Comparative Effectiveness of Mental Contrasting and Self-regulation Strategies on Enhancing Goal Setting Skills of Secondary School Students in Urban Nigeria

Ofole Ndidi Mercy, Adegoke Ibukun Victoria


Although there is plethora of studies on goal setting skills, there is paucity of experimental studies on this field. This study examined the comparative effectiveness of Mental Contrasting Therapy (MCT) and Self-Regulation Strategies (SRS) on enhancing goal setting skills of students in urban Nigeria. A group of 120 students (male=52, female=68) with age range of 14-17 years and mean age of ≥ 13.5 years were purposively drawn from secondary schools in urban Nigeria. Each of the intervention groups was exposed to 10 sessions of therapy designed to improve their goal setting skills. The control group served as comparison group. The result revealed a significant main effect of treatments on goal setting skills (F(2,105) =14.958, p<0.05) with the intervention groups demonstrating greater ability to utilize the acquired skills than the comparison group as evidenced on the mean score. The effect size reveals that treatment accounted for 22.2% (η2=0.222) change in the participants’ goal setting skills. Participants treated with SRS reported higher mean score at post-test (=69.09) when compared with their counterpart in MCT group (=66.93). Self-efficacy and gender have significant interactive effect with treatments F(4,105) = 6.375, p<0.05, η2=0.195 and F(2,105) =13.561, p<0.01, η2=0.205 respectively. The researchers concluded that though the two therapies were effective, SRS was more potent in enhancing goal setting skills of the participants.


Goal Setting Skills, Mental Contrasting Techniques, Self-Regulation Strategies, Nigeria

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