Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




The present study was an experimental investigation of the effects of a sex education workshop in an adolescent in-patient psychiatric population. Eleven adolescent patients (seven males, four females) participated in the eight session sex education workshop (SEW). The attention control group was composed of eight patients (four males, four females) who participated in eight informal discussion (ID) sessions. The research utilized a pretest-posttest design. The dependent variables were sex knowledge as measured by the Sex Knowledge Inventory, self-concept as measured by the Total Positive, Self Criticism, and General Maladjustment scales of the Tennessee Self Concept Scale, and personal adjustment as measured by the K, D, Pt, Sc, and Es scales of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. The data was analyzed using a multivariate analysis of variance followed by univariate ANOVAS on each of the nine dependent measures. Results of these analyses indicated that participation in the sex education workshop led to neither positive changes in self-concept nor increased personal adjustment as predicted because the subjects as a group yielded pretest TSCS and MMPI scores within normal limits. However, the SEW subjects obtained statistically significant increases in sex knowledge compared to the ID subjects. A specially designed participant evaluation form was administered to SEW subjects at the posttest. Subjects' ratings of the workshop were positive in terms of the helpfulness of the workshop, teaching format, and changes in self acceptance, acceptance of others, and comfort in a variety of interpersonal situations. The results of the study were discussed, noting factors idiosyncratic to the particular population used, including psychiatric diagnoses of the subjects and familial and social factors. Suggestions for future research on the effects of sex education in adolescent psychiatric patients were offered.