Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Earl H. Cheek


A substantial body of research has shown that when students work together in groups and are rewarded based on the learning of all the groups members, they achieve consistently more than students who are in traditionally taught classes. The goal of this project was to test the effects of an innovative group process intervention technique on reading performance among a population of incarcerated adult males in a medium security prison in Louisiana. This model, referred to as "Community Building" (CBGP), has been utilized among other ways as an intervention technique to resolve organizational/personnel problems in private, business, university, and government settings. It can involve groups or 40-60 participants. The research goal was to test its efficacy as an educational tool in teaching reading in an adult education program. The research design, which can be classified as a pretest-posttest comparison-group experimental design, called for three groups of inmates randomly assigned to the following conditions: (a) Experimental group--CBGP and SRA Reading Program; (b) Control group #1--SRA Reading Program only; (c) Control Group #2--untreated. The dependent variable was reading performance according to three sets of scores on the Gates-MacGinitie (GM) reading test. The independent variables consisted of the CBGP intervention and the reading program as outlined above. Analysis-of-variance statistical technique was used to test the hypothesis (at.05 level of statistical significance) that mean GM-gain scores would be significantly greater for the experimental group than the two control groups. Analyses of the data supported the effectiveness of the community-building intervention technique on the reading program.