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Transformation of human agency Laub, H. Joan 1991-12-31

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TRANSFORMATION OF HUMAN AGENCY By H. JOAN LAUB B.A., University of British Columbia, 1977 M.Sc, University of Oregon, 1980 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF EDUCATION in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Counselling Psychology) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA January 1991 © H. Joan Laub, 1991 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of Cotf/vsBwrJG rtycftocofy The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) ii Abstract The general purpose of this study was to examine transformations of human agency in natural contexts. Existing theoretical formulations have primarily been confined to laboratory investigations. Moreover, the principles generated by such theories have not been validated beyond the laboratory setting. With this purpose in mind, there were two immediate aims of the study. The first aim was to contribute to counselling theory by assessing five prominent theories of human agency and providing a basis from which to potentially establish more adequate theoretical formulations. The second aim was to contribute to counselling practice by providing concrete information and a more informed basis through which to enhance agency in clients. A multiple case study design integrating intensive interviewing and Q-methodology was utilized for the study. Ten individuals, five women and five men, ranging in age from 28 to 6A, were identified through a network of contacts for participation in the study. Based upon convergence of qualitative evidence from interviews and quantitative evidence from Q-sorts, rich, detailed narrative accounts of transformation were constructed for each individual. Each account was validated by the individual for whom each was written and by an independent reviewer. Through a comparative analysis of the ten diverse accounts of transformation, iii extensive commonality was identified. Twenty-two common themes were extracted from the accounts that portrayed significant features of the transformation. Based on these themes, an abstract story of the common pattern revealed in the transformation was plotted. Individual aspects of each of the theories of agency were validated as well as qualified in some important ways. In addition, the results extended these theories in three main ways. First, the results indicated that transformations of human agency were complex wholes that involved a configuration of features rather than any one or two isolated features. Second, the findings indicated that context played a critical role in transformations of agency. And third, the results emphasized the important role of powerful emotions in the process of transformation. The results of this study also generated a beginning holistic portrait of transformation which has implications for counsellors in terms of understanding and facilitating transformations of agency in clients. iv TABLE OF CONTENTS Page Abstract • ii List of Tables vList of Figures viAcknowledgements viiDedication ix CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION 1 The Concept of Agency 2 Theoretical Conceptions of Agency 5 Limitations of the Existing Research 6 Rationale for the Study 7 Approach of the Study 10 CHAPTER II. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 12 Psychological Concepts of Human Agency 13 1. Bandura's Self-Efficacy 15 2. Rotter's Locus of Control 28 3. Seligman's Learned Helplessness 39 4. Kobasa's Hardiness 51 5. deCharms' Personal Causation 60 Limitations of the Existing Research 74 Approach of the Present Investigation 80 Case Study Method 81. Research Interviewing 85 2. Q-Technique 8 3. Case Study Narratives 101-CHAPTER III. METHODOLOGY 103 Research DesignCo-researchers 109 Screening Interview 110 Transformation Interview Ill Q-Sorting 115 Elaboration Interview 119 Narrative Accounts 123 Co-researcher Self-review 124 Independent Review 5 Comparative Analysis 126 V Page CHAPTER IV. RESULTS: CASE STUDIES 127 Case Study One: Fay 12Case Study Two: Glen 148 Case Study Three: Margaret 166 Case Study Four: Ray 181 Case Study Five: Brenda 200 Case Study Six: Lee 222 Case Study Seven: Carol 247 Case Study Eight: Tom 273 Case Study Nine: Beth 295 Case Study Ten: Don 316 Validation 331. Co-researcher Self-reviews 332. Independent Reviews 340 CHAPTER V. ANALYSIS OF RESULTS 346 Comparative Analysis 34I. Orientation of Encagement 349 II. Paths Toward Liberation and the Re-orientation Toward Possibility 369 The Structure of a Transformation of Human Agency 400 Summary 405 CHAPTER VI. DISCUSSION 407 Limitations 408 Implications for Theory 410 Implications for Practice 431 Implications for Future Research 447 Summary 45REFERENCES 2 APPENDIX A: Graphs for Event Loadings of Case Studies 469 APPENDIX B: Example of Changeline 480 APPENDIX C: Letter of Information 2 APPENDIX D: Consent Form 483 vi LIST OF TABLES Page Table 1. Master List of Q-Sort Items and Corresponding Theorist 97 vii LIST OF FIGURES Page Figure 1. Overview of Procedures 108 Figure 2. Results of the Comparative Analysis 406 viii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to begin by acknowledging the ten co-researchers who participated in this project. Their thoughtfulness in describing their transformation experiences and their willingness to share the painful as well as the joyful parts of those experiences are the foundation upon which this dissertation rests. Sharing this part of their lives has been a privilege that has humbled as well as educated me. I would like to thank my research supervisor, Dr. Larry Cochran, for the patience to teach me a fraction of what he knows. I also want to thank him for his editorial comments and suggestions. They were not only trenchant and usually right, but were frequently so hilariously and richly worded that I sometimes woke up laughing in the middle of the night. I am also grateful to Larry for expanding my vision of research. It has been immensely satisfying to conduct the kind of research where everybody wins. My thanks to the other members of my supervisory committee, Dr. Walter Boldt, Dr. Judith Daniluk, and Dr. Brian de Vries for their valuable input, experience, and support. Over the course of completing this project, there were three people without whom this task would have been considerably more difficult to complete. First, I would like to express my appreciation to Stephanie Laub, my good friend, role model, and mother. Second, I would like to thank Dr. Bob Boyle, my head cheerleader. And third, I would like to express my gratitude to Carolyn Robertsen. Before my father died, he told me that I would be lucky to have one "true" friend in my lifetime. At 19, I did not appreciate the significance of that statement. At 36, I do, and I want to thank Carolyn for being that person. Support of another kind came from my physiotherapist, Bev Anderson, my chiropractor, Dr. Larry Chan, and my massage therapist, Gwen Gagne. My "back" thanks you all. And finally, a very special thanks to my typist, Bay Gumboc, who calmly and patiently typed each word on every page of this rather generous document. This dissertation is lovingly dedicated to my silent partner, T.M.L., whose presence in my life has provided me with the purest form of joy and perspective. 1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Within the field of counselling psychology, people are largely viewed as active agents who can formulate plans, make decisions, and perform actions. . With its natural emphasis on human development, a primary goal of counselling is to foster human agency; to empower persons as agents that they might live in more satisfying, productive, and meaningful ways. Across the history of counselling psychology, this emphasis on the enhancement of human agency has been remarkably consistent. Brewer (1938) argued that "the ultimate aim of the guidance endeavor was to make the individual capable of self-guidance in the many and varied activities of everyday living" (cited in Van Hesteren & Zingle, 1977, p. 106). Williamson (1965) stated that the "task of the trait factor type of counselling is to aid the individual in successive approximations of self-understanding and self-management by means of helping him [or her] to assess his [or her] assets and liabilities in relation to the requirements of progressively changing life goals" (p. 198). More recently, Gysbers and Moore (1987) stressed that "in helping individuals reach their potential we are stimulating career consciousness - the ability for individuals to visualize and plan their lives" (p. 3). From 2 varying perspectives and periods of time, there is consistent agreement that an essential goal of counselling is to enhance the powers of human agency in order to live more fruitfully. The overall purpose of this study is to gain a meaningful understanding of transformations of human agency in natural contexts. With this purpose in mind, there are two immediate aims. First, to contribute to counselling theory by assessing five prominent theories of agency and providing a basis from which to potentially establish more adequate theoretical formulations. Second, to contribute to counselling practice by providing concrete information and a more informed basis through which to enhance agency in clients. The Concept of Agency Before addressing the concept of agency, the context of human development within which human agency exists will be briefly outlined. There are three main models of human development: (1) the mechanistic or reactive model, (2) the organismic or active model, and (3) the dialectical or interactive model (Stevens-Long, 1984). Proponents of the mechanistic model are inclined to understand human beings as essentially passive in their own development. Development is viewed as the result of external or environmental forces which act on individuals and to which 3 individuals react. Proponents of the organismic model are inclined to understand human beings as active agents in their own development. Development is viewed as the result of internal forces within the individual. External environmental events are not viewed as inevitably deterministic forces of development. Proponents of the dialectical model attempt to incorporate important realities of both the mechanistic and organismic models by understanding human beings as active agents who play a role in their own development and who, at the same time, are influenced by the external environment. Development is viewed as the result of an actively changing individual within the context of an actively changing environment. For this reason, the concept of agency, as it is used in this study, fits within the dialectical model. That is, people are viewed as active agents who exist within larger physical, social, and cultural contexts, and who cannot be fully comprehended without an understanding of the texture and fabric of these contextual realities. On the surface, the concept of human agency is reasonably clear and simple. That is to say that everyone has an ordinary language sense of agency by virtue of growing up with such concepts as responsibility, freedom, and self-direction. Beneath the surface, however, human agency is a most challenging and complex psychological concept which has spawned great effort by A philosophers and psychologists in the struggle to define, articulate, and clarify (Mischel, 1977). The traditional posture in such work on human agency has been to acknowledge the vital importance of beginning with our ordinary language sense of human agency, for whatever might be found in the subtle, artful refinements of philosophical articulation and scientific research cannot contradict this ordinary language sense of meaning and also remain a valid and useful study of human agency (Harre & Secord, 1972). This posture of beginning with an ordinary language sense of the concept of human agency is adopted here as the initial understanding within which the subsequent research itself will be permitted to contribute depth and breadth to the definition of the concept. As such, the focus of this study is on the generic processes involved in becoming more of a human agent. For this reason, topics such as gender differences in agency are not directly addressed in this study. A specific focus on gender and agency might be considered a derivative topic of the present investigation. A human being both does and undergoes, is both a subject and an object, both makes things happen and has things happen to her or him. In characterizing a person as an agent or a doer rather than solely as a patient or a mere reactor (Harre, 1983), one emphasizes planning, deciding, and acting, the capacity of a human being to be 5 active rather than passive in shaping life. In attempting to bring something about, a person is able to monitor and to adjust her or his performances (Harre & Secord, 1973). Part of agency, however, is not just a matter of planning and self-regulation to reach goals, but also to be a self-legislator of the kinds of goals worth having. Self-evaluation seems to be intimately connected with this capacity to reflect upon the worth of one's projects (Taylor, 1977). Largely for this reason, a person's sense of agency (power, potency etc.) forms part of agency generally. For example, a person's sense of confidence seems empowering in itself without which a person's actual confidence might be diminished. Theoretical Conceptions of Agency There are currently a number of very influential theories of agency within the field of counselling psychology, namely, Bandura's (1977) self-efficacy, Rotter's (1966) locus of control, Seligman's (1975) learned helplessness, Kobasa's (1979) hardiness, and deCharms' (1968) personal causation. Bandura (1982, 1989) has proposed the concept of "self-efficacy" as central to human agency. Self-efficacy refers to people's judgements of their personal capabilities and is the result of the cognitive processing of various sources of information, particularly performance accomplishments. Rotter's (1966) concept of "locus of control" 6 refers to a generalized expectancy about the extent to which reinforcements are under internal or external control. Seligman's (Seligman, 1975; Abramson, Seligman, & Teasdale, 1978) concept of "learned helplessness" refers to the causal attributions people make when they learn that their responses and outcomes are independent. Kobasa'.s (1979) concept of "hardiness" refers to a constellation of three personality characteristics: control, commitment, and challenge. Persons without personality hardiness are thought to be passive, to lack initiative, to feel threatened and powerless. DeCharms (1984) has proposed the concept of "personal causation" as central to human agency. Personal causation refers to the underlying motivation for being the cause or the origin of one's actions rather than on the particular action itself. Limitations of the Existing Research The research upon which these theories is based has largely been confined to laboratory investigations. There is an absence of real world accounts of how agency is enhanced in natural contexts. Consequently, there is no complex, holistic portrait to guide counsellors. Moreover, the valuable insights and principles generated by the existing theories have not been validated beyond the laboratory setting. Through an investigation of naturalistic 7 accounts of transformations of human agency, the basis for potentially more adequate theoretical formulations may be established. Additionally, the concrete information provided by these naturalistic accounts may have important implications for counsellors in terms of enhancing agency in clients. Rationale for the Study There are a number of important reasons for conducting a study of transformations of human agency in natural contexts. First, the existing research has largely been confined to experimental studies and laboratory settings. Consequently, how people are able to make this change in natural contexts has not yet been investigated. In short, the configuration or pattern of change is not yet known. Moreover, aspects of agency highlighted by current theoretical formulations need to be assessed in natural settings rather than solely under the artificial conditions of the laboratory setting. Second, there are several differing theories of human agency. One theory would lead practitioners to focus almost exclusively on attributions, another on reinforcements, another on experience, and so on. This study assesses five of these theories in an effort to discover which seems more fruitful, and to establish a basis for potentially more adequate theoretical formulations. 8 Third, one area of agreement in all the theories is that a sense of personal agency is believed to be vital to the healthy functioning of the individual (Bandura, 1977; deCharms, 1968; Kobasa, 1979; Rotter, 1966; Seligman, 1975). Given its importance, the main practical concern of counsellors is how to enhance a person's sense of agency. And yet, the focus of much of the existing research has been on measuring the presence or absence of agency rather than on the pattern of change that is involved in moving from a low to a high degree of agency. The focus of this study is on identifying and describing the pattern of change in order to contribute directly to an understanding of how agency is enhanced. Fourth, problems of human agency are believed by many to form the core of the psychotherapeutic process. For example, Erwin Singer (1965) has suggested that: The single proposition which underlies all forms of psychotherapy: the proposition that man [or woman] is capable of change and capable of bringing this change about himself [or herself]... were it not for this inherent optimism, this fundamental confidence in man's [or woman's] ultimate capacity to find his [or her] way, psychotherapy as a discipline could not exist, salvation could come about only through divine grace. (p. 16) Similarly, Hilde Bruch (1974) has written that: The task of therapy in general terms is to assist a patient in the development of a center of gravity so that he [or she] experiences himself [or herself] as self-directed ... free to 9 assert himself [or herself] and to pursue satisfaction in terms of his [or her] own goals of living, (p. 141) Herbert Lefcourt (1972) has echoed the same sentiments and proposed that an "internal locus of control, with its assumed correlates of competence and the hope of success, is a common goal of psychotherapy" (p. 27). The current popularity of the self-efficacy approach to psychotherapy (Bandura, 1982, 1986) further illustrates the interest of enhancing agency as a central therapeutic goal. Despite this pervasive view, clinical researchers have seldom studied agency directly. Most of the fundamental questions in this area of inquiry [the nature and functions of the self] are concerned, directly or indirectly, with the problem of human agency. The matters of interest center on whether, and how, people exert some influence over what they perceive and do. The issue of whether people serve as partial causes of their own actions has received considerably greater attention in philosophical than in psychological analyses. This relative neglect is surprising considering that self processs [sic] are central to an understanding of human functioning. Moreover, it is around questions of personal causality that some of the major theoretical controversies in psychology revolve. (Bandura, 1982, p. 3) This study is directly concerned with investigating the phenomenon that many people have identified as central to the therapeutic encounter. That is, the focus of this study is on clarifying how human agency is enhanced. Fifth, from constructivistic perspectives such as Kelly's (1963) it is the individual's construction of an experience that mediates future behaviour. Kelly maintained that "man [or woman] to the extent that he [or she] is able to construe his [or her] 10 circumstances can find himself [or herself] freedom from their domination... man [or woman] can enslave himself [or herself] with his [or her] own ideas and then win his [or her] freedom again by reconstruing his [or her] life" (Kelly, 1963, p. 21). In other words, it could well be the individual's construction of the transformation that is the most empowering aspect of the experience. From this perspective, the construction of people's transformation may be as important as what actually happened. For this reason, this study is concerned with eliciting accounts of transformation from the individual's perspective. Approach of the Study The overall purpose of this study is to gain a meaningful understanding of transformations of human agency in natural contexts. A multiple case study design is selected as the appropriate methodology for an investigation of this nature. Case study accounts are based upon convergence of two ways of eliciting significant information from people. The first way is through detailed interviews. The second way is through the Q-sorting or the individual charting of change with terms that are of theoretical interest. Based upon the convergence of evidence from these two sources, rich, detailed, narrative accounts of transformations of agency are constructed for each person. These 11 narrative accounts constitute the core research product of the study. A comparative analysis of the narrative accounts is conducted in order to identify commonality among individual accounts. The narrative accounts and the comparative analysis of the accounts provide a rich basis for theory validation and theory development, and suggest implications for counselling practice. 12 CHAPTER II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE The ultimate aim of this study is to contribute to counselling theory and practice by providing a more informed basis through which to help people enhance agency. This study is concerned with describing transformations of human agency in natural contexts. Currently, there are several very influential theories of human agency that can facilitate an understanding of this transformation in individuals. These theories can heighten sensitivity to significant issues and details within the descriptions elicited from individuals. To this end, a brief background of the concept of agency is presented followed by a review of five current psychological theories of human agency. The salient features of each concept are highlighted, followed by the relevant research. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the limitations of existing theoretical formulations of agency and an overview of the approach of the present study. 13 Psychological Concepts of Human Agency The concept of agency is not new. Historically, in the field of psychology, the notion of human agency has been resurrected under a variety of different names and presented from a number of different perspectives. As early as 1907, Alfred Adler stressed the importance of agency in human behaviour. According to Adler, the core motivation for all human beings is to achieve "superiority" or in more contemporary terminology, to achieve a sense of competence and fulfillment (cited in. Monte, 1980). For Adler, the general aim of this striving toward superiority is to overcome limitations in our potentialities and to successfully adapt to the demands of the external world. While this striving for superiority is inherent in all of us, each person strives uniquely according to her or his own personality and subjective interpretation of life's meaning. Thus, in Adler's view the individual shapes her or his life according to individually defined goals, and in this way acts as a creative artist of personality and an active constructor of life events (Adler, 1956). Another prominent theorist is Robert White who, in 1959, stressed human agency but chose the term "competence" to denote his particular formulation of it. The concept of competence was proposed to describe those behaviours that produce effects on the environment (e.g., exploratory behaviour, manipulation, and general 14 activity). Competence then, according to White, is producing an effect. He termed the motivation to have an effect on the environment "effectance motivation." The experience that corresponds with producing such effects is called the "feeling of efficacy" (White, 1959). Bandura's (1977) more recent concept of self-efficacy (a concept presented in more detail in the next section) bears an apparent resemblance to White's (1959) concept of competence. Over the past several decades, there have been many terms used i to convey the idea of human agency, such as superiority (Adler, 1956), competence (White, 1959), self-efficacy (Bandura, 1977), internal locus of control (Rotter, 1966), learned helplessness (Seligman, 1975), personality hardiness (Kobasa, 1979) , and personal causation (deCharms, 1968). Despite the diversity of labels, the basic phenomenon being addressed is a human being's ability to be the partial cause of what happens in her or his life. 15 1. Bandura's Self-Efficacy Introduction and Background The concept of "self-efficacy", stemming from a social cognitive model of behaviour, has been proposed by Albert Bandura (1982, 1989) as the central mechanism in human agency. "Among the mechanisms of personal agency, none is more central or pervasive than people's beliefs about their capabilities to exercise control over events that affect their lives" (Bandura, 1989, p. 1175). Self-efficacy is defined as one's judgment of "how well one can execute courses of action required to deal with prospective situations" (Bandura, 1982, p. 122). The concept of self-efficacy is not concerned with the skills one has, but rather with the judgements one makes about the skills one possesses. Bandura (1977, 1982, 1986) maintains that all behavioural and psychological change occurs through the alteration of a person's sense of personal mastery or efficacy. According to Bandura (1977), "people process, weigh, and integrate diverse sources of information concerning their capability, and they regulate their choice behavior and effort expenditure accordingly" (p. 212). He further claims that "psychological procedures, whatever their format, serve as ways of creating and strengthening expectations of personal efficacy" (Bandura, Adams, & Beyer, 1977, p. 126). 16 According to Bandura's (1977, 1986, 1989) self-efficacy theory, people's judgments of their personal capabilities are hypothesized to influence a wide range of areas of human functioning, including cognitive processes, motivational processes, affective processes, and selection processes. With regard to • cognitive processes, self-efficacy beliefs are thought to affect thought patterns, which in turn, affect the goals people set and the commitments they make to those goals. With regard to motivational processes, self-efficacy beliefs are thought to affect how much effort a person will expend and how long a person will persist in the face of obstacles. With regard to affective processes, self-efficacy beliefs are thought to affect a person's emotional reactions during taxing situations. With regard to selection processes, self-efficacy beliefs are thought to affect a person's choice of behavioural settings and activities. An accurate appraisal of one's capabilities is thought to be of considerable functional value because misjudgements of personal efficacy can produce aversive consequences such as failure, and self-limiting choices such as avoidance which can, in turn, restrict the possibility of potentially rewarding or corrective experiences. Bandura (1977, 1986) conceptualized efficacy judgments as varying along three major dimensions: level, generality, and strength. Level refers to the degree of difficulty of the tasks or 17 behaviours that the individual feels capable of performing, ranging from simple and moderately difficult tasks to extremely taxing ones. Generality refers to the range of activities and situations in which an individual judges herself or himself efficacious. Strength refers to the confidence a person has in her or his capabilities. Bandura (1977, 1986) hypothesized four major sources of information which contribute to a person's knowledge about self-efficacy: (1) performance mastery experiences, (2) vicarious experiences, (3) verbal persuasion, and (4) physiological states. From Bandura's perspective, the information gained from these four sources is not particularly useful or instructive, but rather it is the cognitive processing of this information that is critical. Cognitive processing refers to the way the information is selected, weighted, and integrated into self-efficiacy judgements. This inferential process is affected by a number of factors, including the personal, social, situational, and temporal circumstances under which the events occur. For this reason, success experiences alone do not necessarily raise self-efficacy. The impact of such experiences depends upon how they are cognitively processed by the individual. 18 Sources of Self-Efficacy Information A description of the four sources of efficacy information, the various factors that may influence the cognitive processing of the information, and the research cited in support of each of the sources is presented. 1. Performance Mastery Experiences Performance accomplishments provide the most influential efficacy information because they are based on actual experiences of personal mastery (Bandura et al., 1977; Biran & Wilson, 1981; Feltz, Landers & Raeder, 1979). In general, successes raise self-efficacy and repeated failures lower it. The weight given to new success experiences depends upon the nature and strength of the existing sense of personal efficacy held by the individual. Individuals that have established a strong sense of efficacy are unlikely to be affected by occasional failures, are more likely to attribute failures to situational factors, insufficient effort or poor strategies (Bandura, 1986), and are able to generalize their sense of personal efficacy to other situations (Bandura et al., 1977; Bandura, Jeffery, &Gajdos, 1975). The extent to which individuals will alter their sense of personal efficacy through performance experiences depends upon the cognitive processing of various factors (Bandura, 1986). The 19 difficulty of the task is one such factor. Mastery of easy tasks does not alter one's self-efficacy, whereas mastery of challenging tasks does. Experiences are more likely to enhance personal efficacy if the circumstances in which the tasks are mastered are varied and are performed independently. The amount of effort expended will also influence the impact of performance experiences. Success with minimal effort reinforces a strong sense of efficacy, whereas success achieved through a great deal of effort connotes lesser ability and has a weaker effect on efficacy enhancement. The rate and pattern of performance accomplishments also provide information for judging personal efficacy. Individuals who experience setbacks, but observe a progressive improvement will raise their self-efficacy more so than those who succeed but see their performances level off comparatively. Biases in the self-monitoring of performances can also affect self-efficacy judgements. People who focus on and remember the negative aspects of performances can underestimate their efficacy, while those who selectively focus on and remember successes can increase judgements of self-efficacy. Causal judgements also affect efficacy judgements of performance experiences. Successes are more likely to enhance self-efficacy if performances are viewed as the result of skill rather than the result of situational factors. Conversely, 20 failures are thought to reduce self-efficacy when attributed to ability rather than to situational circumstances. Failures do not lower self-efficacy when they are attributed to insufficient effort, adverse conditions, despondency, or physical debilitation. Research indicates that people who see themselves as efficacious attribute their failures to insufficient effort, whereas those of comparable skills, but who see themselves as inefficacious, view their failures as the result of low ability (Collins, 1982). People with a low opinion of themselves inaccurately ascribe personal competency to situational or external factors rather than to their own ability (Bandura, Adams, Hardy, & Howells, 1980). Strategies for enhancing personal efficacy judgements from performance experiences have included mastering challenging tasks independently to reinforce personal capabilities (Bandura, 1977) , verbalizing thought processes during mastery experiences to monitor the cognitive processing of enactive efficacy information (Bandura, 1983), and selective self-modeling focusing on success experiences (Dowrick, 1983). 2. Vicarious Experiences The next most influential source of efficacy information is derived from vicarious experience. In general, seeing or visualizing modeled successes by similar others raises personal 21 judgements of efficacy (Bandura et al., 1980; Kazdin, 1979), while seeing modeled failures lowers personal judgements of capabilities and undermines efforts (Brown & Inouye, 1978). Vicarious information is particularly effective when people have no prior experience or knowledge of their own capabilities and, thus, rely more heavily on modeled indicators of performance (Takata & Takata, 1976). The effects of vicarious information on judgements of personal efficacy depends upon the criteria by which ability is evaluated. Social comparative information is important in this regard because most performances are evaluated in terms of the performances of others, particularly when factual evidence for gauging performance is unavailable. People convinced vicariously of their inefficacy tend to behave in ineffective ways, thereby confirming their beliefs. Conversely, modeling influences that increase self-efficacy weaken the impact of failure experiences by sustaining performance in the face of repeated failure (Brown & Inouye, 1978; Weinberg, Gould & Jackson, 1979). The cognitive processing of information derived from vicarious experiences depends upon a number of factors. Past performance similarities and knowledge of the model's attainments in the new situation are two such factors. Brown and Inouye (1978) found that people who perceived themselves as superior to a failing model 22 maintained their sense of efficacy in the face of failure, whereas people who perceived themselves as having comparable ability to the model experienced lowered self-efficacy and gave up easily in the face of difficulties. Another factor is the similarity to models on personal characteristics assumed to be predictive of performance capabilities (Suls &-Miller, 1977). Similarity of attributes between the model and the observer generally increases the power of modeling influences even though the model's characteristics may be spurious indicators of performance capabilities (Rosenthal & Bandura, 1978). Observing a variety of people master difficult tasks is found to be superior to exposure to the same performance by one model (Bandura & Menlove, 1968; Kazdin, 1974, 1975, 1976). People gain more from seeing models succeed by intensified, determined effort than from seeing competent models succeed with relative ease (Kazdin, 1973). Gains achieved in this way reduce the negative effects of temporary setbacks, and reinforce the belief that perseverance eventually brings success and that failures reflect a lack of effort rather than a lack of ability. Effective coping strategies taught by models can enhance self-efficacy for those individuals who have had many negative or failure experiences (Bandura, 1977; Bandura, Reese, & Adams, 1982). Modeled performances designed to alter coping behaviour emphasize predictability and controllability. These two aspects 23 have been found to enhance judgements of personal efficacy (Bandura et al., 1982). 3. Verbal Persuasion Verbal persuasion refers to the process by which people are persuaded to believe that they possess the capabilities to achieve their goals. Although limited in power, social persuasion can promote a sense of personal efficacy, particularly if it raises realistic beliefs of personal competence and leads people to try harder to succeed. Persuasive means are most effective on people who have some reason to believe that they can produce effects through their actions (Chambliss & Murray, 1979a, 1979b). However, if social persuasion raises unrealistic beliefs of personal competence, it can invite failures, discredit the persuaders, and further undermine a person's perceived self-efficacy. Persuasory efficacy information is weighted in terms of who the persuaders are, their credibility, and their knowledgeability about the nature of the activities (Bandura, 1986). Efficacy information through persuasive means often takes the form of evaluative feedback about ongoing performances. Evaluative feedback has been shown to affect judgements of personal competence and subsequent accomplishments (Schunk, 1982, 1983). Other forms of treatment used to enhance self-efficacy through persuasive means 24 are suggestion, exhortation, self-instruction, and interpretive treatments (Bandura, 1977). Bandura (1986) stated that it is likely more difficult to produce enduring increases in self-efficacy by persuasory means than to undermine it. Illusory boosts in self-efficacy are easily disconfirmed by the results of one's actions. Those people persuaded of their inefficacy tend to avoid challenging activities and give up easily in the face of difficulties, thus validating their negative self-judgements. 4. Physiological States In judging capabilities, people also rely on, to some extent, information from their physiological state. This process refers to the associations individuals make between their levels of physiological arousal and performance. According to Bandura (1977, 1986), high arousal usually debilitates performance. Therefore, people expect success more often when they are not showing signs of aversive arousal. Research has shown that eliminating the emotional arousal usually associated with threatening situations increases perceived self-efficiacy and, in turn, improves performance (Bandura & Adams, 1977; Barrios, 1983). The impact of arousal on efficacy judgements depends upon the cognitive processing of a number of factors such as the appraisal 25 of the sources of arousal, the level of activation, the circumstances under which arousal is elicited, mood states, and past experiences of how arousal affects one's performances (Bandura, 1986). The effect of the arousal on self-efficiacy depends upon the particular factors singled out and the meaning attached to them. Bandura (1977) has proposed that attribution, relaxation and biofeedback, symbolic desensitization, and symbolic exposure are treatment modes for addressing efficacy information conveyed through physiological states. Self-Efficacy and Self-Inefficacy Based on the research findings across diverse domains of functioning, Bandura (1986) has argued that "people who regard themselves as highly efficacious act, think, and feel differently from those who perceive themselves as inefficacious" (p. 395). Thus, the quality of human functioning is thought to be different for persons who have a sense of personal efficacy compared to those who do not. Overall, people with a strong sense of self-efficacy set more challenging goals (Locke, Frederick, Lee, & Bobko, 1984), exert more effort to master a challenge, (Bandura & Cervone, 1983), persevere in the face of failure (Brown &. Inouye, 1978; Schunk, 1981), see failure as the result of insufficient effort rather than 26 insufficient ability (Collins, 1982), approach threatening tasks with less anxiety, and experience little in the way of stress in taxing situations (Bandura et al., 1982; Leland, 1982). Such actions, thoughts, and feelings are thought to produce performance accomplishments which, in turn, reinforce personal self-efficacy. Those who regard themselves as having little self-efficacy shy away from challenges, slacken their efforts and give up easily in the face of obstacles, focus on personal weaknesses, have lower aspirations, and suffer from anxiety and stress. These actions, thoughts, and feelings are thought to undermine performance accomplishments which, in turn, reinforce low self-efficacy (Bandura, 1984). Range of Applicability In response to early objections that the research on self-efficacy was too narrowly based on work with snake phobics, Bandura and his colleagues attempted to show that self-efficacy could account for the effects of different methods applied to people with other phobic disorders, such as agoraphobia (Bandura, Adams, Hardy & Howells, 1980). In addition to being documented as an important mechanism common to phobic disorders, the concept of self-efficacy has been applied to diverse domains of psychosocial functioning, including anxiety disorders (Bandura et al., 1980; Biran &. Wilson, 1981; Bandura et al., 1982), depression (Davies & 27 Yates, 1982; Kanfer & Zeiss, 1983), motivation (Bandura & Cervone, 1983), achievement behaviour (Bandura & Schunk, 1981; Collins, 1982; Schunk, 1984), career choice and development (Betz & Hackett, 1981; Hackett & Betz, 1981), athletic performance (Barling &. Abel, 1983; Weinberg, Gould, Yukelson & Jackson, 1981), health behaviour (O'Leary, 1985), addictive behaviours (DiClemente, 1986), assertiveness (Lee, 1983, 1984), and school achievement (Schunk, 1984, 1985), with largely supportive results. Bandura has concluded that these diverse lines of research provide converging evidence that self-efficacy is an influential mechanism in human agency (Bandura, 1984). 28 2. Rotter's Locus of Control Introduction and Background The concept of "locus of control" was developed out of Julian Rotter's social learning theory (Rotter, 1954; Rotter, Chance, & Phares, 1972). According to this theory, human behaviour is predicted on the basis of three variables: expectancies, reinforcements, and the psychological situation. Expectancies are the subjective estimates or beliefs that a particular behaviour will result in the desired outcome. Rotter identified two forms of expectancies. The first is a generalized expectancy, generalized to the extent that it is elicited across a variety of different situations perceived to be related or similar. The second form of expectancy is that which is specific to a particular situation. Reinforcements refer to the subjective value attached to a desired outcome and represent the degree of preference an individual has for a given outcome. The psychological situation in which the behaviour is to occur determines expectancies (general and specific), as well as the value of the reinforcements. This model suggests that the probability of a given behaviour increases when both the expectancy and reinforcement value are high in a psychological situation previously associated with the occurrence of the behaviour. 29 Of particular importance to the locus of control concept are expectancies. Locus of control refers to a generalized expectancy about the extent to which reinforcements are under internal or external control (Rotter, 1966). People characterized as "internals" believe that reinforcements are determined largely by personal effort, ability, and initiative, whereas people classified as "externals" believe that reinforcements are determined largely by other people, social structures, luck, or fate. A reinforcer is defined by Rotter as anything "that changes behaviour in some observable way by either increasing or decreasing the potentiality of its occurrence" (Rotter, 1954, p. 112). Positive reinforcers increase the potential for a response while negative reinforcers decrease the potential. Locus of control is conceptualized as a continuum along which people can be ordered rather than as a typological concept (Rotter, 1982). It is intended to provide a single dimension for measuring a range of general control expectations (O'Brien, 1984). Although the terms internal and external are used, Rotter (1966) emphasized that a person's behaviour cannot be classified as one or the other because, in any given situation, an individual's behaviour is the result of many converging factors including situational and personality variables. 30 Research Research on the locus of control concept has largely been directed at testing the assumption that the expectancy of control influences the way individuals behave. Taken as a whole, the evidence from this voluminous body of literature (see reviews by Lefcourt, 1980, 1982; Phares, 1976; Rotter, 1966, 1982; Stipek & Weisz, 1981) has indicated that individuals characterized as internals show higher levels of adaptive functioning than do individuals characterized as externals. For example, although there are clearly some exceptions in particular studies (e.g., Fontana &. Gessner, 1969; Harrow & Ferrante, 1969), internality as compared to externality is generally found to facilitate (a) a more active and attentive approach to those aspects of the environment which are relevant to desired goals, superior cognitive processing and recall of that information, and more incidental as well as intentional learning, (b) a more spontaneous involvement in achievement activities, selection of more challenging tasks, and better ability to delay gratification and to persist under difficult circumstances, (c) higher levels of academic and vocational performance and more positive achievement-related attitudes, (d) more attempts to prevent and remediate health problems, (e) better interpersonal relationships, more assertiveness toward others and more liking and respect from 31 others despite greater resistance to their influence, (f) more assertiveness in correcting social and political problems, and in remedying personal, institutional, and work-related difficulties, and (g) better emotional adjustment such as higher self-esteem, better sense of humour, more positive mood states, greater freedom from depression, anxiety, and other forms of psychopathology, and greater reported life satisfaction and contentment. Evidence from cross-cultural studies of locus of control reveal consistent findings. Nowicki and Duke (1983) concluded in their overview of the cross-cultural research that "externality seems to be related to maladjustment, lower achievement levels, and powerlessness, much as is found in United States samples. Internality is related to higher self-esteem, self-acceptance, and other general indicators of adaptive functioning" (p.21). More recently, investigators have raised arguments against considering internality as a stable optimal state and externality as always being a deficiency or negative state (Reid, 1984; Wong & Sproule, 1984). Rotter (1966, 1975) himself suggested a curvilinear relationship between locus of control and adjustment. In other words, individuals falling at either extreme of the internal-external continuum may be more maladjusted than those individuals who are more moderate. Those at the internal end may not recognize their personal limits and may believe they have more 32 control than is warranted by reality. Alternatively, individuals at the external end of the continuum may underestimate the amount of control that they can realistically exert. Lefcourt (1982) has stated that in the former case we approach the pathological processes associated with paranoia, ideas of reference, delusions of grandeur, whereas.the latter would likely involve depression, withdrawal, apathy, and retreatism. Since most studies compare the two ends of the internal-external continuum, very little is known about the moderate group which Rotter views as the most adjusted of the three (Wong & Sproule, 1984). In his 1976 review, Phares concluded that "the most basic characteristic of internal individuals appears to be their greater efforts at coping with or attaining mastery over their environments. This is the most elemental deduction that could be made from the nature of the I-E variable" (p. 78). He also stated that "perhaps related to internals' feelings that they can control the environment is the feeling that they can control themselves" (p. 68). Lefcourt (1982) concluded that the way in which individuals apprise themselves with regard to causality makes a considerable difference to the ways in which many life experiences are managed. He further stated: It would be fair to conclude that internal control expectancies about personally important events that are to some reasonable degree controllable, will be related to signs 33 of vitality - affective and cognitive activity that indicates an active grappling with those self-defined important events. Where fatalism or external control beliefs are associated with apathy and withdrawal, the holding of internal control expectancies presages a connection between an individual's desires and his [or her] subsequent actions. As such, locus of control can be viewed as a mediator of involved commitment in life pursuits. If one feels helpless to affect important events, then resignation or at least benign indifference should become evident, with fewer signs of concern, involvement, and vitality, (p. 184) Changes in Locus of Control In light of the empirical evidence demonstrating the relationship between internal locus of control and positive behaviour, investigators have shown interest in ways to change locus of control orientation. Lefcourt (1982) has pointed out: The shifting of one's locus of control from an external to a more internal position would seem to be a natural goal for professional psychologists whose aims are often to revive their patients' flagging efforts in pursuit of satisfactions they have foresaken as hopeless, (pp. 149-150) (a) Natural and Accidentally Occurring Changes To some extent, researchers have investigated the natural and accidental changes in locus of control such as those associated with age, the passage of time, and the effects of contemporary and changing life events. In his study of the relationship between age and locus of control, Penk (1969) found that chronological age per se does not appear to be the key component. Rather, it is the 34 growth of mental age, the extent of vocabulary development and usage that become associated with a sense of being able to determine the course of one's life. In their critical review of 33 studies on age and locus of control, Weisz and Stipek (1982) argued that no clear conclusions can be drawn at this time given the lack of consistent findings across the studies. With regard to the passage of time and locus of control, Harvey (1971) found that the longer people held administrative positions in the upper echelons of government the higher their scores of internality on Rotter's locus of control scale. Two studies revealed the effects of contemporary events upon people's perceptions of causality. Gorman (1968) found that on the day following the 1968 Democratic National Convention, the scores of students who were supporters of Eugene McCarthy were more external than the national norms for university students at that time. The high external scores were thought to reflect the committed students' disappointment and their possible disillusionment with the political process. McArthur (1970) administered Rotter's scale to Yale undergraduates on the day following a lottery that was conducted by the United States government to determine draft eligibility for the armed forces. Students affected by the lottery (those who were 19 years or older) had higher external locus of control scores that those control 35 subjects who completed the scale prior to the lottery. Those students who were favourably affected by the lottery scored in a more external direction than those who were not. McArthur reasoned that because most of the students expected to serve in the armed forces the lottery represented good luck, that is, a chance to not serve in the army. Therefore, those eliminated from the draft could be thought of as enjoying good fortune. Changing life events may also effect locus of control. Smith (1970) found that locus of control scores for clients in a crisis intervention treatment program at a neuropsychiatric facility significantly declined from the external to the internal over a_ period of six weeks. Smith reasoned that acute crises induce a sense of helplessness (or externality) and as crises become resolved a return to a more internal locus of control is probable. (b) Deliberately Contrived and Behaviourally Assessed Changes Deliberate attempts to alter locus of control have been conducted on children and adults using a variety of different approaches. Interventions with children have primarily used behavioural approaches such as classroom management (e.g., Matheny & Edwards, 1974), structured camp programs (e.g., Nowicki &. Barnes, 1973) , and relaxation therapy (Barry, 1981). The findings of these studies indicate varying degrees of change toward internality and 36 the positive social behaviours associated with that internality. However, other studies applying a behavioural approach to changing locus of control in children have found mixed and nonsignificant results (Fontana-Durso, 1975; Morris, 1977; Stahl, 1977). Overall, the data indicate that the most successful behavioural interventions are those that are long term and broad based (Nowicki & Duke, 1983). Approaches other than behaviour management have been used to try to change locus of control orientations. For example, in a year long intervention study focusing on subjects living in low-cost housing units, Knapp and McClure (1978) attempted to make "the environment more stimulating and the quality of life better" (p. 280). Interventions consisted of tutorial assistance, values clarification workshops, psychological counselling, referral services, and constructive activities for youth. The results indicated that both adults and adolescents became more internal compared to control subjects on the I-E scale. Johnson, Duke, and Nowicki (1980) found that children involved in a structured fitness program became more internal and developed higher self-esteem, and maintained these changes for up to one year. Unlike the work with children, attempts to change locus of control orientations in adults have not been characterized by behavioural approaches. Most nonbehavioural interventions with 37 adults have taken place in educational settings. One of the most extensive intervention programs of this nature was developed by Roueche and Mink (1976), who studied 3,000 students from nine community colleges over a period of three years. The program was designed to influence socio-interpersonal and academic development. In order to develop a sense of internal control in their students, they used a system of individualized learner-oriented instruction that emphasized careful behaviour sequencing. They also implemented an intense "counselling for internality" strategy which consisted of a composite of successful methods discussed by past researchers to work with people who feel powerless and alienated. The strategy involved a number of techniques, including an expanded version of reality therapy designed to foster perceptions of control over one's life. The results clearly indicated that the planned interventions significantly changed the students' locus of control orientations in the internal direction. The most significant changes toward internality occurred in those interventions that attempted the broadest base in their impact. This study is viewed as one of the few that has helped to clarify some of the potentially critical components of the change process (Nowicki &. Duke, 1983). A number of short-term interventions have also been successful in changing locus of control orientations. One study found that 38 change toward internality was related to the type of teaching strategy rather than to the specific instruction about the locus of control concept (Newsome & Foxworth, 1980). Another study trained teachers to teach in ways that would facilitate the development of an internal locus of control using an education program (Maresca-Koniz, 1980). The results indicated a significant change toward internality midway through the project, but not at the end. Deliberate attempts to alter locus of control have also been conducted in clinical settings. For example, Masters (1970) reported a case study in which he reduced an "adolescent rebellion" by therapy that focused upon the reconstrual of causality. The therapy consisted of the verbal reinterpretation of events which, in turn, caused actual changes in the family dynamics, improvement in the adolescent's morale, and a shift toward internality. 39 3. Seligman's Learned Helplessness  Introduction and Background "Learned helplessness" is the terra used to describe the expectation that responses and outcomes are independent. Martin Seligman and his colleagues (Overmier &. Seligman, 1967; Seligman & Maier, 1967) found that animals, when exposed to uncontrollable events, learned not to try to control the events. Instead, the animals learned that responding was futile. In other words, the animals learned helplessness. With respect to humans, Seligman (1975) hypothesized that exposure to repeated uncontrollable outcomes alters people's beliefs about themselves and their ability to influence the environment. The learned helplessness model was originally formulated on the basis of laboratory experiments with a variety of animals (see Maier & Seligman, 1976, for a review of the animal research). However, as investigators began applying the concepts originating in animal helplessness to human helplessness, a number of inadequacies became apparent (e.g., see Buchwald, Coyne, & Cole, 1978; Roth, 1980; Wortman & Brehm, 1975 for critiques). In response to these criticisms, a reformulation of the original theory was proposed (Abramson, Seligman, & Teasdale, 1978). 40 The reformulated model refined and integrated aspects of Weiner's (1972, 1974) attribution theory. Briefly, the reformulation states that unlike animals, once people learn that their responses and outcomes are independent they attribute their helplessness to a cause. The causal attributions made for the uncontrollable outcome will influence the nature of the person's deficit as well as how far this deficit will generalize and how long it will last. The first inadequacy of the old model was its inability to distinguish between cases in which outcomes are uncontrollable for all people and cases in which they are uncontrollable for only some people. The proposed resolution of this inadequacy is the attributional dimension of "internality" which is used to define the distinction between universal and personal helplessness (Abramson et al., 1978). Universal helplessness is characterized by the belief that an outcome is independent of all of one's own responses as well as the responses of other people. Personal helplessness is characterized by the individual's belief that there are responses available that would produce the desired outcome, but that she or he does not possess them. An individual can be either internally or externally helpless. Universally helpless individuals make external attributions for failures, whereas 41 personally helpless individuals make internal attributions for failures (Abramson et al., 1978). The second inadequacy of the original model was its inability to explain when and where the helplessness will generalize once people believe they are helpless in one situation. The attribution an individual makes about the cause of her or his helplessness is thought to affect expectations about future helplessness which, in turn, determine the chronicity and generality of the helplessness (Abramson et al., 1978). "Chronicity", or the consistency over time, is addressed by the attributional dimension "stable-unstable". Stable factors are thought of as long-lived or recurrent, whereas unstable factors are short-lived or intermittent. "Generality" of helplessness across situations is accounted for by the attributional dimension "global-specific". Global factors affect a wide variety of situations, whereas specific factors affect only a particular context. To summarize, there are three attributional dimensions proposed by the reformulation that have been designed to address the criticisms of the original learned helplessness model. All three dimensions are conceptualized as continua rather than as dichotomies (Abramson et al., 1978). The first dimension, "internal-external", predicts the type of helplessness (universal versus personal); the second dimension, "stable-unstable", predicts 42 the chronicity of helplessness over time; and the third dimension, "global-specific", predicts the generality of helplessness across situations. Research The cornerstone of the learned helplessness hypothesis is that learning that outcomes are uncontrollable results in debilitating consequences (Abramson et al., 1978). Originally, three deficits were proposed: motivational, cognitive, and emotional. A fourth deficit, low self-esteem, was proposed by the attributional reformulation. Each of the proposed deficits will be defined, followed by the experimental evidence that has been cited in support of it. Motivational deficits refer to the way learned helplessness undermines the incentive to respond. Studies cited as evidence of motivational deficits are those in which people exhibited a failure to escape noise (Glass, Reim, & Singer, 1971; Hiroto & Seligman, 1975; Klein &. Seligman, 1976; Miller & Seligman, 1976), and a failure to solve anagrams (Benson & Kennelly, 1976; Gatchel & Proctor, 1976; Hiroto & Seligman, 1975; Klein, Fencil-Morse, & Seligman, 1976). Cognitive deficits refer to the way learned helplessness retards the ability to learn that responding works. Studies cited 43 in support of this type of deficit are those in which people exhibited a failure to see patterns in anagrams (Hiroto & Seligman, 1975; Klein, Fencil-Morse, & Seligman, 1976). Klein and Seligman (1976), and Miller and Seligman (1976) found that in skill tasks, expectations for future success increased less following success and/or decreased less following failure for helpless subjects than for nonhelpless subjects (but, see Willis & Blaney, 1978; and McNitt & Thornton, 1978 for alternate findings). From these results, it was inferred that the helpless subjects had acquired a generalized expectancy of response-outcome independence which interfered with seeing the relationship between their responses and outcomes. Douglas and Anisman (1975) found that subjects who failed on simple tasks exhibited later cognitive deficits, whereas those who / failed on complex tasks did not. According to the attributional reformulation, subjects likely attributed their failure on the simple tasks to more global and internal factors (e.g., I'm stupid), whereas the other subjects attributed their failure on the complex tasks to external and specific factors (e.g., These problems are too difficult). Similarly, Roth and Kubal (1975) found that subjects who failed on tasks defined as "important" showed greater cognitive deficits than those subjects who believed the tasks were "unimportant". The new helplessness model suggests 44 that subjects in the "important" condition likely made more global, internal, and stable attributions for their performance and, therefore, the helplessness recurred in the new situation, thus producing the deficits. Subjects in the "unimportant" condition likely made more specific and less stable attributions for their performance, did not expect helplessness on the next task and, therefore, did not exhibit cognitive deficits. In contrast, Ford and Neale (1985) could not find evidence for expected cognitive deficits in subjects exposed to uncontrollable outcomes. Similarly, the results of several studies have reported improved rather than the expected impaired performance by subjects exposed to uncontrollable events (Hanusa & Schultz, 1977; Roth & Kubal, 1975; Tennen & Eller, 1977; Wortman, Panciera, Shusterman, & Hibscher, 1976). To date, the learned helplessness model does not adequately account for these conflicting results. Emotional deficits refer to the affective consequences of learned helplessness, primarily depression. An expectation of uncontrollability per se does not produce the emotional deficit associated with learned helplessness. Only situations in which the expectation of uncontrollability is related to the lack or loss of a highly desired outcome, or to the occurrence of an aversive one, are sufficient for depression (Abramson et al., 1978). Given that depression is viewed as outcome related, it can occur in situations 45 of both personal and universal helplessness (Abramson, Garber, &. Seligman, 1980). However, the depressed affect associated with personal helplessness is hypothesized to be of greater intensity than the depressed affect associated with universal helplessness (Weiner, 1974). One test of the attributional reformulation of learned helplessness as it relates to depression was conducted by Seligman, Abramson, Semmel, and Von Baeyer (1979) who attempted to isolate a depressive attributional style. They found that individuals who habitually construe the causes of bad events as internal (It's my fault), stable (It's going to last forever), and global (It's going to undermine everything I do) are more susceptible to depression when they experience bad events than are those with the opposite style. In short, individuals with a "pessimistic" explanatory style are more likely to display helplessness deficits when confronted with a bad event than individuals with an "optimistic" explanatory style. Sweeney, Anderson, and Bailey (1986) in a meta-analytic review of over 100 studies of the reformulated learned helplessness model, found convincing evidence that depressed persons tend to make internal, stable, and global attributions for negative events. Depressive deficits associated with a pessimistic explanatory style have been found in a variety of populations, including 46 students, prisoners, children (Peterson & Seligman, 1984), depressed psychiatric patients (Peterson &. Seligman, 1984; Seligman, Castellon, Cacciola, Schulman, Luborsky, Ollove, & Downing, 1988; Sweeney, Anderson, & Bailey, 1986) , and life insurance sales agents (Seligman & Schulman, 1986). More recently, Seligman has hypothesized that explanatory style can predict achievement as well as psychological and physical health (Trotter, 1987). Overall, people who habitually provide stable, global, and internal explanations, such as stupidity, for their failures are less likely to persist, take chances, or rise above their potential than those who explain failure in unstable, specific and external terms, such as luck (Trotter, 1987). The fourth deficit proposed by the reformulated learned helplessness model is low self-esteem. The universal versus personal helplessness distinction predicts that individuals who attribute their helplessness to internal factors (personal helplessness) will show lower self-esteem than will individuals who make external attributions (universal helplessness). Ickes and Layden (1978) found support for this hypothesis by demonstrating that individuals with low self-esteem tended to attribute negative outcomes to internal factors and positive outcomes to external factors, whereas the opposite was true for high self-esteem subjects. According to the model, universally and personally kl helpless individuals will differ in terms of self-esteem deficits, but both types will manifest the other three deficits (i.e., motivational, cognitive, emotional) because they both expect their responses and outcomes to be independent (Abramson et al., 1980). Seligman (1975) has proposed that learned helplessness plays a part in a wide variety of human conditions, including child development, stomach ulcers, depression, and death. Other investigators have argued that learned helplessness is useful in examining intellectual achievement (Dweck & Licht, 1980) , crowding (Rodin, 1976), victimization (Silver & Wortman, 1980) , the coronary prone personality (Glass & Carver, 1980), and aging (Schulz, 1980). Implications for Therapy The attributional reformulation of the learned helplessness model suggests that individuals who differ in terms of their attributional style will differ in their responses to uncontrollability. According to the model, individuals with a tendency to attribute negative outcomes to global, stable, and internal factors are more prone to helplessness, depression, and low self-esteem. Based on these assumptions, four strategies of therapeutic intervention are proposed by the reformulated model (Abramson et 48 al., 1978; Abramson et al., 1980). First, change the estimated probability of the outcome by changing the environment in such a way as to reduce the likelihood of aversive outcomes and to increase the likelihood of desired outcomes. Second, make the highly preferred outcomes less preferred by reducing the aversiveness of unavoidable outcomes or the desirability of unobtainable outcomes. Third, change the expectation from uncontrollability to controllability when the outcomes are attainable. In situations when the necessary responses are not within the individual's repertoire but could be, skill training would be appropriate. When the necessary responses are available but inaccessible due to distorted expectations of response-outcome independence, modify the distorted expectation. Fourth, change unrealistic attributions for failure toward external, unstable, specific factors, and change unrealistic attributions for success toward internal, stable, global factors. There are no studies that directly test the therapeutic implications proposed by the reformulated model. Indirect support is cited from studies demonstrating the superior effectiveness of therapies aimed at teaching depressed people to alter their cognitive distortions as compared with other therapeutic interventions (Rush, Beck, Kovacs, & Hollon, 1977; Shaw, 1977). 49 Implications for Prevention According to the original formulation of learned helplessness, an effective means of preventing learned helplessness is behavioural immunization. Prior experience at controlling outcomes immunizes subjects against the effects of procedures that would otherwise induce helplessness (Seligman, 1975) . The reformulated model explains the effects of immunization with the attributional dimension "global-specific". An initial success experience is believed to make the attribution for a subsequent helplessness experience less global and, therefore, less likely to produce an expectation of helplessness in the new situation (Abramson et al., 1980). Results from studies examining the effects of immunization show support for the reformulated model (Klein & Seligman, 1976; Koller &. Kaplan, 1978) . In partial support of the new model is Teasdale's (1978) study in which he found that both real success experiences and recalling past successes equally effected a shift in attributions for initial failure from internal to external factors, but only real success reversed the helplessness deficits. In contrast, Buchwald, Coyne, and Cole (1978) have stated that the immunizing effects of success do not necessarily provide support for the learned helplessness explanation that such manipulations affect the expectation of relationship between response and outcome. Hollon and Garber (1980) argued that the 50 documented changes in helplessness are the result of a change in expectation rather than a change in attribution. The reformulated model of learned helplessness has also proposed implications for the prevention of helplessness. As noted earlier, the model states that individuals who consistently attribute negative outcomes to stable, global, internal factors are at higher risk for depression than those individuals who make unstable, specific, external attributions to negative outcomes. Preventive strategies, then, are aimed at altering the depression-prone individual's attributional style, producing environmental enrichment, and developing the individual's sense of personal control (Abramson et al., 1980). 51 4. Kobasa's Hardiness Introduction and Background The conceptual foundations of Suzanne Kobasa's formulation of hardiness are derived from Maddi's existential personality theory (Kobasa & Maddi, 1977; Maddi, 1988). Within this theoretical context, the movement of healthy growth is from being stuck in "facticity" (the fixed and unchangeable) to exploring and actualizing possibility (Maddi, 1988). Through the vigorous use of the cognitive processes of symbolization (drawing fine distinctions), imagination (imagining alternatives), and judgement (having a definite stance toward living that is individualistic), the developing person is better able to differentiate between what is possible from what is unchangeable. A person who vigorously uses these cognitive processes (symbolization, imagination, and judgement) is thought to have personality hardiness. A hardy personality is defined as a person who has a strong "commitment to self, an attitude of vigorousness toward the environment, a sense of meaningfulness, and an internal locus of control" (Kobasa, 1979, p. 1). The hardy person is better able to realistically discern facticity from possibility. In contrast, a person low in hardiness feels a pervasive sense of inferiority and futility, is less able to use these cognitive 52 processes and, consequently, more likely to have difficulty differentiating between facticity and possibility. There are three inextricably intertwined components of hardiness: control, commitment, and challenge. These components refer to the set of assumptions people make about themselves, their world, and the interaction between the two (Maddi, 1988). Control refers to the belief in one's ability to influence the course of events in one's life. It is emphasized that this belief "does not imply the naive expectation of complete determination of events and outcomes, so much as the perception of oneself as a definite influence through the exercise of imagination, knowledge, skill, and choice" (Kobasa, Maddi & Kahn, 1982, p. 169). A hardy person has (a) decisional control, or the capacity to independently choose among various courses of action; (b) cognitive control, or the ability to interpret, appraise, and incorporate a variety of events into an ongoing life plan; and (c) coping skill, or a greater range of suitable responses to life events motivated by a desire to achieve across all situations. Persons low in control think they are powerless and see themselves as passive victims of circumstances. Such individuals are described as fearful and lacking in initiative. Commitment refers to the ability to feel deeply involved in or committed to the activities of one's life. A person with the commitment characteristic has an overall sense of purpose which 53 allows them to identify with, and find meaning in the events, things, and persons in their life. They are highly invested in themselves and others. As a result, they do not easily succumb to pressure or give up in the face of difficulties. Instead, they draw on their personal, social, and environmental resources. Their relationships to themselves, other people, and their environment are characterized by activeness and approach, rather than by passivity and avoidance. Kobasa (1979) stressed that while a commitment to all areas of life, that is, work, social institutions, interpersonal relationships, family, and self is important, a strong commitment to self is critical. A commitment to oneself involves recognizing one's unique values, goals, priorities, and valuing one's capacity to have purpose and to make decisions. This is essential for an accurate assessment of difficult life situations and for the competent handling of them. Persons low in commitment feel a sense of alienation. They feel that both they and their worlds are uninteresting and not worthwhile. Consequently, their involvement with, and participation in, the world is minimal. Challenge refers to a belief system that views change as an opportunity for personal development rather than as a threat to security. Those individuals with the challenge characteristic are proactive, flexible, and highly adaptive. They value interesting 54 and different experiences through the open exploration of their environment and, as a result, build an awareness and confidence in their ability to access their own resources. Their flexibility allows them to effectively appraise and integrate new situations rather than be incapacitated by them. The core of the hardy person's search for novelty and challenge is a sense of purpose consistent with their fundamental life goals. Persons low in challenge think that change is a threat and seek to maintain stability, comfort, and security. Research Kobasa (1979) proposed that the constellation of personality characteristics that make up the concept of hardiness function as a resistance to the otherwise debilitating effects of stressful life events. She proposed that individuals who experience high levels of stress without falling ill have more of the personality characteristics of hardiness than do those individuals who become sick under stress. The focus of the research on personality hardiness has been on its role as a resource in stress resistance. Initial empirical support for hardiness as a stress-resistance resource came from a study of business executives conducted by Kobasa in 1979. She found that executives high in stressful events but low in illness showed greater control, commitment, and 55 challenge characteristics compared to executives in whom similar stressful event levels were associated with much illness. Two years later, further support was found in another study of business executives. Executives' hardiness and stressful life event scores were found to be significant predictors of change in executives' illness over time. Hardiness decreased illness, whereas stressful life events increased illness and they interacted with each other such that hardiness emerged as most effective in periods of high stress. Recent work with hardiness has demonstrated its relevance to the stress-resistance of lawyers (Kobasa, 1982a), management personnel of a large utility company (Kobasa &. Puccetti, 1983), and gynecology outpatients (Kobasa, 1982b). Other studies have demonstrated the joint influence of hardiness and other resistance resources such as constitutional strengths (Kobasa, Maddi, & Corrington, 1981) , exercise (Kobasa, Maddi, & Puccetti, 1982), and social resources (Kobasa & Puccetti, 1983). One study highlighted the value of multiple resistance resources (Kobasa, Maddi, Puccetti, & Zola, 1985). Of the three resistance resources studied - hardiness, exercise, and social support - hardiness emerged as the most important. In support of individual aspects of her hypothesis, Kobasa has relied on the research findings generated from investigations of personality concepts similar to hardiness. Control, for 56 example, has consistently emerged as a significant moderator of stress in the research literature. Recently, Lefcourt (1983) reviewed the experimental literature, the field studies, and the studies concerned with life events which have demonstrated the moderating effect of control on stress. The effectiveness of challenge has been demonstrated in a study by Smith, Johnson, and Sarason (1978) who found that sensation-seeking, or the tendency to seek out novel or intense experiences, was shown to decrease the relationship between stressful life events and illness. The commitment aspect of hardiness has received little empirical attention outside of Kobasa's studies. Some initial work has been done to determine the relative contribution of the three components of hardiness. The challenge component, as indexed by security and cognitive structure, was found to be more influential as an illness-resistance resource than either commitment or control. Maddi and Kobasa (1981) concluded that "persons who are flexible, tolerant of uncertainty, and untroubled by the need for socioeconomic security are especially resistant to the debilitating effects of stressful life events" (p. 317). Intrinsic Motivation The hardiness composite (i.e., control, commitment, and challenge) has also been proposed as comprising those personality 57 characteristics that may predispose people to be intrinsically motivated (Maddi & Kobasa, 1981). The concept of intrinsic motivation refers to the ways in which animals and humans display "an interest in and curiosity about objects and tasks in the absence of any extrinsic reinforcements" (Maddi, Hoover, & Kobasa, 1982, p. 884). In addition to being a source of pleasure and satisfaction with one's activities, intrinsically motivated activities are hypothesized to have important functional significance (Maddi et al., 1982). For example, intrinsic motivation is thought to lead to activities which are useful in future adaptation. Additionally, intrinsic motivation is considered to be an important determinant of survival through increasing the organism's pool of information about the environment. Maddi and Kobasa (1981) proposed that the three personality characteristcs that make up the hardiness composite are implied in the concept of intrinsic motivation. The more a person is predisposed toward commitment (i.e., the ease with which they commit themselves to or involve themselves in tasks), control (i.e., the likelihood that they feel in control of or able to influence what happens), and challenge (i.e., the vigor with which they feel challenged or stimulated to strive and change in what they do), the greater the likelihood that the person will show signs of intrinsic motivation. Thus, "persons high on these aspects of intrinsic motivation may well feel more satisfied as 58 they move through life's tasks, and gain more of the information and skills marking competence" (Maddi & Kobasa, 1981, p. 304). In terms of the survival value of their intrinsic motivation, these people may well be able to handle more stress than others without becoming ill (Maddi & Kobasa, 1981). Developing Hardiness Existential personality theory has suggested that the best context for developing personality hardiness is one in which people have: Experienced in early life considerable breadth and variety of events; stimulation and support for exercising the cognitive capabilities of symbolization, imagination, and judgement; approval and admiration for doing things themselves; and role models who advocate hardiness and show it in their own functioning. (Kobasa et al., 1982, p. 176) Maddi (1988) suggested that the sense of commitment is developed in children through feeling supported, encouraged, and accepted by their parents. The sense of control is developed in children through mastery experiences. The sense of challenge is developed in children through conceiving experiences of change as enriching rather than chaotic. To instill hardiness in those persons without this context and background, Maddi and Kobasa have developed counselling procedures for encouraging personality hardiness (Maddi, 1985; Maddi & Kobasa, 1984). Essentially, the person is helped to learn to cope with problems or stressful circumstances. The process starts with a problem solving technique called situational reconstruction. The 59 person identifies a problem or a stressful circumstance. Through imaginative processes, the person is encouraged to imagine better circumstances and worse circumstances. The person is then encouraged to think about what would have to happen to make each of those possibilities occur. Through action processes, the person is encouraged to explore what she or he could personally do to bring about the better circumstance. If the exercise is successful, the feedback provided encourages growth of the three aspects of personality hardiness. If the person encounters difficulty with the exercise, she or he is encouraged to use the technique of focusing (Gendlin, 1978) in order to discover the block. Basically, this technique encourages the person to focus inside the self to search for the individual meaning of the blockage. If this technique is successful, the person attempts situational reconstruction again. If it is not, the person concludes that she or he has confronted an aspect of facticity or the unchangeable. The technique of compensatory self-improvement is utilized in this case. The person is encouraged to identify and to work on a second problem which is ideally related to the first one. The aim is to increase the person's sense of possibility in other areas of life than those which seem unchangeable. Again, the person works through situational reconstruction and focusing. Throughout the exercise, the person is reflecting on the assumptions they have made about themselves, their world, and the interaction between the two. 60 5. deCharms' Personal Causation  Introduction and Background According to Richard deCharms, the concept of personal causation means "deliberate action to produce intended change" (deCharms, 1987, p. 8). It is based on the following fundamental assumption about human motivation: Man's [or woman's] primary motivational propensity is to be effective in producing changes in his [or her] environment. Man [or woman] strives to be a causal agent, to be the primary locus of causation for, or the origin of, his [or her] behavior; he [or she] strives for personal causation. (deCharms, 1968, p. 269) Personal causation is not a motive per se, but rather it is the "guiding principle upon which specific motives are built" (deCharms, 1968, p. 270). More specifically, it is the feeling of purpose and commitment that underlies each of the individuals' chosen motives. Personal causation is a type of "personal knowledge". Based on Polanyi's (1958) work, personal knowledge is defined as the source of knowledge that is available to each individual, personally, but that originates privately from one's own feelings and behaviour (deCharms, 1968). Personal knowledge is not fixed. Rather, it changes continuously. Personal causation, then, is the 61 personal knowledge of oneself as a causal agent of change in the environment and is the result of both subjective and objective experience. Originally, the concept of personal causation was drawn out of Heider's (1958) work on the "perceived locus of causality for behavior". As deCharms refined the concept, he focused more on the experience of personal causation and less on the perception of personal causation. Personal causation is the experience of causing something yourself, of originating your own actions and controlling elements in your environment. The negative or pawn aspect is the experience of being pushed around, of not originating your own actions, of not being in control of elements in your environment. The stress is on the total experience of personal causation rather than on just the perception of it, or just the attribution of it to others, or just the behavioral correlates of it. (deCharms, 1979, p. 33) DeCharms (1984) has proposed the concept of personal causation as central in human agency. According to deCharms (1984), human agency is defined as "the reasonable use of knowledge and habits (learned responses) to produce desired changes" (p. 276). The underlying assumption is that personal causation or the motivation for being the cause of desired changes is a pervasive aim of actions of agency (deCharms, 1984). This guiding conceptualization has led deCharms to investigate those experiences that enhance personal causation in order to evaluate its impact on human behaviour. 62 The Origin-Pawn Concept For the sake of brevity, deCharms (1968, 1976) created the terms "Origin" and "Pawn" to differentiate between those who feel a sense of personal causation from those who feel a lack of personal causation. Origins are people who feel, to a large extent, that they control their own fate. They feel that they direct the course of their own lives through the exercise of choice. They value the consequences of their choices, having considered all the possible outcomes. Origins take pride in their successes as well as responsibility for their failures. They feel that the locus for causation of intentions comes from within. This feeling is reinforced by changes in the environment that the individual experiences as the direct result of personal behaviour. In contrast, Pawns are people who feel pushed around like puppets on strings. They feel that external forces beyond their control determine their behaviour. They experience what they do as forced upon them rather than as the result of choice. Thus, the outcomes of a Pawn's actions are not seen as their own and, as a result, no responsibility is taken for them. They do not plan their lives because they feel that external factors will determine their fate for them. Pawns feel that the locus for causation of intentions is external to oneself. 63 The main difference between Origins and Pawns is one of outlook. Origins characteristically experience their actions as meaningful within the context of what they want. Pawns characteristically experience their actions as determined by others and external circumstances (deCharms, 1977a). The core of the Origin-Pawn experience is reflected in the following line of reasoning presented by deCharms: In a nutshell, originating one's own actions implies choice; choice is experienced as freedom; choice imposes responsibility for choice-related actions and enhances the feeling that the action is 'mine' (ownership of action). Put in the negative, having actions imposed from without (pawn behaviors) abrogates choice; lack of choice is experienced as bondage, releases one from responsibility, and allows, even encourages, the feeling that the action is 'not mine'. (deCharms, 1984, p. 279) DeCharms (1976) proposed that these two different motivational states critically affect behaviour. That is, a person's behaviour is characteristically different depending upon whether she or he feels like a Pawn or like an Origin. He suggested that the Origin is "positively motivated, optimistic, confident, accepting of challenge", whereas the Pawn is "negatively motivated, defensive, irresolute, avoidant of challenge" (deCharms, 1976, p. 5). In short, feelings of potency are associated with being an Origin and feelings of powerlessness are associated with being a Pawn. DeCharms emphasized that the Origin-Pawn concept is a continuum. Empirically, he has found that people are not one or 64 the other (deCharms, 1984) but instead, may feel or act more like one or the other depending upon the circumstances. He does argue, however, that some people characteristically feel and act like Origins more of the time than do others (deCharms, 1987). Characteristics of Origin Behaviour On the basis of direct, intensive observations of children in a classroom and personal causation theory, Plimptom (1976) developed a measure of the Origin-Pawn concept. For the purposes of understanding Origin behaviour as contrasted with Pawn behaviour, the six characteristics identified by Plimpton are presented. 1. Internal Control As an operationalized definition of internal locus of causality for behaviour, internal control is defined as "the person's experience of being the cause of his [or her] decisions, choices, activities, and attempts to solve problems as well as of the solutions to problems" (deCharms, 1981, p. 344). The person "reacts to problems as a challenge to be overcome by positive personal action rather than as a threat to be reacted to by submission" (deCharms, 1987, p. 16). 65 2. Goal-Setting Goal setting is a self-initiated decision to pursue a definite goal (deCharms, 1987). There are two types of goals. Idealistic goal-setting is the choice of a goal unrestrained by any external forces. Realistic goal-setting is the decision to pursue a goal that is partially externally controlled (deCharms, 1981). 3. Instrumental Activity Instrumental activity is defined as "a self-initiated activity or plan that is instrumental to attainment of a goal" (deCharms, 1987, p. 15). 4. Reality Perception Reality perception is defined as "the individual's ability to perceive correctly her or his (a) position vis-a-vis other persons or the environment, (b) possibilities, (c) strengths and weaknesses" (deCharms, 1987, p. 16). It is often expressed in the ability to "recognize cause and effect relationships, environmental problems, and motives of others, and to adjust to these factors" (deCharms, 1981, p. 343). 66 5. Personal Responsibility Personal responsibility is defined as "the person's willingness to assume responsibility for the consequences of his or her action, the attainment of goals, the fulfillment of desires, or the solution of problems" (deCharms, 1981, p. 343) . 6. Self-Confidence Self-confidence is defined as "the person's confidence that he or she can effect changes in the environment" (deCharms, 1981, p. 344). It is a confidence in one's personal strength and capability (Plimpton, 1976). Self-confidence does not mean "a striving for power or superiority, but rather a striving for self-actualization and faith in succeeding" (Plimpton, 1976, p. 227). Research DeCharms' early research focused on the perception of personal causation. He and his colleagues conducted a study demonstrating that the Origin-Pawn distinction was important in the perception of others (deCharms, Carpenter, & Kuperman, 1965). The result of this study was a shift in focus from the perception of Origin-Pawn characteristics in others to the experience of oneself as an Origin or as a Pawn. 67 The next set of studies focused on the experience of experimentally induced personal causation and its impact on behaviour. Kuperman (cited in deCharms, 1968) and deCharms, Dougherty, and Wurtz (cited in deCharms, 1968) found that experiences of Origin or Pawn feelings induced in the laboratory setting had strong effects on subjects' feeling, behaviour, and memory of the experience in the direction predicted by personal causation theory. The next shift in deCharms' research was away from laboratory settings toward the study of the experience of personal causation in a practical setting. DeCharms believed that studying personal causation intensively in a practical context would "reveal the complex,interrelations between concepts that occur in the real setting" (deCharms, 1979, p. 39). The setting deCharms chose was the elementary school classroom. The goal of this long-term study was to enhance the motivation of inner-city elementary school children through feelings of personal causation. Enhancing motivation in this way was hypothesized to positively affect school behaviours such as academic achievement and attendance. The experimental treatment involved training teachers to facilitate personal causation or Origin feelings in their students. In order to do this, teachers participated in a personal causation training course, and assisted 68 the researchers in designing origin-enhancing techniques to be used in their classrooms as part of the study. Essentially, the training of both teachers and children followed the same basic structure. There was an emphasis on self-study and the evaluation of personal motives, and specific aspects of Origin behaviour such as realistic goal-setting, planning concrete action, taking personal responsibility, and self-confidence. The study compared the children of trained and untrained teachers over a period of 3 years from the end of the fifth grade to the end of the eighth grade. The data indicated that: (1) children's feelings of personal causation increased as indexed by an Origin measure designed for the study, (2) academic achievement was higher in the trained children as compared to the untrained children, and (3) school attendance and tardiness were positively affected in the trained children as compared to the untrained children. Follow-up studies have shown positive long-term effects of Origin training on career-related and responsible behaviours, and probability of high school graduation (deCharms, 1984). DeCharms and his colleagues then shifted their focus from studying students to studying teachers and their interactions with the students. Specifically, they were interested in teacher 69 characteristics and behaviour that enhanced personal causation and academic achievement in students (Koenigs, Fiedler, & deCharms, 1977) . In this study, they found that teachers who showed more flexibility, complexity and interpersonal sensitivity, who encouraged more pupil influence, and who were perceived as promoting more of an Origin climate in their classrooms had students with higher academic achievement scores. These results were thought to indicate that students who felt more personal causation were more motivated to learn. In a related study, it was hypothesized that both Origin teachers and teachers classified as "Internal" on the locus of control scale would have higher achieving students (cited in deCharms, 1981). They found that although there was no correlation between the two orientations (i.e., the Origin teachers and the Internal teachers), both orientations significantly contributed to the students' academic achievement. DeCharms' most recent research on personal causation in schools has focused on teacher-administrator relationships rather than teacher-student relationships (cited in deCharms, 1984). A study was designed to investigate the relationship between evaluation procedures and teacher motivation. The results indicated that the more evaluation effort that was made by the 70 administrator (in this study the emphasis was on the school principal) the more the teachers felt effective and motivated. The Revised Origin-Pawn Concept As a result of the motivation enhancement research project, the Origin-Pawn concept was modified in three important ways (deCharms, 1976). First, the concept of freedom versus constraint was replaced by the concept of striving. Objectively, both the Pawn and the Origin experience external forces. The difference between them, however, is one of outlook and experience. Origins are aware of the external constraints, but do not allow these forces to determine personal goals. They determine their goals and within the meaningful context of these goals strive to mold the external forces to help them in their pursuits. As a result, Origins experience their actions as personally meaningful within the context of what they want. On the other hand, Pawns feel pushed around by external forces because they have not chosen their own goals nor have they developed strategies to move through the external forces. Thus, Pawns feel constrained and focus on these constraints. They experience their actions as determined by others and external circumstances. In summary, Origins are persons who are striving for goals within constraints rather than having complete freedom from them. 71 Second, the concept of personal responsibility was given a stronger emphasis. As a first step, Origins must learn to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions. Beyond this and more importantly, Origins must strive to reach their goals in such a way as to simultaneously promote the goal-seeking behaviour of others. Origins recognize that the notion of personal responsibility involves goals that are "promotively interdependent" and, therefore, structure their world in a way that supports this perspective. Simply put, true Origins treat others as Origins. DeCharms (1976) argued that the notion that if some people are Origins then others must be Pawns is a large misconception and, in fact, misses the deeper level of meaning inherent in the concept of personal responsibility. Third, the Origin concept was clarified. Striving and responsibility are viewed as more prominent features of Origin behaviour. Additionally, the stage of development of the self-concept is viewed as inextricably bound to the Origin concept. That is, people will view the Origin concept differently depending upon their developmental level. Changing from a Pawn to an Origin The focus of deCharms' later research was on inducing a change in people from that of a Pawn to that of an Origin under 72 experimentally controlled conditions. There are two fundamental assumptions that underlie his work (deCharms, 1977b). The first is that being an Origin is better and more meaningful than being a Pawn. The second is that being an Origin or a Pawn is learned, not innate. These assumptions are generally supported by deCharms' research findings. For example, in the data reported in 1976, deCharms and his colleagues found that students were able to learn Origin behaviour, and these same students felt more motivated and gained more academically than their Pawn counterparts. The theoretical underpinnings for this change process come from an integration of McClelland's (1965) work on motivation development and deCharms' (1968) own work on personal causation. DeCharms proposed four elements that facilitate the change toward the feelings and behaviour associated with being an Origin. The first element is self-study to identify meaningful personal motives. This necessitates the person seeing the change in terms of an improvement in her or his self-image. In other words, the proposed change must be meaningful and important to the person and it must be stimulated from within the person. The context within which the change occurs is also important. Lasting, genuine change is more likely to occur in a warm, interpersonal atmosphere that supports and accepts personal development. The second element that facilitates the change is the ability to translate these motives 73 into realistic short and long-terra goals. The third element is the ability to plan realistic goals and concrete action in order to attain these goals. The fourth element is the capacity to accept personal responsibility for chosen goals and the successes or failures of any attempts to reach them. These four elements are believed to: Induce increased commitment and purpose, greater personal responsibility, and higher motivation, all within a context of meaning to the life of the individual. Finally, the aroused motivation should result in more effective behavior, greater success in goal-attainment and hence greater satisfaction. (deCharms, 1976, p. 6) 74 Limitations of the Existing Research An adequate account of human agency must consider the individual in context. This perspective is based on the assumption that a comprehensive understanding of an individual cannot be attained without an understanding of the context, that is, the larger personal, social, and cultural realities within which the individual exists. Most importantly, a comprehensive understanding of the individual cannot be attained without an understanding of the way that context is perceived and experienced by the individual. The importance of context in the understanding of human behaviour has been stressed by numerous researchers (e.g., Bromley, 1986; Bronfenbrenner, 1979; Mishler, 1986; Rosenwald, 1988; Yin, 1984). The argument advanced by proponents of this view is that decontextualization ignores how individuals understand themselves and the world, and neglects the connection between how their understandings are related to their personal, social, and cultural circumstances. Decontextualization distorts meaning, leading to any number of errors and misjudgements, particularly in the interpretation of data (Mishler, 1986). Investigators have repeatedly shown by example and argument the importance of context and the negative consequences of decontextualization (Mishler, 1986; Rosenwald, 1988). 75 Most of the existing research on human agency has been confined to laboratory experiments. The deficits related to this type of methodology as applied to the study of agency fall under the larger category of ecological validity. The ecological validity of this body of research is limited in the following ways. The nature of a laboratory experiment is to deliberately simplify the topic of interest in order to focus on the relationship between a small number of relevant variables and a small number of distinct conditions (Bromley, 1986). In order to focus on a small number of variables, laboratory experiments intentionally divorce a phenomenon from its context. The context is presumed to be "controlled" by the laboratory environment (Yin, 1984). By isolating one or two variables and "controlling" out all others, potentially important contextual factors are neglected and the variables being studied are decontextualized. As well, by isolating a small number of variables these approaches ignore the complexity or multifaceted nature of human agency that is so widely acknowledged by these very researchers (e.g., see Bandura, 1986). In so doing, possible variables and interactions among variables that might contribute to an understanding of agency are left untapped and unexplored. Thus, in the process of establishing control, the results may be so restricted to these experimentally defined variables and conditions that they do not reflect the 76 richness and complexity of people's actual experience in the real world under real world conditions. As such, this body of research may not be relevant to the counselling problems and practice to which the results ultimately need to be generalized (Kazdin, 1980). The case study approach was selected as the appropriate methodology for this study because of its ability to address the internal complexities and contextual factors that may be related to human agency. In contrast to the laboratory experiment, the holistic case study method attempts to "control in" as many variables as possible. This approach can illuminate unique features that may be seen only because the phenomenon of concern is studied in its full complexity without interfering with the natural situation (Kazdin, 1980). This can be accomplished because the natural situation is not disrupted through artificially controlled conditions, decontextualized variables, or other such constraints of the laboratory paradigm (Kazdin, 1980). The intent of the case study approach in this study is to portray the interplay of different features and forces as they bear on the topic of agency. In this way, a case study approach is able to provide concrete information that is absent in the more abstract experimental work by detailing whole events rather than by isolating one or two decontextualized variables as the bulk of the current research does. 77 In addition to neglecting contextual issues, most of the current theories tend to focus on descriptions of each end of the continuum or on measuring the presence or absence of agency rather than on identifying the change processes involved in enhancing human agency. The one exception, of the five theorists reviewed, is Richard deCharms who has attempted to identify key features involved in enhancing human agency. He has outlined the theoretical aspects of the change and attempted to induce a change in agency in people (deCharms, 1976). Despite each theorists' clear statements of the value of one end of the continuum over the other and the emphasis on the need to understand how to change people toward the more valued end of the continuum, how to accomplish this has largely been inferential rather than clearly stated and demonstrated as in the case of deCharms. While deCharms' research has much to contribute, it too has its limitations. DeCharms (1979) has argued that the study of a concept like personal causation is "best conducted in the complex situations where it occurs in real life" (p. 29). He stressed the need to "look for the beast in situ rather than try to produce it under artificial conditions" (p. 29). According to deCharms (1979), the value of the intensive study of real situations is its ability to reveal the complex interrelations between concepts that occur in the real setting. 78 On the basis of this line of reasoning, deCharms (1976) shifted his study of personal causation from a laboratory setting to a practical setting (i.e., the educational context). While the value of this shift is acknowledged and respected, deCharms has essentially gone from inducing Origin-Pawn conditions in subjects in the laboratory to inducing Origin-Pawn conditions in teachers and children in the educational setting. The point remains that both conditions in both settings are programmantically induced. In continuing to adhere to an experimental paradigm, his work is limited by the constraints inherent in this approach. If the goal is to really study "the beast in situ" in all its complexity, then one must strive to study the change process from Pawn to Origin as it occurs spontaneously in the lives of everyday people. This would constitute genuine self-initiated behaviour which would be more congruent with personal causation theory. As a result of the aforementioned limitations, there is a major gap in the research literature related to human agency. How people are able to transform themselves from having a low sense of agency to having a higher sense of agency has not been investigated and the configuration or pattern of change remains unknown. The concern of this study is to investigate and to document transformations of human agency as they naturally occur in people's lives rather than as they occur under experimentally contrived 79 conditions. In this way, people's experiences will speak for themselves rather than be the result of externally imposed theory and experimentally controlled conditions. In so doing, the hope is to address the problem of "lack of relevance" of the current research to counselling theory and practice. The existing body of research on human agency tends to be somewhat oversimplified and thus misleading. Counsellors involved in helping people enhance personal agency are confronted with a "whole" person as well as the context within which that person exists. Therefore, there is a need for more concrete information and insight into the way in which agency is enhanced under natural conditions in order to more adequately serve the needs of clients. 80 Approach of the Present Investigation The value and importance of the case study as a research strategy has been emphasized by a number of investigators (Bromley, 1986; Campbell, 1979, 1984; Stake, 1980; Yin, 1984). The extensive and pervasive use of the case study across a wide range of disciplines is well documented (Hoaglin, Light, McPeek, Mosteller, Stoto, 1982; Kazdin, 1980; McAdams, 1988; McAdams & Ochberg, 1988) . Case Study Method The term "case study" refers to a distinctive form of empirical inquiry. The noted research methodologist, Donald T. Campbell (1984), has endorsed the case study approach as "a research method for attempting valid inferences from events outside the laboratory, while at the same time retaining the goals of knowledge shared with laboratory science" (p. 7). Further, he has pointed out the "crucial role of pattern and context in achieving knowledge" (Campbell, 1984, p. 9) that is unavailable in laboratory settings. Yin (1984) has suggested that the case study method is the preferred strategy when "how" research questions are being posed, as in the present study. This investigation is concerned with how transformations of agency occur in natural contexts. In its broadest sense, Yin (1984) has defined a case study as an 81 empirical inquiry that "investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context; when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident; and in which multiple sources of evidence are used" (p. 23). When the term case-study is used to refer to the psychological study of individual persons (as in the present case), it is called a psychological case study (Bromley, 1986). A psychological case study is defined as a "scientific reconstruction and interpretation, based on the best evidence available, of an episode (or set of related episodes) in the life of a person" (Bromley, 1986, p. 9). Episodes refer to important life-events that are usually of a formative, critical, or culminant nature. Thus, a psychological case study is "an account of how and why a person behaved as he or she did in a given situation" (Bromley, 1986, p. 3). The distinctive feature common to all case studies is that "they are singular, naturally occurring events in the real world. They are not experimentally contrived events or simulations" (Bromley, 1986, p. 2). Thus, a critical advantage of the case study approach is that it "allows an investigation to retain the holistic and meaningful characteristics of real-life events" (Yin, 1984, p. 14). In order to conduct a rigorous and methodologically sound case study, Yin (1984) has proposed three guiding principles. These 82 principles are designed to address problems of construct validity and reliability, and are incorporated into the present study. The first principle involves the use of multiple sources of evidence. The advantage of this principle is the development of convergent lines of inquiry. Conclusions drawn from several sources of evidence are more convincing and likely more accurate than those drawn from a single source. Using multiple sources of evidence increases the construct validity of a study (Yin, 1984). In terms of this study, convergence between quantitative evidence from Q-sorts and qualitative evidence from interviews form the basis for case study accounts. As an additional source of construct validity, case study accounts are validated by the person for whom each was written as well as by an independent reviewer (Yin, 1984). The second principle requires the creation of a case study data base. This principle involves the organization and documentation of the data collected for the study which is separate and distinct from the case study account. The purpose of this principle is to enable other investigators to access the data directly through the development of a formal, retrievable data base. Establishing a data base increases the reliability of the case accounts and any conclusions drawn from them (Yin, 1984). The data base for this study consists of the transcripts of 83 interviews which are separate and distinct from the case study-accounts . The third principle requires the maintenance of a chain of evidence. This principle involves the establishment of clear and explicit links between the initial research questions posed, the data collected, and the conclusions drawn. The purpose of this principle is to enable external observers to follow the derivation of any evidence from the question phase of the study to the conclusion phase of the study. Adhering to this principle establishes confidence in construct validity and increases the reliability of the information in the case study (Yin, 1984). For the purposes of the present study, transcripts provide the data base for the construction of case study accounts. On the basis of the case study accounts, a comparative analysis is conducted. Implications for theory and practice are drawn from the case study accounts and the comparative analysis of those cases. In addition to addressing problems of construct validity and reliability, a case study investigation must also concern itself with the issue of external validity (Yin, 1984). External validity refers to the extent to which a study's findings can be generalized beyond the immediate case study. Yin (1984) has pointed out that: Case studies, like experiments, are generalizable to theoretical propositions and not to populations or universes. In this sense, the case study, like the experiment, does not 84 represent a 'sample1, and the investigator's goal is to expand and generalize theories (analytic generalization) and not to enumerate frequencies (statistical generalization), (p. 21) In case study research, generalizing findings to theory is established through a multiple case design that follows a "replication" logic (Yin, 1984). A replication logic is analogous to conducting multiple experiments. Each individual case study consists of a "whole" study. This study involves ten cases or replications of transformations of agency as a means of establishing external validity. Through these ten replications, the findings are to be generalized to five theories of agency. This replication logic is distinctly different from a sampling logic where the aim is to generalize findings from a smaller group of persons who are thought to be representative of some larger pool of people. A sampling logic is generally used to determine the frequency of a particular phenomenon. Just as evidence from multiple sources helps to support conclusions drawn from a case study, evidence from different methods serves the same purpose (Bromley, 1986). For this reason, the case study design used in this study rests upon qualitative information from interviews and quantitative information from Q-sorts. Interviews provide a qualitative description of a transformation in agency while Q-sorts provide a quantitative description of a transformation in agency. Convergence between 85 these two methods of eliciting significant information provides the basis for the case study accounts of transformation. In the next sections, an overview of the approach to interviewing, the use of Q-sorts, and the construction of case study accounts is presented. 1. Research Interviewing According to Yin (1984) , "one of the most important sources of case study information is the interview" (p. 82). Mishler (1986) views interviewing as a central research method in the social and behavioural sciences. For the purposes of this study, interviewing provides one method through which significant information about transformations of agency is elicited. The view and practice of interviewing for this study largely reflects the perspective set forth by Elliot Mishler (1986). According to Mishler, the standard approach to interviewing is severely limited because of its focus on problems of standardization. This preoccupation has led to the standardizing of questions in order to ensure that all respondents receive the same question and to the development of standardized ways of analyzing their responses, such as coding systems. Mishler's concern is that this approach neglects and disregards the interviewees' social and personal contexts of meaning. 86 Based on this critique of standard practice, Mishler (1986) has proposed an alternative perspective and approach to research interviewing which guides the interviews in this study. First, interviews are viewed as forms of discourse between speakers. In this study, the interview takes the form of a discourse or an extended conversation about the individual's transformation experience. Second, interviews are redefined as speech events "whose structure and meaning is jointly produced by interviewers and interviewees" (p. 105). Questioning and answering, then, are viewed as forms of speech that reflect complex sets of linguistic and social rules which serve to structure and shape the interchange between interviewer and interviewee. The interviewer and interviewee "through repeated reformulations of questions and responses, strive to arrive together at meanings that both can understand. The relevance and appropriateness of questions and responses emerges through and is realized in the discourse itself" (Mishler, 1986, p. 65). Third, the analysis and interpretation of interviews is based on a theory of discourse and meaning. That is, the "interpretation of the organization and patterning of speech depends on a theoretical- framework that entails specifying the presuppositions and rules that people use in speaking with one another" (Mishler, 1986, p. 66). The task is to make one's underlying theoretical 87 framework of interviewing explicit rather than allowing it to be implicit as in the case of standard interview research. Mishler's theoretical framework, and the one utilized for the purposes of this study, involves the use of narrative form. The assumption underlying this perspective is that "narratives are one of the natural cognitive and linguistic forms through which individuals attempt to order, organize, and express meaning" (p. 106). Interviewees in this study are encouraged to present their descriptions of transformation in a narrative form. That is, in the form of a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Fourth, the meanings of questions and answers are contextually grounded. Here, Mishler is concerned with the broader sociocultural and sociopolitical contexts and their impact on interview practice and, in turn, interviewees. Mishler's focus is on how different interview methods facilitate or hinder interviewee's "efforts to construct coherent and reasonable worlds of meaning and to make sense of their experiences" (Mishler, 1986, p. 118). Traditional approaches are typically marked by asymmetric power relationships where the interviewer controls the aim, structures the shape and the flow of the interview, as well as defines the "meaning" of responses and findings. Interviewees are typically not given an opportunity to comment on the interpretations of their words (Mishler, 1986). Mishler calls for 88 a redistribution of that power in order to "restore control to respondents over what they mean and what they say" (Mishler, 1986, p. 122). The redistribution of power in interviewing requires the alteration of standard role definitions for interviewers and interviewees. The type of role redefinition selected for use in this study involves redefining interviewees as co-researchers. This involves entering into a collaborative relationship with people, encouraging them to speak in their own "voice" and to tell their own story, and to be directly involved in the analysis and interpretation of the findings. 2. Q-Technique Q-sorting is a technique drawn from Q-methodology and it provides the second method through which signficant information about transformations of agency is elicited. Q-methodology is "a set of statistical, philosophy-of-science, and psychological principles" constructed by William Stephenson (1953) that provides a sophisticated and powerful method for the intensive study of the individual (Kerlinger, 1973). Stephenson developed Q-methodology to explore and understand the richness of human subjectivity and founded it on the premise that it is possible to study subjectivity in an objective, scientific way. He stated that Q-technique, or 89 the set of procedures used to implement Q-methodology, provides "a systematic way to handle a person's retrospections, his [or her] reflections about himself [or herself] and others, his [or her] introjections and projections, and much else of an apparent 'subjective' nature" (p. 86). Q-methodology "encompasses a distinctive set of psychometric and operational principles that, when combined with specialized statistical applications of correlational and factor-analytic techniques, provide researchers with a systematic and rigorously quantitative means for examining human subjectivity" (McKeown & Thomas, 1988, p. 5). The most unique and distinctive characteristic of Q-methodology, then, is its attempt to combine phenomenological experience with an objective approach to measurement. Kerlinger (1972, 1973) stressed the role and the value of Q-methodology in behavioural research. He stated that Q-methodology is "an important and unique approach to the study of psychological, sociological, and educational phenomena" (Kerlinger, 1973, p. 598). McKeown and Thomas (1988) have pointed out the practical utility of Q-methodology and its relevance to diverse disciplines such as psychology, social psychology, sociology, and political science. For example, Dennis (1986) has examined its relevance and application to nursing research, while others have examined the application of Q-methodology to communication research 90 (Stephen, 1985), political science (Brown, 1980), educational psychology (Stephenson, 1980), and political psychology (McKeown, 1984). More recently, Q-methodology has been utilized in the study of work as a re-enactment of family drama (MacGregor &. Cochran, 1988) and in the investigation of the meaning of career change (Chusid & Cochran, 1989). The main form of instrumentation in Q-methodology is called the Q-sort. Essentially, the Q-sort is a sophisticated comparative rating method. Very briefly, the Q-sort procedure involves defining a "universe" or "concourse" (Stephenson, 1980) of stimuli on the basis of the topic being investigated. The individual sorts the stimuli (which may be written descriptions of behaviour, pictures, single adjectives, and so on) along a continuum of significance, such as "most like me" to "most unlike me". For theoretical reasons and to help subjects conceptualize the task, the individual sorts the stimuli into a specified number of piles. Numerical values are then assigned to the piles for statistical purposes. In Q-methodology the issue of reliability is most often sort, re-sort reliability. Reported test-retest reliability has generally been found to be quite high. For example, Frank (1956) reported correlation coefficients of .93 and .97, and Kahle and Lee (1975) found correlations all over .95. Fairweather (1981) makes a 91 strong case for reliability of the Q-method with correlation coefficients all over .90 at a one to two year interval. Kerlinger (1973) reported test-retest reliability of .81 for an 11 month period. In terms of validity, evidence has been found to support a case for external and construct validity of the Q-method (Fairweather, 1981). Q-methodology has a number of unique strengths which make it particularly suitable for an investigation of transformations of agency. First, individuals sort the Q-sort many times according to different frames of reference. This allows the researcher to make complex comparisons of sets of measures within the data of one individual. Consequently, the Q-sort yields data that better reflect the complexity of the individual (Kerlinger, 1972). Second, Q-sorts will be obtained from several individuals which allow the investigator to identify the dimensions of the subjective phenomenon in question (Dennis, 1986). Third, Q-methodology can perhaps point toward alternative theoretical views and open up possibilities for new areas of research (Kerlinger, 1972). For a study involving Q-sorts, two types of samples are required. One sample is needed for the topics to be described and a second sample is needed for the items to be used in the description. 92 1. Q-sort topics The topics to be described for this study are the significant events or landmarks connected with the transformation. Significant events are chosen because they provide the clearest moments of recollection and improve the chances of reliable retrospection. 2. Q-sort items Constructing a Q-sort involves defining a universe or concourse (Stephenson, 1980) of items and selecting a representative sample of items from that concourse. The concourse of items for this Q-sort is composed of a representative sample of key theoretical propositions from five prominent psychological theories of human agency. The item sample is a comprehensive representation of the main theoretical propositions of each of these theories translated into common, understandable language. The Q-sort constructed for this study is made up of 52 items. The development of the Q-sort is presented in the next section. Development of Q-sort items In order to construct the Q-sort for this study, a rigorous development process was undertaken over a period of four months. The steps in this procedure are summarized below: 93 The first step involved extracting an exhaustive list of the key theoretical propositions from each of the theories of human agency identified in the literature review. For example, according to Bandura, successful performance accomplishments raise self-efficacy, and, therefore, this proposition ..was listed. This process resulted in a list of 126 theoretical propositions. The second step involved translating each theoretical proposition into an item for the Q-sort. A number of decision rules made in collaboration with the research supervisor guided the form and structure of the items. Items were written: (a) as descriptive phrases rather than as adjectives to promote more discernment and to avoid stereotypic or pat responses, (b) in clear, ordinary language that could be understood by co-researchers, (c) in neutral, mildly negative, or positive forms to avoid social desirability bias, (d) in the past tense because subjects would be reflecting retrospectively about their experiences, and (e) to reflect one main focus or idea rather than many. Each item was noted for each theorist. In collaboration with the research supervisor, the third step involved clustering the 126 items into provisional groups or categories on the basis of their similarity. 9A For example, items were clustered in categories such as "confidence", "control", or "goal-setting". The reason for grouping the items was to determine redundancy among items as it had become apparent that there was considerable overlap among the theories. This procedure also assisted in the clarification of the overall change process from the perspective of each theorist and in so doing, led to the observation that most of the theorists could fit within categories of deCharms' model. Consequently, deCharm's model was utilized to help organize the items into these provisional categories. The total number of categories that emerged from the items was 1A. A. The fourth step involved rechecking each theory to ensure that its range was adequately reflected in the items. This resulted in the expansion of some categories, which increased the total number of items to 198. This process also involved further focusing and sharpening of items to more accurately reflect their respective categories. A decision was made to include some proportion of negative items to ensure that no change in meaning occurred in the translation from theoretical proposition to item. For example, "felt depressed" is qualitatively different from 95 "felt happy" and so it was included despite its negative connotation. 5. In collaboration with the research supervisor, the fifth step involved organizing and refining the categories. In order to organize and to ensure coverage of all the information in each category, items were sorted into (1) beliefs and attitudes, (2) actions, and (3) feelings. While continuing to be sensitive to the range for each theory, representative items that adequately covered each category were extracted. The result of this refinement was a cut in the number of items to 72 and the number of categories to 12. 6. In order to determine applicability, the sixth step involved field testing the Q-sort (m = 72) with ten people who reported having undergone a transformation of agency. Based on the feedback provided, it became apparent that people did not differentiate between some of the finer theoretical distinctions such as control over reinforcements versus control over success. Consequently, some items were collapsed. As well, there were some alterations and adjustments made in the wording of certain items. The result of this step was a further reduction in the number of items to 52. 96 7. The seventh step involved conducting a theoretical validation of the Q-sort (m = 52). Two content experts were consulted in this regard. The director of the Student Counselling and Resource Centre for the University of British Columbia served as one content expert. The other expert was a person with a doctoral degree in a field outside of Counselling Psychology who had expert knowledge of the theories of agency upon which the Q-sort was constructed. Each was instructed to check that the Q-sort was a faithful and accurate representation of each of the respective theories of agency. The findings of both content experts were uniformly positive with minor concerns regarding wording on a few items. Adjustments to the items were made to accommodate the concerns. A final list of items (m = 52) and the corresponding theorist for each is presented in Table 1. Table 1 Master List of Q-sort Items and Corresponding Theorist Theorist Item Bandura deCharms B D K R S Kobasa Rotter Seligman 1. Was successful. (B) 2. Overcame obstacles. (B, D) 3. Felt confident. (B, D, K) 4. Thought that my success would depend on the help of others. (D, K, R) 5. Thought that my success would depend on luck or fate. (D, K, R) 6. Thought that my success would depend on my abilities. (D, K, R) 7. Thought that my success would depend on my effort. (D, K, R) 8. Took an active approach to obstacles and difficulties, not a passive one. (B, D, K, R, S) 9. Felt energetic and enthusiastic. (D, K) 10. Was self-guided. (D) 11. Made good decisions independently. (D, K) 12. Felt free, not trapped. (D, K, S) 13. Learned from my problems and difficulties. (D) 14. Felt in control of my life, not pushed around. (D, K, S) 15. Was too easily influenced by others. (D, R) 16. Felt powerful, not helpless. (D, K, S) 17. Took responsibility for setting my own direction. (D) 18. Evaluated my performance in trying to reach goals. (D) 19. Monitored my progress (or its lack) toward goals. (D) 20. Had a strong sense of meaning, was not aimless. (D, K) 21. Felt a deep sense of commitment. (D, K) 22. Searched for personal meaning. (D) 23. Felt supported and encouraged by others. (D, K) 24. Was helped by the example set by other people. (B) 25. Set clear, definite goals for myself. (D) (table continues) 98 Table 1 Master List of Q-sort Items and Corresponding Theorist Theorist Bandura = B Item deCharms = D Kobasa = K Rotter = R Seligman = S 26. Set challenging goals for myself. (B, D, K, R) 27. Set realistic goals for myself. (D) 28. Set excessively high goals for myself. (D) 29. Accepted goals that were not really mine, but came from situational demands or other people's expectations. (D) 30. Took specific steps to realize purposes. (D) 31. Took action to improve or develop myself. (D) 32. Took risks rather than playing it safe. (D, K) 33. Welcomed challenges. (D, K) 34. Felt depressed. (R, S) 35. Planned how to achieve goals. (D) 36. Anticipated obstacles that I would need to overcome. (D) 37. Responded constructively to unexpected difficulties. (D, K) 38. Foresaw how to adjust to possible problems. (D) 39. Felt optimistic and hopeful. (D, K, R, S) 40. Felt anxious. (B, R, S) 41. Felt competent. (B, D, K, S) 42. Felt like a worthy person. (K, R, S) 43. Persevered despite adversity. (B, D, K, R) 44. Felt that my self-esteem was tied to my achievements. (B) 45. Was resourceful. (D, K) 46. Saw change as an opportunity to grow or learn. (K) 47. Felt adequate to the task at hand. (B, S) 48. Felt a strong sense of involvement. (D, K) 49. Experienced a feeling of satisfaction. (D, K, R) 50. Saw failure as my own doing. (D) 51. Thought that my failure would be due to other people and/or circumstances. (D) 52. Experienced a sense of striving or of working hard. (D) 99 Item selection As noted previously, there is considerable overlap among the five theories of agency reviewed for this study. However, in order to adequately represent these theories in the Q-sort, the items must comprehensively and accurately reflect the finer distinctions between them as well.as what they have in common. For this purpose, comparisons between theories were made. DeCharms' (1968) concept of personal causation emerged as the most comprehensive and the broadest in scope. The following is a brief summary of this comparison process. Bandura (1977) defines agency in terms of the attributions one makes about one's skill and ability to accomplish what a given situation demands. According to Bandura's version of agency, no distinction is made between goals that are self-initiated and goals that are directed by others. DeCharms, on the other hand, emphasizes that goals must be internally motivated by the individual and exist within a context of personal meaning. Rotter's (1966) concept of locus of control essentially concerns itself with whether or not one can control the reinforcements one receives. Human agency, then, is defined with respect to the consequences of one's action. In contrast, deCharms' (1968) concept of personal causation emphasizes the actions themselves rather than their consequences. Human agency 100 for deCharms is concerned with the feeling that one has determined one's own actions, that one is a causal agent. Further, Rotter's locus of control does not differentiate between intrinsic and extrinsic reinforcements, whereas the crux of deCharms' position is that to have a sense of personal causation is to be intrinsically-motivated. For Seligman (1975) and his colleagues (Abramson, Seligman, &. Teasdale, 1978), the concept of agency takes the form of the attributions people make in relation to aversive outcomes. His model does not, however, provide a way of accepting undesirable outcomes. Instead he advocates changes in the environment such as reducing the likelihood of aversive outcomes. DeCharms, on the other hand, emphasizes the individual's capacity to develop constructive, healthy responses to both positive and negative outcomes by realistically assessing how each came about and applying this learning to future situations. Such realistic appraisals of situations also include knowing when to give up, let go, and move on. Unlike deCharms' (1968) concept of personal causation, the concepts of self-efficacy, locus of control, and learned helplessness all direct attention to the outcomes or consequences of behaviour rather than to the behaviour itself. There is also an emphasis on maximizing positive outcomes and minimizing negative 101 ones. For deCharms, being an agent has little to do with whether or not the outcomes of one's behaviour are positive or negative. He is more concerned with the capacity to realistically and accurately assess all situations, choosing the best course of action for that particular situation, and taking personal responsibility for that choice. Moreover, the concepts of Bandura (1977), Rotter (1966), and Seligman (1975) all indicate that the individual's satisfaction is dependent upon attaining a positive outcome. DeCharms, however, views the individuals' satisfaction as largely dependent upon being a causal agent, on developing a sense of purpose, forming personally meaningful goals, planning realistic and concrete action to attain the goals, and accepting responsibility for selected goals. For Kobasa (1979), agency takes the form of a constellation of three personality characteristics: control, commitment, and challenge. Kobasa's theory appears to be more encompassing than self-efficacy, locus of control, and learned helplessness, and is consistent with several features of deCharms' theory. 3. Case Study Narratives In this study, significant information about transformations of agency is derived from two methods, interviewing and Q-sorting. Convergence of this information serves as the basis for the case 102 study accounts. The case study accounts are presented in a narrative form. A narrative refers to "an organizational scheme expressed in story form" (Polkinghorne, 1988). Narratives organize phenomena into coherent wholes with beginnings, middles, and ends (Polkinghorne, 1988). The widespread use of narrative across disciplines is based on the general assumption that narratives are a natural and pervasive form through which individuals construct and express their understanding of events and experiences (Mishler, 1986; Polkinghorne, 1988; Sarbin, 1986). In short, narrative is one of the significant ways that experience is made meaningful. Since the concern of this study is to understand the meaning of transformations of agency, the narrative form is utilized to organize individuals' accounts of their experience. Thus, on the basis of the qualitative information from interviews and the quantitative information from Q-sorts, narrative accounts of transformations of agency are constructed for each co-researcher. 103 CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY Research Design The intent of this research is to construct narrative accounts of the meaning of transformations of agency. Since persons are privileged reporters of what occurred and privileged judges of what was significant for them in such a transformation, the focus of the research involves personal reports and interpretations. Independent sources of evidence on the meaning of a transformation in agency are not credible since the person is the central arbiter of what was meaningful. However, a personal account is not infallible. Rather, it is a construction that can be "negotiated" (Spence, 1982) to clarify connection, proportion, and richness. People can report experiences out of order, appreciate significance in the telling rather than in the actual experience, and infuse elements that could not have been present into a report. Sometimes through later discussions, the experience might be camouflaged by ideological platitudes (Wiersma, 1988). The major tasks of the researcher are to empower persons to provide accounts that are rich, deep, and truth-like, to challenge accounts with alternative perspectives to negotiate more sound and 104 trustworthy constructions, and to construct descriptions that are faithful to the accounts, yet open to theoretical examination. These characteristics of empowerment, challenge, and faithful description are central in the research design for this study and are addressed in three ways. First, empowering persons involves building methods into the research design that enable people to "have more control of the processes through which their words are given meaning" (Mishler, 1986, p. 118). In this study, such methods include entering into a collaborative relationship, yielding control to co-researchers of the flow and content of interviews, and giving co-researchers a voice in the analysis of data and the interpretation of findings (Mishler, 1986). Second, the basis for constructing narrative accounts rests upon three kinds of evidence. The first kind of evidence involves the narrative an individual produces to describe the transformation. The second kind involves Q-sorting the significant events or landmarks across the transformation. The third kind involves individual comments and elaborations given in response to Q-sort results. In short, subjects not only provide a personal description of the transformation and a theoretical description using Q-sorts, but are also given an opportunity to elaborate upon the meaning of the theoretical description. Each final narrative 105 account is based upon convergence among these three ways of eliciting significant information. Third, the soundness and trustworthiness of each narrative account is assessed in three ways. In the first way, both the research supervisor and the researcher must reach agreement upon each account, given the evidence. In the second way, the final narrative account is returned to each co-researcher to evaluate its accuracy. In the third way, an independent reviewer evaluates each account to determine if it faithfully reflects the interview (that is, captures what is said without distortion or neglect). Thus, the narrative account of each transformation requires agreement from four different people with varying perspectives and varying kinds of involvement. Given this design, there is a reasonable basis for claiming that each account is sound in the sense that each part of it can be traced to explicit sources of evidence. There is also a reasonable basis for claiming that each account is trustworthy in the sense that it accurately reflects evidence given without salient errors of omission or commission. Studying the Individual Perspective This research design focuses upon the individual's personal report of her or his experience. Focusing upon the individual's perspective is important for a number of reasons. First, the 106 person is the only one who knows what her or his experience was. No outside observer can say what happened for another person and cannot interpret what another person's experience of something was. For example, one person may experience a joke as extremely funny and entertaining, whereas another person may experience the same joke as utterly offensive. Second, in order to fully understand the person's experience we need "to define correctly the interpretations of the agent" (Taylor, 1973). This is the central insight of hermeneutics, phenomenology, and numerous other approaches. The argument is that "to understand a person we must grasp the person's meanings and understandings, the agent's vision of the world, his or her plans, purposes, motivations, and interests" (Manicas & Secord, 1983, p.409). A person's understandings are seen as an intimate part of the experience and perhaps the most important part of what something ultimately is. For example, if an exam is a challenge to a person or a hoop to jump, it matters immensely as to what that experience comes to be for that person. Third, the way in which people construe the experience of a transformation can be regarded as the crucial mediation of its significance. This is the central insight of constructivistic approaches in psychology such as George Kelly's (1955). The constructivists propose that it is the individual's construction of 107 her or his experience that mediates future behaviour. Although there are different phrases for this viewpoint, from personal myths (Bruner, 1960) to cognitive templates (Aronfreed, 1968) , they all converge on the same thing. That is, the schema or pattern a person comes away with is of crucial significance later. Thus, o what the person relates, even if it is not "factual" (Spence, 1982), is of extreme importance to that person. Fourth, a transformation in agency is centrally a matter of individual perspective. A transformation of agency does not exist in any objective fashion. For example, someone who appears to be potent and powerful may in fact have very little of what it means to be a true agent. All the aspects of an individual perspective, that is, beliefs, feelings, and attitudes are crucial for agency. In fact, each of the theories of agency rests upon the person's beliefs and feelings such that there is no change apart from them. Figure 1 provides an overview of the major steps of this study. 108 Step 1: Identification of co-researchers. Step 2: Co-researcher screening interview. Step 3: Transformation interview to identify significant events or landmarks and to elicit detailed account of transformation from co-researcher's perspective. Step 4: Co-researcher Q-sorting of significant events/landmarks with a 52-item Q-sort. Step 5: Analysis of Q-sort data and development of probes for elaboration interview. Step 6: Elaboration interview to clarify personal meaning of Q-sort results. Step 7: Review, transcription, and analysis of interview audiotapes. Step 8: Synthesis of transformation interview data, Q-sort results, and elaboration interview data in order to construct narrative accounts. Step 9: Co-researcher self-review. Step 10: Independent review. Step 11: Comparative analysis. Figure 1. Overview of Procedures 109 Co-researchers Through a network of contacts, 25 people were referred to the study as potential participants. Ten individuals were identified for participation in the study. Five were women and five were men. They ranged in age from 28 to 64. Criteria for Selection The criteria for selection of co-researchers were based upon general phenomenological principles set forth by Colaizzi (1978), and Cochran and Claspell (1987). Co-researchers were selected on the basis of three major criteria. First, the person must have undergone the targeted transformation experience. That is, the person must have experienced a transformation from powerlessness to potency that strikingly affected their sense of agency. Second, the person had to be able to articulate the experience. Third, the person had to meet the screening criteria. That is, she or he must have demonstrated a rise in agency according to deCharms' (1976) system of content analysis of thought samples. The final selection of co-researchers was made on the basis of diversity of the targeted transformation experience. That is, the ten individuals that met the three major criteria and represented the most diverse cases of transformation were selected for participation in the study. 110 Screening Interview The purpose of the screening interview was to verify that the person had the targeted transformation experience to warrant being included in the study. This interview took 20 to 45 minutes to complete. The method used to confirm people's appropriateness for the study was deCharms' (1976) system of content analysis of thought samples. Reliability and validity of this scoring system has been investigated extensively and is reported in deCharms (1976). In terms of coder reliability, the percentage of agreement between two scorers was 90% on 250 practice stories. The second scorer then coded a one-third random sample of 525 protocols and reached a 90.2% agreement on all categories with the first scorer. Split-half (odd-even stories) reliability was .80 on one sample and .79 on another sample. Test-retest reliability was .41 on one sample and .38 on another sample for a one year interval. In order to obtain thought samples from people, the researcher asked each person to tell six brief stories about themselves based on actual experience; three short stories that described and characterized the way they were prior to the transformation and three short stories that described and characterized the way they are now. These stories were audiotaped and then content-analyzed by the researcher for a pawn score and an origin score using deCharm's scoring system. Stories were coded for the presence or absence of the six origin-pawn categories: (1) internal control, Ill (2) goal-setting, (3) instrumental activity, (4) reality perception, (5) personal responsibility, and (6) self-confidence. Of the possible 18 points for the "before" stories (6 points per story), people scored between 1 and 6 points. Of the possible 18 points for the three "after" stories (6 points per story), people scored between 13 and 18 points. The results indicated a substantial difference between scores based on stories that characterized people before their transformations and scores based on stories that characterized people after their transformations. Transformation Interview After ten co-researchers were identified for participation in the study, each person was contacted by telephone in order to schedule the transformation interview. There were two immediate aims of this interview. First, to elicit a changeline identifying the significant events or landmarks associated with the transformation. Second, to elicit a detailed description of the transformation. Changelines took from 30-90 minutes to complete. The length of the transformation interview varied from person to person. The shortest interview was 2 hours and the longest interview was 6 hours. The average length of the interview was 3.5 hours. The longer interviews were usually conducted over the course of two meetings. All interviews were audiotaped to enable 112 the researcher to fully attend to the interview process and to provide a data base for intensive analysis. Before each interview began, in almost every case, there was a necessary warm-up period where the researcher and the co-researcher engaged in "small talk" in order to help the co-researcher feel more comfortable and.to allow some degree of rapport to be established. The researcher also self-disclosed background information about herself as well as the personal motivation behind the study. Co-researchers reported later that having the researcher self-disclose in this way helped them to feel more like "equals". At the beginning of the interview, the co-researcher was oriented to the overall steps involved in the study. The main aim of this interview was to elicit a detailed description of the transformation from the co-researcher. In order to facilitate this description and to empower co-researchers to describe their experience coherently, each co-researcher was asked to construct a changeline (see Appendix B for an example). The co-researcher was oriented to the changeline exercise as a way to help her or him outline and organize her or his description. The changeline consisted of a line drawn on a sheet of paper representing the targeted transformation with points marking its beginning and its end. The co-researcher was then asked to chart the significant 113 events or landmarks connected with the transformation. The number and the content of events were unique for each co-researcher. The number ^of events ranged from 8 to 15. Most co-researchers found this exercise useful in that it "ordered the sequence of events" and they could "see how things were linked together and fit into place". Some co-researchers found the exercise enjoyable, while others were moved to tears and found it to be quite intense. Using the changeline as a guide, the co-researchers were then asked to describe their transformations in as much detail as possible. Co-researchers were encouraged to present their description in the form of a story. They were cued with questions like: How did it begin? What happened in the middle? And how did it end? This structure was intended to help the co-researcher organize her or his experience and was not intended as something the co-researcher had to adhere to. People were encouraged to describe their experience in any way they could. The transformation interview took the form of a meaningful dialogue. Using basic counselling skills, specifically the principles of active listening, the researcher at various points throughout the interview paraphrased or summarized to check understanding, asked questions for clarification, or requested further elaboration. The researcher strove to be fully present to the co-researcher in order to facilitate and to empower 114 co-researchers' sharing of their experiences and the telling of their stories. After the transformation interview, in almost every case, the researcher engaged in a dialogue with the co-researcher about the interview experience. As some of the responses were stronger than anticipated, the researcher felt this to be an important and necessary step. Co-researchers had a variety of reactions and responses. They variously reported feeling good, peaceful, exhausted, drained, exposed, emotional, nostalgic, and a little shaky. One co-researcher was startled by her tearful responses to parts of the interview saying that "dredging up the old memories affected me more than I thought it would". Another co-researcher described her experience this way. I wondered if I would be able to look at you after that. It was intense. I felt exposed. I'm very aware of the trust I needed in you to tell you my story. I've never done this before. I've never told someone the whole story. It felt good, but I'm drained. I feel peaceful though. Co-researchers' responses to the transformation interview suggest that it was a potent and meaningful experience for them. Another part of the dialogue after the interview involved checking the changeline in preparation for the next step of the study. Some co-researchers, after having gone through the interview experience, wanted to make additions or deletions to their changelines. 115 Q-sorting After the transformation interview, each co-researcher was contacted again in order to schedule a time to conduct the Q-sort part of the study. The co-researchers were asked to Q-sort the significant events charted on their changelines. The number of events identified (between 8 and 15) guided the number of sessions required to complete this phase of the study. Each Q-sort took 15 to AO minutes to complete. As co-researchers became accustomed to using the Q-sort, the time to sort events generally decreased. Each of the 52 descriptive phases was typed on a small card. The instructions for sorting were as follows: 1. Take the deck of cards, read each card separately and put it down on the table in front of you. Spread out the cards and try to form a general impression of the attributes stated on the cards. 2. Now pick up the cards, make a deck and shuffle the cards in the deck. 3. Now (for example), sort these cards to describe significant event number one, retrospectively, according to your recall of the event, ranging from those that are most characteristic of your experience to those that are least characteristic of your experience. 116 Place the cards into roughly three equal piles as follows: 1) most characteristic, 2) neutral or undecided, and 3) least characteristic. Sort the cards as follows: 2468 12 8642 (a) Start with pile one (those most characteristic of your experience). (b) Place the two "most characteristic" cards to your far left. (c) Place the four next "most characteristic" cards next to it. (d) Place the next six "most characteristic" cards next to it. (e) Place the next eight "most characteristic" cards next I to it. (f) Repeat with pile three (those least characteristic of your experience) and follow the same process, going from your far right toward the centre. (g) Place the "neutral or undecided" cards (12) in the middle. Note: If necessary, it is possible to draw cards from the middle pile. Check the sorting and make any changes you wish but retain the required number in each category. 117 When the first sorting was completed and recorded, cards were shuffled and the next event for sorting was introduced. Most co-researchers found Q-sorting to be enjoyable and illuminating. One co-researcher said that "each time I did one it was like disposing of some old garbage." Many co-researchers found that it was exhausting work because of the concentration and focus 4 required. A number of co-researchers commented on the absence of cards in the Q-sort deck relating to feelings such as anger, fear, and courage. Q-analysis After the Q-sorting was completed, the Q-data was analyzed. A brief description of the procedures involved are presented in this section. In a Q-sort, each item is scored on the basis of the pile in which it is placed. The frequency distribution of scores for this study is illustrated below: Q-score Frequency Most Characteristic of Significant Event Least Characteristic of Significant Event 9 2 8 4 7 6 6 8 5 4 12 8 3 6 2 4 2 (m=52) 118 To analyze the Q-sort data, the Alberta General Factor Analysis Program (AGFAP) was utilized. The first step involved the computation of a correlation matrix. That is, for each co-researcher, the set of 52 ratings for each significant event was correlated with the set of 52 ratings for every other significant event. The second step involved submitting the correlation matrix to a principal component analysis without varimax rotation. Principal component analysis is a data-reduction technique that reduces the data by clustering events into hypothetical components based upon a similar pattern of description. The first principal component accounts for the most variance in the data and, thus, provides the best representation or most dominant meaning of the data. The second component provides the next best representation of the data. The result of the principal component analysis on the correlation matrix was an unrotated factor loading matrix for the first and second principal components. The unrotated factor loading matrices provided the factor loadings of events. When the loadings of each component were plotted on a graph, they revealed the first and second most dominant patterns associated with the transformation. The third step involved taking the item factor scores (derived from the data on which the principal component analysis was performed) and converting them into Z scores. All Z scores plus or minus 1.5 were extracted in order to define the 119 first and second principal components. The cluster of items extracted for each component described what the transformation meant to the co-researcher in terms of the theoretical items. The factor loadings of events and the item factor scores were utilized to provide an empirical basis from which to structure probes for an elaboration interview. In this way, the Q-sort results were fed back to co-researchers in order to stimulate and to elicit each co-researcher's elaboration on the data and clarification of its meaning. Elaboration Interview Once the data from the Q-sorts was analyzed, another interview was scheduled for each co-researcher which was also audiotaped. The purpose of this interview was to enable the co-researcher to elaborate upon the meaning of the results drawn from the Q-sorts. The intent of this interview was not to confirm or disconfirm the Q-sort results, but rather to understand the subjective meanings of the results for each co-researcher. Co-researchers were told at the beginning of the interview that while the Q-sort results may provide indications of how their transformation in agency occurred, they required personal elaborations in order to be fully understood. The elaboration interview lasted 20-45 minutes, depending upon the co-researcher. 120 The Q-sort results were presented to the co-researchers in the form of probes developed from the Q-data. In order to ensure objectivity in interpreting the Q-data, the researcher and the research supervisor each took the Q-data for each co-researcher, and interpreted the results and formulated probes separately. The researcher's probes and the research supervisor's probes were highly similar with only minor differences in wording or phrasing. Two kinds of probes were presented to each co-researcher for elaboration: a content probe and a pattern probe. The content probe represented the cluster of items that most stood out in that person's transformation. The researcher interpreted the essential meaning of the cluster and then framed a probe around it. For example, the content probe was presented to the co-researcher in this way. Let's take what seems to be the main component of change. You descended into a trap in which you accepted the influence and goals of others, holding them more or less responsible, yet felt anxious, depressed, worthless. It was not a satisfying situation. Toward the end, you achieved a freedom from others' influence, a sense of optimism, worth, and satisfaction as you became your own person rather than engulfed by others. The researcher then paused and allowed the co-researcher to respond, and through the active listening techniques of reflection and empathic responding encouraged the co-researcher to elaborate upon the meaning of the results. 121 The pattern probe represented the pattern of the item descriptions across events. The researcher plotted the factor loadings of events on a graph, interpreted its essential meaning, and then framed a probe around it. For example, the pattern probe was presented to the co-researcher in this way. This movement of freedom from the engulfment of others shows extreme cycles of change, soaring improvement and devastating setbacks before you levelled off as a freer, more optimistic person. The researcher then presented the co-researcher with the graphic representation of the pattern probe in order to provide a visual picture of the movement (see Appendix A). Again, co-researchers were invited to elaborate upon the personal meaning of the results. This process was repeated for the second principal component. That is, a second content probe and the corresponding pattern probe were fed back to the co-researcher for elaboration. Finally, both content probes from the first and second principal components were integrated and offered to the co-researcher as an overall theme of change. For example, the overall theme of change was presented to the co-researcher in this way. The main theme of change, according to the Q-sort results, seems to be this. If a person can continue to act responsibly and determinedly, even when feeling trapped and dominated by others and when one is most weak (feeling worthless, depressed and lacking meaning), one will gain a sense of freedom and optimism, worth and satisfaction. 122 In most instances, co-researchers directly confirmed the results by stating that the description "really fits", "makes sense", "feels really right", "is consistent with how I see it", "is very true", and so on. Some co-researchers had nothing to add to the results. Others elaborated on the results or clarified their meaning. Many co-researchers made new insights or connections when given the Q-sort results, and repeatedly commented on how interesting the results were. One co-researcher was so impressed with the overall theme of change that she suggested that she have it mounted and hung on the wall. She acknowledged that it was a rather simplified version, but nonetheless found it to be highly meaningful. Another co-researcher, when charting his changeline, had spontaneously included the peaks and valleys as he experienced them. The graphic presentation of his pattern probe for the first principal component was strikingly similar to that of his own changeline (see Appendix B and compare with Appendix A, Case Study Two). In two cases, co-researchers did not confirm the Q-sort results. In both instances, co-researchers initiated a dialogue with the researcher regarding the discrepancy. In Lee's case, we concluded that the events he had selected for Q-sorting had been too general, referring to general periods of time rather than concrete, specific events. A joint decision was made to amend the changeline and to re-do the Q-sorting. The new results were 123 directly confirmed by Lee with overt expressions of affirmation such as "Now, that's got it." In Margaret's case, we determined that the Q-sort language had been confusing and difficult for her to relate to. She explained that religious life had its own vocabulary and that she did not think in terms of achievements, goals, successes, or failures. A joint decision was made to re-do the Q-sorts, focusing only on the items that she could relate to and the personal meaning she attributed to them. According to Margaret, the new results "made sense" and "summarized things quite concisely", although they still required some translation. Narrative Accounts Audiotapes of all interviews were transcribed for each co-researcher. Interview transcripts and Q-sort results were analyzed and compared. The aim was to search for convergence among information in order to construct clear, exact statements of the person's experience and to organize these statements into a coherent whole. Thus, based upon a synthesis of the quantitative evidence from Q-sorts and the qualitative evidence from the transformation interview and the elaboration interview, a narrative account was constructed for each co-researcher. 124 Each narrative was constructed on the basis of the following three principles. First, the accounts were sectioned into a narrative form, that is, into a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Second, the sequence of events was chronologically ordered within each section (co-researchers did not necessarily tell their story in sequential order). Third, wherever possible the co-researcher's own words or phrases were used. Frequently, this amounted to merely shifting from a first person statement to a third person statement. Adherence to these principles was intended to give coherence to the person's descriptions of experience and to make the accounts more comprehensible. Both the research supervisor and the researcher had to reach agreement upon each account, given the evidence. Co-researcher Self-review According to Mishler (1986), part of empowering co-researchers involves including them in the analysis and the interpretation of data. To this end, and to lend further validation to the narrative accounts, each narrative was returned to the co-researcher for whom each was written. The aim of this review was to search for errors of omission and commission. Co-researchers were asked to read and to study their respective accounts in order to provide feedback to the researcher on two questions. First, did the account accurately 125 portray your experience? Second, did the account leave out anything of central importance? The results of the co-researchers self-reviews are reported at the end of Chapter IV. Independent Review The aim of this review was to have each narrative account validated by an independent source. Nine people, either having a doctorate or in the process of completing their doctorates in the field of Counselling Psychology, agreed to serve as independent reviewers. One person reviewed two cases. Eight people reviewed one case each. Each reviewer was provided with the audiotapes of the interviews and the written narrative account. Each independent reviewer was given the following instructions. 1. First, listen to the audiotapes. Attend to and note any instances of leading questions, distortion, bias, and in general, any inappropriate influence on the interviewee by the interviewer. 2. While you listen, formulate an impression of the essence of .what the interviewee was intending to communicate. 3. After you have assessed the audiotapes for interviewer objectivity, and formulated your own impression of the 126 interviewee, read the Case Study write-up with two questions in mind. 1) Does the Case Study write-up accurately portray what the interviewee intended to communicate? 2) Was anything of importance to the understanding of the interviewee omitted or distorted in any way? The results of the independent reviews are reported at the end of Chapter IV. Comparative Analysis Comments and feedback from the co-researcher self-reviews and the independent reviews were integrated into the final narrative accounts. These final write-ups provided the basis for a comparative analysis. The aim of the comparative analysis was to attempt to describe the "common structure, system, or whole that makes up a phenonemon" (Cochran & Claspell, 1987, p. 39). In this case, the phenomenon in question was a transformation of human agency. The comparative analysis involved searching for commonality among the ten narrative accounts. The results of the comparative analysis are presented in Chapter V. 127 CHAPTER IV RESULTS: CASE STUDIES Based upon the quantitative evidence from Q-sorts and the qualitative evidence from interviews, ten narrative accounts of transformations of personal agency were constructed. These ten accounts of transformation constitute the results of the study. Each account was reviewed and validated by the person for whom each was written and by an independent reviewer. The aim of this chapter is to present the ten narrative accounts, and the results of the co-researcher self-reviews and the independent reviews. Case Study One: Fay Fay is a 43-year old woman. Eldest of three daughters from an upper middle class family, Fay attended Catholic private girls schools while growing up. In 1980, she received an honours B.A. in history and is currently working on her M.A. in history. For the past nine years, she has earned a living through a variety of part-time positions such as bookkeeping, ticket sales for festivals, educational work in the area of violence against women, and working as a teaching assistant at a university. Her career presently lies outside of paid employment in feminist and lesbian 128 politics, including diverse projects, workshops, conferences, and committees. Principal component analysis. The first principal component accounted for 41% of the variance in the Q-sorts. Since the factor loadings of events show clear improvement in personal agency, ranging from a beginning of -.44 to an ending of .70, this component describes what the change meant to her, using the theoretical items. To define this component, all item factor scores exceeding plus or minus 1.5 were extracted. In order of magnitude, these items are listed below, and phrased to characterize the positive outcome or ending. The negative beginning is the opposite of each item. Did not feel anxious (2.64) Felt in control of my life, not pushed around (2.41) Did not feel depressed (2.34) Felt free, not trapped (2.16) Felt optimistic and hopeful (2.02) Felt powerful, not helpless (1.73) Did not think my failure would be due to other people and/or circumstances (1.67) The second component accounted for 13% of the variance in the Q-sorts. Since it did not show improvement, ranging from a beginning event loading of .68 to an ending event loading of .42, 129 it does not define the transformation. However, it reflects potentially important items that accompanied and perhaps contributed to the change. These items are listed below. Saw change as an opportunity to grow or learn (2.92) Did not foresee how to adjust to possible problems (2.52) Searched for personal meaning (2.14) Persevered despite adversity (2.13) Thought that my success would depend on my effort (1.91) Did not feel supported and encouraged by others (1.82) Was not helped by the example set by others (1.58) Experienced a sense of striving or of working hard (1.56) The pattern of change on the first component manifested extreme swings from very high self direction to very low self-direction (see Appendix A, Case Study One). Improvement did not appear to be gradual, but cyclic. Unstably, she rose and fell before maintaining a high level of agency. On the second component, there was also variation, although much less extreme. Personal narrative. Fay's mother could not reliably care for herself. From an early age, Fay had to try to care for her. At age four, Fay was able to read, but also she was her mother's confidante. She had had to be more adult-like, so much so that it 130 hardly seems to Fay that she really had a childhood, certainly not as a carefree, joyful little girl. Rather, she was the little girl with the broken heart. At age 6 1/2, after taking her first Holy Communion, she was expected to attend weekly confession. She decided to see a priest who seemed like a particularly nice man. Trustingly, she believed that the priest would not know her or report her. As the sisters had told her, she was free to unburden herself and seek forgiveness. After her confession one Saturday, however, the priest said, "Fay, tell your mother I'll be down for coffee after confessions." Fay felt uncovered, hurt, exposed now as a bad person. She was angry and devastated at the same time. Her trust was broken and she had been found out. Over the next two years,' she conducted experiments on what the Sisters told her. They were so wrong about the priest and confession that she personally tested other ideas. For example, if you bit the host, it would bleed or you would be struck by lightning. She broke the rules and nothing happened just as they broke the rules and were still walking around. In particular, since they did not tell the truth, she did not have to tell the truth either. Fay stopped telling the truth since she felt she could not trust anyone. 131 By grade 3, Fay was a voracious reader. She loved the library. One day while she was browsing through adult books, she was captivated by passages on deviant, homosexual women in prison and mental hospitals. She thought, "This is me. This is my life. I've always liked girls better than boys. This is what's happening to me." She now had a name and it was lesbian. Armed with this name that described her, she began to search through indices in other books. Finding out about herself was wonderful, exciting, but it was also horrible. Lesbians were in prison and in mental hospitals, and if she told anyone that she too was a lesbian, she was afraid that she would be locked up. She could not tell anyone. It was too dangerous. She wanted to be a doctor and read of Pasteur and other medical heroes. Doctors took care of people just as she took care of her mother. Some things she could tell, but deeper reasons had to be covered up. Who she really was had to be buried, never revealed. Fay always felt a little weird, different from others, perhaps because she was so much taller. Between age 11 and 12, she grew seven inches and is now six feet and one inch. Because she was different, and differences were dangerous, she had to try hard to fit in. Outwardly, Fay achieved considerable success. Although she was never popular with boys, she earned good grades and was 132 involved in student politics. In the eighth grade, she was class president. On parade with her mother, she always passed well enough. However, it was all a fraud. Fay was quite conscious of not fitting in, despite her efforts, not being a real girl. There was always the public front and the dangerous, hidden reality. In the summer of 1960, the family moved to Canada. For Fay, it was another chance to fit in, to be a regular person, but as an American, she was made to feel different again. It was but another way she was not right. By this time Fay's mother had become an alcoholic. In the private Catholic school for girls, she again experienced crushes on other girls, but never revealed her feelings. These crushes passed, but there was one that did not. During high school, she loved her best friend, M, and fantasized how they would go away and live together upon graduation. Her feelings, desires, the reality she lived through high school were dangerous and covered over by her attempts to be normal. Perhaps for this reason, Fay feels that she did not actually have experiences in high school. Rather, she read and imagined. During this period of acute daily schism between the front and the hidden reality, Fay continued a vigorous involvement in student government and student clubs. She excelled in public speaking and debates. Outwardly, she was a competent young woman on her way to 133 a successful career. Inwardly, she was torn. More and more had to be covered over, even from herself. Shortly before graduation, M suddenly announced that she was going into a convent. Fay could not understand it. She thought she knew M deeply, knew what was happening, but M turned into someone she did not know. Feeling abandoned by her friend, Fay was left to try to figure things but, to search for a way to live life as herself. Although M came back after only six months in the convent, it was never the same. Fay still loved her, but felt she could no longer trust her. Nearing graduation, Fay planned to become a doctor, a person who rescues others. It was prestigious, rare for women in those days, and required intelligence, making medicine a very attractive option. Filling out this conventional picture of the future, Fay thought she would have to get married, but did not dwell upon what exactly that would mean. It was all part of fitting in, forming a cover. Fay's parents planned to send her to a university far from home. It was all arranged; a university, a part-time job, and a major in pre-med. The plan terrified Fay. She had never been away from home. Indeed, she had been rather sheltered. What she knew of the world was mostly through reading. When a prom date led from her first sexual experience to a proposal, Fay welcomed the 134 engagement as a way out. She would gain freedom from her mother's restrictions, become a grown up, have a place in the world. She would fit in and not have to do anything terrifying like go away to school. So unlike were Fay and her husband that she became very bored. After they moved to another city due to his job transfer, Fay gained sixty pounds. She knew that she was a lesbian, even though she had no experiences to really confirm it, and marriage came to seem like a great disguise. When a friend asked her when they would have a baby, Fay startled herself by her uncensored reply, "I'm either going to have a baby, or I'm going to leave my husband." She could never imagine having a baby with her husband and whatever penetrated her guard when replying to the friend seemed to know that. Over and over, she rehearsed the experience and resolved to tell her husband, and when she did after the Christmas season, they split on that very day with incredible suddenness. There were some half-hearted attempts to salvage the marriage, but there was really no relationship to save. Fay's parents returned to the United States, but Fay decided not to go with them. It was another chance for freedom, another chance to struggle for personal survival in the face of restrictions that she cover up, never expose herself. She could not live with the front, nor could she live without it as yet. The 135 front was everything conventional and secure; it offered belonging. The buried self was unknown in implications for living, forbidding and dangerous. She struggled for a way to make life work. Within one year, she was married again. Her new husband, B, was a drug dealer who dealt mainly in acid and marijuana. They travelled a lot over the next seven years and had exciting times, but in this relationship that she was determined to make work, she was utterly subservient, B's old lady. She did not want to be a loser again, as B often reminded her, but in trying to succeed, she had given herself up. She was B's caretaker and rescuer. She was defined largely by him and he continually told her that she was not attractive, not trustable, and not very smart. Underneath, she had become certain of living a front. She was stoned a lot of the time and her memories of these years are still fuzzy. One day when she was stoned, required to pour forth another sex tale to quench B's pornographic fantasies, she told him that she was attracted to women. Initially, he used this to torment her, but then he invited D to live with them and more or less lived his fantasies. It was Fay's first sexual experience with another woman. D lived with them on and off for several years until Fay finally demanded that she leave. But B made her apologize and bring her back the next year, after they were arrested on drug charges. 136 Awaiting trial in a minimum security prison, Fay experienced an amazing moment of clarity. On one hand, the experience was thoroughly degrading. Yet on the other, she realized that there were lesbians in prison. She was ecstatic, as if coming home. She would meet some, talk to them, and her middle class trepidation was overpowered by exhilaration. Ironically, Fay experienced an incredible brief moment of liberation in jail. Soon after, she was bailed out and ordered by the court to live with B's parents. It was oppressive and she felt devastated by isolation. She began drinking heavily, taking cocaine, and seducing anyone she could find. When B got out of jail, she and B and D lived together as before. To pay the bills, Fay found a job as a secretary in a university department, and joined the union. When Fay learned that D had lost her job again and that she would be paying the bills all by herself, she was once more startled by what she said before her guard suppressed it, "You know, I think I'd rather just live alone." As long as thoughts were inside, they were not quite real, but once expressed, they could not be taken back. "Once a real thing is said, you can't take it back." The thought takes on more substance as a pathway, a viable option. While B exploded, Fay packed and was gone in twenty minutes, another sudden closing of an enduring situation. 137 Fay had escaped, saved by what felt like a real self that popped out before she could check it. She felt free, huge, substantial. She felt like she could do anything, go anywhere, and be anybody. Sometimes she would remember herself in youth, so full of potential, and wonder where she went. Now, she felt reconnected, as though she had found her again. Outside of the relationship with B, she could see what it had been like, constrained, narrow, stagnant, and awful. Inside, she had not sensed the full scope of her confinement and incapacitation. Outside, the trap was vivid, standing in stark contrast to her renewed sense of possibility, the sheer authenticity of possibility. At the time, there were many problems between the university and union members. While Fay was never allowed to be angry in her personal relations, she could be outraged over unfair practices. She soon became prominent in the union, a spokesperson who led two-thousand-large meetings and confronted authorities. She rediscovered that she had a mind, that she was a powerful and persuasive person, and that she could scare authorities. Bright, articulate, and assertive, she was a major figure in the strike, yet in relationships such as with B and D she felt trapped and powerless. 138 At work, she became the spokesperson representing the union during negotiations with university administrators. It seemed as though she were exercising her real self in union work and penetrating through her middle class myths. Idealistic and naive, she was ecstatic with what she was discovering, particularly about gender and class differences. She was convinced that administrators treated employees like dirt and thought of them like dirt. For once, Fay felt engaged with the world on behalf of something worthwhile. This sense of engagement led her into a variety of other activities. Fay went on a women's weekend with a friend. In a Gestalt session, Fay heard a woman tell a story about the birth of her daughter who was born with a withered arm. Immediately after labour the male doctor said, "There, there dear, you'll do better next time." Fay was hurt and outraged. She identified with all women and all women's pain as never before. The doctor was not telling the truth (like the nuns); it was not the woman's fault. This time something "real" did not pop out of Fay, but rather penetrated in from the outside. It was a profound moment, never to be forgotten. The next day, Fay attended a political rally. It was here that Fay encountered her first positive lesbian role model. Through E, Fay was inspired to feminism and the women's movement. 139 It was possibly a way to understand herself as a lesbian, herself as a woman, and her own history. It became clear that her work was with women. She decided to return to school. In preparation for her return to school, Fay took a course in Women's Studies. It was a joy to learn in a supportive environment. It gave Fay the confidence to go forward into full time studies, as well as an intellectual direction. Around this time, Fay met K, her second positive lesbian role model. K freely shared her knowledge of the lesbian community and took Fay under her wing. Fay began full time work on a B.A. in history and was later invited to join the honours program which she completed in 1980. She had quit her job as a secretary and worked at a rape crisis centre during the summer. She became involved with T, a man who had actively pursued her. Through T she became acquainted with what she called "the therapy language people". Beyond their strange vocabulary (giving permission to yourself, owning, etc.), she did learn useful things such as the importance of being able to say "no". She was introduced to women involved in the women's movement and left-wing politics, and their various activities. Through a variety of activities, Fay began to crystallize issues that concerned her deeply (e.g., violence to women, discrimination) and ways to address these issues, such as public speaking, doing 140 workshops, and developing organizations. In this vigorous engagement with the world, Fay consciously tried to make contact with her 6 year old self, to take apart the layers of cover and somehow integrate that 6 year old with her adult self, and to invest her current and more mature engagements with the unsullied spirit of that lost little girl of youth. As her activities grew, her relationships also grew and became more complicated. The threat of being swallowed up in a relationship was always there. However, this time she was able to stand back and distance herself. More importantly, she was able to say no to T, the man with whom she was involved. It had just popped out, as other things had popped out at critical times in the past, as if there were a real self who became so disturbed by her practice in not being herself that it penetrated her defenses. Yet once again, it was right and Fay felt freedom from entanglement and pretense. All those years, she had struggled to fit in with a front personality. Now, she began to see a possibility of living more authentically. Before she had thought that if she could but see a way to live as a lesbian, she would do it. Now, she realized she could not wait for a clear plan. One lives life as a lesbian by just doing it, deciding and doing. Two women told her that she must make up her mind to either come out and be a lesbian or to not 141 come out, but to make the decision. Fay dwelled on the decision, mused in her journal, and after two weeks, the decision crystallized, simplified. If you are going to be a lesbian, she thought, you are going to be one. There would be no more fronts, dodges, and hedges. It was really a decision to become undivided. Feeling worn down by her work in the rape crisis centre and in her group of friends, she was pursued by a woman who was funny and who seemed to appreciate her intellect, articulateness, and sexual aggressiveness. It was a welcome contrast and perhaps a chance to realize the dream held long ago with M, to go away and live together. When she moved in with H, she was required to give up contact with others. Further, since H was still in the closet, Fay had to share the closet with her after having just come out and announcing her lesbianism to significant others. Fay had to give up her political work and soon found herself striving to be the person H wanted her to be. Fay was too fat. Her hair was not right. Her clothes were all wrong. Fay wanted to be right, wanted the relationship to work, but it was becoming more tempestuous daily. H was possessive, demanding, and vulnerable, a binge alcoholic who needed someone to care for her. Fay tried, but when arguments escalated into outright violence, she left. It was too frightening. 142 For the next 2 1/2 years, Fay lived alone. She had never lived alone before and it was wonderful, so uncomplicated. She re-entered the women's movement, did workshops on behalf of battered women, and worked in the anti-pornography movement. Her work in anti-pornography led her to re-examine her life and accept that her relationship with B had been sexually abusive. Fay felt like she was close to burning out, and quit her job in a shelter for battered women and their children. Fay even had another relationship with a woman in which she did not lose herself, but the relationship did not work out and they parted as friends. On the rebound, she briefly took up with another woman who was like a client, and it did not last. In relationships and in work, she had struggled to free others, to transform them from unhappy people into a happier version of herself. While her work tended to be constructive, her relationships tended to be destructive and Fay tried to evaluate her role in them. Always, it seemed, she had given herself up in relationships, become a front and denied herself. "I needed to have a decent relationship with myself if I was ever going to have a decent relationship with others." During this period of re-investments and withdrawals, Fay was trying to care for'herself, to establish a stronger relationship with herself, both physically and emotionally. 143 As Fay was maintaining her political work and returning to university for graduate work, she became involved with P and moved in with her because she was afraid of losing her. For the first two years, it was fine, but then P began to withdraw. Fay tried to reach her, to do what she wanted, but was ignored and had to try harder. She was being lured once more into giving herself up, when she attended a Celebrate Sobriety meeting (a meeting for alcoholics or friends and families of alcoholics [Al-Anon]) for gay men and lesbians that was to have a decisive influence. At the meeting, one of the main speakers described what it was like to be a child of alcoholic parents. In a piercing flash, Fay recognized that this indeed named her. She had been the eldest and responsible daughter, the first of the siblings to face the alcoholism of mother. When the speaker described in pointed detail how she had taken responsibility for everything, Fay was stunned. It was a major revelation that moved her to a point of no-turning back, much like the times when her real self had seemed to pop out to cut an entanglement. Once a real thing is said, it opens possibility and cannot be taken back. Fay knew she had to do something. On the next day, she attended a workshop in which the leader instructed them to find the little girl with the broken heart and put her on your lap. Fay spent the session caring for this little 144 girl, getting to know her, and when the leader asked them to put the little girl back, Fay could not. It felt as though she had finally found her and she simply could not put her back. In tears, she told the leader she could not do it, and the leader asked her what she wanted to do. Fay wanted to take care of her life, a life that she was now seeing whole for the first time, coherently and without blinders. For the next year, Fay attended weekly meetings of an Al-Anon group. It offered the support she needed and considerable insight. These statements are still vivid. You cannot play God in other people's lives. You cannot take total responsibility for others. You cannot depend on others to keep you busy care-taking. You must pursue your own life. It is an on-going struggle to remember one's own worth. Putting oneself first is not a matter of self-indulgence, but of becoming a moral person. From worth comes a moral outlook, the possibility of living with integrity. Between meetings, Fay began to practice and experiment, striving to take back her life. She found that when she acted on her own emerging stance in life, she did not feel so tied up. For a while, her relationship with P seemed to improve. Then it became worse. A friend finally prompted Fay to save herself. "What are you going to do?" she asked. Fay went to P and when it became clear that there was no way to work things out, she left. 145 Since leaving P, Fay has lived alone. She does not ever want to be in a dependent relationship again. She has another enduring relationship, but it does not involve care-taking. There is no search for a wonderful person underneath to.be brought forth through her care. She does not want another relationship with someone like her mother. That has been resolved. No more will she give herself up. At present, Fay feels stronger and that she can count on her own decisions and judgments. There do not seem to be any more covers and secrets. Unclouded by the necessity of maintaining a fiction, she can see herself clearly and has more self-respect. It feels right and good. Her career in community politics seems very worthwhile and satisfying. She pursues worthwhile goals for her own reasons, not because someone else wants it. For Fay, the change involved a discovery of "my own definition of myself and making that real in my life," a movement from "containment to liberty". We develop habits of seeing situations in certain ways, of acting, anticipating, and reacting. To break a habit requires consciousness of it and a decision to change it. Partially, this involved admitting that she was the adult-like child of an alcoholic and coming to know the little girl with the broken heart who never had a chance to be carefree. Breaking a habit also requires sustained vigilance to avoid traps of habit and 146 a capacity to exercise one's will, to be responsible for oneself and not blame everyone else. It was Fay who constructed the covers until she was lost in them and Fay who eventually had to penetrate through these barriers to understanding. In her life, Fay has learned that it is a "revolutionary act to be yourself". In the social world, there are endless temptations and coercions to live a fiction. Convergence. The theme of liberation from entrapment, evident in the first component, is also prominent in the personal narrative. The cyclic movement of this component across events or periods of time parallels the ups and downs related in the story. For example, after Fay was arrested and spent a brief time in prison, she had to live with B's parents, who were extremely restrictive. They had the legal authority to regulate her life and did so. She described this period as awful and it is reflected on the first principal component as a downward swing. When she left B, she was exhilarated and involved herself with various kinds of constructive work. Escaping this entanglement and launching her own projects was described as wonderful and is reflected on the first component as an upward swing. The principal component analysis stands to the personal narrative much like abstract and general is to concrete and particular. Each reflects the other, but the narrative is much more precise and comprehensible. 147 The theme of the second component seems to be striving for meaningful opportunities to grow or change despite entanglement and adversity. This theme is also evident in the personal narrative. Roughly and not as extremely, movement on this component tends to contrast with movement on the first component. That is, she was apt to strive hard, search for meaning, and seek opportunities most when she was trapped and least when she was liberated from entanglement. Toward the end, however, there is at least a hint that the two components might be converging. That is, in the end, she shaped a situation of personal freedom in which striving, searching, and seeking were intensified rather than mildly relaxed. Given the two components, the overall theme of change seems to be that if one can keep striving, searching for meaning, and seeking opportunities to grow, in spite of depression, lack of support, and adversity, then one will escape entrapment and gain freedom, control, power, and an optimistic approach to life. While this theme seems applicable to her transformation, it is also rather general, not as precise as her own thematic statements of the change. Fay could not sustain her freedom and potency until she discovered/constructed a meaningful and workable definition of herself to live. For her, it was indeed a revolutionary act to be herself amid the confining definitions of others that were held out as ways to fit in. 148 Case Study Two: Glen Glen is a 28 year old man, the first born of a family of four children. He comes from an upper middle class background and his family is Jewish. Glen has a Bachelor of Science degree and is currently completing a Master's degree in Counselling Psychology. He works as a therapist in a centre that provides treatment for victims of incest and sexual abuse. Principal component analysis. The first principal component accounted for 31% of the variance in the Q-sorts. Since the factor loadings of events show clear improvement in personal agency, ranging from a beginning of -.15 to end loadings of .85 and .66, this component describes what the change meant to him in terms of the theoretical items. To define this component, all item factor scores exceeding plus or minus 1.5 were extracted. In order of magnitude, these items are listed below, and phrased to characterize the positive outcome or ending. The negative beginning is the opposite of each item. Was not too easily influenced by others (2.26) Did not feel depressed (2.12) Felt powerful, not helpless (2.03) Was not helped by the example set by other people (1.79) 149 Did not think that my failure would be due to other people and/or circumstances (1.61) Had a strong sense of meaning, was not aimless (1.60) Did not accept goals that were not really mine, but came from situational demands or other people's expectations (1.56) Felt in control of my life, not pushed around (1.55) Took responsibility for setting my own direction (1.53) The second component accounted for 23% of the variance in the Q-sorts. Since it did not show improvement, ranging from a beginning event loading of .54 to an ending event loading of .44, it does not define the transformation. However, it reflects potentially important items that accompanied and perhaps contributed to the change. These items are listed below. Felt anxious (2.35) Did not feel confident (2.27) Did not feel competent (2.09) Felt a deep sense of commitment (1.57) Felt a strong sense of involvement (1.55) Did not experience a feeling of satisfaction (1.55) Persevered despite adversity (1.52) The change reflected on the first component involves a movement toward less depression through self-guidance, finding 150 personal meaning, and taking responsibility. The pattern of change on the first component was cyclic with extreme swings up and down before culminating in a higher level of self-guidance (see Appendix A, Case Study Two). The second component concerns a willingness to persevere, despite a host of difficult emotions (feeling anxious, incompetent, dissatisfied, and lacking in confidence), for the sake of a deep commitment. The pattern of movement on this component is also cyclic with extreme ups and downs, but unlike the first component, it shows no improvement. Roughly, movement on this component tends to contrast with movement on the first component. That is, he was apt to draw on his commitment and persevere most when he was depressed, aimless, and dominated by others. Toward the end, however, there is some indication that the two components might be converging. That is, in the end, he was able to sustain his feelings of self-guidance and meaning despite being in or out of harsh circumstances. Personal narrative. Glen was consistently belittled and berated when he fell short of his father's expectations. One of the ways his father would punish him was by laying him on a bed, holding his hands behind his back and strapping his bare backside with a belt. Although Glen felt hurt and humiliated by these incidents, he also felt powerless to stop them. He was scared silent by his father. Beneath this silence he was full of rage, 151 but instead of directing this rage outwardly toward his father, he directed it inwardly toward himself. Glen was a depressed and anxious child. By the age of 8, he had gained a lot of weight and was the target of ridicule by his siblings and his schoolmates. He was convinced that if he lost weight, things would be better and he would get what he wanted out of life. Except for the odd friend outside of school, his friends were generally people like the grocery store owner or the school janitor. In junior high, the other kids would deride him and beat him up. He felt alone and lonely. By junior high, he had some inkling that life did not have to be this way, but he still felt powerless to change it. Glen coped with life through fantasy. He would imagine being able to fly, being able to be invisible, or having all the money in the world. He chose fantasies that made him feel free and important. On the down side of the fantasies, he would imagine killing himself and what it would be like to be dead. From an early age, Glen's father expected him to be a doctor in order to follow in his footsteps. Everything Glen did or did not do was measured in relationship to that expectation. At 17, Glen entered pre-med at university. Although he started out enthusiastically, he soon found that he had trouble concentrating. He was still caught in a fantasy world trying to escape. 152 Consequently, Glen did not do well that year and his father expressed strong disapproval. Glen felt guilty, like he had let his family and himself down. The following summer his mother got him a job in construction. Glen decided to try to lose some weight, and with hard work and effort he lost 35 pounds. He continued to lose weight after he returned to school and by the end of the year he had lost a total of 75 pounds. He felt good about this accomplishment, but it did not quite have the impact that he had fantasized it would. What did have a substantial impact on him was meeting a girl who seemed to like him. He paraded her around the university demonstrating to people that he was indeed a lovable person. After a few weeks she had to go away. Glen directed all his efforts into bridging the gap between them with letters and telephone calls, and spent his time fantasizing about life with her, which did not help his grades. Around this time, one of his professors seemed to take an interest in him, which made him feel important. It also made him feel anxious and fearful because he was sure he would lose this "special status" once the professor found out what an "unacceptable" person he really was. Glen worked hard to anticipate what the professor wanted so as to get approval and avoid rejection. 153 Glen's grades improved in his second year of university, but they still were not good enough for medical school. By now, Glen had embraced the fantasy about becoming a doctor himself. He thought it would give him power and status. He would have his father's approval and, at the same time, his father would not be able to control him.-The summer following his second year of university, Glen got a job working at a Youth Detention Centre. Despite the fact that these young girls were imprisoned, Glen envied them. They had something he longed for. They had an ability to survive in harsh circumstances. Glen had always seen himself as kind of a wimp. After work, Glen hung out with some guys from the university who were hippies. To Glen, hippies symbolized freedom and acceptance, the things he yearned for most. As students of philosophy, they spent a good deal of time critiquing society and exchanging ideas about how to improve it. They also did drugs. Glen eagerly joined in, finding it easier to rebel against political institutions than his own situation at home. A couple of the guys suggested going to Europe. After hesitating initially, Glen decided to go with them because he thought he may be able to discover his own survival capabilities like the girls at the Detention Centre. He also desperately wanted to escape the pressure of school and his father. A number of 154 people that Glen respected supported his decision to go. Having this support gave him the strength he needed to go against his father's wishes which were to stay in school. He arrived at the airport with his backpack and gear; he was filled with excitement and fear. His friends, however, never showed up. Despite feeling shocked, unnerved, and disappointed with this radical change in circumstances, he decided to go anyway. Travelling taught Glen the things he wanted to learn. He was on his own with no one telling him what to do or who to be. Sometimes it was lonely. He read books that he was interested in and wrote poetry. He met people from many different cultures who he felt were interested in, and accepting of, him as he was, not as the person he could or should be. Most importantly, he was surviving on his own under harsh circumstances. He was taking care of himself and able to get what he needed, which helped his self-confidence. He was beginning to discover his own strength and power. In Israel, he lived on a kibbutz. He met a woman that he lived with for a couple of months. This was his first sexual relationship. Having this woman be attracted to him was exhilarating, almost too good to be true. After a few months, Glen left the kibbutz and resumed travelling. He was eager to have new experiences and to test his increased confidence. 155 After a year, Glen returned home for his brother's bar mitzvah. He felt different somehow, worldly.' He felt special and unique because of his accomplishment and had started to accept some of his positive qualities like being friendly and easy to talk to. He was accepted by people in Europe, so he did not need the acceptance from people at home quite as much. He had survived on his own for a year which made him feel like he was was a real person, someone with substance and fortitude. A 76 year old woman living on the kibbutz had called him a "mench" (a Yittish term for a man with character) and told him never to forget it. Glen felt affirmed, he had substance and character, it was in him. People at home seemed to treat him differently. After 18 years of feeling insignificant, it gave him a new lease on life. Perhaps life was not so bad after all. When his father tried to minimize and deflate his experience, Glen was eager to leave again. Instead of leaving, Glen went back to university to complete his third year of pre-med. This time he added some psychology and philosophy courses to his program of study. He became more interested and involved in the arts in general. The pressure from his father continued, "When are you going to be somebody?" Even though Glen hated his father and fought against his judgements, they still seemed to seep in. Glen had internalized the belief 156 that "making it" meant receiving his father's approval. After four agonizing years, he completed his Bachelor of Science degree. Despite doing better in the last two years of his degree, Glen still needed to improve the grades from his first two years. He could not repeat them at the same university, so he decided to go to a university away from home. Despite feeling incompetent and uninterested in his coursework, Glen worked painfully hard. To add to the agony, Glen had left a relationship back home and was feeling lonely. He completed two years in one and managed to pick up his. grades. When it came time to go home, Glen hesitated. He decided to look for a job rather than to return home. His plan was to work for the summer and to go to medical school in the fall. He applied for a job as a family counsellor working with sexually abused children. Many of his previous summer jobs had involved working in a social service capacity. He enjoyed the job, but very quickly felt like he was in over his head. Eventually, he decided to put medical school on hold. He was beginning to feel torn between social service'work and medicine, despite the status, power, and family approval associated with becoming a doctor. Being away from home and away from his father's pressure made this decision easier. Without the constant pressure, Glen was freed up to focus on the task at hand without the nagging feeling that he was not doing what he was supposed to be doing. 157 While working, Glen became painfully aware of how unaware he was of himself. For instance, when he was working with a family where the father reminded him of his own, he would become paralyzed and be unable to help. He also felt unsure of what he was doing and was afraid that he might hurt someone he was working with. After pursuing some training in play therapy, he realized that it still was not enough. His own feelings were still getting in the way. He decided to get some counselling for himself in order to protect his clients. At first, Glen focused on the doubts he had about being a good counsellor. As counselling progressed, the focus shifted to Glen's relationship with his father. Glen felt guilty about not living up to his father's expectations and angry at having been abused by him. He had a hard time identifying his feelings. One of the ways he was able to identify them was through painting. Even after these feelings were identified, he had a hard time sharing them with his counsellor. He did not trust her and was sure she would reject him if she discovered who he really was. Who he really was, was a son filled with rage. All the anger he felt toward his father was turned inward on himself and came out in the form of depression, worthlessness, powerlessness and the feeling that he was bad and deserved the beatings he got. "There is something wrong with me, not with him", he thought. He did not need his 158 father around anymore to punish him; he was doing it all by himself. When his counsellor responded to him by saying, "You were really abused," Glen was shocked. She said it like he had a right to be angry. He thought it was normal for father's to strap their children. He wondered why others were able to accept it and he had not been able to. There were so many things coming up that he was not aware of that he began to lose trust in himself. He wondered who he was and what was to happen next. Despite the uncertainty and the foreboding feeling he had, he persevered rather than giving up. Somehow, he knew he had to. While in counselling, Glen read a book by Alice Miller entitled, Thou Shalt Not Be Aware, which was to be a pivotal point in his transformation, a point of no turning back. The book was about how parents can abuse their children and how much of it comes from trying to meet their own needs. As Glen read the book, it seemed to strike every nerve in his body. Someone else had put words to his experience, right down to selecting the exact words he would have chosen. Although he felt very validated reading the book, he felt a complete and overwhelming sense of aloneness. He sobbed to his counsellor, "They betrayed me, they were using me." He hit his all time low. Glen knew that his counsellor was not using him and that she cared for him despite knowing who he really was. Glen desperately wanted to lose control and not be 159 responsible for himself. His counsellor sensed this and set some clear limits for him. Further devastated by this apparent rejection, Glen became angry and then depressed. Over a period of 6 weeks, Glen began to put into practice the things he had learned in therapy. He began to take responsibility for himself, acting on his own behalf by attending to his own emotional needs. He provided for himself the nurturance he felt he had missed as a young boy. He did things like paint, spend time in nature, take hot baths, drink hot tea, and sleep with a hot water bottle near his stomach. Eventually, he emerged from this dark, lifeless pit of depression. He was filled with an enormous sense of well-being and joy. After what felt like a metamorphosis, Glen was able to relate to himself as well as to others, differently. He had found something in himself he had never known before: the capacity to provide for himself the things he needed emotionally. He felt comforted, more connected to other people, and not so alone. He felt able to develop honest and meaningful relationships with others without fear of rejection. He lost the fear that he might hurt his clients and knew that social services were more in line with his true self. Becoming a doctor had only been a means to secure his father's approval and acceptance. He had walked, or perhaps stumbled, through the darkness into the light. Now he felt he could seek out what he needed and 160 deserved what he got. He had learned to take care of himself physically (through travelling) and now he had learned to take care of himself emotionally. He could be responsible for his own feelings of anger, depression, and aloneness. No one else would or could do it for him anyway. By taking responsibility he felt stronger, more powerful and in control, and his depression lifted. Even though he knew he was alone in the world, he did not feel lonely. Having had this experience and having completed 2 1/2 years of counselling, Glen felt he had come to the end of what he could do with this counsellor. It was not the end of counselling; it had become an important tool for self-understanding in Glen's life. For now, it was time to not be in counselling. It was time to explore the things he had discovered about himself and to live with them. He had learned to accept more of himself, both the positive and the negative. If there was something he did not like about himself, he learned that he must first accept it as a part of himself before he could change it. He learned that having negative feelings does not make him a bad or worthless person. Discovering these things helped Glen to relieve the guilt he felt about the person he was and, in turn, freed him from being focused on others' opinions of him. He continued painting as a way to understand and to express himself. 161 Shortly after Glen ended counselling, his grandfather died. Glen was to be a pallbearer at the funeral, but he could not get a flight home no matter how hard he tried. He would be the only one in the entire family that was not there. He felt alone and separated from his family. The old cloud of depression kicked in and Glen grieved his loss alone. He returned to talk with his counsellor. In a relatively short period of time, compared to earlier days, Glen was able to snap out of his depression. He was able to realize that having tried hard and failed did not mean that he was a failure as a person. He did not berate himself as if there was something wrong with him. He was able to accept the situation and himself without being overwhelmed by negative feelings. Soon after this experience, Glen had a clear, vivid dream. He dreamt he was in a canoe paddling down a river on a peaceful, sunny day. There were other people in canoes around him. They were coming up to a fork in the river. The other people floated down one of the forks. Glen noticed something splashing in the water. It was a baby. As Glen drew closer, the baby lifted its hands up toward him. Glen bent over and picked up the baby, tucking it in his windbreaker. They floated off down the other fork in the river, both looking out at the world together. He felt very secure and contented. After Glen woke up, he knew with complete clarity 162 that he had done the right thing by ending counselling. He had thought that perhaps after his grandfather's death he may have been slipping back into old patterns, but this dream confirmed for him that he was ready to fully rely on himself. As a result of receiving positive feedback at work and considerable personal validation, Glen decided to do a Master's degree in Counselling Psychology. When Glen was not accepted to the program, he was shocked and surprised. He became angry, but it was appropriate anger for a change, anger which gave him the strength and courage to act on behalf of himself. Before, he would have directed the anger inwardly with self-talk like, "You stupid idiot, you're just not good enough." This time he said things like, "No, you're wrong, I'm going to help you see why I'm right for this program." After successfully arguing his case, Glen was admitted to the program. Acceptance validated his action. The future began to look exciting. Life is different for Glen now. He does not experience those heavy depressions where he feels hopeless and that life is not worth living. It is no longer a big, bad, dark world. Life is fair. Life is not secure, but it does not need to be anymore. Glen is confident that he can handle whatever life puts in front of him. He understands and accepts more of himself. He is more aware of his feelings and is no longer at the mercy of those seemingly 163 uncontrollable forces within him. There are choices to be made. He can influence what happens by the actions he takes. He knows what he needs to do to look after himself. He is able to take responsibility for himself which has allowed him to discover his own capabilities. He sets goals that are meaningful to him, and not governed by a fear of disapproval from his father or anybody else. He is deeply committed to an ongoing process of self-understanding and self-acceptance. Glen's relationship with his father has also dramatically improved. He is no longer fearful or angry when his father attempts to control him. He is confident enough to be himself, which has enabled him to have loving feelings toward his father. A series of 200 watercolour paintings completed in and out of the course of counselling provided a compelling documentation of Glen's transformation. A summary of these paintings provides an overview of Glen's change. The paintings at the beginning of the change were colourless, dark, and very bleak. They were pictures of things like open wounds in trees (pain) and large pillars cracking (tension). Overall, they symbolized Glen's anger, powerlessness, depression, anxiety, and fear. Paintings around the middle phase of Glen's change were a little more alive with heavy colors like black and blue (pain). These paintings were of things like the difference in size between he and his father (insignificance), 164 a gory scene of blowing his head off (worthlessness), being behind bars or caught in a spider web (feeling trapped and powerless), colors outside the lines (being out of control), and volcanoes exploding (releasing anger). Overall, the paintings in the middle phase symbolized the discovery and expression of his feelings, the release of anger, and the anguish of the pain and hurt underneath. By the end of Glen's transformation the paintings were filled with a myriad of vibrant, bright colours. Examples of paintings in this phase were of his counsellor falling off her pedestal and breaking her crown (independence), a tree of many colors (acceptance of all parts of himself), standing up (not lying down) in the presence of his father (power), sailing (freedom), and entering a dark forest and coming out into the light (clarity, healing). The paintings at the end were symbolic of Glen's newfound strength, freedom, and hope. Convergence. The movement from depression to self-guidance and personal meaning is prominent in the personal narrative. The cyclic movement of this component across events or periods of time parallels the ups and downs related in the story. For example, after he read the Alice Miller book, he felt betrayed by his parents and very alone in the world. He described this event as his "all time low" and it is reflected on the first principal component as a downward swing. When his counsellor refused to take 165 care of him and he was forced to learn to do it for himself, he felt empowered and this is reflected on the first component as an upward swing. The theme of the second component is persevering for the sake of a deep commitment despite feeling anxious and inadequate. This theme is also evident in the personal narrative. Going to Europe after having been abandoned by his friends, and staying in counselling despite his wanting to leave, are two potent examples. Given the two components, the main theme of change seems to be that in order to become self-guided with a strong sense of meaning, a person must act on her or his own sense of commitment and persevere, despite feeling anxious, not confident, incompetent and dissatisfied. Overall, there is clear convergence of principal components, personal narrative, and paintings, with the narrative portraying the change more elaborately and sharply. 166 Case Study Three; Margaret Margaret is a 64 year old woman, the youngest of a family of two children. She was raised during the Depression in the United States. For 42 years, Margaret lived as a nun in various forms of religious life. At the present time, Margaret does not attend church and describes herself as a Christian with a universalist perspective. She works as a home support worker for people who are elderly or disabled. Principal component analysis. The first principal component accounted for 34% of the variance in the Q-sorts. Since the factor loadings of events show clear improvement in personal agency, ranging from a beginning of -.49 to an ending of .74, this component describes what the change meant to her, using the theoretical items. In order of magnitude, these items are listed below, and phrased to characterize the positive outcome or ending. The negative beginning is the opposite of each item. Did not accept goals that were not really mine, but came from situational demands or other people's expectations (3.14) Took responsibility for setting my own direction (2.87) Was not too easily influenced by others (2.57) Took risks rather than playing it safe (2.23) Took specific steps to realize purposes (1.74) 167 Did not feel depressed (1.66) Made good decisions independently (1.63) The second component accounted for 20% of the variance in the Q-sorts. The factor loadings of events range from -.40 at the beginning to .50 at the end. The second component also shows clear improvement in personal agency. Using the same extraction procedure, the defining items are listed below and phrased to characterize the positive outcome. Was helped by the example set by other people (3.32) Felt anxious (2.73) Persevered despite adversity (1.99) Searched for personal meaning (1.93) Felt confident (1.61) Felt in control of my life, not pushed around (1.55) Took specific steps to realize purposes (1.54) The first component concerns extricating oneself from the influence of others. Through taking risks, making decisions, setting goals, and taking steps, she was able to take responsibility for charting her own course. The pattern of change on the first component cycles up at the beginning, followed by a series of cycles up and down in the middle which gradually improve, ending with a higher level of agency (see Appendix A, Case Study Three). The second component involves a sense of empowerment. In 168 the beginning, Margaret felt anxious, lacked confidence, and felt pushed around. Through persevering, searching for personal meaning, and observing the example set by other people, she took steps and was able to feel more in control of her life. The movement on the second component starts out low in the beginning, is followed by a dramatic peak in the middle which plummets back down again, and rises dramatically by the end of the change. Personal narrative. When Margaret was growing up, there was disharmony between her mother and father. Margaret's father was a frustrated and angry man. While Margaret felt loved by him, she was frightened of his angry moods. Consequently, Margaret was a nervous child. She attended a Catholic grammar school. When Margaret was 8 her parents separated, and she remained living with her mother and brother. Her father was a sickly man and died of cancer when Margaret was 12. The discord in Margaret's family deeply influenced her own view of life. She never wanted to get serious with men. She was afraid of marriage and hated conflict. She did not feel good about herself and was ashamed of her family's poverty. By 14, Margaret knew she wanted to enter religious life and become a nun. Religious life was an escape. It offered her security and peace, two important things she felt she did not have while she was growing up. She was dissuaded by a priest who 169 suggested she wait until after high school before entering a monastery. By the end of high school, Margaret's brother was in the service and she had to remain at home to care for her mother. When her brother returned home and secured a job, Margaret felt free to leave and pursue her own life. At 22, Margaret entered a cloistered religious community (a closed community where life was restricted to the monastery). Margaret's family strongly opposed this decision because Margaret would not be allowed to go out for visits, and secular people were not allowed into the community and could only visit from behind a double set of bars. They were not objecting to religious life per se, only to the form of religious life Margaret has chosen for herself. To Margaret, however, it was a noble gesture. Giving herself totally was the ultimate gift to God. Her beliefs were so strong that she was able to maintain her decision despite the opposition from her family. When she entered the monastery, she did not really feel a loss of her family. Instead, she felt rather detached. It was hard though to see the effects of her decision on her mother and brother. Margaret lived in the cloistered community for 25 years. She took vows of obedience, poverty, and chastity. Life in the monastery was penitential which was based on the idea that one is a prisoner of love and through one's deprivation one is saving 170 souls. Margaret lived in a small cell with a washstand and basin, and a wooden bed with a thin cotton mattress. She ate a plain diet with no meat, and wore a habit. It was an austere life. Aside from religious practices, each person had different work responsibilities. Margaret baked the alter bread for 10 years and later had other responsibilities such as helping new people entering the community. There were instances where Margaret was asked to do something she did not want to do. She would submit despite her reluctance because of her vow of obedience. She cooperated through outward performance, but inwardly she rebelled and felt angry. She was angry at herself for not being able to stand up to the Superior and tell her how she really felt, and angry at her Superior for asking her to do these things. You were not supposed to feel angry; you were supposed to be obedient joyfully. Near the end of her 25 years in the monastery, Margaret had a profound dream of a spiritual nature. Margaret did not and still does not believe in mystical experiences or visions, nor did she ever remember her dreams except for this one, which is as clear today as it was then. She dreamt she was in the chapel kneeling at the base of a statue which was on a pedestal, and she was looking up. The figure of Christ appeared before her. Even though his face was unclear, Margaret knew with complete certainty that it was 171 Christ. He looked at her and said nothing. He turned to go. Margaret called after him and asked if he would take her with him. He turned, looked at her and said, "Not for a while yet, I have work for you to do." Margaret did not ask him what work he was referring to, but said instead, "If I can't come now, would you grant me one favour?" He asked her what the favour was and she asked if she could rest her head on his heart. Suddenly, the image disappeared and she felt engulfed by him. She woke up sobbing to the sound of the rising bell filled with joy and wonderment. The dream became a source of great strength and courage for Margaret to draw on in the coming years. Although the reading material available to Margaret was restricted to those books acceptable to the church, Margaret read a book called Seven Story Mountain that was to have a profound effect upon her life. Through reading about Thomas Merton's experiences, Margaret became more and more drawn to eremitical life (living as a hermit in solitude). She lived with these feelings for the better part of a year without expressing them to anyone. The desire grew to the point where she had to say something. She had to learn how she could fulfill this desire. Nervously, Margaret told the Superior of her longings. The Superior did not understand Margaret's desire, perhaps because it was so uncommon, but nor did she oppose it. In fact, she applied for special permission to 172 leave the monastery in order to take Margaret to visit a monastery in another state that had eremitical leanings. Their visit lasted for about a week. Margaret discovered that other than one day a month of solitude, they were a full community living structure. Disappointed, Margaret knew it was not enough for her. However, during the visit Margaret found out about another proposed community that was opening up. When she returned back to her own monastery, she wrote and inquired about it. Margaret was invited to come and join the community. After 6 months, a Superior came from Rome and disbanded the project because there was too much turmoil between a priest who wanted to determine how it should be organized and the nuns. Margaret returned to her community. She was somewhat disappointed that it did not work out, but relieved to be away from the dissension. Within a year or two of being back, one of the nuns told Margaret about a place in Canada where they allowed women to live as hermits. There were two hermitages for men in the United States, but women were not allowed to live as hermits. Margaret began written communication with the Abbot of the Canadian Abbey, and eventually was accepted to go there and to live as a hermit. She lived in a two room small house which had been previously used as a storehouse for equipment. It was located in a wooded area, seven minutes from the Abbey, but still on the Abbey grounds. The 173 house had no running water and no refridgerator. It was equipped with a bed and a hot plate for cooking. Margaret was very happy and fulfilled living there. It was just the kind of life she had wanted. In addition to her religious practices, she read, did the sewing for the rest of.the community, and worked in the fields. The main difference between living at her original community and the Abbey was that she lived alone. Within about a year, Margaret received some distressing news. She was told that she could not remain out of her cloister any longer and that she had to make a choice. She could return to her cloister or remain living as a hermit. To remain living as a hermit meant that she could have to relinquish her vows taken at her previous community. It was a hard, painful decision, but she knew she must stay. In order for Margaret to be dispensed from her vows, it had to be approved through Rome. When the Abbot informed Margaret that the process had been completed, she wept in his arms. Margaret also took a form of consecration before the new community, and became an oblate (a person in "lay status" according to the church). The Abbot became her new Superior and she wore a habit and a veil in recognition of her new affiliation. She remained living as a hermit at the Abbey for 11 years. During that time, and with each passing year, Margaret made a New Year's resolution to seek out and to understand the mystery of 174 Christ. The mystery of Christ was a phrase that had always intrigued Margaret. One day, after having received permission to go to the community's library, Margaret saw a book entitled, The  Mystery of Christ. She was amazed and stunned at having come across this title. She took it off the shelf and looked at whose ideas the book was based on, namely, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. She immediately recognized him as someone who had been blacklisted by the church for his controversial ideas. She told herself, "I cannot read this," and put it back. She was still at the point of obeying and submitting to the Church's rules. It kept bothering her and coming back into her consciousness. "I was seeking it, he was writing it." The obstacle was the church's attitude, she thought. She kept wondering why he, amongst others, were being condemned by the Church. Finally, she decided to read a book by Henri deLubac, an author who upheld Teilhard de Chardin's ideas. It was a little safer to begin with, she thought. Reading deLubac was a shocking experience. It felt like blinder's falling off her eyes. She could not understand what he was being condemned for. What was he saying that was so wrong? Then she read The Mystery of Christ. It marked the beginning of a radical change of perspective. These books, among others, inspired an opening up and a broadening of what Margaret now realized was a very narrow perspective. Before, Margaret was a very staunch and 175 traditional Catholic, a diehard. She was angered by people who did not uphold the views of the church. She did everything precisely the way the church said she should. As she continued her reading, Margaret began to re-think and to question things she had once swallowed whole. Gradually, she was beginning to think for herself rather than blindly accepting what the church said. As she read various authors, it became clear to Margaret that the church was frequently saying one thing and doing another. She began to question fundamental doctrines of the church such as the Immaculate Conception, the Trinity, and the controversial issue of women becoming priests. She found that as she broadened her perspective, she began to embrace views that were condemned by the church, such as reincarnation. Over time, Margaret came to feel that there are many different manifestations of truth or God. She came to realize the validity of all religions, of all perspectives. There was not one right religion (Catholicism) or one right people (Catholics). It was not right to condemn others for what they believed or to burn them at the stake which is essentially what has been and continues to be done. In her readings, she encountered stories about people's experiences of living in India. After reading about them, she felt compelled to go to India herself. She yearned to open a dialogue 176 with another religion (Buddhism) and for a more meaningful perspective on life. Over a period of months, she got up enough nerve to ask the Abbot for permission to go to India. Once again, she made a radical request. She was nervous about it, but knew without question that she must make the request or she would never be at peace. Buddhists were considered Pagans by the Catholic church. She did not know how the Abbot would respond. Despite not understanding Margaret's desire, the Abbot approved financing for her trip to India and did not stand in her way. At 58, Margaret went to India. Upon arrival at the airport, Margaret was overcome by the feeling that something very ancient in herself related to the Indian people and the Indian environment. She had never experienced anything like this before in the West. As she drove from the airport, she was struck by the poverty and primitivity. Images of families sleeping in the streets, handmade shacks, little children naked or dressed only in loin cloths were seared into Margaret's mind. Margaret stayed in India for just over a year. Her experiences gave her the sense of a relationship, a feeling of unity with all people in all cultures. It gave her a whole new perspective on her life. She knew with absolute certainty that she would never again allow herself to be shut off from reality, from the human condition. 177 Margaret returned to the Abbey. Over a period of about two years, she began to realize that she could no longer live life as a hermit. It was not the most perfect way of life after all. It was beautiful, but sheltered. Despite having lived a spartan life, and having made considerable sacrifices, all the necessities of life were provided for her. Anything she needed was made available to her from three meals a day to medical attention. There was nothing to worry about, everything was always taken care of. While it was a secure environment, it was not one based on reality. She felt it sheltered her from taking responsibility for her own life. People involved in the church were exalted and Margaret did not want to be exalted anymore. This lifestyle was now unacceptable to her. She no longer wore her habit. She wanted to claim her place in humanity. Margaret left the Abbey, found her own apartment, and secured a job. She finds her job very rewarding and meaningful. She enjoys helping and relating to others. It gives her a whole new dimension of life. Now, Margaret earns her own living, handles her own finances, and takes care of the everyday responsibilities herself. There is not enough time to focus directly on her spirituality all the time. She has come to realize how compartmentalized her thinking about spirituality had been. She neglected to realize the holiness of all things, that spirituality 178 embraces all things. She reads writers like Matthew Fox who offer a universal perspective of spirituality rather than a myopic one. Margaret does not attend church and feels no scruples about it. To Margaret, spirituality is within her, in her heart. In small ways, Margaret rebelled right from the beginning. Her rebellion was internal, in her mind. Her rebellion continued in the form of making decisions and setting goals that were extremely radical in her eyes and the eyes of her Superiors. She directs her own thinking and, consequently, her own life. It took a great deal of strength and courage for Margaret to go against what was expected of her. She did it alone and often in the face of ridicule from others. To Margaret, the strength of her convictions was fueled by the spiritual presence she felt. The dream simply provided a confirmation of that presence. Despite having the conviction to follow her inspirations, there was obscurity, an uncertainty of how and where it would lead her, but that did not stop her and nor did it bother her. To Margaret, religion was an infringement on her freedom. Now, she is true to her own self, makes her own decisions, and assumes responsibility for those decisions. To Margaret, the whole purpose of life is to take responsibility for it. While reading a newspaper, she came across a personal philosophy that seemed to accurately capture her own. "Let's not be afraid to do what we 179 must. It's a risky life, but at least we will be making our own mistakes." Even today, Margaret has a friend who tries to dominate her. Margaret does things her own way despite her friend's insistence. No longer will she let anyone superimpose their ideas onto her's. "I'll never be closed again to any idea no matter how bizzare it may seem." It is important to Margaret to explore new ideas and to be open to change. She does not plan too much in her life as she finds it too confining. To Margaret, the uncertainty of the future is part of the adventure and the wonder of living. She refuses to permanently commit herself to any one thing or one idea, like she did to various forms of religious life, because it cuts her off from new possibilities. She is a free agent now, in charge of her own life and the author of her own story. Spontaneously, at several points during the telling of her story, Margaret presented related materials such as records of ceremonies, dated declarations, photographs, books, and various documents. Some of this material was valuable in refreshing Margaret's recall of certain dates, as her transformation spanned over 40 years. Convergence. The movement from engulfment by others to self-direction, evident in the first principal component, is also prominent in the personal narrative. For instance, a major turning 180 point was when Margaret began to read books that had been condemned by the Church. She described this point as the time she began to think for herself rather than to blindly accept what the Church said. According to the first principal component, by extricating herself from the influence of others, she was able to take responsibility for setting her own direction. In the narrative, the culmination of her change is described as the point at which she decided to take responsibility for her own life. The theme of empowerment evident in the second component is also featured prominently in the personal narrative. Despite her history of total submission to the Church, she persevered and searched for personal meaning, taking steps to realize her purposes. By the end of her transformation, she was directing her own life. Given the two components, the overall theme of change seems to be that in order to become self-directed one must take risks and persevere while pursuing a meaningful direction. One must also be open to the examples set by other people, but not be too easily influenced by them. Overall, the principal component analysis and the personal narrative appear to converge, with the personal narrative being more precise and comprehensive. 181 Case Study Four: Ray Ray is a 32 year old man from a middle class family in which he was the oldest of four children. During childhood, the family moved several times before settling in a small town. At age 15, he was regarded as a promising athlete. He loved sport and outdoor recreation. His life was changed by a car accident that left him paralyzed in both legs. After rehabilitation, he completed high school and earned a Bachelor's degree in physical education. Ray is now working on behalf of disabled persons in universities. He is married with one child. Principal component analysis. The first principal component accounted for 44% of the variance in the Q-sorts. Since the factor loadings of events show clear improvement in personal agency, ranging from a beginning of -.86 to end loadings of .63 and .44, this component describes what the change meant to him in terms of the theoretical items. To define this component, all item factor scores exceeding plus or minus 1.5 were extracted. In order of magnitude, these items are listed below, and phrased to characterize the positive outcome or ending. The negative beginning is the opposite of each item. Did not feel anxious (2.36) Felt free, not trapped (1.90) 182 Felt in control of my life, not pushed around (1.81) Felt competent (1.71) Did not think my success would depend on the help of others (1.61) Felt powerful, not helpless (1.59) Felt confident (1.57) The second component accounted for 16% of the variance in the Q-sorts. The factor loadings of events range from -.05, .03, and .06 at the beginning to .77, .46, and .75 at the end. There is clear improvement described by the second component, although it is not as striking as that shown on the first component. Using the same extraction procedure, the defining items are listed below and phrased to characterize the positive outcome. Took risks rather than playing it safe (2.16) Set challenging goals for myself (2.08) Felt a strong sense of involvement (1.84) Was not easily influenced by others (1.75) Did not accept goals that were not really mine, but came from situational demands or other people's expectations (1.59) Was resourceful (1.55) Was not helped by the example set by other people (1.50) 183 The nature of the change reflected on the first component involves feelings of empowerment (of po(er, confidence, control, competence, freedom). In contrast, the change reflected on the second component involves more specific features of action. For example, he set goals, took risks, resisted influence from others, was resourceful, and rejected extraneous goals. He was affected by the example of others more at the beginning and less so toward the end. These changes in action preceded and accompanied changes in feeling. The pattern of change on the first component did not seem to involve major cycles, but instead reflects a rather stable period of feeling trapped followed by dramatic progress and culminating in a dramatically higher level of agency (See Appendix A, Case Study Four). The movement on the second component suggests a fledging effort followed by a setback with gradual progress levelling off at a higher level of activity. Personal narrative. Ray's memory of the accident is vivid, like a slow motion action sequence in a movie. Shortly before on that beautiful summer day, life had seemed so precious. He loved outdoor recreation, was devoted to sport, and was becoming interested in girls. He had control of his life and that life seemed very good, even though his parents had difficulty in getting along with one another. After the accident, he felt as though he had lost control. His legs would not work. One physician said he 184 would never walk again. Another said that there was hope. Pain kept him centered on the immediate moment, struggling to stay on top of it. He was unable or perhaps unprepared to think too far ahead. When the operation on his back was finally done, he had plenty of time. For one and a half months, he could not move. Every three hours if the nurses remembered, he was rotated from front to back or vice versa. As each day of inactivity passed with no improvement, Ray settled into despair and felt depressed a lot of the time. He hung on, hoping for recovery, resolving himself to uncertainty, focusing on one day at a time. Every day for hours, he willed his legs to move, but they never did. There was no control over the paralysis. It controlled him, but within limitations, Ray could set goals. He set goals to eat on his own without tubes, to be able to sit up and see outside, to be able to grab drinks from the stand, to build up his arms while enduring the pain in his hips from lying so much, and to be home in his own bed by his 16th birthday. The goals allowed him to gain some sense of control, to preserve his mental well-being, and to feel more active. It was a great feeling to beat the odds and as goals were reached, new and higher goals were formed. By day, Ray projected toughness and optimism. Partially it was a front, but never completely so. It was very important to 185 maintain toughness and positivity, particularly as he was allowed to sit up and become more physically active. However, by night, he sometimes gave in to despair and cried. When his parents visited, he expressed his anger, bitterness, and frustration. Yet when his coach visited, he told him that he would return after Christmas. He just needed a little time to get back on his feet. Ray was working toward a more stable attitude, but it was difficult to achieve. Perhaps inadvertently, a physiotherapist cultivated a false hope that Ray might walk without crutches and braces, yet his legs never showed movement, no matter how much he willed them to. There was nothing certain in his situation, no solid ground for firm expectation, and the prospect of being a paraplegic for life was hard to accept all at once. While Ray wavered emotionally, he remained steady in striving to achieve reachable goals. Being able to use braces to stand, walking with a walker, using the wheelchair, self-care, transferring from wheelchair to bed, there was a lot to learn. He had to build up his upper body, develop coordination, and learn how things were done. Whether he felt upbeat or down, he maintained a discipline of striving toward goals. Ray was scheduled to move to a rehabilitation center, but he would have to wait two months. Instead of waiting, he wanted to go home. A physician tried to change his mind. "If you were my son, 186 I would recommend to you that you stay in the hospital another month and a half where they can help you with basic care and at least some rehabilitation." This fatherly advice cut through Ray's resistance and he stayed. Looking back, Ray regards this decision as pivotal. Going home without total rehabilitation would have been overwhelming, leading to defeat, depression, and dependence. It would have been too much to manage while retaining a spirited effort to rehabilitate himself. At least in retrospect, readiness seemed crucial to maintain progress. Ray was moved to a geriatric ward to wait, but it was too depressing and he requested a private room. There was an older paraplegic on the ward who had been admitted for bed sores. He drank all the time, a broken man who seemed to make it through life by staying drunk. For Ray, this was the first model of a paraplegic that he had an opportunity to observe, and he was repulsed. "No way," he thought, "I'm not going to be like this guy." Ray kept an image of this man in the back of his mind as he practiced, a negative model of his future that he must strive to avoid at all costs. Throughout his stay in the hospital, Ray was supported by good relations with student nurses. They were like big sisters and one became an enduring friend. Sometimes he flirted, but not seriously. Romance, he thought, was just not going to happen. He 187 could dream, but that was all. Nevertheless, as his leg muscles atrophied, became thin and ugly in his view, he covered them up. He did.not want to face his disability just yet, nor did he want others to see. It made him feel more shy than usual, embarrassed. Toward the end as he was getting ready to move to the Rehabilitation Center, Ray became upset. He was nervous. The hospital routine had become comfortable and familiar. It was no longer very challenging, but it was known territory. He knew what to expect and had some degree of control. At the Rehabilitation Center, he was not sure what to expect. He felt quite vulnerable again, not at all confident. The Rehabilitation Center was housed in an old barracks. It was musty smelling, depressing, and generally felt like a dungeon. From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., it offered excellent technical help, and Ray concentrated on tangible, physical goals that would allow him to get home. Whether it was self-care (work on bowel and bladder) or standing on braces, Ray tended to pursue everything to the limit. He felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment in physical progress, standing briefly on braces or moving a short distance with the walker. Sometimes he tried to visualize what life would be like, how he would deal with dependency and his fear of dependency. Occasionally, he glimpsed fears hovering on the border of awareness, but avoided dwelling on them. As yet, they were too 188 overwhelming. Instead he focused upon "attainable, real issues of disability." From 4 p.m. to bedtime, the Rehabilitation Center was less than ideal. It was boring and potentially depressing. Ray was confronted with many different attitudes, none of which seemed appealing or provided guidance. There was no model to follow, no one with whom he could identify. The majority of other patients seemed depressed and passive. Some complained all the time. Others were just passing time, waiting for a disability check to pay off luxury items such as stereo sets. Many drank a lot or took drugs. Ray avoided other patients. He was not ready to sit back and accept his disability as just a fixed condition. For Ray, it was a fact that his legs were paralyzed and might never improve. However, his situation was not fixed; it had borders or frontiers that he could explore and push toward, if he were not dragged down by pessimism. What he could and could not do in the future was partially an open question that depended significantly upon his own efforts. Rather than socialize with other patients or just relax for lengthy periods of time each day, Ray felt challenged to work independently toward his goals, particularly practicing with braces. 189 Largely alone, Ray became lonely. There were few visitors. Sometimes as the emptiness built up, he made long distance calls just to make meaningful contact with someone. Even if it was after curfew, he would insist upon making a call. When institutional rules conflicted with him own sense of priority, Ray had no doubt which was to prevail. His ventures into open environments were both exciting and sobering. In a public restaurant, he embarrassed himself by falling out a door into a garbage can. His brief visit home for Christmas was not a good experience. He was not yet proficient in brace walking and other skills, which left him much more dependent than he could accept. However, setbacks were simply the price of testing the frontiers of his disability. There is a fine line between shaping one's life and being shaped by conditions beyond one's control. This line changes over time with increased skill and maturity, yet would never be known without testing the limits of one's capacity. The rewards of testing are increased freedom, more control, and the utter exhilaration of striving against obstacles and occasionally winning. Ventures in open environments were confrontations with the real world through which he could guage his progress and appreciate the significance of his practice. 190 After three months at the Rehabilitation Center, Ray was ready to go home. Administration was resistant because they expected he would need six months. To get out, he had to have his lawyer talk with them. Throughout his stay in the hospital and Rehabilitation Center, Ray had tried to interact with people who could help, support, and guide him toward a normal life. He depended on them largely for technical help. However, he was never compliant. He was selective, as capable of resisting influence as accepting it. He refused some recommended forms of therapy and ignored discouraging advice about braces, among other things. Each refusal involved a battle with administration. Perhaps because Ray had a clear view of what he wanted, he took partial responsibility for what was to happen in his rehabilitation. While administration was apparently used to passive obedience, Ray treated everything as a matter for negotiation. He judged orders, rules, requests, and activities in relation to his goals, fighting to maintain control of the various influences from others on his life. While these battles were prominent in his stay, they were secondary to the pursuit of goals. Striving, a spirited effort to reach goals, was the dominant theme of his rehabilitation. In going home, Ray had insisted upon a car and a room in the basement with his own washroom, two important aids toward independence. After a crash course in driving, his father picked 191 him up. Once again, Ray was upset and nervous about leaving a secure environment for the unknown, but it had to be done. He drove home with his father. He drove very slowly and once spun off the road into a snow bank where they were stuck for a few hours. When they were finally helped out, Ray drove the rest of the way home, with forceful encouragement from his father. Ray was apprehensive about returning to school and being with old friends. He had been a star athlete; now he was a cripple. Worried about his status, he wanted to appear as normal as possible. Rejecting the wheelchair as a symbol of disability, he used braces. It seemed important to greet others standing up. At the time, braces seemed as close to normality as he could get and he regarded a wheelchair with scorn. While Ray yearned for normality, life was anything but normal. The house seemed specially designed to obstruct a paraplegic and the school presented its own difficulties. For Ray, this period of adjusting to open environments was extremely frustrating. Everything was such a challenge, and because of the cold weather and ice, even the spaces he should have been able to negotiate were treacherous. On his first day at school, he had fallen in the snow before he had even reached the door. Being self-conscious, these public accidents were certainly embarrassing for Ray, but in a way, they were acceptable, as familiar as sport. The challenge was a 192 physical one, and Ray knew that, through practice, he would improve. He would have to endure the frustration and continue the discipline of practice. More difficult, however, were other problems. Ray thought that he would be too unattractive for dating. Who would want to go out with him? And he thought that he would not have much of a social life. Who would want to be a friend of a paraplegic? How could he participate in normal activities of friends such as dancing or swimming? To these problems, he had no answers, nothing he could practice. He would just have to wait and see. The worst part of the day at school was gym. He both longed to be there and hated it. So few months before, he had virtually lived for sport. He had been a part of the gym activities. Now, he could not take part and he felt devastated. In gym, all the sparkle of his old life confronted the bleakness of his current situation. This conflict between old aspirations and present realities began to change when his coach asked him to be an assistant coach for the team. It took awhile to feel comfortable and then he began to enjoy coaching. It was a new role in sport, one he had not envisioned before, but it felt good. It offered its own satisfactions and allowed him to participate in a different way, like a door opening when they had all seemed to be locked shut. 193 Other opportunities arose. After only moments, his friends turned out to still be friends and they continued to do things together. A stranger, S, got him involved in wheelchair sport. For the first time, Ray was exposed to disabled persons with whom he could identify, who could serve as role models. A girl in class began smiling at him and finally she asked Ray out. They went out for about three months. Ray became interested in another girl, P, and ended up going steady with her for three years. Within a few months, Ray was busy with several spheres of life. While he trained for competitions in wheelchair sport, he coached individuals and teams. He dated, hung out with friends, and concentrated on school work. He even began to dance with his wheelchair. Life expanded rapidly and Ray began to consider what he could bring back. What would he have to adapt to? He took advantage of what he could, and as he did, questions began to arise. Do I like myself? Do I like my life? Ray had to readjust his thinking. The barriers to involvement in something like a full life were not so much external as internal. What held him back was himself. While he was very vocal and firm about speaking up for things he believed in, he did not yet believe in himself. Ray was insecure, did not believe he was worthwhile, lacked confidence as a human being, and had a poor body image. Ray tended to guage himself by physical attributes, 194 over-emphasizing his weaknesses and failing to recognize his strengths. Little things would set him off, put him in a sour mood that could last a short time or a few days. Being helped to a cabin might trigger an exaggerated view of his dependence. If someone looked at P, Ray might feel deflated by comparison. Later, he regretted his reactions. It did not make sense to feel such pain. Ray began to question his reactions, to relive these scenarios and try to understand them. P helped Ray throughout this turmoil of adjustment. Initially, Ray had difficulty participating in some activities such as swimming and it took a long time to swim without sweatpants covering his legs. Sitting on the sidelines, he questioned his fears and yearned. As he grew in trust and assurance, he learned to accept help in order to do what he wanted to do. Still later, he learned to value activities in themselves without spoiling them by reference to the past and how it used to be. None of the activities he loved would be the same, he recognized, but they still have value. Through his relationship with P, Ray gained confidence and a sense of fulfillment. He felt complete, not as if he were always lacking. The relationship shifted his rather narrow emphasis upon the physical to other qualities. Ray learned that he was fun to be 195 with and sensitive, that he had many good qualities. Perhaps of even more importance, he learned that he could have a meaningful relationship with a woman. Later, Ray came to view a relationship as a mirror that reflects oneself. One's qualities, problems, strengths and weaknesses are shined right back. Ray was also successful in other areas of life. In wheelchair sport, he won some competitions and became more deeply involved in the possibilities of athletic participation. His coaching was rewarded when one of the athletes he personally helped, a friend, was selected for an exclusive team. Ray felt like he was part of this person's success. After graduation, he worked for a year at two different jobs and took college preparatory courses. Over a period of about 2 1/2 years, from when he returned home to a year after graduation, Ray recovered his life. He had found meaningful activities in which he could participate, meaningful relationships, and good qualities in himself. Gradually, gains had been consolidated amid the setbacks and difficulties of striving. Even when he scalded his foot and re-experienced all the horrors of dependency, he was still able to appreciate what had been accomplished, how far he had come. He was now ready to venture further and entered a university away from home. Ray experienced university as a wonderful expansion and development. There were so many opportunities and different 196 people. On the wheelchair basketball team, he got to know other disabled persons and how they dealt with their lives, the different philosophies of people, many of whom were worthy models. In classes, he had to overcome his shyness and give talks. He was finally accepted into the School of Physical Education, which was like a dream come true. Over the summer, he continued in wheelchair sport. Ray had been living with a friend from his home town. He now asked that friend to move out. Ray wanted to be by himself, to try living independently. He was ready, and in a way, had outgrown the past. His friend was part of the old world of his home town and might cramp the way he now wanted to shape his life. Living independently, Ray was high on life. He was getting to do what it seemed he had always wanted to do and was confident in how he wanted to shape his life further. His legs were not like an anchor holding him down. He could talk about his disability and no longer felt bad about it. All the good things in his life crystallized with perfect clarity, and he did not ruin these things by comparison with what used to be or by unrealistic values. It had taken a re-definition of life, acceptance of what he could not control and disciplined striving for what he could attain, but his life finally emerged with incredible force as something that was precious. Ray had always felt that life was valuable, and believes 197 that this sense supported his efforts from the beginning, but now it was as if a potential had become actual and enduring. One day, Ray tried to get friends to go with him on a fishing trip. No one wanted to go. Finally, Ray caught himself depending on others and wondered why he could not go by himself. He packed up and drove over an hour to a fishing spot he had known in youth. Where he stopped, there was a fence between him and the river. "Why should I let this deter me," he thought. He struggled over the fence with his wheelchair and gear. To get to the river, he had to go up hill, through a ditch, over a barbed wire fence, through a meadow, and down a hill. It was a good feeling being able to do it as he had before. As he sat beside the river and fished, he appreciated his accomplishment. It was a good day. The fishing was not very good and Ray decided to try his luck on another plateau lower down. He went too fast and tipped over the embankment into the river. Quickly reaching, he caught a hold on the side and then grabbed his wheelchair before it sunk. Through the mud and vegetation on the embankment, Ray pulled himself and his wheelchair up. When he reached the top and settled back into the wheelchair, he did so not just with relief, but with an exhilarating sense of independence and accomplishment. There was something deeply symbolic about the fishing trip and it remains 198 as the culmination of his struggle to regain potency as the agent or main character of his own life story. Convergence. The personal narrative clearly reflects the changes described by the Q-sorts. Ray moved from trapped helplessness to a sense of freedom, control, and power. He also moved toward increasing challenge, involvement, and risk. Given the two components, the overall theme of change seems to be that in order to move from trapped helplessness to freedom and self-reliance, a person must set personal goals that are challenging and involving, must be willing to take these risks and resist others' expectations, and then one opens up to one's own worth and that of others. While parallels between the personal narrative and the Q-sort results seem evident, there is one complication worth noting. Ray appears to have been a strong agent who was devastated by an accident. He lost a strong sense of agency and had to regain it. This change is different from cases in which a person had an enduring low sense of agency and eventually gained a sense of strong agency. Perhaps a major difference is memory. On one hand, recall of how things were was often deflating, a devaluing of experience by reference to an unrealistic norm. On the other hand, it was highly motivating. At the time Ray had the accident, he was virtually enchanted by life. It was so good that his driving 199 purpose in goal setting was to recapture this goodness, right from the beginning. Progress comes from "swinging between what has to be and what might be to find the most." For Ray, the value of life was and is central. Suicide never entered his thoughts. With this central value, life seemed worth fighting for, and his story of rehabilitation exemplifies both the nature of his fight and the purpose. 200 Case Study Five: Brenda Brenda is a 42 year old woman from a working class family. She has a younger brother and an older sister. She has enjoyed a colourful work history and at the present time is a lawyer. She is married with a 2 year old daughter. Brenda has not worked outside the home for the last 3 years. She is not religious in a traditional sense and sees herself as a socialist. Principal component analysis. The first principal component accounted for 25% of the variance in the Q-sorts. Since the factor loadings of events show clear improvement in personal agency, ranging from a beginning of .03 to an ending of .76, this component describes what the change meant to her, using the theoretical items. To define this component, all item factor scores exceeding plus or minus 1.5 were extracted. In order of magnitude, these items are listed below, and phrased to characterize the positive outcome or ending. The negative beginning is the opposite of each item. Did not feel depressed (2.27) Saw failure as my own doing (1.99) Experienced a feeling of satisfaction (1.95) Felt optimistic and hopeful (1.93) Did not feel anxious (1.91) Felt like a worthy person (1.74) 201 Was not too influenced by others (1.65) Felt free, not trapped (1.57) Did not accept goals that were not really mine, but came from situational demands or other people's expectations (1.57) The second component accounted for 16% of the variance in the Q-sorts. The factor loadings of events range from -.18 at the beginning to .36 at the end. While the second component shows improvement, it is not as dramatic as that shown on the first component. Using the same extraction procedure, the defining items are listed below and phrased to characterize the positive outcome. Persevered despite adversity (2.24) Took an active approach to obstacles and difficulties, not a passive one (1.99) Did not think that my success would depend on luck or fate (1.96) Did not have a strong sense of meaning, was aimless (1.16) Took responsibility for setting my own direction (1.73) Felt depressed (1.65) Did not feel a deep sense of commitment (1.63) Took specific steps to realize purposes (1.59) 202 The nature of the change reflected on the first component concerns freedom from entrapment. Escaping entrapment involved a more positive emotional context (lack of depression, anxiety, satisfaction, optimism, self-worth) and taking personal responsibility. The pattern of change on the first component manifested extreme swings (peaks and valleys) before levelling off with a higher level of freedom (see Appendix A, Case Study Five). Improvement did not appear to be gradual, but cyclical. The second component concerns being active, responsible, and persevering despite feeling depressed, and lacking a sense of meaning and commitment. This movement is also cyclical although in a much less extreme form. Personal narrative. Brenda grew up in a traditional, conservative, working class family. Brenda's parents wanted a boy child. Finally, after two daughters they got one. Brenda always felt that her brother was the preferred child. She did not want to be a boy, she just knew that as a girl, she was not worth as much. She felt like defective goods. She had no control over her sex, so she felt helpless to change her situation. She was a depressed and anxious child with low self-esteem. Her whole childhood was spent desperately trying to get her parents' approval and acceptance. Money was important to Brenda's family, perhaps because there was not much of it. Brenda's parents pushed her to work and 203 charged her room and board. At 14, Brenda ran a babysitting service and in no time had other girls working for her. She soon became the local babysitting broker. She made a lot of money, which gave her a sense of independence. Independence was important because it meant that her parents had less control over her and she did not have to bow to their authority. She adopted an "I'll show them" attitude and became an overachiever. By the summer of her 15th year, Brenda was juggling 3 jobs, working night and day. The harder she worked, the more money she made, and the less dependent she felt. She met an exotic 23 year old fellow who spent all his time at the racetrack. When Brenda told her father that she was going to the racetrack with him, he told her that she could not go. When she asked him why not, his response was, "Because I said so." This was no answer to Brenda. She thought that if he could not give her a good reason not to go, she would go despite his objections. It was at this moment that she realized that there was really not much he could do to stop her. Defiantly, she spent the summer at the racetrack and made a lot of money. Defying her parents helped Brenda to feel more in control. At this point, Brenda began to realize that getting her parents' approval and acceptance was not a possibility. Instead of just accepting the situation, she fought back by spending time with 204 people who did accept her, like this 23 year old. They frequented restaurants together where they drank alot and Brenda began drinking heavily this year. She felt old and sophisticated when she was drinking, and it helped to numb her unbearable feelings of despair and worthlessness. Brenda announced to her parents that she was going to Europe in 2 years when she was 17. She worked as a waitress at night while attending school during the day, earning enough money to pay for the trip. Despite her parents' threats and objections, they were not going to stop her. Off she went with her five suitcases, two hat boxes, and $400.00, reminiscent of the Doris Day movies she had seen. She was proud of her accomplishment. In Europe, Brenda acted like a person who was older than she was. She smoked, she drank, she was very sophisticated. She acted very grown-up on the outside, but on the inside she was just a child starved for approval and acceptance. She was miserably lonely and drank too much. She wrote to her parents every day pouring her heart out. She desperately wanted them to tell her that she was worth something. They did not respond to any of her letters over the 5 months in Europe, which devastated Brenda. After her return from Europe, she wrote a paper for her high school English teacher entitled "What is art?" The teacher picked her paper out of the whole class and said, "You've written 205 something really special here; you ought to go to University." It had never occurred to Brenda to go to university. Nobody in her family had even finished high school. This comment made her feel important; somebody actually thought she was good enough for university. With this encouragement in hand, Brenda decided to pursue a university education. University broadened her horizons and helped her to see the options that were available to her. On the other hand, she felt very isolated from her classmates who, unlike her, had parents supporting them emotionally and financially. Brenda continued working as a waitress in order to pay her way through university. At work, Brenda met N who was a very wealthy older man. N was impressed with how Brenda was working and going to school at the same time. He claimed he was going to help her get a job. They began to go out together and eventually became engaged. She did not love him, but because life had to be endured she thought it would be better endured with lots of money. One day, they were driving along in a limousine shopping for clothes. Brenda saw a suit she liked. N saw a suit he liked. In the end, the only suit N was going to buy for Brenda was the one he liked. At that moment, it became abundantly clear to Brenda that she had no control whatsoever over his money, which was his most attractive feature. Money had always represented independence to Brenda and 206 not having to depend on other people. It was clear now that it was not just having money that was important; it had to be her ( money. She ended the relationship. Brenda flunked her second year of university. Around this time, she was feeling more and more depressed and desperate. She had started a new relationship with E, who later became her husband. E was emotionally inexpressive toward her much like her parents had been. On one occasion, they were driving along the freeway in the midst of an argument. He was being icy cold and she was crying. In a hysterical rage, Brenda threw herself out of the car. In retrospect, she knows that she did not want to die as much as she wanted to get his attention through doing something spectacular. There were times when Brenda was so miserable that she pounded her head against a wall hoping to knock herself out. She could feel herself on the edge of a cliff wanting to step off, perhaps into insanity. Part of her wanted to have a complete breakdown, to be taken away and taken care of. She could not stand to feel anything. The problem was that she felt everything so intensely and no one ever seemed to respond to her. What she wanted was to stop feeling so miserable, not to die. By this point, Brenda never went anywhere without a bottle of scotch. Not a day went by without consuming a significant amount 207 of alcohol. She used it as tranquilizer, to stop feeling. An employer asked her to babysit his 3 month old baby for the weekend. She agreed on the condition that she could have a party. Brenda got drunk at the party and passed out. She woke up to the sound of the baby crying. She could hear it, but she could not find it because she was so drunk. Finally, after stumbling around, she located the baby. She had trouble getting the baby's bottle organized and had a terrible time trying to feed it, as she slowly sobered up. Something snapped that night. Brenda was utterly horrified at herself. She had seen herself as worthless, begging for approval and acceptance, but she had not seen herself as irresponsible. She was embarrassed and ashamed of what she now saw so clearly. "It was one thing to ruin my life, but not this baby's life too." That night she made a conscious decision to stop drinking because she knew she was out of control with it. In contrast to her disastrous personal life, Brenda was now receiving positive feedback in her school and work life. She eventually received two degrees, an honours Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Education degree, while simultaneously completing Teacher's College. People saw Brenda as someone who was bright and competent, and by now she knew that she was. Knowing this gave her 208 a kind of arrogant power which she sometimes flaunted. Emotionally, however, Brenda continued to live on the edge. Happiness was always temporary in the form of a great party or a good meal; something to pass the time, something to amuse her. Brenda decided to marry E. To Brenda, to be a successful woman, you had to have a successful marriage. She thought that marriage would be the answer to all her problems. As Brenda was riding to the church on her wedding day, she looked out the window only to see one of her professors in his car next to her. This professor had been quite smitten with Brenda, and had made a habit of following her around. For some reason when she saw this man, she suddenly realized that getting married was crazy and that she was doing it for all the wrong reasons. She decided it would be easier to get a divorce later rather than to stop the wedding now. "Every instinct in me was telling me that this ride was the ride to doom." Brenda had always fantasized that a husband would fill all her emotional needs. The reality of marriage was quite different; Brenda had found a whole new level of misery. E was very domineering in the relationship and Brenda willingly submitted even to the most ridiculous demands, like never having her hair in rollers in his presence. She thought that by giving him what he wanted, he would give her what she wanted in return, which was 209 approval and acceptance. Much to Brenda's disappointment, E ignored her unless he needed her for something. Brenda became more and more distressed and angry. She did not know how to express her anger directly so she usually ended up directing it inwardly toward herself. During one argument, she consumed a whole bottle of Valium in front of E. For Brenda, being married was like living somebody else's life. What she wanted did not matter to E. She did not feel liked, let alone loved. Instead, she felt emotionally abused. He was always criticizing her, like being too fat at 108 pounds. She felt like she was always on her knees begging for his attention. He would manipulate her by doling out little tiny bits of affection. Brenda stayed in the marriage because she did not know how to get out. She was immobilized and just did not know what else to do except to keep trying. At a dinner party one evening, E gave a drunken guest his car keys to drive home. Brenda refused to sleep in the same bed as E that night because she was so shocked and disgusted with his irresponsible behaviour. Irresponsibility was one thing she would not tolerate in herself, nor would she tolerate it in anyone else. Brenda had never taken a stand like this before. The next day E was ashamed of himself and looked to Brenda for forgiveness. For the first time, she saw clearly what a lost cause E was, just 210 as she had seen herself more clearly after her irresponsible act. She deserved more than what E had to offer her. It was the beginning of the end of their stormy marriage. They moved to another city and Brenda began teaching at a community college. The college went on strike and Brenda was required to do picket duty. This was Brenda's first brush with politics. On picket duty she met J. J talked with Brenda about women's rights. As a woman, Brenda had never felt like she was worthwhile or of much value. It was intriguing to talk to someone who did not see things that way. He seemed to talk to her differently than any other man she had ever known, as if she were just another person, not a woman. One evening, after a particularly trying day and receiving absolutely no sympathy from her husband, Brenda said to E, "You know there are plenty of people out there who would want to care about me if I let them and you don't seem to want to." This was Brenda's warning shot. Having met J, Brenda saw another possibility. While E was away, Brenda expressed to J her feelings toward him and they began an affair. When she told her husband she was leaving, and after he finally realized she was serious, he begged her to stay. She felt torn, but knew with absolute clarity that it was over. She insisted that they not see each other for a minimum of 6 months because she knew it would be a vulnerable time 211 for her. It had taken her so much to finally make this decision that she knew she just had to go "cold turkey". Otherwise, it would be too easy to go back to the security of her old ways. It was important for Brenda to set this boundary; she was beginning to take some control. Brenda thought that all she had to do was to exchange the wrong man for the right man and her life would instantly be wonderful. She never considered being alone or independent. Brenda had planned on J moving in with her after right her split from E. J, however, was not interested in living together. It was hard to resist E's pleading letters and telephone calls in light of J's rejection and the difficult adjustment to living alone. She was 27 years old with no husband on the horizon and no children. These realities seemed like more evidence of her worthlessness. Over the next year J and Brenda continued to go out together. Eventually, it became evident to Brenda that J was not the man of her dreams. She always felt second best to J, particularly because he always compared her to his ex-girlfriend. Despite these disappointments and doubts, she stayed in the relationship. It was better than being alone. During this time she met A, a man from another country. Brenda was intrigued with his emotional intensity and his openness. 212 The next summer, Brenda planned a trip to visit A and began the affair of her life. Starting the affair with A meant leaving J behind, but Brenda always ended her relationships by starting a new one. The affair was her fantasy come true. It was romantic, fun, and adventurous. Most importantly, somebody that she cared about unmistakably cared back. He showered her with attention. Having to leave A was very painful, but the enormity of a decision to stay was too overwhelming at the time. She explained to A that she would return in 6 months, after she had made all the arrangements at home. Upon her return, Brenda told J about her affair with A. Surprisingly, J was quite upset. This marked the beginning of a long conflict over which man to choose. At the same time, Brenda was promoted into administration in the college where she was teaching. She had adopted a tough, authoritative persona at work and was feeling increasingly powerful in her job as a result of all the positive feedback she had received. In sharp contrast, her personal life remained a disaster. She was working 13-14 hours a day to avoid making a decision and was wearing herself out. She used her new promotion as an excuse not to return to A within the 6 month time line. She had doubts and concerns about the change in the standard of living that a move to A's country would entail. She had tried to talk to A about her 213 doubts and was frightened away by his inability to handle her feelings. Brenda felt she needed a stronger, more stable personality than what A had to offer; she needed someone to lean on. Finally, she decided not to go and A cut off contact with her completely. Brenda was both devastated and relieved. Meanwhile, things were not working out with J quite the way Brenda had planned, but it was convenient to continue seeing him and better than being alone. While J was away Brenda met another man, T. They lived together almost immediately. Brenda's anxiety and desperation about the state of her life were increasing. She wanted to settle down, get married, have children, and live happily ever after with her fantasy husband. Instead, Brenda got pregnant and 3 months into the pregnancy, changed her mind. She had only known this man a few months and she was about to change her whole life. She would be tied to this man forever if she had this baby. A friend suggested an abortion. Against T's wishes, Brenda went ahead with the abortion. She took matters into her own hands. Even wheeling down to surgery Brenda was not sure if she was doing the right thing, but it felt too late to stop it. She felt intensely guilty about the abortion and it took many years for Brenda to feel that it was the right decision. T and Brenda continued their relationship for another 214 year. During this time, Brenda constantly compared the three men with whom she had been involved. She was always wishing she was with one when she was with the other. It took her 9 years to get over making that decision. Brenda was convinced that if she just had the right man, all her problems would be over. By the end of two years, T had had enough and ended the relationship. It was almost as if Brenda had set it up for him to leave. Brenda decided to enter law school. In younger years she had thought about being a lawyer, but had dismissed it because girls from her background were not lawyers. She carried on working and continued to receive a considerable amount of praise from both school and work. People at school and work viewed Brenda as a very strong person. What they were actually seeing was Brenda's anger which she had directed into issues and causes at work. She was driving herself really hard and it was killing her, but it was the only place where she felt good. After school or work, Brenda would go home, take off the mask, and cry. She was desperate and depressed. What she really wanted was for someone to hug her. Partially no one offered, and partially Brenda would not let anyone because she had to keep up her tough front. She went out with a few men just for the sake of going out; she did not want to be alone. Brenda was convinced that she did not have the resources to find happiness. When she had the things that should make her happy 215 (like romance, marriage, or a baby) she seemed to push them away. Everyone else seemed happy, but for Brenda happiness seemed only to be fleeting. Something was terribly wrong. She now saw a pattern of unhappy relationships with men, despite the fact that they were all wonderful and interesting people. Her friends were tired of the drama of her emotional swings and all her problems. She knew she was a burden to them and would lose them too if something did not change. She began to realize that she looked to others, particularly men, to make her happy. The things she had done, she had done to herself. "It wasn't that the rest of the world was impinging on poor me, it was that I'm acting out something on the rest of the world and I've got to do something about it. I am not a victim." Reluctantly, Brenda sought out professional help. She showed up 45 minutes late for her first appointment. At least this person was being paid to listen to her problems unlike her friends. Much of the therapy focused on Brenda's early childhood experiences. Brenda did not believe in the "unconscious" and was stunned when a number of these early forgotten experiences were dredged up. While recalling one incident, the psychiatrist said sympathetically, "That must have been awful for you." Brenda was startled by this response. Previously, friends had tried to console Brenda by saying things like, "Everyone has had trouble with their parents." 216 This kind of response did not help Brenda to understand her own reaction to her experiences which was different from that of others. She felt comforted, relieved, and deeply validated by having someone acknowledge her pain as normal. Brenda realized that it was those childhood experiences that were painful for her, not the adult experiences. She had had a hard time as a child and it took going through therapy to feel confident enough to acknowledge that. She never felt valued by her parents. She did not get the approval or acceptance from her parents that she so desperately wanted, and that would never change. Up to now, Brenda had never been willing to look at her own behaviour. It was too intimidating, so instead she blamed her parents and other people for her unhappiness. The hardest part of therapy was stopping to look at herself, to look in the mirror and see what was really motivating her. The motivation behind all of Brenda's goals was the need to gain respect from others in order to gain respect for herself. All of her hard work and overachievement was motivated by this need; she was trapped by her own emotions. Unknowingly, by honestly looking at herself, she was validating what had happened to her and enabling herself to loosen the grip of the past. She was able to honestly appraise what was her responsibility and what was not. As a child, she felt she had no choices, but as an adult she did. 217 During a visit to her parents, Brenda was able to test out some of her newly developed strategies, and was successful in alleviating the anger and disappointment which usually accompanied such visits. For the first time, Brenda shed tears upon leaving her parents. It was like the weight of the world was lifted off her shoulders. She felt like a different person. Perhaps she really could leave the past behind and get on with her life. During the 2 years that Brenda was in therapy she also started to read about feminism. She began to understand her own personal experience in the larger social context of patriarchy. She realized that the devaluing of women was part of the social structure and that her experiences were not unique. She now understood that much of her anger was related to her reaction to the way she was treated as a woman. On the one hand, it was very freeing to discover this, but on the other, she became so angry that she rejected men altogether for a period of time. Eventually, she was able to see that while she could not change men, she could change herself and her reactions to them. Also during this time, Brenda and J re-established their friendship. At dinner one evening, J told Brenda that he thought that she meant more to him than he to her. She let the comment go, but brought it up in therapy. At this point, she decided that she was ready for marriage and children for the right reasons, and told 218 J she was interested in getting involved again. J was not overly happy about the prospect. Brenda invited J to come to therapy with her to discuss their situation. In therapy, J told the psychiatrist that he thought Brenda was trying to pressure him. Brenda was furious because she felt that was not true. He had chased her for years and the moment she made herself available to him, he felt pressured. Brenda yelled at J for what seemed like 6 months and eventually came to realize that J only wanted her when no one else did. Dating was alright, but a serious commitment was not. Brenda and J again parted company, but remained friends. She stopped therapy and began to date a jock. The jock ran off with Brenda's friend. She was devastated by her friend's betrayal. She turned to J who was by now her closest friend. Over a period of 5 or 6 months, she began to see how loving, supportive, and attentive J could be on his terms, rather than under the cloud of all her expectations. He was never going to be a romantic man who would sweep her off her feet, but he was a decent, kind human being. After spending a weekend together and successfully re-establishing their sexual relationship, J and Brenda decided to live together. This was a serious step. Brenda was making a commitment to somebody she had doubts about. This was real life, not a fantasy. This started a 3 year period of adjustment from 219 living with the fantasy of Prince Charming to living with a wonderful, but flawed human being. Then she got pregnant. Living together was one thing, but having a baby meant connecting with J forever, "warts" and all. This time she felt confident and ready. She could handle whatever the future held for her. Brenda had a miscarriage, but one year later had a baby girl. Finally, Brenda had found some sustaining happiness and peace in her life, alone and in her relationships. Emotionally, things have levelled off for Brenda. There are no more the cycles of highs and lows anymore. Even in the worst of times Brenda never slumped into a disabling depression. To Brenda, to be properly depressed required inactivity. Brenda was always driven by a strong, restless energy. What was behind the activity was anger. She was always fighting for what she thought she deserved. She just refused to take life as it seemed to be. One way or the other, she was going to change it. Without this anger as a motivating force, she likely would have adopted a more passive approach and probably would have gone over the edge. The change for Brenda involved freeing herself from the trap of her own emotions. She felt free to set her own goals in life, but was trapped by the emotions that motivated these goals. The driving motivation was always to gain other people's acceptance. She had to take off the mask she had constructed, look in the 220 mirror and honestly face what she saw. She had to see what part she played in this drama. Once she saw this clearly, she no longer felt powerless or at the emotional mercy of others. She could not change their behaviour, but she could understand it differently and make adjustments to her reactions to it. Even though Brenda lives her life very differently now, her constant awareness and effort are required in order to avoid the emotional traps of the past. Convergence. The theme of liberation from entrapment, evident in the first component, is also prominent in the personal narrative. The cyclic movement of this component across events or periods of time parallels the peaks and valleys related in the story. For example, as she was riding to her first wedding she knew instinctively that it was wrong, but felt trapped by people and circumstances. She described it as "a ride to doom" and it is reflected on the first principal component as a downward swing. When she and J re-established their relationship and started living together, Brenda felt like she was finally living real life and not a fantasy. Escaping the tyranny of her past patterns in relationships was described as freeing and is reflected on the first component as an upward swing. The theme of the second component concerns persevering and taking an active approach despite feeling depressed and lacking meaning. This theme is also evident in the personal narrative. 221 Roughly and not as dramatically, movement on this component tends to contrast with movement on the first component. That is, she was apt to persevere and act most when she was trapped and least when she was liberated from entrapment. Given the two components, the overall theme of change seems to be that if one can continue to act responsibly and determinedly, even when trapped and dominated, when one is most weak (depressed, worthless, lacking meaning), then one will escape entrapment and gain freedom, optimism, worth, and satisfaction. While this theme seems applicable to her transformation, it is also rather general, not as precise as her own thematic statements of the change. Brenda could not sustain her freedom and optimism until she was able to honestly appraise herself and identify her role in her own imprisonment. 222 Case Study Six: Lee Lee is a 38 year old man of Ukranian descent, the third eldest of six children. His parents were refugees after the war, and Lee was born in a refugee camp in Germany. The family was shuffled from one camp to another until they received immigration sponsorship by a Lutheran Church to come to Canada when Lee was 3. Lee's family was very poor. Lee attended churches of various Christian denominations. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in psychology. At the present time, he works full time as a child and family counsellor, and part time as a residential care worker with mentally handicapped adults. He plans to return to university to complete a Master's degree in transpersonal psychotherapy. Principal component analysis. The first principal component accounted for 45% of the variance in the Q-sorts. Since the factor loadings of events show clear improvement in personal agency, ranging from a beginning of -.31 to end loadings of .93 and .62, this component describes what the change meant to him in terms of the theoretical items. To define this component, all item factor scores exceeding plus or minus 1.5 were extracted. In order of magnitude, these items are listed below, and phrased to characterize the positive outcome or ending. The negative beginning is the opposite of each item. 223 Did not feel anxious (2.46) Felt free, not trapped (2.03) Persevered despite adversity (1.91) Felt powerful, not helpless (1.77) Felt like a worthy person (1.74) Did not feel depressed (1.74) Felt adequate to the task at hand (1.73) Felt confident (1.64) Felt in control of ray life, not pushed around (1.59) The second component accounted for 27% of the variance in the Q-sorts. The factor loadings of events range from -.14 at the beginning to .86 and .75 at the end. The second component also shows a clear improvement in personal agency. Using the same extraction procedure, the defining items are listed below and phrased to characterize the positive outcome. Felt supported and encouraged by others (2.34) Did not think that my success was dependent on luck or fate (2.31) Did not feel depressed (2.26) Did not think that my failure would be due to other people and/or circumstances (2.24) Did not set excessively high goals for myself (1.93) Made good decisions independently (1.64) 224 Experienced a feeling of satisfaction (1.63) Did not accept goals that were not really mine, but came from situational demands or other people's expectations (1.57) Felt like a worthy person (1.56) The first component involves a change in feelings through persevering. In the beginning, he felt anxious, trapped, helpless, worthless, depressed, and inadequate. By the end, he felt free, powerful, and in control. The pattern of change on the first component was cyclic with extreme swings up and down before culminating in a dramatically higher level of agency (see Appendix A, Case Study Six). The change reflected on the second component concerns being able to make decisions, and to set goals through feeling supported by others and taking personal responsibility for his successes and failures. By acting and taking responsibility for his actions, he was able to feel less depressed and gained a sense of worth and satisfaction. The pattern of movement on the second component was also cyclic with large swings up and down gradually elevating to a higher level of agency. Roughly, movement on the second component tends to mirror movement on the first component. That is, he was apt to feel the best (less anxious and depressed, more worthy and confident), when he felt the most supported and encouraged by others. 225 Personal narrative. To Lee, his family life was highly dysfunctional. His parents argued and yelled at each other constantly. Partly, this was because his father rarely contributed to the financial support of the family. The money he made, he hid away for himself. Lee's mother ended up supporting and raising the six children and feeling very bitter and resentful about it. As she was uneducated, she worked mainly in factories and as a house cleaner. The family was very poor. In addition to being very poor, Lee's family were the only Ukranians in the small town in which they lived. In this town, there was a low tolerance for ethnic differences . Consequently, both the poverty and ethnicity of Lee's home-life became a source of ridicule and embarrassment for him, so he kept as much of it a secret from others as he could. Lee's father was brutally violent and unbeknownst to Lee at the time, mentally ill. He always seemed to be angry and was prone to explosive outbursts. He constantly belittled Lee. Nothing Lee said or did was good enough. Lee was punished by his father in cruel ways, such as making him kneel in the corner when friends were present, or threatening to flush his head down the toilet. He would hit Lee with various objects, punch, slap, and kick him. Sometimes Lee would not know why he was being punished. He expected to be punished when he did something wrong, but was 226 occasionally punished for no reason at all. For Lee, his father's cruel and sometimes erratic behaviour left him in a state of almost constant anxiety. Growing up, Lee was consumed with rage, frustration, and hatred toward his father. He wanted to kill him and kept a knife under his pillow at night waiting for an opportunity. To express any of these feelings directly toward his father was too dangerous. Not expressing feelings for Lee was simply safer, an important survival strategy. Unable to express his feelings directly, Lee found indirect ways to express them. He found sneaky, devious ways to express himself, like stealing from his father. Since his father was so explosive and objected to everything, from the kind of friends Lee had to the kind of activities he enjoyed, Lee avoided confrontations by never telling his father the truth. Lee learned to lie about who he was to survive. The world was a frightening place to Lee. It was always confronting him, in one way or another, to be himself and to express his feelings. Being himself was not a possibility because he felt he was unacceptable and worthless. His childhood pattern of lying became firmly established in adulthood as a way to present an acceptable face to others. He fabricated stories about himself that were more consistent with the person he wanted to be. As a 227 result, people were unable to get close to Lee because they were not given accurate information about who he was. Maintaining this distance from people was important because it protected Lee from the shame and embarrassment of someone finding out about his lies, but it also isolated him from others. As the years went by, Lee became accustomed to misrepresenting himself. He no longer felt guilty about lying to others; it had become a way of life. However, he did feel trapped in his lies, which was a source of constant frustration and disappointment. He envied other people for doing things in their lives that he wanted to do, but felt he could not. Life seemed unfair. He expressed his feelings of frustration and disappointment through thievery, just as he had done in childhood. By the time he was 33, he had a criminal record with three convictions of theft. Over the years, Lee had gravitated toward situations that supported his emotionally repressed way of being in the world. At 20, he joined a monastic order (a group of people who took a vow of poverty, chastity, and obedience with a commitment to the same spiritual practice) where the fundamental philosophy was to focus solely on the spiritual dimension in a concentrated way. The lifestyle supported being passive, accepting, uncritical of one's superiors, and detached from one's emotions. Lee fit right in because he was already very good at the philosophies espoused by 228 the group. After 6 years, Lee left the order because of a change in policy handed down by the spiritual teacher. Over the next 7 years, Lee worked at a variety of short terra jobs, earning just enough money to travel to see his spiritual teacher. By 33, Lee was on welfare for the second time. He was unable to find a job and had no career direction or purpose in his life. He hoped his luck would change. His career pathway was hazy because if he did what he really wanted to do, he would have to own up to his lies. Even though he felt imprisoned by his web of lies, honesty was too threatening and intimidating. In 1985, Lee met H. Lee was attracted to H because she had achieved the kind of things he had wanted to achieve. She was going in a direction in life that she wanted to go, whereas he was not. The contrast of H's life was both attractive and threatening. Lee told H the same package of lies he had told his friends. He told her that he was self-employed and that he had a Bachelor's degree in social work. The relationship was fraught with conflict right from the beginning. H's approach to a relationship involved confronting, expressing her feelings, getting her needs met, and going after what she wanted, whereas Lee's style was to avoid confrontations, to be indirect, and to withdraw emotionally. H constantly complained that she did not know Lee, did not understand 229 him, could not get close to him, and that he seemed detached and unreachable. Nine months into the relationship, H had had enough. During a telephone conversation after a conflict, H delivered an ultimatum: "Unless you take some measures to open up and do something about your feelings, I don't want any part of the relationship." Lee knew he had suppressed his feelings and did not want to go on living this way, but he was not ready nor was he willing to confront all of his lies and deceptions at this point. He knew that if something did not happen, the relationship was going to end. Usually in relationships, after a certain degree of intimacy was reached, Lee would end them to avoid discovery or exposure. Lee was sick of this pattern and felt he had found someone with whom he wanted to go further. He knew that in order for this relationship to work, he was going to have to make some effort. It was not going to happen magically. He was sure that if it did not work out this time, it would be because of his inadequacies and for no other reason. He agreed there was a problem and that he would do something, but he was not sure what. Lee started to do some reading and some self-help exercises on his own. H suggested he get professional help, and offered him some suggestions. Within a month Lee saw Dr. B, a psychiatrist. During the first appointment, they talked about options. Lee 230 could do one-to-one therapy, group therapy, or attend a 6-week intensive group psychotherapy program. Lee decided to investigate the intensive 6-week program because he thought he might be able to get results faster. In order for Lee to get into the program, he had to stand up in front of the group (approximately 20 people) , and state what his problem was, what his expectations were, and why he thought he would be a good candidate for the program. Lee told the group that he had two problems. The first one was stealing (his criminal record of theft charges was mandatory for him to disclose). The second problem was that he was having difficulty with intimacy in his relationship and he felt kind of dead emotionally. Immediately, Lee was told he had to make a commitment not to steal. In some ways it felt good to comply. Having revealed to all these strangers the extent of his criminal record seemed to break the wall of secrecy. At this point, he was sure he would never steal again, and he never did. Lee was accepted into the program, which ran eight hours a day for six weeks. Early on, Lee told the therapists and other patients that he had a problem with lying. He was asked to disclose his lies and warned that lying was grounds for immediate dismissal from the program. They also told him that he must own up to these lies to significant people in his life. 231 Filled with fear and anxiety, Lee disclosed to H that he did not have a Bachelor's degree, and later that he was on welfare and had a criminal record. The fact that H was doing graduate work made it even more intimidating and embarrassing. Each disclosure was utterly humiliating. Lee then disclosed the same lies to two of his friends. Coincidentally, Lee's brother was in town vacationing. Lee took this opportunity to disclose to his brother as well. Since leaving home at 20, Lee had had very little contact with his family, and over the years had fabricated various stories about what he was doing. To admit to his brother that he had been lying to him all these years was very painful. The reactions and responses from each person were all very positive. They each offered their support and encouragement, reassuring him that they would not reject him. Surprisingly, each disclosure turned out to be a kind of a bonding experience. The group therapy program was valuable in many ways. It set into motion the disclosures about lying and broke the barrier of secrecy. It also helped Lee to learn about his role in the lying problem. After one incident, he and his therapist dissected a lie to the point at which the decision was made to do it. This exercise was very valuable to Lee because he was able to clearly see that it was his, and only his, decision to lie. He also saw 232 for the first time how complex a system he had set up to cover up that responsibility. The program was also valuable in helping Lee to recognize and accept some of the rage he felt toward his father. There were specific exercises designed to facilitate the recall of these feelings. He dreaded these exercises because the feelings were so intense. Part of what helped him get through was watching another man express his vulnerability. Lee was inspired by him and was provided with a concrete model to follow. Lee was touched by what he saw and he felt very close to this man as a result. He could see that showing vulnerability fostered a feeling of closeness. The program also assisted Lee in being more direct with his feelings. There were two breakthrough incidents where he shared his anger and frustration in open, honest, and direct ways despite feeling afraid of hurting the other person and, in one case, actually having strong visible evidence that he was hurting the other person. It was not until Lee did it, that he realized he could do it without being overwhelmed by anxiety. Even if what he expressed was unreasonable or irrational, they were his feelings and that was as valid as it needed to be. It gave him a sense of satisfaction and pride to be able to express these difficult feelings. 233 The program also offered Lee a fresh start with H. H began to see a vulnerable side of Lee with which he was very uncomfortable. He was not this competent, stable person that he wanted H and others to think he was. He felt like an emotional cripple. To adjust to not being the person he had been pretending to be for all these years was incredibly difficult. Going through the program was like going through a war for Lee. Without the support and encouragement of H, Lee does not believe he would ever have been able to take the frequent confrontations and the difficult explorations of feelings that the program demanded. He is convinced that he would have chosen a much easier route for himself. When Lee finished the program, he realized that it was only a beginning, with much more to be uncovered. Unlike the stealing problem, he still felt vulnerable to lying. It seemed like lying was at the root of his other problems, like his suppressed feelings and his inability to be emotionally intimate. He was still unable to be honest with himself, let alone other people. He still rationalized lies to himself and he knew there was still a backlog of lies to be reconciled with H. To confront his lying problem, he returned to the