Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility to Troubled Female Adolescents

Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Exhibit Hall Poster Area 1 (Convention Center)
Vivian R. Fowler, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL

The Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility (TPSR) model was developed while attempting to begin an alternative youth program in the early 1970’s (Hellison & Walsh, 2002). This model appeals to those who believe that teaching is about making a difference in children’s lives and helping them overcome difficult life circumstances (Martinek & Hellison, 1997).

The purpose of this study was to examine one physical education (PE) teacher’s perceptions of using the TPSR model while teaching PE in an outcome-driven, intervention designed program for 10 adolescent females with a history of delinquent behavior and mental health related issues.

 The research questions guiding the study were:

1)    What were the barriers using the TPSR?

2)    What were the successes using the TPSR?

3)    How did the model affect the teacher’s view of success?


The researcher used case study design for the 12-week study. The researcher was a PE teacher with 7+ years teaching experience. Data were collected using qualitative methods, including critical incident reports, personal journal, and lesson plans. 


 The data were analyzed using qualitative data analysis.

Through data analysis, three barriers were found. These barriers were: (1) negative attitude about PE, (2) resist empowerment, and (3) the process. Three successes were also found. These included: (1) PE activities, (2) personal growth, and (3) relationships. In addition, the study found that the teacher viewed success as an iterative process. The smallest step forward was counted even if two steps backward followed it. 


TPSR did make a slight difference but should be implemented over a longer period and with a teaching peer.

 The study was limited by its short duration. Building relationships and trust takes time. As Ennis & McCauley (2002) found, even in the best of circumstances, trust takes time to build and earn – it is a gradual process. This study validated findings in the research that verify relationship and trust building take time and the model is not a quick fix.