Abstract: Measuring the Masks of Manipulative Behaviors Using the Trashy Tricks Rating Scale (Society for Prevention Research 27th Annual Meeting)

237 Measuring the Masks of Manipulative Behaviors Using the Trashy Tricks Rating Scale

Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Pacific D/L (Hyatt Regency San Francisco)
* noted as presenting author
Shelley R. Hart, PhD, Associate Professor, California State University, Chico, Chico, CA
Pamela Goldberg, LMFT, CEO, SEL for Prevention, Las Vegas, NV
Introduction: Awareness of how emotional manipulation is portrayed in relationships is paramount to social and emotional competence. Manipulation crosses boundaries in relationships; it involves coercion, deception, and breaking trust. It is important to consider that manipulative behaviors may be functional in certain contexts for students (e.g., in abusive or neglectful homes), but ultimately can harm relationships outside of that context. It is an important behavior to address, yet few interventions include it. SEL for Prevention is a social emotional learning (SEL) curriculum with interventions at both the elementary and secondary levels. One element of these curricula addresses manipulative behaviors. Students are taught concepts, skills, and strategies that stop the usage of the “Trashy Tricks” of manipulation, while promoting fairness, responsibility-taking, and the expectation that emotional safety is paramount for healthy relationships. The current study examined preliminary evidence for the Trashy Tricks Rating Scale (TTRS), a self-report measure.

Methods: Factor analyses (exploratory—EFA, and confirmatory—CFA) were used to explore the structure of the TTRS. Pearson-product moment correlations were used to examine the relationships between the TTRS and additional validated scales including the a) Illinois Bullying Scale (IBS), b) Social Emotional Assets and Resilience Scales (SEARS; both teacher and child reports), and c) Child and Adolescent Mindfulness Measure (CAMM).

Results: Pooled sample consisted of N=511, 9- through 15-year-olds (mean age = 11.94). Of students for whom data were obtained, 47.8% were males and 52.5% were Caucasian. A three-factor solution was decided upon in EFA and confirmed via CFA based on fit statistics and theoretical examination of the factors. The factors were named: a) “Other Involved”, b) “Low Self-Regulation”, and c) “Under the Radar”. Significant correlations in the expected direction were evident. Medium to large correlations were demonstrated between the two parts of the TTRS scales (0.43 ³ r ³ 0.90). Small to large correlations were evident between the TTRS and the IBS (0.35 ³ r ³ 0.51), SEARS-Teacher (-0.06 ³ r ³ -0.22), SEARS-Child (-0.30 ³ r ³ -0.20), and CAMM (0.16 ³ r ³ 0.39).

Conclusions: Manipulation should be an important target in social emotional learning curricula, yet few programs include it. This study outlines preliminary evidence for the reliability and validity of the TTRS, designed to measure manipulative behaviors. Initial validation evidence is provided for the TTRS through establishment of the factor structure of the TTRS and relationships between these factors and previously validated scales. Further studies are recommended.

Pamela Goldberg
SEL for Prevention: Owner/Partnership