolescents in dealing with these depends on their self-assertiveness (Erikson, n.d. & Mofrad & Mehrabi, 2015).
Adolescents are stigmatized, being perceived as problematic and difficult individuals who are frequently seen as the protagonist of social conflict. But this should not be the case: these young people must be seen as agents of change because they have enormous potential that can contribute to society. Therefore, a positive approach to adolescents is needed to change the perception to them (UNICEF, 2008).
Assertiveness affects many areas in life. An assertive person stands up for things that matter to him or her while at the same time respecting the things that matter to others (Zimmerman & Luecke, 2010).
Many people find it difficult to say no when being asked to do something. Unassertive behaviors include failure to express honest feelings, thought and beliefs or express them in such a pathetic way that others can easily ignore and abuse them (Crystal, 2005). While people are expressing their feelings and opinions, it can be mentioned that they have been three main behaviors. If these behavior forms are taken in hand on a right line, they can be placed as at one point no assertiveness and at the other point aggressiveness and at middle point assertiveness (Inceo?lu & Aytar, n.d.).
Many have undergone profound transformational experiences, turning points, in which they pushed themselves to act assertively and even boldly when the circumstances required it. In the process, they discovered that assertiveness is an effective set of skills on which they can draw when the time is right (Kelley, 2015). It can be used as an instrument for initiating and maintaining socially supportive relationships and hence enjoying better emotional wellbeing (Eskin, 2003).
In order to avoid being unassertive, Rees and Graham (n.d.) suggested that assertion techniques that enables people to develop their social contacts and to be more helpful both personally and professionally. Assertiveness was considered to be a mean of self-development and achievement of maximum personal fulfillment and assertive skills in various communication fields in conjunction with the increased demands on social competence of the individual (Ivelina & Mavrodiev, 2013). It helps them in improving self-confidence, self-esteem and also helps them to stand up for their rights without being aggressive and without violating the rights of others.(Parray & Kumar, 2015).
Moreover, Renata (2014) also said that adolescents be helped by parents so that the skill and knowledge they need as they begin asserting their independence will develop. It is in this life stage that they need the most of the guidance of their parents (Santrock, 2009).
By all means, assertive people tend to have fewer conflicts which translates into much less stress in life (Marshall, 2015). People should attain this trait to resist pressure and stress and to be more confident and responsible. Being able to keep a clear goal and work towards are important skills towards success.
This study aims to assess the level of assertiveness in order to bring change in low level of assertiveness among the senior high school students of Saint Mary’s University.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Today’s adolescents are tomorrow’s leaders and this naturally calls for the shaping of their behavior. Many adolescents find it difficult to express themselves effectively in social situations (Parray ; Kumar, 2015). The main purpose of the study is to assess the level of assertiveness of STEM students of Saint Mary’s University Senior High School. Specifically, this study on level of assertiveness of senior high school students sought to answer the following questions:
1. What is the profile of the senior high school students in terms of:
• perceived family status
2. What is the level of assertiveness of the STEM students?
3. Is there a significant difference in the level of assertiveness of the STEM students when grouped by profile variables?
It is hypothesized in this study that sex, strand and perceived family status influences the level of assertiveness of senior high school students.
Sex has an impact in assertiveness because Ambat, Chua, Roquejo and Yanga (2004) revealed in their study that female student leaders are more assertive than male student leaders. And according to Wall & Hollandsworth (2000), assertion training for women has been justified on the basis that women are generally less assertive than men or that women have unique problems in being assertive. However, Sigler (2009) established a significant difference in assertiveness, whereas, undergraduate males are reported to have higher levels of assertiveness in terms of communication compared to woman which is also supported by Orr (2003) saying that in terms of overall assertiveness, male college students are assertive than females.
Strand also affects the assertiveness of students in terms of how classes were taught and course content (Hurtado, 2001).
Lastly, even if study shows that where students come from makes no difference in terms of assertiveness level (Co?kuner, Çoban, Savucu, Gacar, & Genç, n.d.), there was no specific subject where mentioned that is why the researchers included the perceived family status as variable because children from broken family are often misunderstood and judged as being different. Some people taught that they are different to deal with because they often manifest disturbing behaviors (Lacea, 2015).
Independent Variable Dependent Variable Output
Figure 1. The process of the study
The dependent variable is the level of assertiveness. Assertiveness means standing up for yourself in a non-aggressive way (Marano, 2004).
The independent variables are sex, strand and perceived family status. Sex refers to whether the respondent is male or female. Strands refers to the classification of academic (STEM, ABM, HUMMS), technological-vocational (AD, HE, ICT) and sports. Family status refer to the own opinion of the respondents about its family status.
SCOPE AND DELIMITATIONS
This study will focus on the level of assertiveness of senior high school students of Saint Mary’s University, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya. It covers topics such as the significant difference of level of assertiveness of students in terms of sex, strand, and perceived family status. Also, it will also cover the issue whether the level of assertiveness changes when in grouped or individually communicating.
Using the Slovin’s method of determining the appropriate number of respondents, the researchers will randomly pick 280 students among the strands.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is important to identify and understand the level of assertiveness of senior high school students. The data gathered will be a help in making assessments regarding the skills and abilities of senior high school students in being assertive. This study will not only be helpful to the senior high school students but also to the parents, teachers and future researchers.
To understand the significance of this study better, this will serve the following:
Students. This study will help them in understanding what is assertiveness and its importance. This study can also improve their confidence level because it contains information and advices on being assertive.
Parents. It can help them in supporting and guiding their child by the given additional information. It may also give awareness to consult and practice their children in their assertiveness skill.
Teachers. They can use this study as an extra information in their lessons that has to do with the level of assertiveness of students and in motivating and encouraging them in being confident.
Future researchers. This study can be a basis for the future researchers who are planning to conduct a study on level of assertiveness.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Assertiveness. It is being able to stand up for you, making sure your opinions and feelings are considered and not letting other people always get their way.
Level of Assertiveness. In this study, it refers to the degree of an individual to stand up for his/her personal belief or rights.
Catholic Private School. It is an independent parochial school or education ministries of the Roman Catholic Church.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURES AND STUDIES
An assertive individual acquires the quality of being self-assured and confident without being aggressive. It is a person that communicates assertively by overcoming fear of speaking his or her mind or trying to influence others, but doing so in a way that respects the personal boundaries of others. There are multiple factors that affect the assertiveness of an individual. The assertive person stands up for things that matter to him or her while at the same time respecting the things that matter to others (Zimmerman and Luecke, 2010).
Assertiveness is a skill that anyone can learn (Victoria, 2016). People who have mastered the kill of assertiveness are able to greatly reduce the level of interpersonal conflict in their lives, thereby reducing a major source of stress (Scott, 2017). Assertiveness was considered to be a mean of self-development and achievement of maximum personal fulfillment (Ivelina&Mavrodiev, 2013).
In fact, in the article entitled “Assert Yourself Regularly” (n.d), it was stated that assertiveness can be developed and strengthened over time.
Also, Tribhuvan’s Medical Dictionary defined assertiveness as a form of behavior characterized by a confident declaration of a statement without need of proof and this affirms the person’s rights or point of view without either aggressively threatening the rights of other person or submissively permitting other person to ignore or deny one’s rights.
Assertiveness have characteristic such as it tries to have control over the environment (Grove, 2005). It is about effective communication and it does not just mean choosing the right words to say in a given situation. Tone of voice, intonation, volume, facial expression, gesture and body language all play apart in the message you are sending to the other person, and unless all parts of the equation match, you will be sending a garbled message (Bishop, 2000).
Assertiveness can be used as an instrument for initiating and maintaining socially supportive relationship and hence enjoying better emotional well-being (Eskin, 2003).
A confident individual will be assertive since they are self-assured of the things they do, thus showing a better personality traits according to article “The Benefits of Being Assertive” (2014). Being confident comes from knowing what you want and where you want to go. Confident individuals could express more ideas can be generated which leads to more creativity and productivity. Being assertive helps people to be more constructive and confident in dealing with situations in building the sorts of relationships they want. By not being assertive, people can often experience a lot of anger, resentment, dissatisfaction and anxiety with themselves and others (Gulsah, 2003).
By being assertive helps people to be more positive and confident in dealing with situations and in building the sorts of relationships they want. People frequently experience a lot of anger, resentment, frustration and anxiety with themselves and others by not being assertive (Tribhuvan, 2012).
Fensterheim’s theory of assertiveness contains five laws: the right to do what you want without hurting others, the right to protect dignity even if its hurts the surroundings with good intentions, the right to present requests with the right to say no, the right to discuss and clarify this matters with others, and the right to exercise the rights (Eckardt, Golebiewski, Cieslicka & Stankiewicz, 2012).
According to (L. Kirst, 2011) and her study entitled, “Investigating the Relationship between Assertiveness and Personality Characteristics”. The purpose of her study was to explore the relationship between assertiveness and the five factors of personality (extraversion, neuroticism, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness), self-esteem, social anxiety, and shyness to update past research findings. It was hypothesized that assertiveness would correlate positively with extraversion, openness to experience, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and self-esteem. Assertiveness was further hypothesized to correlate negatively with neuroticism, social anxiety, and shyness. Results revealed direct relationships between assertiveness and self-esteem, extraversion, openness to experience, and conscientiousness, as well as inverse relationships to neuroticism, shyness, and fear of disapproval. They found out that there was no significant relationship was found between assertiveness and agreeableness on her study. This study was aimed to advance the understanding of the complex personality structure of low assertive individuals.
According to the study of Parray W. M. & Sanjay Kumar (2016) entitled: “Assertiveness among Undergraduate Students of the University”. Their study was an attempt to examine the assertiveness level of undergraduate students with reference to their gender, residence and stream of study. The results of their study revealed no significant difference between students in their level of assertiveness with respect to gender. Based on their findings of the study it was recommended by the researcher that a program regarding assertiveness training should be conducted in the future.
Although there is a great number of researches about assertiveness, the studies often and mostly focused on general population and tertiary institution. This study explored the assertiveness of Senior High School Students. Our study aims to know the level of assertiveness and the difference when the senior high school students of Saint Mary’s University are communicating individually or by group which differ from the other studies.
This chapter includes the subjects of the study, research design, research environment, subjects of the study and research instruments. This chapter will focus on the methods to be followed on the research such as where and when the study will undergo, tools that will be use in the study including its consistency and validity, and how the study was conducted including gathering of data and analysis of data.
Descriptive method will be used to determine and analyze what is the level of assertiveness of senior high school students, particularly of grade 11 students senior high school.
This study was will be conducted at Saint Mary’s University. It is a Catholic institution founded and run by the missionaries of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Saint Mary’s University (SMU) is considered and viewed as a prestigious university because of the quality education it offers.
The Saint Mary’s University Senior High School is located at the town of Bayombong, in the province of Nueva Vizcaya. At the present times, it offers the different tracks including academic (STEM, ABM and HUMMS) and technical-vocational (HE, ICT and A&D), and has approximately 1,500 students.
SUBJECTS OF THE STUDY
Using the Slovin’s method, the researchers have computed the right number of the respondents. With the total of 963 grade 11 senior high school students and with the use of 0.05 as the marginal error, 280 of them will be randomly chosen to answer the questionnaires. Each strand, there will be 46 students to have the questionnaire.
In this study, the researchers adapted a questionnaire from https://www.cengage.com/resource_uploads/downloads/0495092746_63633.pdf that will be used in the data gathering. The researchers have used the Rathus Assertiveness Schedule to assess the assertiveness level of the respondents which uses Likert’s scale to range the answers of the respondents regarding their levels of assertiveness. The research score will be equivalent to the degree in assertiveness wherein 3=very much alike, 2=rather like me, 1=slightly like, -1=slightly unlike, -2=very much unlike, -3=very much unlike. The validity is based on the impressions the respondents made towards others and correlated to their answers in the way they react in a specific situation.
DATA GATHERING PROCDURE
The following processes where undertaken by the researchers in gathering the needed and pertinent data for the study:
Figure 2: Data Gathering Procedure
In constructing the questionnaires, the researchers will look for tool that is suitable to the study based on the selection of response such as the type of data desire. After the construction of the questionnaires, it will be submitted to the research teacher for possible correction until it is validated. Before the researchers will float the questionnaires, a letter will be sent to the adviser, research teacher, research coordinator, panelists and to the principal for the approval to conduct the survey. Then, the respondents from different strands will be given two days to complete answering the questionnaires before the retrieval of questionnaires. And after the inputting of data, the researchers will analyze, interpret, and compose their conclusions and recommendations based on the results drawn.
Data were evaluated using SPSS software, version 20.1. In determining the profile of the senior high school students in terms of sex and family status, the researchers used frequency counts. In determining the level of assertiveness of senior high school, the researchers have used mean, median and standard deviation.