Dissertations relating to Peace Corps
From Peace Corps Wiki
The reentry experience: An examination of Peace Corps volunteers' experience of returning home after service
by Bosustow, Nicole Joanna, Psy.D., The Wright Institute, 2006, 89 pages; AAT 3206361
Abstract (Summary) This study focuses on the reentry phase of cross-cultural experiences, or when a traveler returns home from their time abroad. Despite being the least studied, research has found that this phase is often the most difficult.
This study was designed to survey Returned Peace Corps volunteers (RPCV's) to see how they experience reentry. Using several statistical analyses, this study aimed to answer 6 research questions. (1) RPCV's who experienced a crisis during service will feel significantly less prepared for reentry than those who did not experience a crisis. (2) The mean level of distress will be higher for those volunteers who experienced a crisis during service. (3) Whether there were differences between levels of symptoms of loneliness/isolation/disconnection and depression/sadness at four time points. (4) The mean level of distress will be higher for those volunteers who left service involuntarily. (5) The mean level of distress will be higher for those volunteers with less experience with reentry or transitions. (6) Whether four factors: age, gender, length of stay overseas and amount of support at home impacted level of reentry distress.
Results of this study show that depression and loneliness are the symptoms most experienced by RPCV's and the factors that impact reentry include being female, experiencing a crisis and how much support one returns to at home. Support was not found for the impact of leaving service involuntarily, having less experience with reentry, the length of one's stay overseas or an individual's age. It was found that the experience of a crisis significantly increases one's distress upon reentry and significantly decreases how prepared one is for reentry. It was also found that RPCV's take, on average, longer than a year to readjust, whereas in other expatriate populations most individual consider themselves readjusted within the six months after returning home.
Recommendations are made regarding steps Peace Corps can take to strengthen their training program at the end of service and during the reentry phase so that in the future the needs of Peace Corps volunteers will be attended to at all stages of their cross cultural exchange.
The impact of ethnicity on volunteerism in Sub-Saharan Africa: A look at African-American and Euro-American returned Peace Corps volunteers
by Sia-Maat, Shadidi, Ed.D., University of Southern California, 2004, 262 pages; AAT 3140554
Abstract (Summary) This study examined the significance of ethnicity for African-American RPCVs vis-à-vis Euro-American RPCVs, in their ability to accomplish Peace Corps and personal objectives in Sub-Saharan Africa. Historically, the paucity of African-Americans (3%) working as volunteers in Sub-Saharan Africa in relation to Euro-Americans (97%) served as the catalyst for this research.
This study utilized the mixed model design, in which the qualitative design served as the dominant paradigm and the quantitative design provided supplemental data.
The methodological framework for the qualitative design employed grounded theory. Utilizing computer software, MAXqda, the twenty African-American RPCVs, and four managers' responses to the semi-structured and informal interviews were analyzed, using the constant comparative method.
The data analysis for the quantitative design was prepared using the SPSS computer software program. A descriptive analysis looked at four variables; one dependent variable, the volunteer's perceived contributions to the development process, and three independent variables, namely, ethnicity, socio-economic status (SES), and living environment in the United States.
Overall, this study found that African-American RPCVs adapted significantly better to their Peace Corps assignments than Euro-American RPCVs. They were more successful at achieving Peace Corps and personal objectives. The findings were delineated in three areas.
The first area conveyed the life experiences and perspectives of African-American RPCVs, prior to joining the Peace Corps. Those experiences and perspectives benefited African-American RPCVs in their adjustment to Africa, as well as in their overall success. The second area, enumerated ethnic/racial attributes of African-American RPCVs, which significantly correlated with the Africans they lived and worked with. Finally, and most importantly, the findings found that African American RPCVs vis-à-vis Euro-American RPCVs had a greater impact in the area of education, as trainers and teachers because of their ethnicity.
This study offered evidence that supports increasing the number of African-Americans sent to Sub-Saharan Africa by the Peace Corps, agencies for international development and Foreign Service. A replication of this research with a larger sample is encouraged, to further investigate the pedagogical success of African-Americans in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Working with the contradictions of international development: Improvisational strategies of Peace Corps volunteers
by Bartholomew, Pamela Anne, M.S., Michigan State University, 2003, 91 pages; AAT 1414624
Abstract (Summary) The purpose of this research was to explore and describe how improvisation is used by Peace Corps Volunteers as a strategy for negotiating and renegotiating international development. Arce and Long's perspectives on modernity were used to situate how and why various local actors renegotiate development. Long's perspective on the social interfaces of development was used to conceptualize the complexities and place in which development is renegotiated and Stake's perspective on formative evaluation provided a visualization for how improvisation could occur by the simultaneous evaluation, planning and facilitation of emancipatory social change. This research was conducted using qualitative exploratory and rapid appraisal methodologies. Themes of context and improvisation emerged from the research and indicated that program implementers are able to renegotiate the contradictions inherent in development by using improvisation and that the use of improvisation was dependent upon the empowerment of the Peace Corps Volunteer.
The impact of the Peace Corps experience on returned volunteers: A case study of Peace Corps Mali returned volunteers
by Sissoko, Moussa, Ph.D., University of Kansas, 2001, 262 pages; AAT 3013509
Abstract (Summary) The purpose of this dissertation was to look at U.S. Peace Corps in the context of U.S. relations with Africa. This has involved an examination of issues related to foundations, globalization, and the origins and creation of the Peace Corps as an agency. Particularly, it has involved a study of the Peace Corps in Mali as an attempt to assess the impact of Peace Corps service on volunteers who served there since 1971 in terms of changes in their worldviews, career goals, education, and perceptions of Mali and Africa. Data for the study were drawn from Peace Corps and the State Department collections housed under RG 59 and 490 at the National Archives, as well as a survey questionnaire and in-depth interviews.
The findings of the survey suggest that the Peace Corps experience appears to have had an extremely positive impact on many volunteers who served in Mali. The impact is most felt in the area of personal growth, where 76 percent of respondents felt that Peace Corps service had been a source of personal enrichment for them. All respondents reported that they had a more realistic view of Mali and Africa. More than 80 percent of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) felt that their experience had enhanced their sensitivity to cultural differences, broadened their outlook, and increased their understanding of minorities. These findings are consistent with previous national surveys of RPCVs.
The impact of international experience on teaching with a global perspective: Reflections of returned Peace Corps volunteer teachers
by Myers, Barbara Hubbard, Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 2001, 236 pages; AAT 3022545
Abstract (Summary) Demographic, economic, political, and environmental world trends have combined to create a qualitatively different class of unavoidable world-level problems that were virtually unknown to traditional diplomacy, that are beyond the reach of national governments, that cannot fit into the accepted theories of competitive interstate behavior, that are coming increasingly to dominate affairs that cannot be wished away, and are indifferent to military force.
Because global issues are increasingly difficult to assess and solve, it is important to develop a global consciousness by developing global perspectives, understanding global awareness, and integrating global education into all facets of teaching and learning. The purpose of this study was to examine the various perceived effects of cross-cultural experiences on the subsequent curricula and instruction of returned Peace Corps volunteer teachers. The objective was to provide insight into how teachers have incorporated international cross-cultural experiences into their teaching with a global perspective.
This study utilized qualitative inquiry. Data collection methods included an initial correspondence to collect logistical data, followed by recorded interviews, follow-up telephone conversations, and notes to guide the analysis. Evidence from the study revealed that motives for joining Peace Corps were guided by different influences--most strongly, that of personal achievement and self-gain. Overall, the major findings indicated how the respondents perceived a change in their instructional practice; however, the strongest impact of change occurred within themselves rather than in their curriculum and instruction.
Further investigation of global education and teaching with a global perspective, as well as recommendations for international experiences for perspective teachers is also discussed. Implications from the study include considerations for the integration of Peace Corps and Global Education with that of school curricula, to be utilized in teacher preparation.
Predictors of reverse culture shock in returned Peace Corps volunteers
by Bieber. Lawrence C., M.S., University of Wyoming, 1999, 64 pages; AAT EP17910
Abstract (Summary) Predictors of reverse culture shock were examined in 335 returned Peace Corps volunteers who served in third world countries for an average of two years from 1961 to 1993. While serving in the Peace Corps, volunteers live and work in the third world and are exposed to poverty. Reverse culture shock (RCS) is the returned volunteers' adjustment and reaction to the home culture. Participants completed a survey that measured acculturation and reverse culture shock. It was hypothesized that greater acculturation, younger age, longer Peace Corps service, and greater influence of poverty predicted greater RCS. Being in a romantic, living together relationship was hypothesized to reduce RCS. Simple regression indicated that acculturation did not predict the RCS. RCS was best predicted by a combination of acculturation variables, demographic characteristics, and sojourn variables using separate stepwise regressions for men and women. Results revealed weak support that younger age and longer Peace Corps service increased RCS. Increased reaction to poverty predicted greater RCS for men and women probably because volunteers' values concerning affluence and materialism are at odds with American norms and values. Being in a romantic, living together relationship reduced RCS for women. For men, greater contact with other returned Peace Corps volunteers reduced RCS. An unexpected finding was that difficulty with culture shock was the strongest predictor of RCS. The most likely explanation for this finding is that younger volunteers have greater difficulty with cross-cultural transitions. Identity with the host country culture also predicted RCS.
Perceptions of female Returned Peace Corps Volunteers regarding the participation and empowerment process for rural African women: A model
by Ali, Hassan, Ph.D., Iowa State University, 1998, 226 pages; AAT 9826508
Abstract (Summary) The purpose of this study was to interview female Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) who, within the last five years, had set up, implemented, and managed an agriculturally-based, participatory and empowerment program for rural and village women, during their overseas assignment in Africa. An interview schedule of open-ended questions was used to document descriptive data regarding participation and empowerment.
Participation occurs when facilitators or international development personnel establish self-help programs that permit women to organize, design, implement and manage their own development programs; therefore, members of the target population can have direct involvement in the process of improving their lives. Empowerment is defined as increasing the control of individual(s) over decisions, resources and institutions that may affect them.
The purpose of this study was to determine how to improve the delivery methodologies in international extension programming for women at the village level. By interviewing selected RPCVs in this study, a comprehensive list of strategies, suggestions and helpful hints was compiled to facilitate and improve the implementation of programs that help women become directly involved in the process of solving their own problems. The objectives for this study were twofold: (a) to identify methods to enhance the effectiveness of participatory and empowerment activities for rural women, and (b) to identify strategies that may be used to attract rural/village women to participate in these self-help development programs.
Five general conclusions were reached: (a) to achieve a successful participatory and empowerment program, a credibility stage must be completed; (b) the village women must come together as a group and work as a team to complete program activities; (c) the female clients need to expend "sweat equity" to reap program benefits; (d) participation and especially empowerment needs to adhere to village norms (i.e., they must conform to local village protocols); and (e) only "badly needed programs" (as identified by the female clients) should be initiated, and whenever possible these programs should be fun and enjoyable for the participants. Finally, a model for implementation was developed to implement a participatory and empowerment regime that emerged based on the findings of the study.
Self-efficacy and cultural awareness: A study of returned Peace Corps teachers
by Cross, Mary Catherine, Ph.D., The Catholic University of America, 1998, 343 pages; AAT 9829288
Abstract (Summary) Statement of problem. Peace Corps volunteers who return to the U.S. to teach are often viewed as having special qualities that enhance their teaching. Returned Peace Corps teachers are consistently characterized in positive terms because of their spirit, their can-do attitude, and their ability to triumph in the face of difficult school situations. This ability to thrive is very much like what Bandura termed self-efficacy: the belief that one is capable of carrying out the actions needed to manage situations, even in the face of difficulties. Teachers with high self-efficacy believe they affect student learning positively. Returned Peace Corps teachers are also credited with having cultural awareness which helps them succeed in teaching students from diverse backgrounds. The purpose of this study was to explore how returned Peace Corps teachers viewed the Peace Corps experience and its impact on their self-efficacy and cultural awareness.
Method. The study consisted of a questionnaire, interviews and observations. Participants for this study were 154 teachers representative of approximately 30,000 returned Peace Corps volunteer teachers, by country and decade of service. A random cluster sample of teachers who were members of two regional returned volunteer associations completed the questionnaire. The questionnaire contained demographic questions, the Sherer et al. (1982) General Self-Efficacy scale and the Gibson and Dembo Teacher Efficacy Scale (1984). Interviews were done with a smaller subset of 15 teachers. Cultural awareness, self-efficacy, teacher efficacy and the importance of the Peace Corps experience were explored in the interviews. Six teachers in this smaller sample were also be observed in their classrooms. The observations focused on practices that are associated with high self-efficacy teachers and effective multicultural teachers.
Results. Questionnaires were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Interviews and observations were taped, transcribed, and analyzed. Data from questionnaires and interviews indicated that these teachers had high self-efficacy. A developed sense of cultural awareness was indicated in the interviews, but was not always observed in classroom visits. The data from the questionnaire and the interviews indicated mixed results in the area of teacher efficacy. The Peace Corps experience was ranked highly by teachers in its effect on their self-efficacy and cultural awareness, and less highly in its effect on their teaching.
Conclusions. Results indicated that the Peace Corps functioned as a mastery experience. The volunteers described the experience as difficult for a variety of reasons, but credited the Peace Corps with developing their enhanced sense of self-efficacy. Feelings of self-confidence, willingness to take on challenges, and the ability to thrive in difficult situations were attributed to their experience in the Peace Corps. Most volunteers reported increased cultural awareness as a result of the Peace Corps experience, especially a modified view of the world. The results indicated that most volunteers had a strong belief in their ability to teach. However, they also believed that a student's learning was affected not only by their teaching, but also by factors outside their control. The teachers ranked the Peace Corps experience as very important in affecting their personality and as somewhat important in affecting their teaching.
Returned Peace Corps volunteers who teach: A profile of teachers who serve their country and their students
by Hammerschlag, Judith Ruth, Ph.D., The Claremont Graduate University, 1996, 142 pages; AAT 9703839
Abstract (Summary) This study investigates ways that learning and behavior, especially teaching behavior, are based upon upbringing, education, and lived experiences. Returned Peace Corps volunteers (RPCVs) were chosen as the study's subjects because they share in common the experiences of volunteering and teaching.
Certain characteristics were common to volunteers and effective teachers, including: commitment; self-reflection; respect for cultural differences; an ethic of care; autonomy; resourcefulness; adaptability; and, concern for a larger world community. Certain features were found in common between Peace Corps service and teaching, including: job success cannot be measured in terms of monetary rewards; working cooperatively with cohorts improves the job conditions; the ability to remain flexible and deal with the unexpected will likely assure job satisfaction; successful candidates are not afraid of working with populations whose culture, religion, and economic position are different than their own.
A mail survey collected information from 100 RPCVs. Case studies were conducted in 40-minute telephone interviews with 5 representatives of the mail survey group and provided opportunities to go beyond the quantified results and focus upon what was seen as the meaning of experiences.
Eighty-two percent of the RPCVs who teach surveyed in this study did not do their undergraduate studies in the field of education. Fifty-one percent of the respondents were male which is higher than the national average of men in teaching. The respondents indicated that there were aspects of their Peace Corps training and experiences which they utilize in their teaching that they never learned in teacher training programs in the United States.
A phenomenological approach to the research permitted a systematic study of interrelationships among life experiences. RPCVs who teach are individuals whose actions are synchronized with their belief systems and who view their positions as Peace Corps volunteers and teachers as service to others.
Development and use of an instrument for assessing the social environment of Peace Corps training programs
by Styes, David James, Ed.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst, 1995, 174 pages; AAT 9606569
Abstract (Summary) Over the last 25 years, researchers have made a strong case for a better understanding of the role of the social environment in formal classroom educational settings. Much of the research in this area has centered around the relationships between students' perceptions of their classroom social environment and various educational outcomes, such as achievement. Numerous instruments have been developed and used for assessing the social environment in various formal classroom settings. Unfortunately, parallel research has not occurred in adult training settings despite the assumption by many, if not most, trainers that the social climate in a training program impacts the outcome of the program.
The purpose of this study was to develop and use a social environment assessment instrument in an adult training setting in order to demonstrate the viability of such an instrument development procedure for adult training programs. In addition, this study sought to demonstrate the utility of information collected by the assessment instrument developed. The US Peace Corps' preservice training program was selected as a setting for the development of the procedure and to demonstrate uses of the information collected.
A social environment assessment instrument for the Peace Corps' preservice training programs was developed and the development process documented. It was apparent that the same instrument development procedure could be used in other adult training settings. The information generated from uses of the assessment instrument developed, both draft and final versions, proved to be useful to both training program managers and to trainers in their work. These uses were also documented.
This study also found that the theoretical framework upon which formal classroom social environment assessment research is based is applicable to an adult training setting, as are the commonly used instrument development procedures for assessing classroom environments.
One particularly interesting conclusion of this study was that assessment instruments must be kept simple in adult training settings. Trainers and training managers are reluctant to use a longer version of the instrument developed even though it was shorter than some widely-used similar instruments designed for formal classroom settings.
Peace Corps fellows enter the urban classroom: Learning to teach by the authority of experience
by Bombaugh, Ruth, Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1995, 282 pages; AAT 9542797
Abstract (Summary) This self-study by a beginning teacher educator focuses on the clinical supervision of three secondary science teachers in urban classrooms. The study is premised on the belief that reflective practitioners are researchers in the practice context and that teacher educators, no less than teachers themselves, need to engage in systematic, intentional self-reflection in order to improve their own practice.
Both the author-supervisor and the teachers are part of an alternative certification and masters degree program custom-designed for returned Peace Corps Volunteers called The Peace Corps Fellows/USA Program. The dual worlds of the public-innercity-science classrooms and the large-midwestern-university-education classrooms constitute the context of the study and interface with three significant areas of educational research: science education, teacher development and urban education.
The study is informed by multiple sources of data collected over an eighteen month period: 20 interviews, 5 focus-group sessions, over 60 classroom observations, portfolios, and journal entries. The results are reported in a series of critical vignettes, or short stories. This experimental format is in keeping with a phenomenological stance of describing events with attention to the details as a way of conveying a situation as accurately as possible. Such attention to the details is deemed absolutely essential for capturing the nuances of the atmosphere, the feeling of the reality of the present and the mood, i.e. Heidigger's Befindlichkeit.
Findings of the study challenge the implicit assumption that overseas teaching experiences in the Peace Corps enhance return volunteer's first semester transition in U.S. urban teaching, document constraints imposed by the large bureaucratic high school against efforts of the teachers to establish science learning communities in their classrooms, and describe the conceptual change which took place in the three teachers' understandings of the nature of science and student-centered teaching. From these findings, the author makes the practical proposal that peer critiquing and collaboration such as focus groups may be an effective alternative or addition to one-on-one clinical supervision.
Acculturation in international development: The Peace Corps in Costa Rica. (Volumes I and II)
by Tsatsoulis-Bonnekessen, Barbara, Ph.D., University of Kansas, 1994, 475 pages; AAT 9504064
Abstract (Summary) In its thirty years of service, the Peace Corps has acquired a well-founded international reputation for successful grassroots development assistance through the unpretentious lifestyle of American individuals living and working in a single community. Clouding this success is the high rate of early terminations of trained volunteers, which not only causes financial loss to the organization, but also questions the ability of American volunteers to successfully transplant into another culture.
This study determines the loss of volunteers to be a symptom of unsuccessful bicultural acculturation. Detailed case histories show that all volunteers undergo a sequence of preparation, cross-cultural contact, conflict, adaptation, and separation, whereby the stages of contact-conflict-adaptation repeat with each contact. The choice of adaptation strategy of the successful volunteer varies with the area of conflict; conflict in the professional area induces adjustment, while conflict in the social area causes reaction or withdrawal. The unsuccessful volunteer is one who has been placed succeeding another, feels overwhelmed by the expectations of the community, and has low social language skills. This individual cannot adjust successfully in either area and sees withdrawal and separation as the only solution.
The results of this study suggest that more volunteers could be retained by raising their professional satisfaction, improving social language skills, and by placing volunteers into communities without a recent volunteer.
This study follows fifteen volunteers of the Peace Corps through their service experience in Costa Rica. They entered training in November 1990 and were scheduled to serve from February 1991 to January 1993. The group consisted of six women and nine men, ranging in age from 23 to 69 years. The volunteers were interviewed and tested before and during training, during the first six months of service, after one year, and shortly before they left Costa Rica.
Americans in the Third World: Peace Corps volunteers in the 1960s
by Fischer, Fritz, Ph.D., Northwestern University, 1994, 410 pages; AAT 9433834
Abstract (Summary) This dissertation examines Peace Corps volunteer attitudes during the 1960s and explores the relationship between these attitudes and official agency policy. Most historians, without examining the volunteers, have stuffed the Peace Corps into traditional Cold War explanations for post World War II foreign policy. Analyzing the volunteers points towards a broader understanding of America's relationship with the world as well as American society at home.
The first Peace Corps Director, Sargent Shriver, and the men he chose as his top deputies, rejected previous models of dealing with the developing world. They were not Cold Warriors, and tried to ignore the Cold War agenda. They insisted on breaking from past western colonialist models, and felt they could do so by creating an anti-bureaucratic bureaucracy. This agency would respect local values, while at the same time promoting universal humanistic ideals. They took Kennedy's New Frontier rhetoric seriously, launching a program which would help developing countries by sending them people who knew how to conquer frontiers--a new brand of American pioneer, the Peace Corps volunteer. They designed an exhaustive training regimen to mold young Americans into new pioneers and prepare them to encounter frontier conditions.
The volunteers found a reality differing from their expectations. Many lived in clean, comfortable, modern housing. Some had servants. Some rarely interacted with their hosts, and their work provided unexpected pitfalls. Many volunteers were women, yet the pioneer image was male. Peace Corps leaders had difficulty understanding why few minorities joined the Corps, but the mythic pioneer was white. Despite their best efforts, the leaders failed to prevent the growth of a bureaucratic wall between the agency and the volunteers in the field. Volunteers also found tremendous difficulties trying to live with the contradictions of accepting local culture while promoting universal humanistic values.
In the end, the volunteers developed their own philosophy about their projects, a philosophy of democratic, egalitarian independence that had little to do with either Kennedy's Cold War ideals or Shriver's ideas of the new pioneer.
Peru and the Peace Corps, 1962-1968
by Sheffield, Glenn Francis, Ph.D., The University of Connecticut, 1991, 428 pages; AAT 9221536
Abstract (Summary) Peru hosted one of the largest Peace Corps contingents in the world. In many respects, most notably in its rural and urban community development programs, Peace Corps/Peru served as a model for Peace Corps activities throughout Latin America. This thesis argues, contrary to prevailing interpretations, that Peace Corps programs were intimately linked with and broadly conditioned by United States foreign policy and development assistance objectives in Peru. They were also shaped by many aspects of Peruvian social and political reality for which the Peace Corps proved largely unprepared and often incapable of understanding. Consequently, despite published claims of success in promoting social change and development in Peru by the Peace Corps and by researchers affiliated with Cornell University's Peru Project experiment in applied anthropology, this thesis finds that most Peace Corps volunteers and Peace Corps programs failed to contribute to the organization's statutory goals of providing middle level manpower assistance to Peru, and increasing mutual understanding between the people of Peru and the U.S. The evidence suggests that these conclusions also hold for other Latin American countries.
Through its focus on the nexus between Peace Corps' ostensibly non-political development assistance programs, U.S. foreign policy, and Peruvian development strategies, this thesis contributes to the social and political history of the little understood first administration of Fernando Belaunde Terry (1963-1968), especially through its examination of Belaunde's agenda for social and economic development and his troubled relations with the U.S. It also advances a thoroughgoing re-interpretation of the political role of the Peace Corps. Additionally, it provides evidence for a revision of significant aspects of U.S. policy toward Peru, particularly in relation to the slowdown in U.S. assistance to that country in the Alliance for Progress years.
The study is based on extensive research in primary sources, including hundreds of recently declassified documents at the presidential libraries of Lyndon B. Johnson and John F. Kennedy. Other sources include a wealth of unpublished Peace Corps documents, published reports and documents in Peru, and many oral history interviews, including seventeen conducted by the author in Peru.
The impact of a transition workshop on reentry anxiety of Peace Corps Volunteers
by Hartzell, Nedra, Ph.D., University of Maryland College Park, 1991, 191 pages; AAT 9222692
Abstract (Summary) This study assessed anxiety about re-entry (returning to the U.S.) among Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) abroad who were preparing to return to the U.S. The re-entry transition for PCVs has four major components: losses associated with leaving the country of service abroad; employment change; cross-cultural readaptation; and changes in expectations.
The re-entry transition has been described as more disruptive than the initial cross-cultural transition abroad by Peace Corps and other populations. Anxiety has been identified as a variable in cultural transition states. Several authors have hypothesized that systematic preparation for an anticipated re-entry transition can result in smoother transitions.
In the present study, it was hypothesized that a transition intervention based upon a transition model conceptualized by Schlossberg would significantly reduce re-entry anxiety among PCVs in comparison to re-entry anxiety among PCVs completing the standard Peace Corps re-entry intervention. The standard Peace Corps re-entry intervention offered consideration of the re-entry transition alone. The experimental workshops addressed re-entry in a broader context, considering past transition behavior and future plans for the re-entry transition.
Participants completed the State Trait Anxiety Inventory before and after the interventions, and the Adult Career Concerns Inventory. One hundred twenty-three PCVs in six countries participated in the study.
Both experimental and comparison group participants reported less re-entry anxiety after their respective workshops. No significant differences were reported between re-entry anxiety scores of the experimental and comparison subjects, however.
Female subjects expressed more anxiety than male subjects at each level of measurement on the State Trait Anxiety Inventory. The differences were significant for posttest state anxiety, F(1, 114) = 4.107, p $<$.05.
Subjects in the study were most concerned with career exploration, the first of Super's career development stages (mean = 3.41, SD =.81). When compared to provisional national norms, subjects overall expressed less career concern.
A significant negative correlation (r = $-$.2544, p $<$.01) was reported between age and pretest state anxiety, suggesting that age and experience with transitions reduce anxiety about transitions. A significant positive correlation (r =.3405, p $<$.001) was reported between levels of posttest state anxiety and levels of difficulty in initial adjustment to the Peace Corps site.