Ciencias de la Conducta - Carlos Albizu University

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Ciencias de la Conducta - Carlos Albizu University
CIENCIAS DE LA
CONDUCTA
Revista de la Universidad Carlos Albizu
Vol. 16 Mtn. I
UNIVERSIDAD CARLOS ALBIZU
Apartado 9023711, Old Station
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00902-3711
2001
CIENCIAS DE LA
CONDUCTA
Revista de la Universidad Carlos Albizu
Vol. 16 Mint 1
2001
Imprufa
Immudoses PdanduestIvas
P.O. Box 190910
Sea Jun, P.R. 009194910
Mk (757) 765-5220
Fu: (757) 765-5395
Tabla de Contenido
Mensaje del Presidente
Salvador Santiago Negro:5n
The Use of Humor in Counseling:
A Contemporary View of a Long
Debated Issue
Leslie E. Maldonado-Feliciano
1
Cognitive and Behavioral Pmfile of
Puerto Rican Aggressive and Impulsive
Children
José J. Cabiya, Darice Orobitg,
Lymaries Padilla, Sean Sayers,
Nashara Bay& & Maribelle De la Torre
49
Analisis Bibliométrico de las Revistas
Psicologicas en Puerto Rico
Alfonso Martinez-Taboas, Brenda Castro,
Viviana Pagan & Hector Coca
63
La Edad y los Comportamientos Asociados a
la Gerencia de Calidad Total y Mejoramiento
Continuo: Un Estudio Comparativo
Miguel E. Martinez Lugo, Luz D. Hernandez,
Glenda L. Velez, y Zoe Figueroa
79
Suplemento de Arte y Cultura
Entre la Vo; y el Silencio
Maria Arrigaga
95
Organza Dreams of Cuban Fragments
Elsa B. Cardalda Sanchez
101
Maria Arrillaga: Concierto de Voces Insurgentes
de 3 Autoras Puertorriquenas
Margarita Ostolaza Bey
105
Mensaje del Presidente
Con este numero intentamos cubrir campos tan diversos
como las areas del humor y la Psicologia, los niftos con
problemas especificos de aprendizaje y articulo del doctor
Martinez-Taboas y colaboradores, donde se analiza la
situación de los psic6logos/as puertoriqueflos/as y su
producci6n intelectual escrita. En este articulo los autores
sefialan muy certeramente que "el 95% de los psicologos
en Puerto Rico no se dedican, de manera consistente, a
la tarea de publicar sus ideas o investigaciones".
Nos preocupa sobremanera las implicaciones que tiene este
hollsiigo. Especificamente, nos concieme la manera en que Ios
profesores de psicologia tienden a compensar la falta de matehales producidos localmente con materiales de
importaciOn de los Estados Unidos. En ocasiones estas
importaciones se hacen sin tomar en cuenta el contexto
cultural o cuan apropiadas son para un ambito social distinto
al de los Estados Unidos.
Muchos de estos Psic6logos no se dan cuenta de que el
uso de esos materiales sin adaptarlos a nuestra cultura local,
sirven el proposito no anticipado de asimilar los estudiantes
a los modos de pensar norteamiericanos, como si ese fuera
el tinico universo intelectual de referencia. En un Pais
como el nuestro, donde los problemas asociados a la identidad
del Puertorriquefio son legendarios, se hace imperioso hacer
un llamado a los Psic6logos/as para que doblen sus esfuerzos
en pro de una mayor producciim intelectual. Veamoslo como
un deber civico y patri6tico. Nuestro pueblo se lo merece.
Salvador Santiago Negn5n, MPH, PhD.
Presidente
Universidad Carlos Albizu
aortic:I de la Condueta
0 2001 Universidad Carlos Albizn
2001, Vol 16, 1-48
San Juan, Puerto Rico
The Use of Humor in Colmseling:
A Contemporary View of a Long Debated Issue
Leslie E. Maldonado-Feliciano, M.A.
University of Maryland
Abstract
The growing interest on the phenomenon of humor and laughter
seems to be promoted by the long time genetalized popular beliefthat
humor and laughter (positive emorions) can heal both mind and body.
In order to promote finther exploration of the role and uses of humor
in the counseling process, this paper reviews recent literatMe and
research on therapeutic humor. It examines the mtgor theoretical
perspectives on humor, summarizes the findings of behavioral
and psychosomatic studies on the effects of humor and laughter
on the physiology of the body, and analyzes individual differences
in the experience of humor. It also, describes therapies that
implicitly and explicitly incorporate the use of humor in counseling
presents supporting and dissenting opinions on the use of humor,
and reviews research on humor and psychotherapy.
For many decades the multifaceted phenomenon of
humor and laughter have been of interest to behavioral
scientists and health service providers in psychology.
This growing interest seems to be promoted by the long
time generalized popular belief that humor and Jaughter
(positive emotions) can heal both mind and. body.
Expressions of this belief are to be found, for example, in
Para comunicarse con la autora, favor de esenbir al 4220-C Guilford Drive, College Park,
MD. 20740-3104.
2
Leslie E. Maldonado-Feliciano
Biblical passages, literary and artistic works, personal
accounts (e.g., Cousins, 1979), movies based on real life
stories ,(e.g., Patch Adams; Kemp, Farrell, Minoff, Newirth,
& Shaidyitc, 1998), and many other forms of popular wisdom.
The large number of articles, reviews, and books published
within the last fifty years attests to the effort being made in
several fields to increase and improve our understanding of
what has been called the power of humor and how it influences
mind-body interactions in connection with health and disease.
The studies of Adelson (1947), Cattell and
LuborSky.(1946), Horowitz and Horowitz (1949), and
Raley (1964) are perhaps some of the earliest contributions
made by psychologists to the study of humor. Current
psychological studies attempt to explain and describe the
relationship between humor and personality, development,
communication, social interaction, emotions, learning, and
physiological and neurologically based processes among
other aspects of human behavior (e.g., Chapman & Foot,
1996; 'McGhee & Goldstein, 1983). The proliferation of
hunior training workshops (412Maine, 1994; Salameli,
1986; Yonkovitz, 1997), humor therapies (Fry & Salameh,
1987, 1993), courses on the psychology of humor (Endlich,
1993), assessment software (e.g., Subjective Interactive
Multidimensional Evaluation), journals (e.g., Humor and
Health Journal), websites, and multidisciplinary professional
organizations (e.g., American Assn. for Therapeutic Humor,
International Society for Humor Studies, The Humor
ProjecOindicate the widespread acceptance of humor as a
psychotherapeutic tool by counselors and psychotherapists
from different theoretical approaches.
The previous observation is supported by the
findings of surveys in which cognitive-behavioral therapists
(Epstein, 1996), psychotherapists (Lynch, 1987), psycholo-
The Use of Humor in Counseling
3
gists in Puerto Rico (Pappaterra, 1996), Adlerian therapists
(Salisbury, 1989), and Reality therapists (Thomson, 1985)
reported regarding humor as important to psychotherapy
and endorsed its therapeutic applicability as long as it is
appropriate and for the benefit of the client. Recently,
several articles published in the American Psychological
Association magazine AAPA Monitor (Clay, 1997a, 1997b,
1997c, 1997d; McGuire, 1999) have reacquainted psychologists with the potential benefits of humor and laughter for
psychological and physical health and with the ongoing
debate regarding its influence and effectiveness , in psychotherapy (e.g., Hashem, 1999; Kazdin, 1999; Passarelli,
1999).
Banmen (1982), Cassell (1974), Foster (1978), and
Johnston (1990) recognized the importance of humor for
counselors and also pointed out that relatively few articles
have appeared in counseling journals, few training programs
ever mention its use as a viable counseling technique, and
discussion focusing on humor and laughter is not usually
found in psychology textbooks. A recent perusal -of the
literature supports their observations and suggests that
few counseling psychologists have expressed their opinions
regarding this matter. For example, Allen (1980) visualized
humor as an important and necessary element in the
psychotherapeutic work of counseling psychologists in the
21st century, while others have addressed its use in career
or social-emotional counseling (Donald & Carlisle, 1983;
Falk & Hill, 1992; Hill & O'Brien, 1999; Nevo, 1986).
Therefore, it seems prudent to say that the position of
counseling psychologists in this debate, though slightly
inclined in its favor, remains unclear.
No concrete answer has been provided in the 14erature
to explain this situation. However, Bloomfield (1980) and
4
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Leslie E. Maldonado-Feliciano
Foster (1978) have speculated that the scarcity of work on
humor in counseling could be related to the following
reasons: (a)the counselor's sense of professionalism may
cause him or her to' overlook the potential of humor in
counseling, (b)ithe-- idea that counseling is a very serious
matterand that it has to be painful to be effective seems to
make humor unacceptable, (c) the idea that the use of
humor, in counseling may discredit it, (d) the idea that
coUnselors should refrain from behaving in a way that
could be interpreted as disrespectful or self-serving, and (e)
the -counselor's difficulty in recalling what it was that had
evoked laughter during the session (e.g., the moment, the
context, a verbal expression, a gesture, a facial expression,
the tone of voice, body posture, or the combination of all of
these).
•
Hence, in order to promote fiirther exploration of
the role and uses of humor in the counseling process, this
paper reviews recent literature and research on therapeutic
humor. It examines the major theoretical perspectives on
humor; summarizes the findings of behavioral and psychosomatic studies on the effects of humor and laughter on the
physiology of the body; analyzes individual differences in the
experience of humor; briefly describes therapies that
implicitly and explicitly incoiporate the use of humor in
counseling, presents supporting and dissenting opinions on
the use of humor, and review research on humor and
psychotherapy.
Theories of Humor
In this section the major theoretical perspectives on
humor are examined. According to Haig (1988) more than
one hundred theories of humor have been authored by a
The Use of Humor in Counseling
5
wide variety of philosophers, natural and social scientists,
artists, novelists, and humorist& Heaffirms that no theory
satisfactorily explains or predicts all aspects of humor, and,
therefore, he suggests - that severaLtheories should be
considered for a complete understanding oftheph000rilerm
Several authors have summarized the majority of these
theories and group them into different categories. For
example, Keith-Spiegel (1972) proposed eight broad
categories, Haig (1988) divided the theories into five
main groups, whereaslefcourt and Martin (1986) grouped
theories into three types.
According to Morreaull (1983) superiority, relief,
and incongruity, are the three major theoretical approaches.
Each approach focuses:on different psychological processes.
The superiority model involves interpersonal perception, the
relief theory examines intrapsychic conflicts and the
incongruity model deals with cognitive processing.
However, the various theories of humor differ in the degree
to which they focus on the cognitive-emotional processes,
the ways they attempt to account for their relationship to
laughter, and in the variety of functions that humor and
laughter appear to serve (Lefcourt & Martin, 1986).
The superiority or disparagement theory suggests
that laughter is an expression of perceived superiority over
others (Haig, 1988; Keith-Spiegel, 1972). The superiority
theory dates back to Plato and Aristotle who maint*ed that
humor and laughter were manifestations of humans' most
undesirable qualities. Keith-Spiegel (1972) and
Lefcourt and Martin (1986) indicate that theories which
stress elation in triumph or victory, pleasure in outstripping
one's competitors, joy of getting another at a disadvantage,
delight in the sufferings and misfortunes of others,
amusement at the stupid actions of others, enhancemeat of
6
Leslie E. Maldonado-Feliciano
reference group members and disparagement of outsiders
and humiliation of unsocial persons all incorporate the
element of superiority or related concepts as central to the
nature of humor. These authors also observe that sympathy,
empathy, congeniality, geniality, and positive feelings of
well-being and efficacy can also be associated with the
laughter of superiority to the extent it reflects a mirthful
response to a situation or external threat In those situations
the superiority laughter represents a sense of achievement
and mastery over the environment after facing a stressproducing situation (Levine, 1977).
The relief approach suggests that the function of
laughter is to release excessive tension or afford relief from
strain or constraint (Haig, 1988; Keith-Spiegel, 1972). The
English philosopher Herbert Spencer was the author of the
first excess-energy theory of humor which states that the
surplus of Anervous energy overflows the organs of speech
and muscles of respiration producing laughter. Some of
the theories subscribing to the theme of the relief approach
are Freud's theory of humor, Berlyne's arousal-jag theory, and
Apter and Smith's reversal theory (Haig, 1988; Lefcourt &
Martin, 1986).
Freud, like Spencer, believed that the function of
laughter was to burn off excess energy and distinguished
among the different types of psychic energy that may be
turned into laughter according to different mirthful
experiences (Haig, 1988; Keith-Spiegel, 1972; Lefcourt &
Martin, 1986; Palmer, 1994). According to Freud, the
ludicrous or mirthful experiences always represent a saving
of psychic energy. In his view the excess of psychic energy
becomes unnecessary and may be discharged in the form of
laughter. To Freud a sense of humor is the best and most
beneficial defense mechanism but also a rare and precious
The Use of Humor in Counseling
gift suggesting that not everyone is capable of taking a
humorous attitude in the face of hardships and awdeties
(Haig, 1988; Lefcourt & Martin, 1986).
Berlyne rejected Spencer's excess-energy theory
because scientific findings on the functioning of the nervous
system did not support Spencer's perspective. Berlyne's
theory is based on the concept of an inverted-U relationship
between physiological arousal and subjective pleasure
(Haig, 1988; Lefcourt & Martin, 1986). Laughter is viewed
as a reflection of a reduction of arousal. Berlyne's theory
postulates that during the telling of a joke its collative
properties (e.g., novelty, complexity, incongruity, and
redundancy) tend to progressively increase the arousal to
an optimal level. When the level of arousal increases over
the optimal level the discomfort experienced is reversed by
the punch line, which produces a sudden resolution of the
arousing properties of the joke, reducing the arousal level to
a pleasurable level in the form of laughter.
The reversal theory of Apter and Smith (cited in
Lefcourt & Martin, 1986) rejected the notion of the
inverted-U postulated by Berlyne and suggested that the
hedonic tone associated with different levels of arousal
depends upon the Ametamotivational state of the individual.
Apter and Smith described two states, the telic and the
paratelic. In the telic state the individual is goal-oriented
and serious minded, whereas in the paratelic state the
person is involved in ongoing activity and is more playful.
Arousal is experienced as unpleasant in the telic state, but
pleasurable and exciting in the paratelic state. In this theory
humor involves an increase in arousal and reversal from a
telic to a paratelic state. In contrast to Freud's theory where
laughter functions to decrease arousal, in the reversal theory
the function of laughter is to increase physiological arousal
8
Leslie E. Maldonado-Feliciano
in the paratelic state which is experienced as pleasurable.
Stddies suggesting a positive correlation between arousal
increases and perceived funniness of humorous stimuli
provide some support to the reversal theory.
The incongruity model is the third major approach
Theories ascribed to this model emphasize the cognitiveperceptual processes involved in humor. In this approach
humor results from pairing normally disjointed, ill-suited,
disparate ideas, concepts, or situations in a surprising or
unexpected manner. Incongruity is a conflict between what
is expected and what actually occurs in the joke.
Incongruity theories of humor are strongly influenced by
the writings of Kant and Schopenhauer (cited in KeithSpiegel, 1972). These theories suggest that humor involves
sudden, surprising shifts in cognitive processing of
information (Keith-Spiegel, 1972; Lefcourt & Martin,
1986). The incongruity model was further elaborated by
the English writer Arthur Koestler.
Koestler (1964) maintains that creativity is differentially manifested in the arts, the sciences, and in humor. He
coined the term Abisociation to refer to the creative thinking
which joins two self-consistent but mutually incompatible
(incongruous) frames of reference, or the discovery of
various similarities and analogies implicit in concepts
normally considered distant from each other (Lefcourt &
Martin, 1986). Haig (1988) explains that in the creation of
a joke or the recreative act of perceiving a joke there is a
sudden mental leap from one associative context to another.
Laughter results from the release of the emotion associated
with that sudden creative leap. Several theorists have been
debating whether incongruity alone is a sufficient
condition for humor or whether the important component is
the leiolution of the incongruity. Those in favor of the
The Use of Humor in Counseling
9
incongruity-resolution model suggest that it is necessary to
distinguish humor from nonsense (Shultz, 1996).
As evidenced by this brief overview of the relief,
superiority, and incongruity approaches of humor, a wide
diversity of opinions have been expressed to describe and
explain humor, laughter, and the relationship between them.
An extensive review of these and other models is out of the
scope of this work and surely represents a complex and
challenging task to accomplish. However, the fact that
different theories emphasize different aspects of the
humor phenomenon suggests that a more comprehensive
understanding is possible by examining how they complement
each other.
Humor and Health
This section summarizes the fmdings of behavioral
and psychosomatic studies on- the effects- of humor and
laughter on the physiology of the body. Several studies
have investigated the potential physiological benefits of
humor and laughter postulated in the writings of many
philosophers, physicians, and psychologists (Goldstein,
1987). Humor physiology or gelotology is the field of
science that studies Athe events occurring in our bodies
in association with humorous experiences. Research in this
area investigates physiological activities and changes
involving the muscular, respiratory, cardiovascular,
endocrine, immune, and central nervous systems occurring
during mirthfiil experiences (Fry, 1992).
According to Fry the stimulus (humor), the emotional
response (mirth), and the resulting behaviors (e.g., grinning,
laughing, smiling, or giggling) are the main elements in the
humor process. Research has shown that the laughter
10
Leslie E. Maldonado-Feliciano
response involves innervation of fifteen facial muscles,
throat, jaw, diaphragm, chest, abdomen, neck, back, and the
limbs, causing spasmodic skeletal muscle contractions,
increases in breathing and cardiovascular activity, stimulation
of the sympathetic nervous system and the production of
catecholamines (e.g., dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine) which in turn stimulate the production of
endorphins (the body's natural pain-relieving neurotTansminers). As suggested by these findings, the effects of
laughter are similar to that of physical exercise (Fry, 1992;
Haig, 1988).
Studies on the effect of humor on physical health
suggest that incorporating humor as an ongoing coping
style into everyday life can enhance the immune system
(e.g., Dillon, Minchoff and Baker, 1985; McClelland, cited
in Saper, 1988). However, Saper (1988) notes that a number
of other non-humorous procedures (e.g., relaxation and
exercise) can also enhance immune function as well as or
better than laughter. In light of his review, Saper encouraged
the development of more research on the psycho-physiological
mechanisms by which positive emotions influence biochemistry
and physiology and on the role those mechanisms play in
healing psychological problems and/or physical illness.
According to Kolb and Whishaw (1996), studies by
Gardner and his associates found that although both left and
right hemisphere damage impaired the appreciation of
humor, patients with large lesions in the frontal area of the
right-hemisphere in particular show a reduced ability to
comprehend, appreciate, and produce humor and manifest a
very atypical sense of humor (e.g., inappropriate laughter).
As these fmdings imply, laughter can also indicate underlying pathology. Sudden outbursts of laughter precipitated
by a nonspecific event or stimulus with no apparent emotional
The Use of Huinor in Counseling
11
significance, which do not reflect an underlying sense of
joy, are beyond an individual's conscious control and are
socially inappropriate have been observed in patients with
organic brain disorders (Goldstein, 1987; Haig, 1988).
Findings regarding the role of humor as mediator of
stress seem mixed. For example, Safranek and Schill
(1982) reported that neither humor nor the appreciation of
humor affected the relationship between stressful life
events and depression or anxiety. On the other hand,
Lefcourt and Martin (1986) found that humor moderates
the effects of stress on psychological well-being. More
recently, Spruill (1992) reported a modest relationship
between sense of humor and psychological well-being but
no relationship between sense of humor and either perceiVed
stress or health. Other studies have found that humor can
help moderate pain (Adams & McGuire, 1986), depression
(Nezu, Nezu & Blissett, 1988), heterosexual anxiety(Nies,
1982), and threat-induced anxiety (Yovetich, Dale '&
Hudak, 1990). Humor has also been found imixkitant in
improving memory for shapes and for sentences
(McAninch, Austin & Derks, 1992-93; Schmidt, 1994),
mood and flexibility of thinking (creativity) (Isen,
Daubman & Nowicki, 1987; Ziv, 1976, 1980, 1988a,
I988b), and promoting general health (Carroll, 1990).
According to Goldstein (1987) and Rotton (1992),
individuals with a well-developed sense of humor do. not
live any longer than other people, but their sense of humor
surely enhances their quality of life So, although thiriiiical
evidence tends to support the argument that humor and
laughter can be directly or indirectly beneficial/effeCiive in
promoting health and preventing or even speed* recovery
from illness (Berk, 1989; Cousins, 1979, 1989; rry, 1992;
Goldstein, 1987), more research is needed before a conclusion
12
Leslie E. Maldonado-Feliciano
can be reached about the role of humor in health.
Individual Differences and Humor
This section examines gender, personality, and
cultural differences in the experience of humor and their
potential effects in the counseling process.
Gender
Gender differences are the most frequently studied
source of group differences in humor (e.g., Chapman &
Foot, 1996). The studies reviewed by Haig (1988) on gender
differences and humor in adults Suggest that (a) the overt
expression of humor in women may not be equally encouraged
in certain parts of society, (b) in general, because women have
been encouraged from childhood to be emotionally more
expressive than men, they tend to be more appreciative of
humor than men, (c) men tend to enjoy jokes with aggressive
or sexual components more than females do, though changes
in societal values, norms, expectations and gender roles are
influencing the dynamic aspects of humor in terms of the
occurrence and response to jokes in both sexes, and (d) men
tend to be strongly committed to the social context and
modify their laughter in accordance with their conceptions
of social roles and relations whereas women modify their
laughter in accordance with their emotional state. Palmer
(1994) Critically evaluated the literature on the relationship
between- gender and patterns of humor appreciation and
perforthance. Although he acknowledges that men and
women-- do "indeed have somewhat dissimilar senses of
humor, be- 'alsO "notes that studies suggesting differences
between men and women, particularly in their appreciation
of sexual and aggressive jokes, are ambiguous and probably
The Use of Humor in Counseling
13
unreliable. Palmer argues that the external validity of these
studies is severely limited because they are based on
responses ofAnglo-Saxon students participating in laboratory
experiments, which represents a restricteiradiiiral, age, and
class range of participants responding to atypical circumstances of humor.
Palmer states that context variables including setting,
type of companion, nature of occasions when humor is
possible or permissible, group world View, type/theme of
the joke, and identity of the joke teller, athong others, may
influence the results. An additional prObliin 'relates to the
use of isolated pieces of humor The Use'Of cartoons or
typed jokes precludes the possibility of examining whether
women's humor may be more oriented toward the humor
that emerges as part of conversations and other everyday
situations and less toward jokes and isolated pieces of
humor. According to Pahner 's analysis the txemendous
variety of relationships between humor and gender that are
to be found in every respect suggests that there is a multiple
functional (causal) relationship between gender and humor
in this society. These reviews convey the idea that there is
little consistency in existing research reporting significant
sex differences. Nonetheless there is some evidence that
males and females initiate and respond to humor in different
ways (McGhee & Goldstein, 1983).
Personality
Several personality theorists including Freud (cited
in Palmer, 1994; Haig, 1988), Adler (1927/1946), Allport
(1937, 1961), Maslow (1987), Kohut (cited in Rowe &
Isaac, 1991), and Rogers (1951, 1961) have acknowledged
humor as one of the attributes of the fully functioning
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Leslie E. Maldonado-Feliciano
individual and indispensable to psychological health. For
example, to Freud a sense of humor is the best and most
beneficial defense mechanism (Haig, 1988; Lefeourt &
Martin, 1986). Adler described the Asanguine type as the
mentally healthy individual. The sanguine type includes
those who evidence a certain joy and do not take them or
things too seriously, who attempt to see the positive side of
every event, and have a healthy perception of their life
style. In addition, Adler said Alaughter, with its liberating
.energy, its freedom-giving powers, goes hand in hand with
happiness, and represents, so to speak, the keystone of this
affect (p. 276).
Throughout his writings Kohut (cited in Rowe &
Isaac, 1991) suggested certain attributes and capacities that
characterize a well-functioning individual. In addition to
the capacity for empathic attunement, curiosity and wish to
understand the needs of others, ability to love, creativity,
and wisdom he considered humor another criterion of a
healthy self According to Rowe and Isaac (1991) Kohut
Acharacterizes humor as an ability to laugh goecl rnaturedly
at one's previously held self-importance or formerfanatically
held beliefs and values of a political, religious, or philosophical
nattire (p. 73).
All port articulated that a so many tangles in life are
ultimately hopeless that we have no appropriate sword
other than laughter. I venture to say that no person is in
good health unless he can laugh at himself quietly and
privately... (p. 134). He also stated that having a sense of
humor is remarkably related to insight and plays an important
role in achieving a) self-objectification b) the process of
attaining self-knowledge as a prerequisite to positive
personality change. And Maslove concluded from his
study of self-actualizing peoPle that one characteristic that
The Use of Humor in Counseling
15
distinguishes self-actualizers (e.g., individuals striving to
realize his or her inner potentialities to the optimal level) is
their distinct preference for philosophical, non-hostile
humor.
Different types of personality classifications have
been used with the purpose of correlating personality with
humor. Ziv (cited in Haig, 1988; Saper, 1987) generated a
range of personality traits defined by two axes: a social axis
of introversion-extroversion and an emotional axis of
instability-stability. He hypothesized that there are four
general personality types of humor. The four personality
types are emotional-extrovert, stable-extrovert, emotionalintrovert, and stable-introvert. Ziv considered that the
emotional-extrovert (i.e., a touchy restless, aggressive,
impulsive, angry, excitable, changeable, and active person)
would prefer jokes of aggressive, sexual or practical nature
and would laugh readily. The stable-extrovert (i.e., a
sociable, outgoing, responsive, easygoing, lively and
carefree person) would prefer interpersonal jokes. The
emotional-introvert (i.e., an anxious, rigid, unsociable,
moody, and pessimistic person) would derive less enjoyment from humor than other personality types. These individuals would enjoy black humor, satire, cartoons, written
humor, and would not laugh uproariously. The stable-introvert
(i.e., a passive, careful, inhibited, reflective, and controlled
person) would piefer intellecrnal humor, problem-solving
humor, and self-ridicule. Studies exploring the relationship
between humor and other personality classifications are
discussed later on.
Cultural Differences
A computer search of pertinent psychological
16
Leslie E. Maldonado-Feliciano
databases did not identify studies exploring the effects of
humor on the therapeutic relationship with ethnic/racially
diverse clients. The search did not include publications
from Spanish-speaking countries other than Puerto Rico. A
cursory review of the subject index of books addressing the
use of humor in psychotherapy (e.g., Fry & Salameli, 1987;
Kuhlman, 1984; Strean, 1994) also revealed no particular
attention to this topic. Consistent with this observation
Hashem (1999) noted that articles recently published in the
APA _Monitor on the use of humor in therapy failed to
address the socio-cultural nature of humor. Dimmer,
Carroll and Wyatt (1990) stated that research into crosscultural aspects of humor in therapy is clearly needed to
inform the clinical practice of multicultural psychologists.
113ecause of the lack of research on this area the roles, uses,
and , impact of humor and laughter in the development,
progress and outcome of cross-cultural counseling (i.e.,
when the therapist and the client are from different
racial/ethnic groups) are unknown.
At this moment, common sense, some sociological
literature (e.g., Fine, 1983), and informal observations
suggest that the nature and role of humor vary across
cultures. Hashem (1999) stated that the roots of humor
are culturally based and argued that what is humorous in
one culture might not be in another. He emphasized that
Adifferences in humor, both in their verbal and non-verbal
forms, exist among all subcultures . . . (p. 3) and reminded
therapists to be culturally sensitive and very careful regarding
the style, content, and timing of the laughter and humor they
introduce in counseling. Inappropriate humor can be
disrespectful, disruptive and even offensive.
The Use of Humor in Counseling
17
Humor in Counseling & Psychotherapy
Psychotherapists of different theoretical orientations
have elaborated on the therapeutic uses and misuses of
humor in counseling. This section briefly describes some
of the humor therapies that have been incorporated into
counseling practice, presents supporting, cautionary, and
dissenting opinions on the use of humor in counseling,
review studies on the role of humor in therapy, and identify
areas for further inquiry.
Kottler (1991, 1993) recognizes therapist's appreciation for and active use of humor and play as an important
element in effective psychotherapy. He believes that a
therapist's sense of humor Ais a reflection of the joy,
passion, creativity, and playfulness that are the hallmarks
of any interesting character (p. 83). A sense of hurry* is
what makes a therapist appear less threatening, mite
approachable and what allows him or her to deal With
intensely serious subjects on a daily basis and still keep a
sense of perspective. According to Kottler (1991) effective
therapists have the capacity to be tastefully and tactfully
humorous in ways to disarm client resistance and help
clients face painfully serious issues. It is another way to
introduce a renewed, optimistic, and hopeful perspective to
a client's. life. Corey (1986) and Ziv (1976) agree that when
appropriate laughter is triggered in clients it usually signals
therapeutic progress. And Grotjahn (1970) suggested that
humor can be an excellent medium to use in making
interpretations and a valuable teaching instrument of
unique efficacy.
Salameh (1990) asserts that humor can help the
clinician do his or her work more seriously and more
energetically. He suggests humor presents benefits at
18
Leslie E. Maldonado-Feliciano
different levels. At the personal level humor can be an
antidote to stress and burnout for the clinician. At the
interpersonal level, it is a powerful way of breaking defensive
barriers, a refreshing means of conveying information and a
self-help model for patients. Humor is best received by
most clients when the therapist has developed a good level
of trust and a constructive working alliance with the client.
Beck, Rush, Shaw and Emery (1979) favor the judicious
use of humor and hyperbole as tools in the therapeutic
interview and counseling process. They observe that
humor is particularly useful if it is spontaneous, if it allows
the client to observe his notions or ideas objectively, and if
the humor is presented in such a way that the client does not
think he or she is being belittled or ridiculed. They explain
that when a depressed client is able to appreciate the humor
in a situation it is usually a sign that he or she is developing
or applying an important coping skill. Humor, although
temporarily, often increases the client's sense of control,
which in turn increases his or her sense of security and
well-being.
Kohut (1971) lists the capacity for humor as one of the
signs of the accomplishment of an effective psychoanalytic
result Freud (cited in Palmer, 1994) indicated that humor
is an efficient and safe pathway for both discharging and
mastery of instinctual arousal. According to Ruvelson
(1988), Winnicott cited the sharing of a joke as a mutual
creative act emerging from the overlap of potential spaces
where meaningful communication occurs. The therapist's
personal presence and willingness to engage with the
patient in playful merger arouses in both participants
heightened capacities for self-discovery and integration of
_ii,eviously segregated aspects Of experience. Rosenheim
(1974) defmed constructive humor as a message conveyed
The Use of Humor in Counseling
19
empathically by the therapist in a humorous style which
intends to call attention to habitual intrapsychic processes
within patients or to highlight some aspect of their momentary
interpersonal engagement He discusses humor as abreaction
, of instinctual impulses, suggests that jokes made by the
client in therapy can be used in the exploratory process very
much like dreams or slips of the tongue, and affirms that the
value and potency of humor are derived mainly from its
intrinsic attributes of intimacy, directness, and humaneness.
Other psychodynamic or psychoanalytic therapists supporting
the use of humor are Bloomfield (1980), Ehrenberg (1991),
Kennedy (1991), Korb (1988), Reynes and Allen (1987),
Sands (1984), and Satow (1991).
Htunor has been considered a valuable assessment and
diagnostic tool (Adler, 1927/1946; Banmen, 1982;
Bloomfield, 1980; Grossman, 1977; Grotjahn, 1970;
Johnston, 1990; O'Connell, 1996; Richman, 1996;
Rutherford, 1994; Salameh, 1990; Schnarch, 1990).
Zwerling (1955) pointed out that a patient's favorite joke
can be assumed to be related to some central instinctual
conflict, which can be used in diagnosis and in therapy. He
stated that a favorite joke, like projective tests, early memories,
and dreams, may be, in a concise pointed way, useful for a
tentative approach to a troubled area. Reynes and Allen
(1987) assert that the patient's capacity to engage in a
humorous exchange and to produce a joke is one of the
most valuable indicators of a patient's emotional state,
degree of ego-integrity and prospective state of well-being.
McNaly (1979) suggests that through humor we get
important clues about clients anxieties, concerns, and
self-esteem. Humor serves for identification of conflict
areas and coping styles (Casse11,1974), and assessment of
the patient's capacity for spontaneity and his or her pre-
20
Leslie E. Maldonado-Feliciano
paredness for active self-exploration (Rosenheim, 1974).
Many functions have been attributed to humor as a
main contributor to therapeutic change. Clinicians have
considered humor as a useful way to facilitate the recognition
end expressions of feelings and emotions (Haig, 1988;
Pierce, 1985; Richman, 1996), to promote an attitude of
Mastery (Ehrenberg, 1991; Ellis, 1977; Haig, 1988; Pierce,
1985; Richman, 1996; Roseit1teim, 1974; Sands, 1984;
Satow, 1991), tO imprOvó Clients insight and inVolVement
With their feelings (BanMen, 1982; Bergman, 1985;
Ehrenberg, 1991; Johnston, 190; Mindess, 1961; Pierce,
1985; Richman, 1996; Rosettheim, 1974; Schimel,'cited in
Ruvelson, 1988), to improve the relationship 'between
therapist and client bY emphasizing their common hmnanity
(Berginan; 1985; Dimmer, Carroll & Wyatt, 1990;
Ehrenberg; 1991; Haig, 1988; Johnston, 1990; Killinger,
1917; Kuhrman, 1984; Mosak, 1987; Pierce, 1985; Reynes
& Allen; 1987,. Riehman, 1996; Rosenheim, 1974;
Sehnarcll, 1990), and to broaden perspective and discover
new options (ger:grill/1, 1985; Dimmer, Carroll & Wyatt,
1990; Ehrenberg, 1901; Ellis, 1977; Haig, 1988; Reynes &
Allen, "1987; Richman, 1996; Rosenheim & Golan, 1986;
Sands, 1984).
Humor haialso been acknowledged as a resource to
rednee tenSion or anxiety (Bergnian, 1985; Dimmer, Carroll
& Wiratt, 1990; Greenwald, 1977; Haig, 1986, 1988;
Kottler, 1993; Levine, 1976; Mindess, 1961, 1996; Reynes
& Allen, 1987; Richman, 1996; Rosenheim & Golan, 1986;
Satow, 1991; Schimel, cited in Ruvelson, 1988; Schnarch,
1990; Ventis, 1973), to help clients see the humorous side
of their self-defeating thoughts and behaviors (Beck Rush,
Shaw & EmerY, 1979; Bergman, 1985; Ellis, 1977;
Mindesi, 1961; Richman, 1996), to promote openness and
The Use of Humor in Counseling
21
communication (Ehrenberg, 1991; Ellis, 1977; Haig, 1988;
Johnston, 1990; Killinger, 1977; Mindess, 1961;,Reynes &
Allen, 1987; Rosenheim, 1974; Sands, 1984; Satow, 1991;
Schimel, cited in Ruvelson, 1988), and to facilitate expression
of normally taboo subjects (Banmen,1982; Bagman, 1985;
Kottler, 1993; Richman, 1996).
Within the context of group counseling, Bloch
(1987), George and Dustin (1988), Grotjahn (1971), and
Sonstegard (1998) consider sense of intmor to be an
important characteristic of effective group counselors and
an essential part of healthy group life- Therapeutically,
humor can help to regulate the emotional atmosphere ofthe
group and facilitate open and creative communication. It
can help group members to gain insight and perspective
on their problems, release tension, improve intragroup
relationships, express joy and satisfactions, , improye
social skills, develop confidence in the helpingprocess,and
develop a positive outlook on life (Bloch, 19$7;„Elock
Browning & McGrath, 1983; George & Dustin, 1988;
Kennedy, 1991; Satow, 1991; Sonstegard, 1998; Tuttman,
1991). In addition to individual and group counseling,
humor has been incorporated into child and adolescent
psychotherapy (e.g., Bernet, 1993; Fisher & Fisher, 1987;
Prerost, 1984, 1985; Ventis & Ventis, 1988), family and
couples counseling (e.g., Madanes, 1987; McBrien, 1993),
and substance and alcohol abuse counseling (e.g., Ellis,
McInerney, DiGiuseppe & Yeager, 1989; Scott, 1989; von
Wormer, 1986).
Current therapies incorporating humor into the
counseling process include Rational Emotive Therapy
(Dryden & Ellis, 1988; Ellis, 1987, 1977), Provocative
Therapy ( Farrelly &Lynch, 1987; Farrelly & Matthews,
1981), and Natural High Therapy (O'Connell, 1981/411987).
22
Leslie E. Maldonado-Feliciano
Other counseling modalities which recopize humor as a
therapeutic intervention include Integrative Short-Term
Psychotherapy (Salameh, 1987), Pragmatic Psychotherapy
(Driscoll, 1987), Direct Decision Therapy (Greenwald,
1987), Reality Therapy (Glasser & Wubbolding, 1995), and
Behavior Therapy (e.g., Smith, 1973; Ventis, 1973, 1987).
Franld's (1960) Paradoxical Intention and Prerost (1985)
Humorous Imagery Situation Technique are described as
humorous techniques in the literature.
The Rational Emotive Therapy postulates that
people's emotional disturbance largely consists of taking
life too seriously, of exaggerating the significance of
things, and almost completely losing one's sense of humor
about how to get along in life (Dryden & Ellis, 1988; Ellis,
1987, 1977). According to Dryden and Ellis (1988) RET
therapists often prefer an informal style of interacting with
their clients and tend to employ a good deal of humor when
appropriate. RET therapists direct their own humor at
aspects of the client's dysfunction and not at the client as a
person. They encourage their clients to laugh at their dysfunctional thinking and behavior but not at themselves.
Also, RET therapists often direct their humor against
some of their own irrationalities and by doing so show
that they do not take themselves too seriously. Ellis
(1977) postulates that humor works at cognitive, emotional,
and behavioral levels by presenting new ideas and insight
bringing enjoyment, mirth, and a new outlook to life; and
encouraging different actions.
Provocative Therapy favors a full-fiedged and
intensely interactive relationship with the client emphasizing
here and now experiences. It uses humor of different kinds
to provoke the client to laugh at him or herself or at his or
her maladaptive habits. Provocative therapists assume that
The Use of Humor in Counseling
23
clients are not as psychologically fragile as is usually
considered, that they are free to change if they wish,
regardless of severity or duration of the disorder, and that
both clients and therapists often underrate the possible
positive growth that can be achieved. Farrelly and
Mathews (1981) explain that the provocative therapist does
not ridicule clients as human beings but rather ridicules
their maladaptive behaviors in an effort to help them alter
their behaviors.
Humor plays a central role in O'Connell's (1981,
1987) Natural High Therapy, also known as humorous
self-therapy. According to O'Connell a sense of humor is
regarded as Athe royal road to self-actualization and as the
end result of actualization He postulated three equally
important and progressively related levels of self-actualization.
The first level refers to the struggle to move from the external
ego attachments of roles, goals, and controls toward a
healthy sense of self-esteem. The second level refers to the
development of positive social interest The third level
refers to the maturation of transpersonal dimensions and
the experience of spiritual communion. This approach
uses psychodramatic and empty-chair techniques, role
playing, guided imagery, exercises to develop encouragement of self and others, and meditation techniques using
breath focusing and contemplation. Humor may be incorporated into any of these procedures. O'Connell developed
the group technique called Ahumordrama.
Cautionary and Dissenting VieWs
Most authors, aside from endorsing the use of humor in
counseling, have expressed xecautionary concerns regarding
its possible misuse and destructive consequences while others
24
Leslie E. Maldonado-Feliciano
,compktely oppose its use. Beck, Rush, Shaw, and Emery
(1979) note that the use of humor is not the ideal solution
to a client's problem. Some therapists do not have a
..spontaneous sense of humor nor are they prepared to use
%humor in,zounseling. These authors advise therapists to
immediately correct any misinterpretation derived from the
humorous intervention, to direct humorous interventions to
the client's, thoughts or ideas, instead of the client, and to be
cautious in choosing which thoughts would serve as targets,
for a misjudged intervention may affect the therapeutic
relationshiA Sands (1984) sustains that the most important
, humor- in, the therapeutic situation is the humor that is
- expressed by the client and that humor should only be used
-by_the therapist in the ethical sense of being helpful to the
client ..
Other pmctitioners have argued that humor should
not be used (a) to degrade, exploit, belittle, or mock the
client, (b) to defensively avoid uncomfortable feelings, (c)
to distract or trivialize the therapeutic process, (d) to
jeopardize therapeutic authority, (e) to mask therapists
hostilities toward the client, (f) to mask clients hostilities
fr)toward members of the counseling group, or (g) for self-display
-siblingratiation (e.g., Bloch, Browning & McGrath, 1983;
!.iDimmer, Canon & Wyatt, 1990; George & Dustin, 1988;
Mickson, 1977; Johnston, 1990; Pierce, 1985; Richman,
1996). Consistent with the previous arguments Poland
(1994) suggests a clear appraisal of the therapeutic alliance
to potentiate possible benefits, Saper (1987) favors a careful
assessment of the clients personality and the type of humor
they prefer, Salameh (1990) suggests a sequence for
evaluating clients experiences and attitudes regarding
humor, while Schnarch (1999) notes that humor must be
tailored and restricted with. clients who require a more
•
The Use of Humor in Counseling
25
formal approach.
Schnarch observes that clients who readily feel
misunderstood or disqualified by authority figures may
respond negatively to therapist humor. Clients with healing
difficulties or cognitive difficulties are more likely to miss the
point of the humorous intervention and feel diminished in
the process. Salameh (1990) adds that special care needs to
be taken in using humorous interventions- with severely
disturbed psychotics, borderline clients, paranoid and
manic-depressive clients, and suggests. cautious judgment
with individuals who have been victims of'a recent trauma,
or are emotionally hypersensitive . beeause.of animpending
disconcerting event in their lives.
Among those expressing strong- opposition to the
use of humor in counseling are Greenson (1967), Kubie,
(1994), Parry (1975), Paul (1978), and Reik (1960:- Parry
(1975) and Paul (1978) warned that jokes are not appropriate
hi psychotherapy and advised therapists to refrain from using
humor and from responding to their patients teasing humor,
while Kubie emphasized humor's destructive potential.
Kubie (1994) warned that the use of humor is potentially
destructive to the therapeutic relationship, especially.when
used by inexperienced therapists. Among other things, he
sustained that humor blocks free association, confuses the
patient by making him or her wonder whether the therapist
is serious or joking, and may serve to hinder progress in
therapy. Kubie concluded that humor has its place in life,
but a very limited role, if any, in psychotherapy. Mindess
(1996) and Mosak (1987) emphaSized that humor presents
no More danger than other therapist's techniques, that other
interventions may be abused in identical ways, and that any
therapy is risky for both the client and the counselor and
both must take their risks if therapy is to be productive.
26
Leslie E. Maldonado-Feliciano
Richman (1996) agreed with Mindess and Mosak and
discussed several areas of congruence between humor
and psychotherapy.
Research on Humor and Psychotherapy
In his review of the literature on humor in psychotherapy Salameh (1983) noted the scarcity on research
in this topic and identified two trends in the literature. The
first trend was characterized by articles of anecdotal nature
acknowledging the usefulness of humor and its benefits in
therapy but lacking either in theoretical conceptualization
or empirical data on how it can be used. The literature was
alio' replete of speculative articles from a psychoanalytic
perspective whereby humorous phenomena was seen as a
defense mechanism and related to regression, repression,
and "deception. Also, the use of cartoons or written jokes as
stimulus in the few existing experimental studies limited
the generalization of their results to natural/social humorous
situations.
The second trend is characterized by a nonpsychoanalytic
and empirical outlook in the study of various specific
identifiable dimensions of therapeutic humor in part
originated by the publication of the book The Psychology
of Humor by J. Goldstein and P. McGhee in 1972 (Salameh,
1983). These trends suggested by Salameh (1983) are also
documented by Shaughnessy and Wadsworth (1992)
chronological overview of the development of research and
theorizing on the use of humor in psychotherapy beginning
in 1970 until the 1990s. Since the seventies and continuing
up to the present several doctoral dissertation studies began
to address methodological and theoretical issues, effects of
humor on the therapeutic process, client reactions to the use
The Use of Humor in Counseling
27
of humor, therapist-related variables, therapist views
regarding the use of humor, and uses of humor in group
therapy. Some of these studies are briefly reviewed next,
followed by an outline of promising research perspectives,
and some considerations regarding several factors affecting
the development of research in therapeutic humor.
Huber's dissertation (1974) explored the use of
humor relative to clients discomfort and its effects on the
relationship. Results indicated that humor did not decrease
tension in discussing intimate topics and that counselor's
personality characteristics and clients anxiety level might
affect clients evaluations of therapist use of humor in
connection with discussion of intimate topics. Killinger
(1977) investigated whether the use of humor by the
therapist is a facilitative skill, or one that serves destructive
tendencies by inhibiting or blocking the therapeutic
process. She defined humor in terms of seven descriptive
categories and classified these according to affect as laughter
or nonlaughter humor. She found that the therapist experience
level may not be a key factor in determining how often humor
is used. However, level of maturity and developmental and
environmental influences may be more important considerations in using humor. Her results also suggested
that humor is effectively used to convey relevant ideas,
communicate a positive therapist-client attitudes, and to
facilitate positive client exploration and understanding as a
result of the humorous intervention.
Fetzek (1981) studied the impact that counselorinitiated humor has on high-school students perception of
counselor performance. He hypothesized that counselorinitiated humor would increase students perception of
the counselor's capacity for empathy, level of positive regard,
unconditionality of regard, congruence, and willingness to be
28
Leslie R Maldonado-Feliciano
known. He found that joke-telling humor appeared to
encourage higher perceptions of regard level, congruence,
and unconditional positive regard in females but not in
males, whereas integrated humor worked to increase positive
perceptions in males but not in females. In an analogue
study, Megdell (1981) investigated the relationship between
counselor-initiated humor and clients subsequent attraction
to the counselor. He also focused on the relative impact of
shared and nonshared humor on clients liking for counselors.
He reported that a significantly greater proportion of shared
humor intervals showed increases in attraction rating in
comparison with the other conditions. His results support
the argument that counselor-initiated humor in an initial
counseling session can enhance the clients attraction for the
counselor.
In another analogue study, Kerrigan (1983)
explored how therapists use of humor in psychotherapy
would affect subjects ratings of these therapists. Six short
excerpts of actual therapy sessions illustrating different levels
of humor (e.g. no humor, slight amount of humor, and
moderate amount of humor)' used by therapists were rated
on the dimensions of empathy, respect, Warmth, genuineness,
concretenesi; and self-disclosure. Results ShOwed that the
group judged to have used no humor was rated superior to
the groups using humor in amount of respect shown by the
therapist, the group in which the therapist used more humor
was rated significantly lower than the group using a slight
amount of humor. It was observed that subjects ratings on
the condition of respect decreased as greater amount of
humor were introduced by the therapists. No differences were
found on the other five facilitative therapeutic conditions.
However, the pattern of ratings on empathy and warmth
suggested that ratings given to therapists decreased as the
The Use of Humor in Counseling
29
use of humor increased. In their study on humor and its
relationship to students assessments of the counselor,
Foster and Reid (1983) found no differences in the way
male and female college students rated the therapeutic
characteristics of a female videotaped counselor. Their
results also indicated that non-facilitative humor is less
desirable than facilitative humor or no humor at all in terms
of counselor likableness, approachability, or ability to create
rapport but not in terms of leading the client to a better
understanding of the problem.
Pinegar (1983) examined the relationship between
client humor and self exploration within the psychotherapy
process itself using Valliant's theory of humor and healthy
integration which supports humor as one of the most
functional coping mechanisms. , Thirty adult psycholllerapy
taped sessions were scored. Results indicated -no sigm:ficant
relationship between self exploration and humor. ,114Mray
(1986) ,investigated the interaction of humor* aild, gender in
.the context of psychotheriwy....1-lis lx24(po.thOrre.s...SiiateLthat
(1) participants, regardless of gender, would perceive the
relationship between the therapist and client as enhanced by
the use-of humor by the therapist and (2) that male participants
would rate the female therapist who uses humor with a male
client lower on a level of regard scale than any other
combination of therapist and client gender, within the
humorous condition. According to the results there was no
significant difference between the presence and absence of
humor and the . participants perception of the rapport
established by the therapist, regardless of the sex of the
participant Results also indicated that participants,
regardless of gender, perceived a female using humor with
a male client as less warm and caring than other combinations.
A gender preference for same-sex therapist-client dyads was
30
•
Leslie E. Maldonado-Feliciano
indicated especially when therapist humor is utilized.
Salisbury (1989) examined the relationship between
perceived effectiveness in Adlerian counseling and the use
of humor in therapy. Specifically, the author investigated
the relationship between the frequency and type of humor
used by the therapist and client in the counseling sessions
and the perceived effectiveness of humor. Both the therapist
and the client evaluated each of the 32 sessions regarding
frequency of humor and effectiveness of the session.
Salisbury reported a significant relationship between the
frequency of humor used and evaluation of the sessions by
the therapist but this was not significant when evaluated by
the client He also reported a significant relationchip
between frequency of humor used by the therapist and
client, between the evaluation of sessions by therapist and
client, and between the various types of humor used by the
therapist and client Therapists and clients differed on the
types of humor preferred. The use of sarcastic humor by
the therapist makes the client more uncomfortable and less
likely to feel the session was effective. Priddy (1990)
investigated the role of client sense of humor on therapeutic
outcomes. He reported a non-statistically significant
correlation between client sense of humor and therapeutic
outcomes, that clients with a high sense of humor would
spend less time in therapy as compared to clients with a low
sense of humor, and that females manifested a higher sense
of humor and spend less time in therapy than males.
The relationship between personality traits and
humor preference have been investigated by classifying
individuals according to their locus of control as measured
by the Rotter Locus of Control Scale (Haig, 1988).
Persons with 'an internal locus of control feel that they are
charge of their own life and personal circumstances.
The Use of Humor in Counseling
31
Individuals with an external locus of control feel that their
life and circumstances are not within their control and usually
look outside themselves for answers, support, and guidance.
For example, in a study conducted by Lefcourt, Sardoni and
Sardoni (cited in Haig, 1988), they found that participants
with an internal locus of control tended to use all types of
humor more than participants with an external locus of
control, who also tended to use social humor less frequently
than the superiority or tension relief forms. Lefcourt and
Martin (1986) observed that Aindividuals who see themselves
as being in control of the events that occur in their lives are
more likely to respond with humor than are those who
consider their lives to be in the control of external forces
(P. 13).
Ellsworth (1985) examined differences in humor
responses among the personality classifications of aggressive,
depressed, and control group participants using single frame
cartoons from the Mirth Response Test Her findings suggest
that depressed participants had significantly lower humor
appreciation ratings than aggressive or control participants.
Also, the control group had significantly higher humor rating
than the other two groups. In all groups cartoons representing
sexual themes received the highest appreciation scores while
dependency theme cartoons received the lowest.
Rosenheim and Golan (1986) explored the preference
of patients classified as hysterical, obsessive, and depressive
for humorous or non-humorous therapist interventions.
They reported that the personality make up of the patients
had a significant differential effect on the appreciation of
humorous versus non-humorous therapist intervention.
Patients consistently fitvored the non-humorous interventions,
but the extent of this preference varied according to personality type. Obsessive patients stood out in their consistent,
32
Leslie E Maldonado-Feliciano
decisive opposition to humorous therapist intervention of
any type. These results were inconsistent with those of
Maiman (cited in Haig, 1988) who found that individuals
with a high degree of obsessiveness could enjoy humor as
ntuch as those with & low degree of obsessiveness. Haig
(1988) asserts that no conclusions can be drawn from stiviies
exploring the relationship between personality and humor
because of the many diagnostic systems, varied classifications,
different measures of humor utilized and sampling problems
observed in many of the existing studies. ,
To the author's knowledge, the study completed by
Pappaterra (1996) is the only one providing some information
on the' use, of humor by a particular ethnic group. In his
exploratory study of the views of Puerto Rican psychologists
regard* ',the, use of humor -in psychotherapy, Pappaterra
(1996) found: that approximately 85% of the participants
lad-a favorable opinion of its use,apd,reported using it in
;their psychotherapeutic work Moording to parficipants
-opinions;-humor kelps.* reduce ' ,tension; improves rapport,
and facilitates clients expression of anger. Male therapists
tend to use humor with families, adult clients, elderly
clients, , and male clients. Males also use humor more
frequently with depressed clients, substance abusers,
obsessive compulsive clients, and clients with panic or
anxiety disorders.
Female therapists tend to use humor with children,
adolescents, and female clients. Participants preferred
spontaneous occurrences of humor that allow them to
laugh with their clients, and the opportunity to help clients
realize an important aspect of their problem, make a point,
or evaluate progress of counseling. The author suggested
that additional studies .are needed to explore how clients in
Puerto Rico perceive this experience, as well as its effects
The Use of Humor in Counseling
• •33
on the therapeutic relationship and outcome. He also
suggested that the use of humor be accepted as a legitimate
counseling technique and training programs develop courses
to teach future counselors and researchers about its proper
and improper applications.
As these studies demonstrate research on the role of
humor in counseling is still in an exploratory stage.
Realizing the growing professional interest on therapeutic
humor as reflected in the scientific literature, Salameh
(1983) suggested a third trend- in research directed to the
exploration of the role of humor in various levels of the
therapeutic experience. He encouraged the development of
more studies investigating the following dimensions in
connection with therapeutic properties of the humor
experience (a) personal characteristics of therapists, (b)
characteristics of clients, (c) match of client and therapist,
(d) humorous techniques used in counseling interactions,
(e) humor as a diagnostic and assessment tool, (f) use of
humor for problem defmition and goal setting, (g) environmental humor or the affective and structural tones conveyed
to clients by the .therapeutic letting,,J)11 motivational
factors, (1) creativity, factors, and (j) outcome factors.
- Although researchers have already. initiated studies
on some of those areas several questions, however, rein!in
unanswered. For example, Is humor another core facilitative txait of effective therapists?, How do therapist training
in effective uses of humor impact their psychotherapeutic
work?, What is the relationship between clients conflicts
and,their use of humor in therapy?, How humorous interventions facilitate clients exploration, understanding,
and action or reduction of symptoms?, How do humorous
therapists respond to clients who are nonhumorous and
viceversa?, Which humor techniques are more facilitative
,
34
Leslie E. Maldonado-Feliciano
or most appropriate for different client populations?, Are
humor techniques associated with particular therapist
personality traits?, What is the effect of environmental
humor on clients therapeutic progress?, What is the effect
of using humorous interventions on clients motivational
investment in psychotherapy?, Which humorous interventions
help clients develop a greater awareness of creative
problem-solving alternatives?, How can humorous interventions be used to teach creative problem-solving skills
to various client populations?, Are therapeutic treatments
implicitly or explicitly incorporating humor either more or
less effective than those treatments that do not use humor?,
and How supervisor's use of humor can facilitate or hinder
clinical supervision?
Empirical validation of the theoretical perspectives
explicitly incorporating humor in counseling and crosscultural issues in the use of humorous interventions
stand out as two impOrtant areas of inquiry deserving more
attention from researchers. Present theoretical perspectives
incorpontting and supporting the use of humor in counseling
are based on experiential clinical validation but not on
research fmdings providing empirical evidence of their
effectiveness. As in the case of other known theoretical
perspectives neither Provocative Therapy, nor Natural High
Therapy has yet received a systemalic research evaluation
(Salameh, 1983). Thus, as pointed out by Salameh (1983)
questions such as How do these two therapies compare to
each other?, How do they differ in treatment outcomes?,
Hoir do these humor therapies compare with other therapeutic
modalities?, How do clients react to ttc constant use of humor
in these approaches? remain open and deserve to be
addressed hi future research.
Cultural background and ethnicity of the client and
The Use of Humor in Counseling
35
the counselor are two of the many variables to be considered
in investigating their interaction in the counseling process:
Cross-cultural studies examining the role of humor in
different cultures, its role in social-personal adjustment,
and its influence on social interactions in various cultural
contexts are needed. Among the many dimensions open for
research are the relationship between the use of humorous
interventions and cultural beliefs of clients and counselors,
the effectiveness of different humor techniques for different
client populations, and how the use of humor by culturally
diverse clients with humorous or nonhumorous therapists
influences the therapeutic process.
Several authors have pointed out that humor is an especially
elusive variable within counseling. Robinson (1983) noting
the dearth of research, identified several factors contributing
to the limited amount of research in this area. According to
this author the attitude of seriousness (e.g., detached concern,
objectivity, and professionalism) of health care within the
health care system, difficulties associated with the observation
and collection of data in the natural settings including
fluctuations in humorous occurrences when being
observed, hazards of being a participant-observec, variations
in humorous response influenced by individual perception,
length of time necessary to collect meaningful data, lack of
reliable methodological tools, and the controversy of what
constitutes Ahealthy humor and laughter (e.g., does humor
reveal health or serious problems?) are some of the factors
challenging the development of more research in this area.
According to Salameh (1983), research on humor in
psychotherapy inherits the methods, problems, and
promises inherent in the field of psychotherapy research.
He along with other researchers advocate for the combination -of -different 'tools and -varying methodologies (e.g.,
36
Leslie E. Maldonado-Feliciano
quantitative & qualitative) in studying processes and
outcomes of psychotherapy using humor techniques.
Conclusion and Recommendations
The main purpose of this review of the literature has
been to present a contemporary panoramic view of the use
, of'huniorous interventions in counseling and psychotherapy
Cehsistent with that purpose, relevant theoretical, empirical,
and aPplied issues were discussed with particular attention
to those aspects that can be influenced by the research and
therapeutic work of counseling psychologists. As can be
appreciaied, the nature and role that humor plays in our
lives have been philosophically explored for centuries but
empirically for only few decades. This suggests that
research on the psychological dimensions of humor and its
potential contribution to counseling is clearly needed and
beginning its exploratory/descriptive stage.
Two questions appear of interest: (a) what do we
know? and (b) what do we need to know? In response to
the first question there is increasing evidence from medical,
sociological, and psychological studies suggesting that
humor has a strong influence on the nature and quality of
interpersonal and group relationships as well as on our psychological and physical well-being. Gender, personality,
cultural differences, and neuropsychological conditions
hive been reported as influencing humor appreciation,
comprehension, and production. A holt of prominent
theorists and clinicians in psychology have recognized a
person's sense of humor as one important characteristic of
a healthy individual. Most contemporary practitioners
consider the discreet use of humor in counseling as an
effective assessment and therapeutic tool to promote
The Use of Humor in Counseling
37
therapeutic change in combination with non-humorous
interventions in a wide variety of contexts (e.g, individual,
group, family, and couples counseling): $ense of jiumor
has been identified as a desirable chaiicipristic 9f the
counselor, as an effective coping AllI-for the , professional,
and as a sign of therapeutic „success., Many therapies,
techniques, and potential uses and benefits of liamorous
interventions are clearly and thoroughlY discussed in the
literature as well as authors admonitions regarding the
possible pitfalls and undesirable consequences deriN;ed
from misusing or abusing humorous interventions.
In regard to the second question, counseling psychologists can increase and improve the current state of
knowledge of the advantages and limitations associated
with the use of humorous interventions by, dis9Ussing their
clinical experiences using humor in journal articles, and
addressing this issue in counselor/psychologists training
programs, professional development aetiVities, and
research endeavors. In classes and in clinical supervisiOn,
psychologists-in-training might benefit from discussing
how to process humorous incidents in counseling and
becoming thmiliarized with the many therapies and techniques
suggested in the literature. Presently, the literature on humor
in counseling is characterized by anecdotical and conceptual contributions and a growing body of empirical studies,
mainly doctoral dissertations. One of the principal problems
that needs further attenticin is the formulation of an operational
definition of humor. Areas requiring empirical examfriation
include the use of humorous interventions with culturally
diverse clients, client and counselor variables which relate
to humor, the efficacy/outcome of proposed humorous
therapies/techniques with different client populations, the
reactions of clients toward counselors humorous interventions,
38
Leslie E. Maldonado-Feliciano
context variables moderating effects of humorous interventions, quality of working alliance and the use of
humor, the role and nature of humor in clinical supervision,
and methodological and ethical concerns regarding the use
of humor. In other words, research that helps to answer the
questions what type of humor, with whom, by whom, under
what conditions, for what purpose, and at what stage of
therapy is needed to understand how humor can be effective
in counseling and psychotherapy.
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Ciencias de la Conducta
0
2001, Vol 16, 49-62
2001 Universidad Carlos Albizu
San Juan, Puerto Rico
"-;
Cognitive and Behavioral Profile of Puerto Rican
Aggressive and Impulsive Children,
José J. Cabiya, Ph.D., Darice Orobitg, M.S.,
Lymaries Padilla, M.A., Sean Sayers, M.S., Nashara
Baydn, BA. & Maribelle De La Torre, BA.
Universidad Carlos Mbizu
Abstract
The present study was directed at examining the behavioral and
cognitive factors that characterize impulsive and aggressive
children in Puerto Rico. Three groups were compared: a group
of aggressive children, a group of hyperactive children who did
not show aggressive behavior and a normal group. The impulsive
— aggressive group included 28 children between the ages of 7-14
(22 boys and 6 girls) who were referred by their teachers and
parents as impulsive and aggressive. The second group included
28 children (26 boys and 2 girls) who were referred for Attention
Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Combined Type,
between the ages of 8 and 15. The normal group included 34
children (16 boys and 18 girls) between the ages of 9 and'15 who
did not meet the criteria for the aforementioned groups. The
Children Depression Inventory; the Piers Harris Self-Concept
Scale and the Youth Self-Report (YSR) were administered to the
participants. The Bauermeister School Behavior Inventory
(BSBI) was administered to the teachers as an addirionalmeasure.
The Conners Abbreviated Symptom Questionnaire for Parents
Para comunicarse con los autores, favor de eseribir a la UniversidatcadoqAlbizu,
P.O. Box 9023711, San Juan, P. R. 00902-3711.
49
50
Cognitive and Behavioral Profile!
(CASQ-P) was administered to the parents. A mullivariate analysis
of valiance was perfonned with the obtained mean scores of the
total sample in all the scales. This analysis revealed significant
results in the classification variable effect. Further analyses
revealed significant differences between the Normal and
Impulsive-Aggressive group (p<.003) for the CASQ-P and the
BSBI's Irritability—Hostility Scale, the Impulsiveness Scale,
Distraction-Motivation Scale and the Insufficient Control Scale.
Additional differences were found between the ImpulsiveAggressive group and the Normal group (p<.003) for the
Irritability-Hostility Scale of the BSBI. No significant differences
were found between the normal group and the ADHD-Combined
Type group (p<.003).
Aggression can be defined as "deliberate actions directed
towards other people or objects, with some intention to
destroy or injure the target" (Lochman & Lenhart, 1993,
p.785). These authors further indicate that "All individuals
display aggression occasionally, such that aggressive
behavior in and of itself is not necessarily cause for concern;
of interest here is frequent or overly severe aggression
(Lochman and Lenhart, 1993, p.785). Parke and Slaby
(1983) divided the term aggression in two sub-categories:
theoretical and empirical. These categories are focused
toward the areas of interpersonal aggression (i.e. insults,
threats, and cursing) and physical aggression (i.e. fights,
attacks, and abuse). Feschback (1970) also categorized the
term aggression as instrumental (directed to an object per
se) or hostile (to infringe pain).
On the other hand, impulsiveness refers to specific
behaviors such as interrupting others, not waiting turns,
answering before a question is finished and acting quickly
and without evaluating consequences (American
Psychiatric Association, 1994). Studies suggest that there
exists overlap between these terms and that it is not
Cabiya, Orobitg, Sayers, y De La Torre
51
uncommon for children to display ,both types of behaviors.
In fact, the term known as externalizing behaviors is used
to describe a set of negative behaviors that co-occur during
childhood. These behaviors are referred collectively by
DSM-IV criteria as "Attention Deficit and Disruptive
Behaviors Disorders" (American Psychiatric Association,
1994). The three subgroups of externalizing behaviors
include: Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AMID), and Conduct
Disorder (CD). These disorders include in their diagnostic
criteria both impulsive and aggressive behaviors.
In Puerto Rico, an epidemiological study (Bird et al.,
1988) revealed a 9.9% prevalence of defiant conduct in the
children population. These behaviors included temper
tantrums, arguing with adults, defiance or refusing to
comply with adults' requests or rules, annoying people,
being sensitive, angry, resentful, spiteful or vindictive and
blaming others for mistakes or misbehaviors. For ADHD,
which presents symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity,
the prevalence in Puerto Rican children is 9.5%.
One of the disorders mostly associated with aggressiveness
and impulsiveness is ADHD. Shelton et al. (1998) indicate
that hyperactive-impulsive-inattentive children are at higher
risk of developing socially aggressive behavior, oppositional
defiant disorder and conduct disorder. Parents rated both
groups of aggressive-hyperactive-impulsive-inattentive
children as having significantly more problems on the eight
scales of the CBCL than parents of the control group children.
Teachers rated both groups of aggressive-hyperactiveimpulsive-inattentive children significantly higher on the
scales of Aggression, Anxious/Depressed, Inattention,
Social Problems, and Delinquent Behavior than the control
group. These authors indicate that children with ADHD with
52
Cognitive and Behavioral Profile
a pattern of high level of aggressiveness are at higher risk
of developing psychological, academic, emotional, and
social difficulties than children with ADHD, but without
a pattern of aggressiveness. This study found that 60% to
76% of the aggressive/hyperactive-impulsive/inattentive
children (n=154) also qualified for an oppositional defiant
disorder.
In Puerto Rico, Bauermeister and colleagues have
conducted several studies with ADHD children.
Bautifmeister, Alegria, Bird, Rubio-Stipec, and Canino
(1992) performed a factor analysis on teacher ratings of
symptoms in a sample of children 6 to 16 years (n=614)
which yielded two factors: Inattention and HyperactiveImpulsivity. Subsequent cluster analyses ended at five
clusters. These clusters were: 1) Hyperactive (characterized
by high hyperactivity-impulsivity and moderately high
inattention scores), 2) Inattentive (very high inattention
but very low hyperactivity-impulsivity scores), 3)
Inattentive-Hyperactive (high scores on both Inattention
and Hyperactivity-impulsivity), 4) Normal (scores of both
factors that approximate the total sample means), and 5)
Highly adapted (had scores on both factors that were lower
than the total sample). The authors found that the children
in the Hyperactive, Inattentive and Inattentive-Hyperactive
clusters showed more clinical impairments than children
did in the Normal and Highly adapted cluster. Some of
these clusters are related with symptoms of aggressiveness.
The Inattentive-Hyperactive children were rated by teachers
as significantly more aggressive, self-destructive and
showing more behavioral problems than the Normal and
the Highly Adapted groups.
Among the efforts to study such disorders in Puerto
Rico, Bauermeister, Matos, and Barldey (1999) conducted
Cabiya, Orobitg, Sayers, y De La Torre
53
a study with 119 children, ages six to eleven years. The
authors found that mothers tended to rate hyperactiveimpulsive children and inattentive children as showing
more oppositional defiant behaviors, externalizing behaviors
and attentional problems than the normal group. In this
study, teachers rated inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive
children as having more oppositional defiant, aggressive
and delinquent behaviors than inattentive children and the
normal group Bauermeister, Matos, and Barkley (1999)
identified three groups of children in their analyses: those
with high scores of inattention only, those with high scores of
hyperactivity-impulsivity only and those with a combination
of inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity.
Bird, Gould, and Staghezza-Jaramillo (1994),
conducted secondary analyses of the data from the Puerto
Rico Child Psychiatric Epidemiology Study (Bird et. al.
1988) and found a high level of co-morbidity between
ADHD and the Conduct/Oppositional group. These
authors found that children with a comorbid diagnosis of
ADHD and Conduct/Oppositional Disorder display a higher
level of Conduct/Oppositional symptomatology than those
children without Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
The present study was aimed at assessing how
children who exhibit both aggressive and impulsive
behaviors differ from the ADHD-Combined Type and
normal children. Thus, the present study is an initial
attempt to start assessing how valid might be a separate
diagnostic category for the children that exhibit these
behaviors. Moreover, we want to develop a cognitive and
behavioral profile of these children. This profile can be of
use in the development of effective interventions for these
children.
54
Cognitive and Behavioral Profile
Method
Participants:
The impulsive and aggressive group included 28
children between the ages of 7- 14 (22 boys and 6 girls) who
were referred by their teachers and parents as impulsive and
aggressive. The mean age for this group was 11.32 with a
standard deviation of 1.49. This group included children
from a public school in Old San Juan, a private school in
the metropolitan area, and a clinical sample from the
Mental Health Community Clinic at the Carlos Albizu
University. Children in this group were selected in
accordance with DSM-IV criteria for Conduct Disorder.
The criteria that was used for participants inclusion in
this group included: bullying, threatening or intimidating
others, initiating physical fights, using a weapon that can
cause serious physical harm to others and being physically
cruel to people or animals (DSM-IV, 1994). Children had
to meet three of these criteria in order to be included in the
group.
The second group included 28 children (26 boys
and 2 girls) who were referred as having a diagnosis of
ADHD-Combined Type, following DSM-IV criteria
(American Psychiatric Association, 1994). The age range
for this group was 8-15 years of age with a mean age of
10.82 and a standard deviation of 1.47. These children
were selected from three other public schools, which
matched in socioeconomic level the schools of the
impulsive-aggressive group.
The normal group included 34 children (16 boys
and 18 girls) between the ages -of 9 and 15 who did not meet
the criteria for the aforementioned disorders. The mean age
for this group was 10.85 with a standard deviation of 1.35.
Cabiya, Orobitg, Sayers, y De La Torre
55
These children were selected from all the schools from
which children of the other two groups were selected.
Instruments:
Piers Hanis Self-Concept Scale (PHSCS)- The PHSCS
is an 80-item instrument designed to evaluate what children
and adolescents feel about themselves. The test evaluates
attitudes as well as behaviors related to self-concept.
Self-concept is defined as a series of attitudes about one's
self that reflect themselves in behaviors and attributes
(Piers, 1972). This scale can be administered individually
or in-groups and its administration takes between 15 and 20
minutes. Research indicates that this instrument may be
administered to children and adolescents 8 to 18 years of
age. The items are grouped in four categories:
Happiness, Satisfaction, Behavior and Academic Status.
This scale was translated to Spanish and adapted taking
into consideration cultural elements. The scale has a
internal consistency of .94 and a reliability of .94
(Rosse116, Guisasola, Ralat, Martinez, and Nieves ;
1992).
Children Depression Inventory (CDI)- The CDI is a
self-report scale consisting of 27 items related to depression.
The scale was adapted for children and youths by Kovacs
(1985). Scores of 0-11 are considered as absence of
depression. Scores of 12-18 are considered mild depression
and scores of 19 or more severe depression. The scale was
translated and adapted for the Puerto Rican culture. The
scale has shown an internal consistency of .82 and an internal
consistency of .79 (Bernal, Rosse116, and Martinez, 1997).
Child Behavior Checklist-Parent (CBCL-C) (Spanish
version for children) (Achenbach & Edelbrock, 1983). This
56
Cognitive and Behavioral Profile
version includes descriptions about the child competencies,
behavioral and emotional problems as perceived by the
child's mother or father. The internal consistency of the
scale is of .65. This instrument was translated and adapted
for Puerto Rican children by the Puerto Rico Child
Psychiatric Epidemiology Study (Bird et al., 1988).
Conners' Abbreviated Symptom Questionnaire for
Parents (CASQ-P) (Conners, 1990) was administered to the
parents. This questionnaire is designed to record observations
of a child's behavior in a 10-item Likert type scale. The
questionnaire specifically assesses hyperkinesis and
impulsiveness.
Bauermeister School Behavior Inventory (BSBI)
("Inventario de Comportamiento-Escuela de Bauermeister")
(IDC-E) (Bauermeister, 1994). (To be completed by the
teachers). This inventory consists of six scales (for male
children) and five (for female children) that evaluate anxiety
symptoms, social alienation, depression, irritability-hostility,
distraction-motivation and activity-impulsiveness. In
addition, the inventory has three global dimensions that
include insufficient/excessive control and a scale for total
problems. Internal consistency fluctuates between .74
and .96; test-re-test relibility (four-week period) fluctuated
between .52 a .89. This instrument was developed, validated
and standarized for the Puerto Rican population.
Socio-demographic and developmental history interview.
The questionnaire used in the Children Psychiatric
Epidemiology Project developed at the Medical Sciences
Campus of the University of Puerto Rico will be administered
(Bird et. al., 1988). This questionnaire provides sociodemographic and developmental information about the
child as provided by the child's mother or father.
Cabiya, Orobitg, Sayers, y De La Tone
57
Procedure:
After obtaining the required consent forms for
participation, the evaluation phase of the study began.
During this phase, the CDI, the Piers Harris Self-Concept
Scale and the CBCL-C were administered to the participants.
The BSBI was administered to the teachers as an additional
measure. The Conner's Scale was administered to the
parents. The aforementioned scales were then scored
and comparison analyses were performed.
Results
Given the high number of comparisons, a multivariate
analysis of variance was performed with the obtained mean scores
of the total sample in all the scales. The results of this
analysis revealed significant results as shown in Table 1.
The mean scores on the scales were obtained for all groups
in order to compare the groups. An analysis of variance was
then performed in order to evaluate any significant differences
between these scores. Given the number of dependent
measure used in the analyses following the Bonferroni
formula, a level of significance at .003 was established.
Table 1.
Multivariate analysis of mean scores on total sample.
Effect
Classification
Effect - Pillai's Trace
Value
F
Significance
1.055
2.171
'0.003
Classification
Effect - Willcs' Lambda
.217
2.165
'0 .003
Classification
Effect - Hotelling's Trace
2.353
2.157
4
Classification
Effect - Roy's Largest Root
1.539
2.992
'0.003
%003
58
Cognitive and Behavioral Profile
Table 2
Summmy ofANOVA results comparing the three experimental groups
Scale
Piers Rands
Self-Coneept Scale
Mean Scores and Standard Deviations
Normal
ImpulsiveAMID
Group
Aggressive Group
Group
(N= 28)
(N-= 34)
(N.‘"` 28)
F
SIG.
48.35
(Sl>15.57)
58.32
(SE12.88)
57.88
(S19.45)
5.69 .005
15.07
(S1>9.32)
12.32
(SD=6.42)
12.09
(SD=6.18)
1.48 .233
15.94
(S.I> 5.01)
10.06
(S1>7.74)
5.68
15.52 p.001
(S13.76)
13.60
(SD=5.98)
9.63
(S1>5.39)
15.24
(SD=8.31)
- BM
., Scale
,
19.65
(Srfi12.26)
9.89
(Sl>3.18)
14.39
4,59 .013
(Sl>13.09)
, Scale-BSBI
16.80
(S1>7.66)
9.74
(S12.73)
15.06
4.00
(S1>9.24)
36.70
(SD=12.67)
21.47
(SE*8.02)
16.55
36.75 *.001
(SI>12.95)
32.40
(S1>8.79)
24.79
(Sl>18.92)
17.55
(SD=8.72)
42.75
(SD= 19.50)
31.32
(S113.72)
17.12
20.64 p.001
(Sl>10.06)
111.85
(SD=33.55)
77.58
(Sl>35.26)
51.21
28.44 1..001
(ST. -26.04)
Children's
Depression
Inventory
Conners'
Abbreviated
Symptom
Questionnaire
for Parents
Social
Withdrawal
Scale-BSBI
4,31 .017
Depression
.o.3
- '' ' InitabilityHostility Scale-BSBI
DistractionMotivationSeale-BSBI
ActivityImpulsiveness
Scale-BSBI
Insufficient
Control
Scale-BSBI
Withdrawal
Scale-YSR
5.07
(Sf.:w-4.45)
3.58
(S11.75)
4.59
(S1>2.62)
9.49 ..001
1.59
.21
59
Cabiya, Orobitg, Sayers, y De La Torre
Somatic
Complaints
Scale-YSR
Depression
Scale-YSR
- Social Problems
Scale-YSR
Thought Problems
Scak-YSR
Attendonal
Problems
Scale-YSR
Delinquent
Behavior
Scak-YSR
Aggression
Scale-YSR
Other Problems
Scale-YSR
5
4.85
(S1>2.74)
3.77
(S1>2.79)
4.47
(S1:3.10)
.95
8.30
(ST5.26)
5.96
(Sl>3.28)
7.21
(Sl>5.34)
1.57 .214
.391
5.67
(S1>7.91)
4.73
(Sl>2.15)
4.53
(S1>2.64)
.45 .639
3.04
(S1>2.79)
2.92
(S1>1.94)
2.62
(SI>1.83)
.30
4.77
(S1>2.89)
3.82
3.32 .041
(Sli32.44) ,
6.52
(SD=6.18)
3.85
(S1-.2.41)
3.31
(Sl>1.67)
3.29
(SD=2.54)
.55
11.04
(SD=6.15)
7.35
(S13=-4.27)
7.09
(Sl>5.74)
8.88
(SC=4.13)
9.35
(DT=3.15)
10.53
1.48
(DT=3.98)
.741
.58
4.58 .013
.234
p<.003
As Table 2 summarizes, significant differences (p<.003)
were obtained for the CASQ-P. Significant differences
were also obtained for the Irritability-Hostility, DistractionMotivation, Activity-Impulsiveness and Insufficient
Control Scales of the BSBI. Thus, both parents and teacher
rated the impulsive-aggressive group as more impUlsive
(CASQ-P, BSBI's Activity-Impulsiveness) than normals.
A Scheffe analysis was then performed in order to evaluate
where these differences took place. That is to say, which
groups were the ones that differed significantly. The analysis
revealed significant (p<003) differences between the Normal
and Impulsive-Aggressive group for the CASQ-P, IrritabilityHostility, Distraction-Motivation and Activity-Impulsiveness
60
Rodriguez, Cardalda y Garcia
Scales of the BSBI and the Insufficient Control Scale of the
BSBI. Significant differences were also found between the
Impulsive-Aggressive group and the ADHD-Combined
lype group for BSBI's Irritability-Hostility Scale (See
Table 3).
Table 3
Summary of Significant Scheffi Analyses comparing the three experimental groups
Scale
OrouP
CASQ-P
Irritability-Hostility
Scale-BSBI
Distractibility
Scale-BSBI
Impulsiveness
Scale-BSBI
Insufficient Control
Scale-BSBI
.003
SIG.
Impulsive-Aggressive vs. Normal
s.001
Impulsive-Aggressive vs. Normal
Impulsive-Aggressive vs. ADFID
*001
*001
Impulsive-Aggressive vs. Normal
*.001
Impulsive-Aggressive vs. Normal
*001
Impulsive-Aggressive vs. Normal
*.001
Discussion and Conclusions
Our results indicate that imixilsive-aggressive children
scored higher in the CASQ-P as well as the Impulsiveness
Scale of the BSBI than normal children. These results indicate
that both the teachers and parents perceived the children in the
impulsive-aggressive group as more impulsive than the
normal children. In addition, the teachers rated the
impulsive-aggressive group as more hostile, irritable and
distractible than the normal group (BSBI's IrritabilityHostility, Distraction-Motivation, Activity-Impulsiveness and
Insufficient Control Scales).
Taken together these finding provides further evidence
that impulsive-aggressive children display a higher level of
impulsivity and aggressiveness than normal children
(Bauermeister, Alegria, Bird, Rubio-Stipec and Canino,
Cabiya, Orobitg, Sayers, y De La Torre
61
1992; Bauermeister, Matos and Barkley, 1999; Bird, Gouid
and Staghezza-Jaramillo, 1994; Shelton, Barkley,
Crosswait, Moorehouse, Fletcher, Barrett, Jenkini and
Metevia, 1998). Furthermore, our results itichcate that the
impulsive-aggressive group differed significantly from the
ADM-Combined Type group only in the level of irritability
and hostility according to the teachers' ratings in the BSBI.
Moreover, no significant differences between the
ADHD-Combined Type and the normal group were
found.
The main limitation of the present study was the
limited number of participants. Thus future research needs
to validate these results with a larger sample. Also, more
precise diagnostic classifications following well established
interview procedures are needed to guarantee the appropriate
assignment to the diagnostic groups.
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La evaluación de la depresión en un grupo de j6venes puertorriquefios.
Revista Puertorriquefla de Psicologia, 8, 155-162.
Shelton, T., Barkley, R., Crosswait, C., Moorehouse, M., Fletcher, K.,
Barret, S., Jenkins, L., & Metevia, L. (1998). Psychiatric and
psychological morbidity as a function of adaptive disability in
preschool children with aggressive and hyperactive-impulsiveinattentive behavior. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 26
(6), 475-494.
Ciencias de la Conducta
C 2001 Universidad Carlos Albizu
San Juan, Puerto Rico
2001, Vol 16, 63-78
Analisis Bibliométrico de las Revistas
PsicolOgicas en Puerto Rico.
Alfonso Martinez-Taboas, Ph.D.
Brenda Castm Diaz, B.A.
Viviana Pagan, B.A.
Hector Coca, B.A.
Universidad de Puerto Rico
Abstract
In this study the authors present a bibliometric analysis of the
only two psychological journals published in Puerto Rico:
Ciencias de la Conducta and Revista Puertorriquefia de
Psicologia. We document that only a tiny fraction of psychologists are involved in writing their ideas, theories or investigations
in those journals. We also identify that nearly 70% of the authors
are affiliated with Carlos Albizu University or the University of
Puerto Rico. Also, we note that, with some notable exceptions,
industrial, social and community psychologists are not actively
publishing in those two journals. Other interesting findings are
presented, such as the number of co-authors, areas of active interest
and the use of empirical methodologies. The authors present
some suggestions that may be helpful in improving the present
situation.
Como toda profesión, la psicologia en Puerto
Rico plantea un diverso conglomerado de actividades
que distingue y caracteriza su praxis. Asi, los/as
psicologos/as han desarrollado y creado una
Para comunicarse con los autores, favor de escribir a la Universidad Carlos Albizu,
P.O. Box 9023711, San Juan, P. R. 00902-3711.
63
64
Martinez-Taboas, Castro, Pagan y Coca
AsociaciOn que los/as agrupa (AsociaciOn de Psicologia
de Puerto Rico), escuelas graduadas especializadas,
convenciones, seminarios, un código de ética, y otras
actividades profesionales.
En este articulo nos proponemos exponer y
analizar un tipo de actividad profesional muy particular:
la publicación de articulos profesionales en revistas
especializadas en psicologia. Este tipo de indagacion se
conoce como un analisis bibliométrico. A través de este
tipo de analisis se pueden apreciar diversas tendencias y
patrones entre los/as psicologos/as que estan aportando
al conocimiento psicolOgico. La contribuciOn del analisis
bibliométrico no sOlo radica en identificar patrones ya
establecidos, sino también en hacer recomendaciones
que subsanen posibles deficiencias en el campo.
Debe notarse que este es el primer analisis bibliométrico que se realiza utilizando como base las revistas
profesionales psicolOgicas publicadas en Puerto Rico. Esta
tarea, sin embargo, es muy conocida y practicada en otras
revistas intemacionales (vease a Aguilar & Lopez, 1997;
Klappenbach, Camara, Barrozo & Lopez, 1999; Lopez
& Calvache, 1998).
En este trabajo hemos decidido realizar la bibliometria en conjunto a las finicas dos revistas profesionales
psicolegicas que existen en Puerto Rico. Estas son la
revista Ciencias de la Conducta (CC) y la Revista
Puertorriquefia de Psicologia (RPP). A diferencia de
otras revistas psicolOgicas populares, tanto la RPP como
CC han mantenido la consistencia de mantener una junta
editora la cual revisa los articulos de manera ciega
("blind review"), procedimiento altamente recomendado
en las revistas profesionales y cientificas (Cullen &
Macauley, 1992; Thyer, 1994). A continuaciOn presentare-
La edad y los comportamientos
65
mos un breve recorrido histórico de la trayectoria de cada
una de éstas y luego pasaremos al análisis bibliométrico.
Ciencias de la Conducta
Esta revista comenzó a publicarse en el 1985 y es
auspiciada por la Universidad Carlos Albizu. No ha sido
un requisito que el Editor o los miembros de la Junta
Editora estén relacionados de manera directa a la
Universidad. Adicionalmente, en los ültimos atios la Junta
Editora ha contado con la colaboración de distinguidos
colegas latinoamericanos.
A continuación se ofrece un listado de los
psicologos que han servido de editores en la CC:
Volumen 1: Pedro Vales
Volumen 2: José Toro Alfonso
Volumen 3: Jose Toro Alfonso
Volumen 4: Victor Alvarez & Noel Quintero
Volumen 5: Victor Alvarez & Jose Santos,
Volumen 6: Victor Alvarez, Jose Santos &
Alfonso Martinez-Taboas
Volumen 7 al volumen 14: Alfonso MartinezTaboas
Es importante sefialar que el Dr. Salvador
Santiago Neg.& fungi6 como editor invitado para el
volumen del 1993, cuyo tema fue la drogodependencia.
Asimismo, la Dra. Aida Garcia fue la editora invitada
para el volumen del 1998, en donde se publicaron
articulos sobre el VIH/SIDA en Puerto Rico.
Debe indicarse que cinco numeros de la revista CC
han tenido secciones especiales sobre temas particulares o,
66
Martinez-Taboas, Castro, Pagan y Coca
incluso, todo su contenido se ha dedicado a una tematica
particular. Estos temas han abarcado a la familia
puertorriquefla, la psicologia en America Latina, la
drogodependencia, las investigaciones del VIH/SIDA
y un debate sobre las ideas innovadoras del Dr. Ruben
Ardila.
Los miembros de la Junta Editora han sido los
siguientes: Saturnino Castro, Alba Nydia Rivera, Carlos
Fernandez, Ana Maria Pi, Salvador Santiago Negrón,
Mayra Huergo, Jose Navas, Jorge Dieppa, Rosa Elena
Velez, Mariano Alemany, Alfredo Ardila, Evelyn Diaz,
Kevin Keating, Mildred Roqueta, Monica Rosselli,
Noel Quintero, Deborah Ann Van Harlinger, Yazmin
Lugo Morales, Carlos Andiljar, Ruben Ardila, Jose
Rodriguez, Giovanni Tirado, Orlando Pedrosa, Sara
Malave y Aida Garcia.
La revista CC, desde sus inicios, también cuenta
con la posiciOn de Director. Esta posición la ocupO el
Dr. Salvador Santiago desde el volumen 1 hasta el 13.
En el yolumen 14 esta posiciOn ha sido ocupada por el
Dr. Jose Cabiya. También, comenzando con el volumen
14 (1999), CC comenzO a contar con una secciOn de arte
y cultura, en donde se exponen trabajos de corte histórico,
cuentos, poesias y reflexiones culturales.
Revista Puertorriquefla de Psicologia
La RPP aparece inicialmente en el 1981 y representa la revista oficial de la AsociaciOn de Psicologia de
Puerto Rico (APPR). En ésta, el Editor y los miembros
de la Junta Editora tienen que ser miembros activos de
la APPR para poder asumir los cargos correspondientes.
Sin embargo, esto no se aplica a las personas que someten
La edad y los comportamientos
67
articulos a la misma.
A continuación un listado de los(as)
psicologos(as) que han servido como editores de la
RPP:
Volumen 1: Manuel Viloria
Volumen 2: Carmen Julia Rodriguez
Volumen 3: No se especifica
Volumen 4: No se especifica
Volumen 5: No se especifica
Volumen 6: Alfonso Martinez-Taboas
Volumen 7: Alfonso Martinez-Taboas
Volumen 8: Vivian Ortiz Aponte
VolUmenes 9 al 12: Alfonso Martinez-Taboas
Debe mencionarse que en el Volumen 9 la Dra.
Irma Roca de Torres sirvi6 de Editora Invitada para una
secci6n sobre la Historia de la Psicologia en Puerto
Rico. Asimismo, en el Volumen 10 la Dra. Wanda
Rodriguez Arocho fungi6 de Editora Invitada para una
sección de Homenaje a Jean Piaget y Lev S. Vigotsky.
Los miembros de la Junta Editora han sido los
siguientes: Carlos Arreola, Frances Boulén, Georgina
Lopez, Carmen J. Rodriguez, Annette Miijica, Jeannette ,
Rosse116, Alicia Rivero, Augusto de Jesus, Miguel
Martinez, Julio C. Ribera, Beatriz Rivera, Carol Romey,
Salvador Santiago, Nydia Sostre, Ana M. Diaz, Jorge
Gonzalez, José Santos, Eduardo Ysern, Margarita
Francia, Domingo Luiggi, Carlos Varona, Carmen Rita
Ducret, Nelly Zambrana, Rolando Diaz-Loving, Carlos
Andiijar, Wanda Rodriguez, José Navas-Robleto,
Guillermo Bernal, Aida Garcia, Irma Roca de Torres
Carlos S. Alvarado.
68
Martinez-Taboas, Castro, Pagan y Coca
Una vez detallada la trayectoria de la composición
de las diversas juntas editoras de la CC y la RPP,
pasaremos al andlisis bibliométrico de las mismas.
Método
Universo de Estudio
Se revise, la totalidad de los articulos publicados
en la revista CC y la RPP. El analisis bibliométrico
incluye las revistas publicadas hasta el momento en que
escribimos estas lineas (enero de 2001). En la RPP se
han publicado 99 articulos y en la revista CC un total de
114. En el analisis no se contabilizaron las revisiones de
libros ni los editoriales.
Instrumentos y Procedimiento:
Cada autor tuvo a su cargo el analisis de algunas
de las siguientes variables: autores de los articulos;
instituciOn del autor; namero de autores por articulo; y
areai de la psicologia abarcadas. Se desarrolló una plantilla para ,cuantificar los hallazgos por sección.
Posteriormente, toda esta información fue verificada y
corroborada por el primer autor del presente articulo
(AMT).
Resultados
Productividad de los Autores
Un area de , sumo inter& en los analisis bibliométricos consiste en conocer la productividad de los
• autores. En la Tabla 1 se pueden observar los resultados
La edad y los comportamientos
69
de este andlisis. Los mismos se presentan englobando
los resultados obtenidos en la revista CC y la RPP. Debe
notarse que en esta lista solo se incluyen aquellos
autores que han producido 4 articulos o mas. Asimismo,
se excluyeron del anilisis los editoriales publicados ya
que, a nuestro juicio, éstos no cualifican como articulos ni pasan por una lectura a ciegas ("blind-review7).
Tabla 1.
Productividad por autores.
Autores
Alfonso Martinez-Taboas
Miguel Martinez Lugo
Salvador Santiago Negnin
Irma Roca de Torres
José J. Cabiya Morales
Wanda Rodriguez Arocho
Jeannette Rossell6
Carlos S. Alvarado
Carlos Andtilar Robts
Luis IL Colon
Victor Alvarez
Irma Serrano Garcia
Maria Amelia R.odriguez
Aracely Beatriz Llanos
José Toro Alfonso
# de articulos
22
11
10
8
8
6.
6
5
5
5
4
4
4
4
Los resultados indican que solo 15 psicOlogos/as se han
dedicado a publicar 4 articulos o más desde que se fundaron
las dos revistas que estamos analizando. A nuestro juicio,
este dato fundamenta la opinisin presentada por MartinezTaboas (1999), en el sentido de que el 95% de los psicOlogos
en Puerto Rico no se dedica, de manera consistente, al4 tarea
de publicar sus ideas o investigaciones. Es interesante
sefialar que Martinez-Taboas resalta en nuestro anilisis
como el autor mas prolifico en las revistas publicadas en
Puerto Rico. Este hallazgo tiene su paralelo en el amilisis
bibliométrico realizado por Lopez y Calvache (1998),
70
Martinez-Taboas, Castro, Pagan y Coca
quienes al analizar el contenido de la Revista
Latinoamericana de Psicologia, encontraron que tanto para
el periodo de 1979-1988 como pm el de 1989-1998, Alfonso
Martinez-Taboas result() el autor mas prolifico en Puerto Rico
y uno de los más productivos a nivel latinoamericano.
Otto dato de interés es que otros 213 psicologos/as
escribieron 3 o menos articulos para la RPP o CC. La
inmensa mayoria (82%) ha llegado a publicar solo un
articulo.
Niimero de Autores por Articulo:
Una variable que puede ser reveladora es la que se
relaciona con el niimero de autores por articulo. En la Tabla
2 podemos apreciar los resultados.
Table 2.
Minter° de autores por articulo.
0 de autores
Uno
Dos
Tres
Cuatro
Cineo
Seis
CC
n (%)
RFT
n (%)
Total.
n (%)
69 (61%)
31 (27%)
9 (8%)
3 (2%)
1 (0.8%)
1 (0.8%)
60 (61%)
20 (20%)
11 (11%)
1 (1%)
4 (4%)
3 (3%)
129 (61%)
51 (23%)
20 (9%)
4 (2%)
5 (3%)
4 (2%)
De la Tabla 2 se desprende que la mayona de los/as
psicOlogos/as tienen una preferencia por escribir sin la
colaboraciOn de otros autores (61%). Escribir de esta
manera tiene sus satisfacciones. Entre ellas: el articulo
implica un esfuerzo concentrado y mayor de parte del
autor; más horas contacto de EducaciOn Continua; y
probablemente sea de mayor impacto en un Curriculum
Vitae. Sin embargo, el acto de escribir en conjunto con
La edad y los comportamientos
71
otros colegas también tiene sus ventajas, en especial cuando se trata de investigaciones de tipo empfricio, ya sean
cuantitativas o cualitativas. De hecho, si uno examina
cualquier revista de psicologia intemacional, podri apreciar
que son relativamente pocos los articulos en donde la
responsabilidad recae en un solo autor. Si examinamos la
Tabla 2, a nivel general se puede notar que solo un 16% de
los articulos poseen tres o más autores.
Producción por Instituciones
También se estucliO la afiliaciOn institucional de los
autores. Se hizo un anilisis de los datos por revista y a nivel
global. En la Tabla 3 se pueden observar los resultados.
Tabla 3.
Produccidn por instituciones.
Afiliacion del autor
Universidad Carlos Albizu
Universidad de Puerto Rico
Universidad Interamericana
Otras
CC
n (%)
RPP
n (%)
Total
n (%)
122 (67%)
14 (8%)
0
45 (25%)
24 (14%)
82 (47%)
20 (12%)
49 (27%)
146 (41%)
96 (27%)
20 (6%)
94 (26%)
Un dato que resalta de inmediato es que en la revista
CC la mayorf a de los autores (67%) identifican que su
afiliaciOn institucional es la Universidad Carlos Albizu.
Esto indudablemente se debe a que tanto los/as estudiantes
graduados/as, asf como la facultad de dicha Universidad
tradicionalmente han identificado a la revista CC como una
fuente enriquecedora y legftima de publicar sus trabajos
profesionales.
Por otro lado, una situaciOn interesante tambi6n se
da en la RPP, en donde casi la mitad (47%) de los trabajos
72
Martinez-Taboas, Castro, Pagan y Coca
publicados provienen de personas afiliadas con la
Universidad de Puerto Rico. No sabemos la razón exacta
para explicar esta tendencia, pero una conjetura que se nos
ocurre es que en ciertos momentos la directiva de la APPR
ha sido percibida (de manera correcta o incorrecta) como
muy intimamente relacionada al Departamento de
Psicologia de la Universidad de Puerto Rico. Si esto fuera
cierto, explicaria dos datos que se observan en la Tabla 3.
En primer lugar, hay una tendencia clara y marcada a que
los psicólogos afiliados con la Universidad Carlos Albizu
casi no someten ni publican en la RPP. En segundo lugar,
los psicologos afiliados con la Universidad de Puerto Rico
casi no someten ni publican en la revista CC. De hecho,
solo un 8% tiene publicado trabajos en CC.
Sea nuestra conjetura cierta o no, creemos que dicha
tendencia no es saludable para el crecimiento epistémico ni
cientifico de la psicologia en Puerto Rico. La actividad
cientifica y académica debe trascender afiliciaciones o
instituciones, ya que el conocimiento no tiene duefios ni
lares. Comprometido con esta opinion, el actual Editor de la
RPP y CC se ha dado a la tarea de animar e invitar colegas
de diversas instituciones y afiliaciones para asi crear un
ambiente Mtelectual rico, diverso y retante. Esta postura
editorial parece haber comenzado a rendir frutos. Por
ejemplo, si analizamos los filtimos dos volumenes de la
RPP, tenemos que 7 (21%) de los 33 autores estan afiliados
a la Universidad de Puerto Rico, 9 (27%) a la Universidad
Carlos Albizu, y los restantes 17 (52%) autores a otras
instituciones o centros (Parapsychology Foundation; practica
privada; Centro de Estudios Integrales; Hospital San Juan
Capestrano; Universidad Interamericana). Esto contrasta,
por ejemplo, con el Volumen 9 del ailo 1993, en donde el
73% de los autores de los articulos estaban afiliados a la
La edad y los comportamientos
73
Universidad de Puerto Rico.
Productividad por Areas
Otro tema importante se relaciona con aquellas
areas en las cuales el autor muestra interes de contribuir.
Este asunto resulta vital para comprender los énfasis y
esfuerzos que se estan invirtiendo a la hora de escribir los
resultados de nuestras rnvestigaciones, ideas o teorias. En la
Tabla 4 se pueden apreciar los resultados.
Tabla 4.
Areas Espectficas Abarcadas en los Articulos.
Areas
Psicopatologia
Evolutiva
Psicoterapia
Psiconsetria
Industrial
Historicos
Social
Epistensologia
Neuropsicologia
Salad
Transcultural
Otros
CC
n
14
18
10
10
11
2
5
10
7
7
6
14
RPP
n
17
10
10
10
8
10
7
2
4
3
4
14
Total,
n
31 (14.5%)
28 (13.1%)
20 (9.4%)
20 (9.4%)
19 (8.9%)
12 (5.6%)
12 (5.6%)
12 (5.6%)
11 (5.2%)
10 (4.7%)
10 (4.7%)
28 (13.3%)
Resalta de inmediato que los temas de psicopatologia
y de psicoterapia, en conj unto, cubren una cugta parte
del material publicado en dichas revistas. Esto ciebe
sorprendernos ya que sabemos que la , gran mayor14 rcle
los/as psicólogos/as en Puerto Rico son psicologosfas
clinicos/as (Rivera & Maldonado, 1999). Las psicopatologiii,
mas discutidas son la esquizofrenia, los trastornos krOedad,
los trastornos disociativos, los trastornos afectivos y diversas
psicopatologias en niftos.
El tema de la psicologia industrial cuenta con ;una,
74
Martinez-Taboas, Castro, Pagan y Coca
débil participación en las piginas de dichas revistas. De
hecho, debe notarse que casi todos los trabajos del area de
industrial provienen del Dr. Miguel Martinez o del Dr.
Carlos Andujar. Si no fuera por la productividad de estos
colegas, el tema de la psicologia industrial estaria prácticamente ausente de la discusi6n profesional en nuestras
revistas.
De manera analoga, los psicologos sociales y los
comunitarios han hecho unos aportes muy escuetos y
reducidos en la RPP y en la CC. También caen aqui las
temiticas de la neuropsicologia, epistemologia, asuntos
de interés hist6rico, psicologia de la salud y asuntos transculturales.
Finalmente, un analisis adicional fue dirigido para
indagar el numero de articulos en donde se utilizó algim
tipo de metodologia empirica, ya fuera 6sta cuantitativa o
cualitativa. Los resultados reflejan que en la revista CC 51
de 114 articulos (45%) fueron presentados como investigaciones empiricas. En la RPP de 99 articulos, 42 (42%)
fueron de esta indole.
Discusi6n
Los anilisis bibliométricos son ütiles a la hora de
percibir patrones en la actividad de escritura de articulos
profesionales. Aunque hay varias maneras de contribuir al
conocimiento en una disciplina (ofreciendo ponencias,
dando clases, realizando investigacion), tradicionalmente
se considera que la escritura de articulos profesionales es
una de las formas mas rigurosas y productivas de acelerar
el conocimiento en un area (Garfield, 1984; Thyer, 1994).
Las ventajas de publicar son varias e importantes, tales
como la permanencia de las ideas del autor; la capacidad
La edad y los comportamientos
75
del autor de someter sus opiniones o investigaciones al
imbito püblico profesional, la rigurosidad en la exposición
de sus ideas y poner al alcance del pliblico en general
aspectos sobre la disciplina con fines educativos. Por estas
y otras razones es que la publicación de arliculos profesionales
tiene un valor tan especial en el Cuniculum Vitae de cualquier
profesional (Kirk & Corcoran, 1989).
El anilisis bibliométrico realizado a la RPP y a CC
confirma algunas de las ideas ya expuestas por MartinezTaboas (1999), muy en particular su preocupación de que son
exiguos los/as psicOlogos/as puertorriquefios/as que tienen
la tenacidad y costumbre de publicar Solo un minusculo
grupo de colegas, el cual calculamos en un 2%, publica de
manera consistente en revistas profesionales. Esto contrasta
con los hallazgos en otros paises (véase a Martinez-Taboas,
1999).
De nuestro analisis bibliométrico ,se desprenden
varias recomendaciones. En primer lugar, las instituciones
académicas deben exigir y propiciar que tanto sus facultativos
como sus estudiantes se entusiasmen y practiquen el arte y la
ciencia de presentar sus opiniones o resultados de manera
escrita (véase las recomendaciones especificas en
Martinez-Taboas, 1999). De esto no hacerse, puede continuar
el patron de no preocuparse por este aspecto profesional.
Eventualmente, este patrOn puede resultar nefasto, como lo
seria la cancelaciOn de las pocas revistas profesionales que
tenemos en Puerto Rico. De hecho, ea los filtimos tres afios,
la RPP ha tenido problemas en publicarse, debido en gran
medida a que la Junta Editora no ha estado recibiendo
• articulos para ser considerados a publicaciOn.
En segundo lugar, creemos que poco a poco los/as
• psicOlogos/as en Puerto Rico deben de ir substituyendo el
habito de escribir articulos con una sola autoria, y
76
Martinez-Taboas, Castro, Pagan y Coca
plantearse los beneficios de escribir en conjunto con otros
colegas. Aunque la escritura de articulos por un solo autor
siempre sera valiosa, creemos que el porcentaje de articulos
con mas de un autor es muy escueto (solo una tercera
parte). Si vemos a la psicologia dentro de un discurso
biopsicosocial, la colaboraciOn activa de varios autores,
con diversas especialidades, puede ser un factor decisivo en
la maduraciOn del campo y puede ayudar a trazar lazos con
otras disciplinas cientificas.
En tercer lugar, los/as psicOlogos/as que laboran
dentro de la psicologia social, la comunitaria y la industrial,
casi no se han dejado sentir en las piginas de la RPP y CC.
Su productividad, exceptuando unos pocos colegas, puede
ser descrita como casi nula. No sabemos a ciencia cierta las
razones de esto. Si sabemos que en Puerto Rico los psicologos
industriales y los social-comunitarios comprenden una
minoria significativa (alrededor del 10%) del universo de
psic6logos (Rivera .& Maldonado, 1999). Sin embargo, aim
asi creemos que estos colegas deben hacer un esfuerzo
mayor para presentar sus ideas, investigaciones, criticas e
inquietudes en nuestras revistas. El articulo que public6 la
psicologa social Maria Milagros L6pez (1985), con el titulo
de Prometeo Encadenado: Los Obstáculos que Confrontan
los Psicólogos para Asumir una Responsabilidad Social
Alterna constituye un magnifico ejemplo de la aportaciOn
que pueden hacer los psicOlogos sociales.
En cuarto lugar, aunque las revisiones de literatura,
los analisis te6ricos y las presentaciones de tipo histOrico
son de indudable valor, creemos que se necesita continuar
la publicaciim de investigaciOn empirica (cualitativa o
cuantitativa). En este sentido, el hallazgo de que un 44% de
los articulos hayan estado dirigidos a diversos tipos de
investigaciones empiricas nos parece encomiable. En
•
La edad y los comportamientos
77
Puerto Rico, en donde tantas veces nos quejamos de que no
deseamos importar el conocimiento obtenido por los
europeos o por los norteamericanos, resulta imperioso que
se publiquen los resultados de aquellas intervenciones, terapias
o instrumentos de evaluación que sean ütiles, confiables y
vilidos en nuestro entomo cultural. La presentación de
dichas investigaciones en tesis o disertaciones resulta de
dudosa relevancia, ya que son muy pocos los colegas que
tienen el tiempo o las facilidades para rebuscar disertaciones,
las cuales, lamentablemente, muchas veces les aqueja el
hongo y el polvo por no usarse ni consultarse.
Por filtimo, nos llama la atención y nos inquieta el
hecho de que hasta hace muy poco la inmensa mayoria de
los autores de los articulos analizados provienen solamente
de dos instituciones académicas: la Uthversidad Carlos
Albizu y la Universidad de Puerto Rico. Nos preguntamos:
ipué sucede con los colegas de otras universidades o institutos?
LQué sucede con todos esos colegas en practica privada? LQué
sucede con todos esos colegas que trabajan en instituciones
psiquiitricas con niflos, adolescentes y adultos? Quiz& la
respuesta radique en una mezcla letal de cansancio, desinterés
o de un sistema que no valora ni recompensa la egaitura de
artfculos. Sin embargo, y tal y como lo presentó MartinezTaboas (1999), la escritura de articulos profesionales no
solo cuenta con refuerzos extrinsecos, sino también con
ventajas intrinsecas, las cuales pueden ser un fuerte
mecanismo motivacional por si solo.
Debemos de finalizar indicando que nuestro anilisis
bibliométrico no ha pretendido ser del todo exhaustivo.
Algunos de estos trabajos, como el de Lopez y Calvache
(1998), incluyen el tipo exacto de metodologia utilizado por
el autor, tipos de diseftos experimentales, cantidad de estudios
con animales, edades de los participantes y tipo de
78
Martinez-Taboas, Castro, Pagan y Coca
estadisticas utilizadas. Este trabajo lo podrian retomar
otros colegas y seguir depurando el trabajo que aqui
hems iniciado.
Referencias
Aguilar, M. C., & LOpez, W. (1997). La psicologia organizacional en
Latinoamerica: Un analisis bibliométrico de la Revista de Psicologia
Organizacional. Revista Interamericana de Psicologia
Ocupacional, 16, 30-40.
Cullen, D. J., & Macauley, A. (1992). Consistency between peer
reviewers for a clinical specialty journal. Academic Medicine, 67,
856-859.
Garfield, S. L. (1984). The evaluation of research: An editorial perspective.
En A. S. Bellack & M. Hersen (Eds.), Research methods in clinical
psychology (pp. 353-369). New York: Pergamon.
Kirk, S. A., & Corcoran, K. J. (1989). The $12,000 question: Does it
pay to publish? Social Work, 34, 379-381.
Klappenbach, H., Cimara, S., Barrozo, A., & Lepez, N. (1999). Estudio
bibliométrico de los primeros veinticinco afios de Acta Psiquiatrica
y Psicologia de America Latina (1954-1979). Acta Psiquicitrica y
PsicolOgica de America Latina, 45, 303-316.
LOpez, M. M. (1985). Prometeo encadenado: Los obsticulos que
confrontan los psicOlogos para asumir una responsabilidad social
alterna. Revista Puertorriquella de Psicologia, 4, 65-75.
Lopez, W. L., & Calvache, 0. (1998). La psicologia de habla hispana:
30 aftos de la Revista Latinoamericana de Psicologia. Revista
Latinoamericana de Psicologia, 30, 401-427.
Martinez-Taboas, A. (1999). La publicaciOn de articulos profesionales:
Reflexiones, anicdotas y recomendaciones de un editor. Ciencias de
la Conducta, 14, 1-15.
Rivera, B., & Maldonado, L. (1999). PsicOlogos 1995-1998. Boletin
Inforinativo Oficina de Estadisticas de Salu4 14, 1-11.
Thyer, B. A. (1994). Successful publishing in 'scholarly journals.
Thousand Oaks: Sage.
0 2001 Universidad Carlos Albizu
Clench= de la Conducta
San Juan, Puerto Rico
2001, Vol 16, 79-92
La Edad y los Comportamientos Asociados
a la Gerencia de Calidad Total y
Mejoramiento Continuo:
Un Estudio Comparativo
Miguel E. Martinez Lugo, Ph. D.
Luz D. Hernandez, M.S.
Glenda L. Velez, M.S. y Zoe Figueroa, M. S.
Universidad de Puerto Rico
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to determine differences between
young and older employees regarding behaviors related to quality
management and continuous improvement. The Escala de
Comportamientos Relacionados con el Mejoramiento Continuo
(ECMC) was administered to 355 employees (208 young and
147 old) of different public and private organizations in Puerto
Rico. Both groups were compared in the seven sub-scales of the
ECMC and statistical analyses reflected significant differences
in only two of the sub-scales: creative thinking and team work
orientation. It is suggested that these groups are more alike than
different in the behaviors examined. Stereotypes and prejudices
commonly associated to older employees should be re-examined
Durante la filtima década, en las organizaciones
han surgido una serie de cambios que conllevan la
modificación en la forma de administrar las mismas.
Estos cambios buscan convertir las empresas en unas
Para comunicarse con los autOres, favor de escribir a la Universidad Carlos Albizu,
P.O. Box 9023711, San Juan, P. R. 00902-3711.
79
80
La edad y los comportamientos
más eficientes y eficaces (Diaz Garcia, 1997). Hoy
dia el foco esti en desarrollar contextos de trabajo
flexibles, adaptables, basados en aprendizaje continuo,
organizaciones con estructuras de equipo multifuncionales,
adiestramientos dirigidos al desarrollo de destrezas
multiples, transferencia ripida de la informaciem y
comunicacide a través de todos los niveles organizacionales (Avolio y Sosik, 1999).
Entre las filosofias administrativas que tienen
como prop6sito fimdamental operar estos cambios en
las organizaciones podemos mencionar la gerencia de
calidad total. Esta filosofia busca una transformación
en la manera en que se administran las organizaciones
ya que conlleva enfocar las energias de la gerencia en
el mejoramiento continuo de todas las operaciones,
funciones y, sobre todo, los procesos de trabajo
(Caudron, 1993). La gerencia de calidad total promueve
la efectividad al dark importancia a la organización en
lugar del énfasis en el trabajo especifico; apoyar el
trabajo grupal en lugar del desempeflo individual;
promoyer la igualdad en vez de la jerarquia; buscar el
cambio eri ivgar de la estabilidad y, por ultimo fomentar
la participacion en vez del control (Halachmi, 1993).
Los eambios que se generan en las organizaciones
hoy dia han llevado a las empresas a apoderar tanto a los
individuos - como a los grupos de trabajo para que
planifiqudn, dirijan y controlen sus propios procesos
de trabajo; se promueve el mejoramiento continuo de
la fuerziliboral y se busca la diversiflcación de la
misma para que de esa forma tenga representaciem de
diferentes razas, grupos étnicos, estilos de vida, habilidades
ftsicas y grupos de edad ( Amsden, Ferran y Amsden,
1996; Avolio y Sosik, 1999; Brull, 1996; Halachmi,
,
Miguel E. Martinez
.81
1993). Como se observa, los cambios mencionados
requeriran comportamientos y destrezas diferentes de
todos los individuos que forman parte de la fuerm laboral (Brull,
1996). Ante tales requerimientos, surige la preocupación de si
aquellos empleados que estaban acostumbrados a las
maneras de administrar previas a la gerencia de calidad
total, podrán exhibir estos comportamientos asociados
a esta nueva practica gerencial.
La flexibilidad se ha convertido en la norma de la
mayoria de los ambientes de trabajo hoy dia, reemplazando
asi los acercamientos mas tradicionales y rutinarios.
Esto ha llevado a que el mundo del trabajo requiera de
parte de sus empleados un constante proceso de
adaptaciOn (Yeatts, Folts y Knapp, 1999). Mucho se ha
argumentado si aquellos empleados envejecidos
pueden adaptarse a estos cambios o, si por el contrario,
abandonaran las organizaciones al no poder o querer
lidiar con ese nuevo ambiente organizacional. Para
dstos, el redisefio de las organizaciones regularmente
requiere desarrollar destrezas, habilidades y
conocimientos que le ayuden a reestablecer el pareo
individuo-puesto de trabajo (Yeatts, Folts y Knapp,
1999).
La resistencia al cambio no es exclusiva de los
empleados envejecidos pues también puede observarse
en empleados j6venes. No obstante, autores como
Mondy, Sharplin y Flippo (1988) y Thomas y Thomas
(1990) entienden que el miedo al cambio es de importancia
particular para los empleados envejecidos pues dicho
cambio en el trabajo puede resultar en la perdida de
privilegios y estatus. Privilegios que ban sido obtenidos
como parte de su antigiedad en la organizaci6n.
Con esta preocupación en mente se desarrolla la
82
La edad y los comportamientos
presente investigaciOn La misma tiene como propOsito
auscultar si existen diferencias estadisticamente significativas en algunas de las caracteristicas asociadas a los
programas de calidad total y mejoramiento continuo al
comparar un grupo de empleados jóvenes y un grupo de
empleados envejecidos. Especificamente se auscultara
si existen diferencias estadisticamente significativas
entre estos dos grupos en las siguientes caracteristicas:
flexibilidad y adaptaciOn; orientación de servicio a1
cliente; pensamiento creativo; disposiciOn para el
aprendizaje; orientación al trabajo en equipo; ciudadania
organizacional y por idtimo, compromiso con la calidad.
Para ello se tomaron como base las puntuaciones
obtenidas por estos grupos en la Escala de
Comportamientos Relacionados con el Mejoramiento
Continuo (Andfijar Rojas, 1999).
Método
Participantes:
Para la realización del estudio se contactaron 355
empleados de diferentes organizaciones püblicas y
privadas en Puerto Rico los cuales fueron seleccionados
por disponibilidad. En términos generales, la edad
minima informada por los participantes fue de 18 altos
y la maxima de 80 &los, siendo 41 anos la edad promedio.
El 57% pertenece al género femenino, 35% posee una
preparación a nivel de bachillerato, el 66% procede del
area norte del pais y un 58% esta casado. La mayoria
trabaja en el sector privado (68%), especificamente en
el area de servicio (68%). En términos de niimero de
aflos trabajando, los mismos informaron un minimo de
Miguel E. Martinez
83
menos de 1 aflo a un maximo de 57 afios, siendo el
promedio 17 afios. Los participantes se dividieron en
dos grupos utilizando como criterio para ello su edad.
El primer grupo, denominado grupo de empleados
jovenes, estuvo constituido por aquellos empleados
que tenian al momento del estudio menos de 50 afios de ,
edad. El mismo estuvo compuesto de 208 participantes
(59% del grupo total). La edad minima de este -grupo
fue 18 aflos y la maxima 49 aflos, siendo 32 afios la
edad promedio. El 62% pertenece al género femenino,
posee una preparación académica de bachillerato
(42%), vive en el area norte del pais (67%) y esta casado
(46%). El 70% informó trabajar en compafiias privadas;
especificamente en el area de servicio (69%). En tértninos
de experiencia laboral, este grupo inform() Ilevar desde
menos de 1 afio hasta 34 afios trabajando, teniendo como
promedio 10 afios de experiencia.
Por otro lado, el segundo grupo, denominado grupo
de empleados envejecidos, estuvo constituido por 147
empleados (41% del grupo total) que al momento del
estudio tenian 50 afios o más de edad. La edad minima
de este grupo fue 50 afios y la maxima 80 afios, siendo
56 altos la edad promedio. La mitad (50%) pertenece al
género femenino, posee una preparaciOn académica de
bachillerato (27%), vive en el area norte del pais
(65%) y esta casado (74%). El 62% inform() trabajar
en compaftias privadas, especificamente en el area de
servicio (65%). En términos de experiencia laboral,
este grupo inform() llevar desde menos de 1 afio hasta
57 afios trabajando, teniendo como promedio 28 afios
de experiencia.
84
La edad y los comportamientos
Instrumentos
Para la recopilacifm de los datos se utilizaron
dos instrumentos. El primero de ellos fue una Hoja de
datos demograficos. A través de la misma se recopiló
información referente al género, edad, preparación
acad6mica, lugar de residencia, estado civil, tipo de
organizaciOn para la cual trabaja y Mos de servicio.
El segundo instrumento utilizado fue la Escala
de Comportamientos Relacionados con el
Mejoramiento Continuo (ECMC) desarrollada por
Andfijar Rojas (1999). Esta escala fue desarrollada a
partir de siete dimensiones que Morgan y Smith (1996)
plantean que definen los comportamientos de una
persona con alta probabilidad de éxito en una cultura
de calidad total o mejoramiento continuo. Estas siete
dimensiones se reflejan en las subescalas que conforman
la ECMC: flexibilidad y adaptación; orientación de
servicio al cliente; pensarniento creativo; disposicien
para el aprendizaje; orientación al trabajo en equipo;
ciudadania organizacional y por Ultimo, compromiso
con la calidad. Los anAlisis estadisticos realizados a
dicha escala reflejan unas caracteristicas psicométricas
muy adecuadas. Especificamente, se observan valores
eigen que fluctiian entre 2.3 y 4.2; indices de discriminacion promedio entre .41 y .60 y coeficientes alfa de
Cronbach que varian desde .74 hasta .87 (Andiijar
Rojas It De Jesus Clavell, 2000).
Procedimiento
Los participantes fueron contactados de manera
individual por estudiantes a nivel graduado en psicologia
Miguel E. Martinez
85
industrial organizacional para auscultar su disponibilidad
para former parte del estudio. Se les entregaba una carta
donde se les explicaba el propósito del mismo y Jos
derechos que tenian como participantes del proceso
investigativo. Especificamente se le garantith, su
anonimato, confidencialidad, voluntariedad y su dereeho
a abandonar la investigación en el momento en quelo
considere necesario. Una vez la persona accediaA.
participar se pasaba a la administración de los4nstrumentos, en este caso la hoja de datos demograficos y el
ECMC. Luego de ésto se procedi6 a- codificar los
datos para de esa forma ser analizados estadisticamente
utilizando el programa estadistico conocido con el nombre
de SPSS, Version 9.
Resultados
En primer lugar se presentarán las puntuaciones
obtenidas por cada uno de los grupos objeto de andlisis
en esta investigaciOn. Luego se presentara el resultado
del analisis estadistico cuyo objetivo era llevar a cabo
la comparaciOn entre las puntuaciones promedio de
cada grupo en cada una de las subescalas del ECMC.
Como se observa en la Tabla 1, las puntuaciones
promedio en las subescalas del ECMC para el grupo de
empleados jOvenes fluctuaron entre 31.32 y 33.80. La
puntuaciOn promedio más baja correspondi6 a la
subescala de orientación de servicio al cliente mientras
que la puntuaci6n promedio mas alta correspondiO a la
subescala de disposiciOn para el aprendizaje. En la
Tabla 1 se observan las puntuaciones obtenidas por el
grupo de empleados envejecidos. Para este grupo la
puntuación prornedio mas baja fue 30.37 en la
86
La edad y los comportamientos
subescala de orientación al trabajo en equipo y la más
alta fue 32.67 en la subescala disposición para el
aprendizaje.
Al comparar las puntuaciones promedio en las
-subescalas del ECMC se encontraron diferencias
estadisticamente significativas solamente en dos de
estas. En la subescala de pensamiento creativo, los
empleados j6venes obtuvieron una puntuación promedio
significativamente más alta (M = 31.98, DE = 4.91) que
el grupo de empleados envejecidos (M = 30.91, DE =
4.98), t (342) = 1.97, p < .05. Por otro lado, en la
subescala de orientación al trabajo en equipo, el grupo
de empleados j6venes obtuvo una puntuación promedio
significativamente mas alta (M = 32.00, DE = 5.49) que
el gxupo de empleados envejecidos (M = 30.37, DE =
5.92), t (334) = 2.60, p < .01 (ver Tabla 1).
Tab's 1
Puntuaci6n plomedio, de sviaci6n estandar y resultado de la ptueba t para cada
subescala de la ECMC para el grupo de empleados Avenes y envejecidos.
Sub-escala
Fludbilidad y
adaptabilidad
Oriented& servido
al diode
Pensandento creative
DispositiOn pare
aprendiaaje
Chidadania organizacional
Orientation trail*
en equiPo
Compromise con calidad
Grupo
M
Aveues
DE
Grupo Envejecidos
M
DE
31.37
5.37
30.69
31.32
31.98
4.25
4.91
31.36
30.91
4.42
4.98
-.09
1.97*
33.80
32.20
6.52
4.79
32.67
31.40
6.79
5.47
1.54
1.44
32.00
32.70
5.49
6.53
30.37
33.05
5.92
6.32
2.6044
-.50
6.71
1.02
*p<.05
Discusión
Como se observa en los resultados presentados previamente,
.
Miguel E. Martinez
87
el grupo de empleados jóvenes y el grupo de empleados
envejecidos obtuvieron puntuaciones promedio bastante
similares en las subescalas de la ECMC. Si se analiza el
orden entre las subescalas para el grupo de empleados
jóvenes se tiene lo siguiente: disposición para el aprendizaje,
compromiso con la calidad, ciudadania organizacional,
orientación al trabajo en equipo, pensamiento creativo,
flexibilidad y adaptación y, por ültimo, orientación
de servicio al cliente. Por otro lado, el orden de las
subescalas para el grupo de empleados envejecidos es el
siguiente: compromiso con la calidad, disposición para el
aprendizaje, ciudadania organizacional, orientaciOn
de servicio al cliente, pensamiento creativo, flexibilidad y
adaptacion y, por ültimo, orientación al trabajo en equipo.
Solo se encontraron diferencias estadisticamente significativas en dos de las subescalas: pensatniento creativd y
orientaciOn al trabajo en equipo. Este patrOn de ausencia de
diferencias marcadas entre estos dos grupos de trabajadores
ya se ha observado en otras investigaciones realizadas en
Puerto Rico las cuales han comparado estos dos gmpos
generacionales. En las mismas se ha visto como en la Variable
motivaciOn hacia el trabajo ambos grupos reflejan unos
patrones motivacionales muy similares (Vélez y Martinez,
1995; Martinez y Mckenzie, 1997):
En la primera subescala de la ECMC donde se encuelitran
diferencias estadisticamente significativas es en
pensamiento creativo. En ésta el grupo de empleados
jOvenes obtuvo una puntuaciOn promedio mayor que el
grupo de empleados envejecidos. Esta diferencia,pudiera
exphcarse tomando en consideraciOn cOmo han evolucionado
los contextos de trabajo en las filtimas décadas. Goldberg
(2000) expone que en un pasado el énfasis en la creatividad
e innovacion era muy poco. Aguellos trabajadores de la
88
La edad y los comportamientos
agricultura y de lineas de ensamblaje fueron socializados para
desempear tareas donde el espacio para el pensamiento
creativo era escaso; el empleado era considerado un par de
manos que llevaban a cabo una tarea especifica Es muy
probable que el grupo de empleados envejecido que particip6
en nuestra investigación pertenezca a este grupo que crecio
en estos contextos especificos de trabajo que describe
Goldberg. Por otro lado, afiade esta autora que en la era de
la hifonnaciOn, las empresas estan abiertas a acercamientos
nuevos y creativos. Este grupo generacional que se ha
desarrollado en esta era de la informaciOn se caracteriza por
ser uno creativo, que se siente cOmodo con la tecnologia y
que asimila muy bien el cambio (City of Portland, 2000).
Es probable que en este tipo de empresa es que se hayan
desarrollado y socializado nuestro grupo de empleados
jOvenes.
La segunda subescala en la que se observan diferencias
estadisticamente significativas es en la de orientación al
trabajo en equipo. De nuevo en ésta, el grupo de empleados
jOvenes obtuvo una puntuaciOn promedio mas alta que el
grupo de empleados envejecidos. Es importante resaltar
que es en esta subesca1a donde el grupo de empleados
envejecidos obtuvo como grupo la puntuaciOn promedio
mas baja. Esta diferencia significativa en promedios en
esta subescala puede explicarse tomando en consideraciOn
que el trabajo en equipo es una modalidad relativamente
reciente en el mundo del trabajo. Como argumenta Ilgen
(1999), los equipos de trabajo comenzaron a aparecer en
las organizaciones pablicas y privadas de producciOn o
servicio en la década de 1980 y no es hasta la década de
1990 cuando en la literatura del area de negocios se
cpmienza a resefiar el valor de los mismos. Es muy probable
que este grupo de empleados envejecidos no se haya
Miguel E. Martinez
89
enfrentado hasta aflos recientes a esta modalidad dentro de
sus ambientes de trabajo y estO más expuesto a contextos
donde el Onfasis fuera en el trabajo individual. De hecho,
Zemke, Raines y Filipczak (2000) al describir el contexto
de trabajo en el cual es muy probable que se desarrollaran
estos empleados envejecidos, establecen que lo comfm era
la division de trabajo estricta, donde el ejecutivo tomaba las
decisiones y el empleado llevaba a cabo los planes y donde
la estructura organizacional estaba claramente deflnida.
Yeatts, Folts y Knapp (1999) seflalan que existen diversos
estudios donde se sugiere que los empleados etwejecidos
muestran resistencia a aquellos ambientes de trabajo
redisefiados que involucran equipos de trabajo. También
infonnan estos autores que los empleados envejecidos tienden
a percibir su inclusiOn en equipos de trabajo como un
descenso en la jerarquia organizacional pues entienden que
el pertenecer a estos equipos conlleva la perdida de estatus
en la empresa. Es por ello que estos empleados resienten el
cambio pues entienden que el mismo puede llevarles a
perder privilegios alcanzados como resultado de sus aflós
en la empresa (Mondy, Sharplin y Flippo, 1988 ; Thomas y
Thomas, 1990). De igual forma, en un ambiente de equipo
de trabajo, se espera que cada miembro del mismo
desempefle las tareas de los demas y que comparta
conocimientos y destrezas con los otros miembros del
equipo. Esto conllevaria que este empleado envejecido
tenga que invertir tiempo y esfuerzo para adquirir nuevos
conocimientos, destrezas y habilidades (Yeatts, Folts y
Knapp, 1999).
No obstante- a estas diferencias, se observa un patrOn
muy similar entre ambos grupos en torno,a comportamientos
relacionados al mejoramiento continuo. Ambos exhiben
flexibilidad y adaptabilidad, orientaciOn de servicio al
•
90
La edad y los comportamientos
ciente, disposicion para el aprendizaje, ciudadanfa organizacional y compromiso con la calidad. Caracteristicas que,
de acuerdo a lo que se ha observado en la literatura, son
esenciales en aquellas organizaciones con programas de
calidad y mejoramiento continuo.
Como toda investigación, la presente tiene como limitaciOn
principal el que la muestra haya sido una seleccionada por
disponibilidad. Esto implica que la misma es una no
representativa limitando el alcance que se pueda hacer
de sus resultados. Se observa ademis, que el mayor
porcentaje de los participantes reside en el area norte
del pais, lo cual limita aim mas la generalización de los
resultados a solo personas de esta zona geografica.
También se observa que la mayoria trabaja en empresas
privadas, especificamente dedicadas a la prestaciOn de
servicios. Dadas estas limitaciones se sugiere que en
futuros estudios se trate de aumentar el porcentaje de
participantes provenientes de otras areas del pais y que
representen otros sectores empresariales y tipos de organizaciOn.
A pesar de las limitaciones anteriormente sefialadas, los
resultados de este estudio ayudan en el esfuerzo de acumular
evidencia referente a las caracteristicas del empleado
envejecido y ayudan a generar datos que podarnos utilizar
yara combatir el prejuicio y los estereotipos que hacia este
grupo generacional existen en los contextos de trabajo. En
el mundo organizacional cambiante al cual nos enfrentamos,
tenemos que poseer datos que nos indiquen que la edad no
es un impedimento que limite al empleado para enfrentarse
a los nuevos retos, realidades y paradigmas. Aim cuando
los empleados envejecidos fueron socializados en una realidad
organizacional diferente a la realidad del empleado joven,
estos se han ido adaptando y han ido desarrollando los
Miguel E. Martinez
91
comportatnientos necesarios para encarar las exigencias de
las empresas cuyo énfasis radica en el mejoramiento
continuo.
Referencias
Amsden, R.T., Ferran, T.W. y Amsden, D.M. (1996). TQM: Core
paradigm changes. Business Horizons, 39, 6-14.
Andajar Rojas, C. (1999). Manual de la Escala de Comportamientos
Relacionados con el Mejoramiento Continuo (ECMC). San Juan: El
autor.
Andfijar Rcjas, C. y De Jesits Clavell, R. (2000). Desarrollo y validación
de la Escala de Comportamientos Relacionados al Mejoramiento
Continuo (ECMC). Revista Interamericana de Psicologla
Ocupacional, 19, 23-37.
Avolio, B.J. y Sosik, J.J. (1999). A life-span framework for assessing
the impact of work on white-collar workers. En S.L. Willis y JD.
Reid. (Eds.). Lift in the middle: Psychobgical and social development
in middle age (o. 249-274). San Diego: Academic Press.
Brull, H.P. (1996). Selection in the TQM environment: What's needed
and how do we know who's got it? Public Personnel Management,
25, 495-506.
Caudron, S. (1993). Keys to starting a TQM program. Personnel
Journal, 72, 28-33.
City of Portland / Multnomah County. (2000). Managing Generation
X. http://www.ci.portland.or.us/affirm/GenX.html.
Diaz Garcia, G. (1997). El recurso humano en las empresas que forman
parte de la globalizaci6n. Revista Acta Academica, 21, 116.
Goldberg, B. (2000). Age works: What corporate America must do to
survive the graying of the workplace. New York: The Free Press.
Halachmi, A. (1993). TQM, performance appraisal, and training:
Selected issues and implications. The Public Manager: The New
Bureaucrat, 22, 67-68.
Ilgen, D.R. (1999). Teams embedded in organizations. American
Psychologist, 54, 129-139.
Martinez Lugo, M.E. y Mckenzie Meléndez, A. (1997). Comparación
del perfil motivacional de una muestra de empleados jóvenes y
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empleados viejos en Puerto Rico. Revista Interamericana de
Psicologla Ocupaeional, 16, 127-134.
Mondy, R. , Sharplin, A. y Flippo, E.B. (1988). Management:
Concepts and practices. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Morgan, R.B y Smith, J.E. (1996). Staffing the new workplace:
Selecting and promoting for qualiv improvement.
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Wlez Rodriguez, L. y Martinez Lugo, M.E. (1995) El mundo del trabajo
en Puerto Rico: Perfil motivacional de un grupo de trabajadores. Revista
Latfrvamericana de Psicologia, 27, 283-304.
Yeatts, D. , Folts, WE. y Knapp, J. (1999). Older worker's adaptation
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Sección de Arte y Cultura
02001 Universidad Carlos Albizu
Ciendas de la Conducta
2001, Vol 16, 95-100
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Entre la voz y el silencio
Maria Arrillaga
Universidad de Puerto Rico
A mis compafieras dominicanas que tambi& escriben:
Una doble vision puebla mi vida. Ante mis ojOs se
deslizan las multiples embarcaciones que navegan el rio
Hudson: barcazas, buque carga y cruceros, lanchas de
motor de todo tipo, veleros. Por el aire globos anuncian
productos; aparecen helic6pteros, pequefios aereoplanos.
De momento, sübito el incitante murmullo del mar Caribe,
mar mitico de mi infancia. Giras de amigas y aznigos en la
playa de Punta Arenas en Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. Fiesta de
mangos, almendras y uvas playeras. El agua de coco helada,
sabor a paraiso, limpia mi alma y entrafias. Soy de aqui, soy
de alla, pertenezco, sobre todo, al pais de las mujeres. La
doble visi6n crece infmita.
LQué es ello que viaja a través de los mares y el aire,
hacia diferentes naciones y en cualquier tiempo, a dar
testimonio de nuestros deseos y de nuestras inquietudes?
nuestra polifemica, polisémica, polifonica, polifisica,
abundante, exigente y rica vocaciOn? LQué es este fuego
sagrado que no tiene nada que envidiar a los dioses? No es
el super hombre. No es siquiera la mujer maravilla. Es
Para comunicarse con los autozes, favor de escribir a la Universidad Carlos Albizu,
P.O.Box 9023711, San Juan, P. R. 00902-3711.
95
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Maria Arrillaga
nada menos que la voz que encarna en escritura. Hoy dia
muchas mujeres reconocemos el poder de la voz, complices,
hemos acordado un acendrado pacto: daremos voz a todo
aquello que resulte en bien de las mujeres, como dijera
Virginia Woolf: "Chloe liked Olivia". Esta frase, que
traducimos como Clo6 es amiga de Olivia, seri nuestra
consigna. La realidad es nuestra fiesta, festejamos la amistad.
Celebramos haber vencido todo aquello que pugna por
separarnos. Celebramos nuestra colectiva union ut6pica.
Sin sonrojo, sin verguenza, con tranquilo orgullo proclamamos
nuestra identidad: soy mujer, porque escribo soy. Esta fiesta
cobra movimiento desde los muchos lugares de dOnde
somos.
Celebramos, ademis, la sobrevivencia en nuestras
conciencias de la persistencia de Filomela asi como de las
palabras de la Sibila de Cumas. No tememos enfrentarnos
con los mitos que en contra de nuestra expresiOn se ban
construido y afirmar por siempre tenazmente el deleite que
conlleva el ejercicio del poder de nuestra lengua.
La historia de Filomela es una historia terrible y
cruel. Tereo viola a su cufiada Filomela. Para impedir que
Osta le cuente lo acaecido a su hermana Progne, Tereo le
corta la lengua a Filomela:
Filomela preparaba su garganta y a la vista de la
espada habia concebido la esperanza de su muerte. El, con
la feroz espada, cort6 la lengua que habia agarrado con unas
tenazas, mientras, indignada, invocaba incluso el nombre
de su padre y luchaba por hablar. La raiz de la lengua se
agita en el fondo de la boca, la lengua esti en el suelo y
temblando murmura sobre la tierra negra, tal como suele
dar saldos la cola de una serpiente mutilada y al agonizar
busca el todo a que pertenece.
Filomela logra enviar un mensaje a su hermana
Entre la voz y el silencio
97
tejido en una tela. En venganza, Progne y Filomela se unen
para matar al hijo de Progne y Tereo, y darselo de comer a
Tereo.
El silenciamiento violento de la mujer que representa
el mito de Filomela halla una manifestación mas sutil, no por
ello menos efectiva en el dictamen de parte de San Pablo:
"Como en todas las iglesias de los santos, las
mujeres callense en las asambleas, porque no les toca a
ellas hablar sino vivir sujetas, como dice la Ley". Siglos
despues del caso Filomela y de las palabras de San Pablo
todavia articulamos la presencia del silencio entre nosotras
aun cuando escribimos. Mi se expresa la poetisa dominicana
Sabrina Roman:
Vivo escapando de los golpes del silencio
que obstaculiza el transit° de voces
que necesariamente deben llegar a mis oidos
para decirme a solas
la razón real de mi existencia.
Al considerar las estrategias silenciadoras que han
afectado la existencia femeMna, no hallamos ninguna más
penosa que aquella que proviene de parte de otras mujeres.
Carmen Imbert Brugal se ha encargado de identificar este
mal en su inteligente y acucioso planteamiento sobre la
varona intelectual.
Nuestra segura consciencia en torno al silencio
femenino incluye atenci6n a otros mitos que tambien han
regido nuestra vidas. Nuestra existencia se ha debatido
siempre entre los extremos de degradacien e idealizacien.
Pandora es la degradacien. La mujeres ideales. Penelope y
Maria entregan su identidad personal a las instituciones del
matrimonio y de la maternidad. A la mujer degradada por
las transgresiones que se le atribuyen se le castiga con la
castración que supone el dominio sexual de parte de los
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Maria Arrillaga
hombres. La idealización surge como paliativo del castigo
que sufre la mujer con la negacian de su sexualidad. La
idealizaciem es dispositivo mediatorio que prepara la
consumación de la anulaci6n de la voluntad de la mujer
dentro de los roles tradicionales de madre y de esposa.
Este filtimo mito es uno de los mas persistentes en
nuestra lucha por la libertad. Virginia Woolf le Ham() "El
angel del hogar" y Betty Friedan, en su libro La mistica
Femenina, se refirió al asunto como el problema que no
tiene nombre.
El problema de la domesticidad es el problema de la
politica sexual. En al enlazan Filomela, Sabrina Roman,
Virginia Woolf, Betty Friedan y todas aquellas de nosotras
en busca de autenticidad para las relaciones entre humanos,
hombres y mujeres.
Contra el silenciamiento de la mujer, contra los
mitos que conspiran en contra de nuestras vidas nuestra
mejor arma, no cabe duda, es nuestra cabezas. Por eso
Perseo le corta la cabeza a Medusa. Aquellos (y aque1la.)
que no nos quieren bien no van en pos de nuestros cuerpos.
Como Perseo, su atención esti sobre nuestras cabezas. Es
a través de la dedicación de nuestro trabajo, del ejercicio de
nuestra inteligencia y creatividad que finalmente transformaremos el mundo. Nuestro esfuerzos debe dirigirse a
descifrar, re-construir, traducir, transcribir, re-crear y revisar la experiencia humana toda buscando atentas los hilos
dispersos de nuestra tradición femenina.
Acogemos felices toda iniciativa que explore las
condiciones y discursos de la creatividad femenina. Los
nombres de Aida Cartagena Portalatin, de Esthervina Matos
y de Hilma Contreras afianza el querido tapiz de nuestra
tradición femenina.
Usemos nuestras cabezas sin miedo ni rencor para
Entre la voz y el silencio
99
conocernos cada vez mejor las mujeres creadoras, para
ayudamos y, cuando sea menester, incluso perdonarnos.
Como dijera Chiqui Vicioso, evocando el deseo de Camila
Henriquez Urefla, no hay "que desconocerse, o que odiarse,
porque en ese mundo por decir hay espacio, siempre habra
espacio para todos".
De este espacio habla la Sibila de Cumas cuando
dice: "Y cuando nadie pueda Verme ya, no obstante se me
reconocera por la voz pues los hados me la dejaran" Junto
a la esperanza que representa las palabras de la Sibila de
Cumas inventaremos nuestra propia manera de ver las
cosas. Los hados de la Sibila de Cumas son su voluntad
obstinada de expresión. Las voces de Juana de Arco eran
su propia voz interior. Para nuestro andar colectivo por este
nuestro amplio mundo nada mas importante que nuestra
alma individual. Regaremos el mundo con toda nuestra
magnifica diversidad. Junto con nuestnis vittudes tradicionales
de amor y espiritualidad estamos aprendiendo a gustar del
Poder, a no avergonzarnos de alcanzar posiciones lucrativas,
a afirmar nuestra sexualidad.
La compresión, el amor, el crecer tolerante, la
generosidad de la creación y de la inteligencia serail los
dones que llevaremos con nosotras al final de nuestra travesia.
Ha llegado nuestro momento, compaileras, no hay nada que
temer. El mundo es nuestro.
( c ) 2000 Maria Arrillaga
Referencias
Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own, Frogmore, &Albans,
Triad/Panther, 1977, p.78.
Publio Ovidio Nason, Las metamorfosis, Mexico, Porraa, 1980, p.86.
100
Marfa Arrillaga
San Pablo, I "Corintios", en: Sagrada Biblia, Madrid, Bilbioteca de
• autores ctiStianos,' 1955, p.1251.
Sabrina Roman, "Raz& de mi existencia", en: Daisy Cocco de Filippis,
• .Sin otro profeta que su canto: Antologia de poesia escrita por
• dominicanas, Repablica Dominicana, Tam; 1988, p.I41.
Carmen Imbert Brugal, "La varona intelectual", en : lbid, p.217-219.
Carmen Naranjo, La mujer y el desarrollo. La mujet y la cultura.
Mexico UNICEF y Secretaria de Educacion Publica, 1981, p.9-35.
V. Woolfi, Las mujeres y la literatura, Barcelona, Lumen, 1981, p. 6970; Betty, Friedan, The Femenine Mystique, New York, Dell, 1977.
Ica* Miget, Politica sexual , Mexico, Aguilar, 1975.
,Chiqui,Yiciaso, "La mujer en la literatura dominicana: a cuenta y siete
afios de CiMila Henriquez, en: D. Cocco de Filippis, Op. Cit., p.207212.
PO. Nasen, Op. Cit, p.I98.
Ciencias de la Conducta
2001 Universidad Carlos Albizu
2001, Vol 16, 101-104
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Organza dreams of Cuban fragments
( For Julie)
Elsa Beatriz Cardalda Sanchez
Universidad Carlos Mbizu
When I recently went to Florida to visit relatives
after a long absence I expected the worst: beehive hairdoos,
pink cars, my father on a motorcycle or even more terrifying
his wife in her new acquisition, a school bus. I pictured
being at my cousin's double weddings and that my beloved
father ( in his polyester suit circa 1965) with his Cuban
nouveau wife ( in a satin decolletage) would meet my
mother's clan and inspire such laughter that they would
need Heimlich's maneuvers to unchoke the dinner steaks.
Now I know that the Florida that I left as a teenager
was wildly enacted as such and that my self-conscious fears
were adolescent — no more. Shame is so close to pride. I
mean this was the Florida where I had my first date at 13, I
am sure that the guy is still in therapy from the side effects
of that night. My parent's friends arranged for their son and
his girlfriend to take me out and invited one of his friends
to be my escort I eagerly waited for this Cuban prince but
when I saw him I had to run to the nearest bathroom to
compose myself, he seemed like the ugliest guy on earth, a
frog with elaborate gallantly. Had I tried to keep my distance
Para comunicarse con los autores, favor de escribir a la Universidad Carlos Albizu,
P.O.Box 9023711, San Juan, R R., 00902-3711.
101
102
Organza dreams of Cuban fragments
anymore I would have fallen out of the car
I tried to prepare myself for the trip by imagining a
pessimistic scenario, - they'll ask me if I finished my
dissertation, did I get married or would I go for some
cosmetic suigery, possibly in that order. Luckily my brother
had anticipated my trepidations and was already fielding the
questions for me. Yes, she's practically finished school and
when questions about my civil status arose, he quickly
guided me to the dance floor. But he had conveniently
quizzed me beforehand: how does your hair look, take out
your braces, have you seen your dermatologist lately?...
thank heaven for his helpful anticipation to defend me
against any possible self-doubts. No Andre, I'll show up
with a limp caused by cramps associated with sitting too
long and a bitter rictus on my lips portraying cynical
intellectual rigor. Although I was reticent and did not
join the girls to snatch the wedding bouquet, I must admit
that their priorities are mine as well, achievement, relationships, and esthetics, in that same order. So there is no black
sheep or renegade, although challenged their values remain.
The thought of these others threatened to engulf and
excite me for there is no kitch or rococo like these noble
souls. Even in the photos with all my beautiful cousins in
Tampa I look cheerfully trapped. I remembered how for the
Sanchez clan nothing ever seems good-enough, you feel
totally persecuted by their vigilance, plus a little odd.
When I was a teenager my aunt Nena got in charge of my
visits, her surveillance was impenetrable, I had to sleep in
her bedroom alarmed by 25 clocks ticking all at once, in a
house cluttered with three living room sets some of them
in boxes, and had to report to command station every hour
so fear of contempt or she would call the local T. V. stations.
She was fun particularly denying reality and constructing
Elsa Beatriz Cardalda Sanchez
103
our family myths. This time as usual their radars were
finely tuned when at my cousin Ronny's wedding I danced
with anybody else than direct descendants, and had to face
insinuations of WELL SO! as if mating was their game of
choice.
This trip I didn't expect to be pulled -again- by their
candid yet stormy ways and attempted a skeptical sweet
look to shield myself from the cannibalistic experience of a
family reunion. To no avail because in spite of secretly
suspecting that whatever Cuban in me was fading, I am
convinced now that besides my ambivalence, kin is origin
and destiny, scapegoat and privilege, testament and creation.
Basking in the reflection of their gold jewehy —heavy
artillery- I truly felt admired. It is difficult to accept how
much I have missed their exagerated love, their hysterical
worry, their appreciation for things American, the honor
code "la sangre que me fiama".
When I arrived to Orlando, there it was, the wall of
blockade and division, the confusion of not actually knowing
who was to receive :me at the akport. When I realized that
nobody was there to pick me up I felt a little foolish trying
to explain that I was supposed to meet somebody that I
never met before who was presumably going to take me to
a wedding that I didn't know where it was. Probably the
guys at TWA thought I was delirious. But it was true,, I
agreed to be greeted by a friend of my cousin Linda, who
claimed she never found a person with my description ( I
must say that I even wore a name tag). I had lost my
Kindergarten line and upps, all I had was some pretzels to
spend the long wait until somebody could come to my rescue.
As a matter of fact they came, but then we had to go to
another terminal at the airport to try to find the boyfriend of
my cousin Milly, somebody faceless for me, arriving from
104
Organza dreams of Cuban fragments
Miami but she couldn't remember neither the time nor on
what airline. Very simple, just call his name real loud, in
Spanish.the better. I am pretty sure the pagers at the airport
got quite familiar with all our voices, I even felt an inkling
of curiosity about meeting them, no, really I wanted to
check if maybe something was wrong with their speakers
and_.not at all with our loose relational ways.
My departure was no less bizarre as my father
insisted immediately on measuring the distance and time
that it would take us to get to my final gate, he had the shuttle
figured out and his parking spot noted down in case of sudden
memory loss. This is Cuban safety, first you scatter some
pieces of bread marking your exit, then the hell with it and
let's run out of here, get some expressos and reach the nearest
exit to get a nicotine fix. As a special gift he had some juicy
confessions which I am not to reveal, but I know he treats
all his children in the same conspiratorial way, don't tell
your sister this, leaving us in a temporary bind until we
compare gossip and spy on each other for an indication of
the forbidden knowledge. He said that he might move now,
let's clarify that this is a person who has already lived in
four countries, and I listened to this elderly man wanting to
start again, meanwhile all I could think of was: My own
pension plan! These are the restless Cubans with unpacked
suitcases, 0. K. I also keep the boxes of even small picture
frames just in case I want to move. For I. am forever leaving
and longing to return, both Penelope and Ulyses in this epic
for in shifting movement lies an identity displaced by history,
Cubanness met in fragments, their seams a long organza
fabric smooth and unfmished I keep to my chest.
0 2001 Universidad Carlos Albizu
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Ciencias de la Conducta
2001, Vol 16, 105-110
Maria Arrillaga:
Concierto de Voces Insurgentes
3 Autoras Puertorriqueilas
Edelmira Gonzalez Maldonado,
Violeta L6pez Suria
y Anagilda Garrastegui
Margarita Ostolaza Bey Ph.D.
IJuiversidad de Puerto Rico
Concierto de Voces Insurgentes 3 Autoras
Puertorriguenas: Edelmira Gonzalez Maldonado, Violeta
Lopez Suria y Anagilda Garrastegui es la obra magistral de
critica literaria de Maria Anillaga, feminista epistemolOgica,
poeta, ensayista, narradora. En Concierto de voces
insurgentes la autora trabaja la insurrecciOn de tres mujeres
escritoras comtemporineas de la literatura puertorriquefia
desde su a1t01ebe116n, la de Maria Arrillaga. Dirige esta
rebeliOn contra la lOgica investigativa de la correcciOn
formal del pensamiento y su concordancia consigo
mismo. Valida con la critica literaria feminista la bOsqueda
de la verdad del pensamiento y su concordancia con el objeto:
su origen, fundamento, esencia y trascendencia. Logra
Para comunicarse eon los autores, favor de eseribir a la Universidad Carlos Albizu, P.O.
Box 9023711, San Juan, P. R.., 00902-3711.
105
106
Margarita Ostolaza Bey
recapitular un modelo de investigacien feminista, luego
aplicado al analisis de cedigos femeninos en voces de
escritoras puertorriqueflas silenciadas por su condicien de
ginero. Para ello articula voces pioneras del feminismo a
través de la historia de occidente hasta fines de los
ochenta-focalizada en America Latina y Puerto Rico con
conviccien y verticalidad ideolegica, con rigurosidad
critica y ausencia de dogmatismo. Pienso sin duda, que al
integrar las corrientes de la critica feminista hace una
aportacien sin precedentes y muy significativa. De esta
forma, Marfa Arrillaga, autora critica — en ejercicio solidario —
es al mismo tiempo directora, productora y voz que amorniza
este maravilloso concierto de voces insurgentes.
Su concierto no es de un trio, ni de un cuarteto. Incluye,
segon el juicio de su maestro Luis Rafael Sanchez, "el
encuentro de argumentaciones con contenidos distintos
efectuados por mujeres en diferentes alturas histericas".
Por, tanto, ,este conciento de voces insurgentes nos incluye a
todos y a todas a quienes el feminism° ha tocado y celebramos
que quede en la historia gracias al pensamiento referente,
creativo e interpretativo que se articula en la palabra escrit2
por Maria Arrillaga.
En el texto la autora plasma la insurgencia frente al
sistema patriarcal que nos niega el conocimiento inclusivo
del género humano. La escritora feminista Carmen Lugo
Filippi destaca la novedosa y dinAmica estructuracien del
corpus analitico de este texto. Da testimonio " del trasfondo
de erudicien y de documentacien de que se ha valido la
autora... " para transgredir los enfoques del pensamiento
formal y subvertirlos por pensamientos, posiciones y criterios
innovadores con fund& transformadora. El maestro
Marcelino Canino afiade que nos encontramos ante una
eptica distinta y novedosa donde la "expresidn de una peculiar
Maria Arrillaga: Concierto de Voces Insurgentes 107
sensibilidad manifiesta el <<ethos sexuali>>:....de la
creadora"... con lo cual"... nos convence hasta la saciedad
de que hay una escritura femenina — (extra-feminista) —
puertorriquefia". En fin, Maria Arrillaga ha alcanzado lo
que Michel Foucault denomina "la ingurreccien de los
conocimientos subyugados".
Y es que Maria Arrillaga es una creadora que ha
querido dedicarle su principal energfa a los géneros literarios,
a quien las circunstancias, la experiencia y la crianza por
razen de género la Ilevan irremisiblemente a la insurgencia
en la creacien y a buscar una base teerica feminista literaria
para sustentarla. Por otro lado, la necesidad de ser autosuficiente y de hacerse un espacio en la catedra universitaria
la conduce a elaborar investigacien exhaustiva desde la
epistemologia feminista para la critica literaria. El impacto
de la influencia de Simone de Behauvoir, de Viola Klein,
Betty Friedan, Kate Millet, Tillie Olsen y otras, la hacen
asumir la consigna — en palabras de la autora — " de ir al
rescate de mujeres silenciadas". Sobre todas ellas, la mujer
mas influyente, a quien mils quiere Maria Arrillaga, es a su
tia abuela Maria Luisa Arcelay, primera legisladora de
America Latina, empresaria mayaguezana, benefactora de
la familia y su mentora, con qui& se crie y convivie en su
juventud. A la influencia de Maria Luisa Arcelay atribuyo
la estrella conductora de la prolffera obra creativa e
investigativa de Maria Arrillaga: su capacidad amorosa,
generosa, solidaria, su tenacidad y sus inquebrantables
valores de aka y moral feministas.
Concierto de voces insurgentes, hoy publicada por
Editores Isla Negra, es una sintesis apretada de la tesis
doctoral de la autora. El escrito original consta de 832
piginas presentada en eL pepartamento de -Estudios
Hispanicos de la Uninrsidad, de Puerto Rico en 1987.
108
Margarita Ostolaza Bey
Mereci6 entonces el premio Luis Llorens Torres conferido
por la Academia de Lengua Puertorriquefia, y ademas, el
reconocimiento de mejor tesis del afio de las presentadas en
el Departamento de Estudio Hispanicos, calificada de
sobresaliente o "Magna cum Laude" por unanimidad de sus
jueces. Su director de tesis, Ram& Luis Acevedo, ha
expresado que en este texto nos encontramos ante dos
libros, uno que aplica su referente a la produccion literaria
puertorriqueffa y latinoamericana.
Ahora, nos preguntamos tpor que tarda mas de una
decada la publicacion de un texto sin precedentes en la crftica
litenuia puertorriquefia? Hace diez afios no existfan las
condiciones, ni el espacio, ni la vision editorial para la crftica
Jiteraria feminista en el mundo hispanoparlante. Apenas
comenzaban las y los academicos feministas a proponer los
estudios de la mujer con miras a desarrollar los estudios del
genero e insertarlos en las disciplinas del saber. Apenas
comenzaban las voces insurgentes a cuestionar la legica de
la correccien formal del conocimiento, a reconsiderar y
reevaluar mucho de lo que dabamos por sabido. En otras
palabras, no existfan las condiciones propicias para entender
la relevancia de este texto que hoy, estoy segura, el pablico
habri de recibir con beneplacito.
En la primera parte del texto, Marfa Arrillaga da
cuenta del momento histerico — a partir de la decada de los
60's — en que las voces insurgentes a nivel internacional y
a traves del pafs comenzamos a preguntarnos y quisimos
explicarnos cemo las cosas habfan llegado ser del modo
asimetrico en que las vivimos. Quisimos ademis saber
cemo cambiar dichas inequidades. La autora dedica un
capitulo al genesis de los Estudios de la Mujer, al presente
institucionalizados a traves de las diversas disciplinas del
conocimiento. La elaboracien e institucionalizacien de los
Maria Arrillaga: Concierto de Voces Insurgentes 109
estudios del g6nero parten de la denuncia que ni la ciencia,
ni las disciplinas, ni ningon producto humano es neutral,
objetivo o apolitico. Entendemos pues que las disciplinas son
notablemente refomfistas, antirefonnistas o revolucionarias:
nunca neutrales. Rechazamos que las teorlas o hallazgos se
den independientemente de los sujetos, sus valores o intereses
de clase. Por tanto, desde el punto de partida epistemologico,
el feminismo tampoco es "neutral" ni "objetivo". Es más bien
un cuerpo unitario de pensamientos y acciOn dirigido al
cambio individual y social.
Estas son premisas y fundamentos bisicos del
feminismo. Toma como el objetivo central del
conocimiento la emancipaciOn humana y que 6ste debe
estar dirigido a la construcciOn de sociedades igualitarias.
Luchamos, sobre todo, porque las diferencias biolOgicai, de
experiencias y de perspectiva de la mujer sean tan validas
como son las de los hombres. Sin embargo, atm cuando
este es el marco teOrico que se sustenta a tray& de tOdO ci
texto, Marfa Arrillaga deja claro que el discurso critico
feminista no es homogéneo, monolitico o maniqueo.
Elevada a este nivel de la realidad, en la segunda parte
del texto la autora logra, de manera magistral, sistematizar la
abarcadora metodologia feminista rescatando a tres mujeres
escritoras, pricticamente desconocidas de la literatura
puertorriquefia: Edelmira Gonzalez Maldonado, Violeta
Lopez Suria y Anagilda Garrastegui. Tres ejemplos de
mujeres silenciadas y marginadas per la critica. Hace un
estudio comparativo inclusivo de la trayeetoria de vida de
las escritoras y descifra el denominador comán de sus
respectivas obras literarias: un cOdigo femenino logra
hacernos entender como sus infortunios 'personales inciden
en sus respectivas obras y como ello explica lo tardio o su
limitada cantidad. Esto Made gusto y emociOn al lector(a)
110
Margarita Ostolaza Bey
por la agudeza del pensamiento critico de Maria Arrillaga.
De modo que abre brechas "...dentro los fundamentospara
un fruetifero e imprescindible diálogo que esta en proceso".
y "...servith como sólida base referencial y esencial punto
de partida para lecturas e investigaciones futuras", segim el
juicio sabio de Ram& Luis Acevedo.
Debo apresurarme a serialar que esta critica a la
obra de Maria Arrillaga puede sonar apologética, pero
garantizado haberla pasado por mi estricto juicio feminista
y no puedo más que coincidir con los colegas que la
premiaron, ariadiendo que es una lecciOn para la critica
feminista que predomina en nuestro ambiente. En ésta se
practica, unas con otras, la censura, la inquisición y sobre
todo la indiferencia. No es comun referirnos, reconocemos,
splidarizarnos o citarnos. Es Maria Arrillaga quien
establece precedente al construir una critica literaria como
ejercicio solidario. Parafraseo a Ana Lydia Vega al
expresar que cuando la critica feminista se digna atender
el trabajo de una mujer que adopta " el lenguaje de los
hombres _para decodificarlo y ensayar el poder, entonces
!escribes como hombre', 'eres agresiva', 'vulgar', 'extremista',
`machista al revés', de ésas que se meriendan a los nenes
crudos".
Luego de esta obra, dudo que alguien se atreva tratar de
silenciar, ocultar o subestirnar a Maria Arrilaga con la
indiferencia. Tampoco creo que alguien se atreva volver a
"marfillarle los deditos para que acabe de caerse del
bote....", imagen que retomo de Ana Lydia Vega. Isla
Negra ha dado a la luz palica una obra donde Maria
ArrilIaga cae dentro del Bote de la historia, unida al
cOncierto de voces insurgentes pioneras en direccion certera
a la emaRcipación humana.
Ciencias de la Conducta
REVISTA DE LA UNIVERSIDAD CARLOS ALBIZU
SALVADOR SANTIAGO NEGRON
Presidente
JUNTA EDITORA
UNIVERSIDAD CARLOS ALBIZU
JOSE CABIYA, Director
ALFONSO MARTINEZ -TABOAS, Editor
JOSE RODRIGUEZ, Editor Asociado
MARIA VELEZ, Editora Asociada
CARLdS ANDOJAR, Editor Asociado
JOSE SANTOS, Editor Asociado
ORLANDO PEDROSA, Editor Asociado
SARA MALAVE, Editora Asociada
MARIANO ALEMANY, Editor Asociado
ANA MARIA PI, Editora Asociada
SEAN SAYERS, Revisor Estudiantil
MARIBELLE DE LA TORRE, Revisora Estudiantil
UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL AUTONOMA DE MEXICO
EMILIO RIBES, Editor Asociado
UNIVERSIDAD PEDAGoGICA EXPERIMENTAL DE BARQUISIMETO
VENEZUELA
CARLOS RUIZ BOLiVAR, Editor Asociado
ARGENTINA
JOSE C. BARBOSA, Editor Asociado
JUNTA EDITORA SECCION ARTE Y CULTURA
SALVADOR SANTIAGO NEGRON, Editor
LOURDES GARCiA, Editora
ELSA CARDALDA, Editora

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