A Videotape Module to Teach Assertion Skills1


  • 1

    This research was supported by NIH SBIR Grant #3 R43 MH58498-01.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Virginia P. Williams, Williams LifeSkills, Inc., 2020 West Main Street, Suite 100, Durham, NC 27705. E-mail: Virginia@williamslifeskills.com


A LifeSkills© video module to teach assertion has been developed that uses dramatizations of the effective and ineffective ways to respond to a provocation. Normal volunteers were randomly assigned to watch the assertion video (n= 50) or a control instructional video (n= 53). Participants completed pre-/post-assessment batteries that tested their knowledge of the steps of assertion and their ability to apply this knowledge in response to 3 written scenarios. The answers were scored for both the presence of aggression and the use of assertion. Participants randomized to the assertion video showed larger increases in assertion and decreases in aggression compared to controls, indicating that a video dramatizing the use of assertion can be a practical and effective means of improving assertion skills, with decreased aggression a potential added benefit.