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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Degree Discipline: Counseling
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Development of the Trauma Play Scale: Comparison of Children Manifesting a History of Interpersonal Trauma with a Normative Sample.
Experts in traumatology have postulated traumatized children play differently than non-traumatized children. These differences are called posttraumatic play and include the behaviors of intense play, repetitive play, play disruption, avoidant play and negative affect. The purpose of this study is the continued development of the Trauma Play Scale through the addition of a normative sample. The Trauma Play Scale is an observation-based instrument designed to distinguish the play behaviors of children in play therapy with a history of interpersonal trauma when compared to non-traumatized children. The present study compares two samples of children. One group (n=6) currently in play therapy with a history of interpersonal trauma and another group (n=7) considered normally developing (cognitively, emotionally, socially, and physically) by their parents with no known history of interpersonal trauma. Trained raters blind to the trauma history of the children rated a series of eight consecutive video-recorded play therapy sessions for each participant. One-way analysis of variance statistics, including effect sizes were compute to determine the discriminant validity of the Trauma Play Scale. Traumatized children scored significantly higher on the Trauma Play Scale than non-traumatized children on all domains of the scale as well as the overall Average Trauma Play Scale score. Large effect sizes indicated strong relationships between group membership (trauma history versus normally developing) and scores on the Trauma Play Scale.
Doctoral Level Counseling Students’ Experiences and Perceptions of Learning in a Cohort Environment
Learning community literature supports the use of student cohorts to enhance learning through increased peer interaction and common course work. Researchers employed the qualitative method of phenomenography to identify various ways doctoral counseling students conceptualize and experience learning in a cohort over the course of a single academic year. Participants were all 10 members of a single southwestern U.S. university counseling program doctoral cohort of full-time students between 20 and 59 years of age with 5 members 20-29, 4 members 30-39, 1 member 50-59; 8 female, 2 male; 9 White non-Hispanic, 1 African-American. Data were transcripts from 30 one-hour interviews, three for each participant over the course of their first year of study. The research team that analyzed the data consisted of three advanced counseling program doctoral students, each with research methods coursework. Results revealed nine dynamic structural aspects of learning: dialogue, diversity, knowledge, motivation, support, shared experience, relationship development, interpersonal awareness, and conflict. Findings support the use of learning communities in doctoral level counselor education programs. Cohort members demonstrated increasing awareness of the potential learning benefits of cohort interaction and developed more in depth strategies over time to utilize the cohort to enhance learning. Future counselor educators may now with greater confidence design learning communities and curriculum to facilitate doctoral cohort development for optimal student interaction.
An Early Mental Health Intervention for Disadvantaged Preschool Children with Behavior Problems: The Effectiveness of Training Head Start Teachers in Child Teacher Relationship Training (CTRT)
This study examined the effectiveness of training Head Start teachers and aides in child teacher relationship training (CTRT). CTRT is based on child parent relationship therapy (CPRT) (Landreth & Bratton, 2006), a filial therapy model based on the principles of child-centered play therapy, and was adapted for the classroom. In this quasi-experimental design, 12 teacher/aide pairs (n = 24) were assigned to the experimental (n = 12) or active control group (n = 12). Children who scored in the Borderline or Clinical range on at least one scale of the Child Behavior Checklist-Caregiver/Teacher Report Form (C-TRF) at pretest qualified for the study (n = 54). Nine hypotheses were analyzed using a two factor repeated measures multivariate analysis to determine if the CTRT group and the active control group performed differently across time according to pre-, mid-, and posttest results of the C-TRF. Additionally, effect sizes were calculated to determine practical significance. Five hypotheses were retained at the .05 level of significance. Post hoc analysis was conducted to analyze the effects of the two phases of treatment. Results indicated that children in the experimental group made statistically significant improvements in externalizing problems (p = .003). Children of focus made statistically significant improvements in externalizing (p = .003) and total behavior (p = .01) problems. Results are particularly significant for the non-children of focus, who only received the in-classroom intervention. The non-children of focus made statistically significant improvements in externalizing behavior problems (p = .04) and practical significance was large. Results indicate that a school based intervention such as CTRT is a viable treatment option for many children with externalizing behavior problems.
Effectiveness of Child-centered Play Therapy and Person-centered Teacher Consultation on ADHD Behavioral Problems of Elementary School Children: a Single Case Design.
I examined the effectiveness of child-centered play therapy (CCPT) and person-centered teacher consultation (PCTC) for elementary school children identified with clinical or borderline levels of ADHD behaviors on the Teacher Report Form and the Conners' Teacher Rating Scale Revised - Short Form. Additionally, I examined the impact of CCPT and PCTC on the levels of parenting and teaching stress. Due to the current trend to determine interventions that are evidence-based through between-group or single case designs, for this study, I utilized a single case design experiment for which the behaviors of five children were examined. Trained observers utilized the Direct Observation Form in observations of all five students three times per week. Additionally, parents and teachers completed behavioral rating scales and stress inventories at pre-, mid-, and post-intervention. To prevent biased observational ratings, observers were blind to the assignment of the five children. Three students participated in 24 sessions of twice-weekly 30-minute sessions of CCPT, and these students' teachers participated in six sessions of once-weekly 10-minute PCTC. Two students participated in twice-weekly 30-minute sessions of reading mentoring, after which they participated in 14 sessions of CCPT. Visual analysis of the data indicated mixed results. Three students demonstrated substantial improvement in the observed ADHD behaviors within the classroom. Results of the parent and teacher assessment data were inconsistent, but did indicate behavior change for some children and a reduction in teaching stress for one teacher. Parenting stress appeared unaffected. Implications for future research regarding the use of single case design, the measurement of student behavior change, and issues of comorbidity are indicated.
Effectiveness of Child-Centered Play Therapy with Japanese Children in the United States
This study explored the use of child-centered play therapy (CCPT) as a culturally responsive intervention and a prevention treatment method for the psychosocial well-being of Japanese children in the United States. In light of the demand for the evidence-based therapeutic treatment for children as well as the need to conduct multicultural research without ignoring within-group differences, this study was composed of two research methodologies; quantitative research design and individual analysis. Single-group repeated measures ANOVA was utilized for the group analysis and linear regression was employed for individual analysis in addition to qualitative data obtained through parent feedback and the researcher's observation of play therapy sessions. The participating children received a total of eight CCPT sessions. The impact of CCPT was measured by a decrease in a child's behavioral problems perceived by a parent measured by scores of the Internalizing Problems, Externalizing Problems and Total Problems on the Child Behavioral Checklist and a reduction of parent-child relationship stress manifested in the Child Domain, Parent Domain and Total Stress Score of the Parenting Stress Index. Data from a total of the four assessment points; the baseline, pretest, second assessment, and third assessment, was gathered for use in the analysis. A total of 16 children were recruited from the Japanese School of Dallas for participation in this study. However, some children did not complete the entire set of 8 play therapy sessions, and as a consequence, neither were all assessments completed by their parents. Therefore, data from 10 children, age ranging from 4 to 9, were utilized for the statistical analysis. The results of the analysis did not reveal any statistical significance. However, large and medium effect sizes were obtained on all the six aforementioned subscales during the treatment period. Individual analysis provided further information on possible environmental, developmental, and cultural factors that are considered influential issues on the change of individual scores.
Effectiveness Of Group Activity Play Therapy On Internalizing And Externalizing Behavior Problems Of Preadolescent Orphans In Uganda
This pilot study investigated the impact of group activity play therapy (GAPT) on displaced orphans aged 10 to 12 years living in a large children.s village in Uganda. Teachers and housemothers identified 60 preadolescents exhibiting clinical levels of internalizing and externalizing behavior problems. The participants ethnicity was African and included an equal number of females and males. Participants were randomly assigned to GAPT (n = 30) or reading mentoring (RM; n = 30), which served as an active control. Preadolescents in both treatment groups participated in an average of 16 sessions, twice weekly with each session lasting 50 minutes. Sessions were held in the school located within the village complex. A two (group) by two (repeated measures) split plot ANOVA was used to analyze the data. According to teacher reports using the Teacher Report Form (TRF) and housemother reports using the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), children receiving the GAPT intervention demonstrated statistically significant decreases (p < .025) in internalizing behaviors (TRF: p < .001; CBCL: p < .001 ) and externalizing behaviors (TRF: p = .006; CBCL: p < .001) from pretest to posttest compared to children who received RM. The GAPT intervention demonstrated a large treatment effect on reducing orphaned childrenÆs internalizing problems (TRF: ?p2= .213; CBCL: ?p2 = . 244) and a moderate to large treatment effect on reducing externalizing problems (TRF: ?p2= .121; CBCL: ?p2 = .217). The statistical, practical, and clinical significance of the findings provided strong, preliminary support for using GAPT as a developmentally and culturally responsive school-based intervention for troubled Ugandan orphans.
Effectiveness of Play Therapy on Problem Behaviors of Children with Intellectual Disabilities: A Single Subject Design
A growing disparity between the mental health needs of children and their lack of treatment served as the basis of this study. To address this existent gap, I proposed that child-centered play therapy (CCPT), a holistic treatment that fosters children's emotional, developmental, and social growth would serve as a viable treatment. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of CCPT on problem behaviors among children identified with an intellectual disability. Specifically, a single case, A-B-A design (N = 2) was used to examine changes in participant's problem behaviors as measured on the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) across conditions. Trained raters used the ABC to rate participant's problem behaviors 3 times per week during the course of this study. Participants completed 2 weeks of a no-intervention phase, 5 weeks of play therapy 3 times per week, and 2 weeks of a no-intervention maintenance phase. Additionally, participants were administered the Gesell Developmental Observation to assess their maturational age during the baseline and maintenance phases. Parents also completed the ABC during two intervals: baseline phase, and maintenance phase. Analysis of results indicated that problem behaviors decreased for both participants. Results from the percent of non-overlapping data (PND), an indice for effect size further revealed that play therapy was a very effective treatment for participants. Follow-up interviews suggested that play therapy is a viable intervention for children with intellectual disabilities and problem behaviors. Clinical observations and implications for future research are presented.
Effects and Mediation of Child-centered Play Therapy on Young Children Who Are Anxious
Anxiety is one of the most pervasive childhood disorders, with a poor prognosis if left untreated. Traditional methods of treating anxiety have been less effective with young children. Based on theoretical assumptions regarding the potential effectiveness of child-centered play therapy (CCPT) as a treatment approach, I sought to explore the effects and mediating factors of CCPT on young children with symptoms of anxiety. Fifty-three participants between the ages of 6 to 8 years old were recruited from four elementary schools, including 36 males and 17 females. Of participants, 11 were African American, 24 were Caucasian, 10 were Hispanic/Latino, one was Asian, and seven were biracial. Twenty-five participants were randomly assigned to an experimental group receiving a mean of 15 sessions of individual CCPT, and 28 participants were assigned to an 8-session active control group. Five factorial analyses of variance (ANOVA) were conducted applying an alpha level of .05 for interpretation of statistical significance and Cohen’s d to assess practical significance. ANOVA results indicated a statistically significant interaction with a large effect size on Total Anxiety score of the Revised Children’s Manifest Anxiety Scale-2nd edition (p = .013, d = .715). Subscale ANOVA results indicated a statistically significant interaction effect with large effect size on the Worry subscale (p = .006, d = .795), no statistically significant interaction on the Defensiveness subscale (p = .710, d = .110), no statistically significant interaction but moderate effect size on the Physiological subscale (p = .076, d = .506), and no statistically significant interaction but moderate effect size on the Social Anxiety subscale (p = .162, d = .398). Statistically significant differences with large practical effects were found in total anxiety and worry, suggesting that children who received CCPT decreased their overall levels of anxiety and worry whereas children who were in the active control group increased their levels of anxiety and worry. When examining differences in relationships between groups, the CCPT group relationship scores were significantly higher than the control group relationship scores, as reported by counselors. Although the groups were different in their relationships, the relationship was not considered a statistical mediator of anxiety due to the lack of correlation between relationship scores and outcome. Overall, children seemed to benefit from CCPT, and it may be considered a viable treatment for children who are anxious. Due to the lack of mediation of relationship found in this study, further research is encouraged to consider other mediating and/or moderating effects when attempting to investigate the therapeutic relationship as a mediator.
The Effects of a Human Developmental Counseling Application Curriculum on Content Integration, Application, and Cognitive Complexity for Counselor Trainees.
Although professional counselors have distinguished themselves among helping professionals through a focus and foundational framework in normal human growth and development over the life-span, a majority of programs neglect to incorporate training opportunities enabling students to translate developmental theory to clinical practice. In this mixed-method study, the researcher explored the effects of a human developmental counseling application curriculum and examined cognitive complexity levels among counselor trainees. Qualitative results support gains in both the integration and application of developmental content while quantitative results offer partial support for cognitive complexity gains among trainees. This study identifies a curricular training experience in which counselor trainees' integration and application human developmental theory as well as cognitive complexity, are notably enhanced.
Effects of a Near-Death Experience Learning Module on Grief
The researcher examined the effectiveness of a near-death experience (NDE) learning module on reducing distressing aspects and enhancing a growth aspect of grief among bereaved adults. Participants were 22 females and 2 males; 2 identified as African American, 3 as Asian, 2 as Latina/o, and 17 as White; aged 20 to 71 years with mean age 35.3 years. In this experimental design, the researcher randomly assigned 12 participants to the experimental group and 12 participants to the waitlist no treatment control group. Participants in the experimental group received the NDE learning module intervention, which consisted of 3 sessions over consecutive weeks. Six research questions were explored. A two-factor repeated measures analysis of variance was performed on five dependent variables to determine if the two groups performed differently across time according to the pretest and posttest results of the Despair, Panic Behavior, Personal Growth, Detachment, and Disorganization subscales of the Hogan Grief Reaction Checklist (HGRC). A one-way analysis of covariance was performed on one dependent variable to determine if the groups were statistically different according to the posttest results of the Blame and Anger subscale of the HGRC. Additionally, univariate eta squared was hand calculated to determine practical significance. Findings indicated that bereaved adults who participated in the NDE learning module showed small effect size for interaction on Panic Behavior (&#951;2 = .05) and Personal Growth (&#951;2 = .05), large effect size for interaction on Detachment (&#951;2 = .15), large effect size for treatment type on Blame and Anger (&#951;2 = .15), and negligible effect size for interaction on Despair (&#951;2 < .01) and Disorganization (&#951;2 < .01). Although no statistically significant results were found for any of the dependent variables (p > .05), effect size findings indicated modest to substantial benefits of the NDE learning module intervention for bereaved adults in the form of decreased panic behavior, blame and anger, and detachment, and increased personal growth. Implications for further research beyond this initial investigation are discussed.
Effects of a Play-Based Teacher Consultation (PBTC) Program on Interpersonal Skills of Elementary School Teachers in the Classroom
The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a play-based teacher consultation (PBTC) program on individual teachers’ interpersonal classroom behaviors and teacher-child relationships. The research questions addressed the application of child-centered play therapy principles and PBTC increasing teacher responsiveness, decreasing teacher criticism, and enhancing teachers‟ perceptions of the teacher-child relationship in elementary school classrooms. Single-case design was utilized to examine eight teachers‟ perceptions over 16 weeks. The sample included 8 White female teachers from three local elementary schools. Teacher ages ranged from 28 to 59 years old. There were 5 kindergarten, 1 first grade, and 2 second grade teachers. The teachers participated in one educational training session followed by play sessions with children of focus and interactive modeling sessions. Trained observers, blind to the study’s purpose, utilized the Interaction Analysis System in classroom observations of the teachers, three times per week, to examine teachers’ interpersonal skills. Additionally, the teachers completed the Student Teacher Relationship Scale for the children of focus before and after the play session phase to examine change in the teacher-child relationship. Visual analysis of the data indicated the PBTC’s overall positive impact. 5 out of 8 teachers demonstrated increases in teacher responding scores at mildly to very effective criteria levels. All 8 teachers demonstrated decreases teacher criticism at effective to very effective criteria levels. The teacher-child relationships indicated mixed results, with 5 out of 8 teachers indicating positive changes in teacher-child relationships. Discussion includes implications for future research regarding single-case design, measurement of teacher change, and modifications of the PBTC model.
Effects of a Self-care Intervention for Counselors on Compassion Fatigue and Compassion Satisfaction
This study investigated the impact of a psychoeducational and experiential structured counselor self-care curriculum, developed by Drs. Charles and Kathleen Figley, on compassion fatigue and the prevention of professional impairment as measured by the Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL), Version 5. Volunteer licensed professional counselors, supervisors, and interns from four children's advocacy centers in Texas were assigned to treatment group (n = 21; 20 females, 1 male; mean age 34.4 years) or waitlist control group (n = 21; 19 females, 2 males; mean age 34.6 years). Participating counselors identified themselves ethnically as 64% Caucasian, 26% Hispanic, 7% African-American, and 2% Native-American. Employing a quasi-experimental design, three reliability-corrected analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) were utilized to analyze the data with an alpha level of .05 to assess statistical significance and partial eta squared to assess effect size. With pre-test scores as the covariate, results revealed in the experimental group a statistically significant reduction with large treatment effect for burnout (p = .01; partial ?2 = .15), a statistically nonsignificant reduction with a medium effect for secondary traumatic stress (p = .18; partial ?2 = .05), and a statistically nonsignificant increase with a medium effect for compassion satisfaction (p = .06; partial ?2= .09). Findings supported the use of this curriculum to train counselors on self-care as required of professional counselors by the American Counseling Association code of ethics and listed as a necessary skill in the standards of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.
Effects of a Trained Therapy Dog in Child-Centered Play Therapy on Children's Biobehavioral Measures of Anxiety
This study was concerned with reducing children's anticipatory anxiety when entering mental health services for the first time. The purpose of this study was to determine whether combining two effective modalities, play therapy and animal-assisted therapy, would be effective in decreasing children's biobehavioral measurements of anxiety. Specifically, this study examined the effects of the presence of a trained therapy dog during one individual 30-minute play therapy session. The experimental group consisted of 26 children who received one individual 30-minute play therapy session with the presence of a trained therapy dog. The comparison group consisted of 25 children who received one individual 30-minute play therapy session without the presence of a trained therapy dog. The SenseWear® PRO 2 armband monitor measured children's biobehavioral measurements such as galvanic skin response, temperature, and activity level (BodyMedia, Inc., Pittsburgh , PA , The Tanita 6102 Cardio® digital heart rate monitor measured children's pre-treatment and post-treatment heart rates (Tanita Corporation of America, Inc., Arlington Heights , IL , Five hypotheses were tested using repeated measures ANOVA with mixed factors and eta squared. All five hypotheses in this study were retained based on statistical significance at the .05 level. The combination of child-centered play therapy (CCPT) and animal-assisted therapy was shown to have little practical significance in decreasing children's first 5-minute biobehavioral measurements, middle 5-minute biobehavioral measurements, last 5-minute biobehavioral measurements as measured by the SenseWear Pro 2 armband monitor. The combination of CCPT and animal-assisted therapy was shown to have little practical significance in decreasing children's pre-treatment and post-treatment heart rate. The results of the two factor repeated measures analysis of variance with mixed factors were not statistically significant. Although, research has shown that play therapy is an effective modality in reducing children's anxiety over time, children's anticipatory anxiety was increased in the first 30-minutes of play therapy with or without the presence of a trained therapy dog. Anticipatory anxiety may have been due to the children experiencing a novel and unfamiliar situation, entering the play therapy room with a stranger, the non-structured environment of the play therapy room, or a first interaction with the armband monitor.
The Effects of Adlerian Play Therapy on Maladaptive Perfectionism and Anxiety and in Children
I used singlecase A-B-A experimental design to examine the effectiveness of Adlerian play therapy (AdPT) for children identified with clinical levels of perfectionism on the Conners Parent Rating Scale-Revised and Conners Teacher Rating Scale-Revised. Participants were 2 children, a 10 year-old Hispanic male and a 7 year-old Caucasian female. To examine the effect of AdPT on maladaptive perfectionism and anxiety, the Child-Adolescent Perfectionism Scale and the Revised Children’s Manifest Anxiety Scale were administered to the children twice weekly over 3 phases of the study: baseline (6 administrations), intervention (12-16 administrations), and maintenance (6 administrations) for a total of 24 to 29 data points. Additionally, parents and teachers completed the Conners Rating Scales-Revised5 times: (1) prior to study, (2) following baseline/prior to treatment, (3) midpoint of treatment, (4) following treatment, and (5) following maintenance phase.During the intervention phase, the male and female participants attended 21 and 16 play therapy sessions, their mothers attended 6 and 5 parent consultations, and their teachers attended 6 and 3 teacher consultations, respectively. Analysis of the child self-report assessments indicated mixed and inconclusive results regarding the effects of AdPT on target behaviors. However, results of the parent and teacher reports indicated clinically significant reductionsin maladaptive perfectionism and anxiety over the five points of measurement for both participants. The participants’ maladaptive perfectionism moved from the clinical to the normal range. Implications for practice and future research are indicated.
The Effects of an Oral History Interview on Counselor Trainees' Confidence and Couples' Intimacy.
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A major concern many counselor trainees face when preparing to see their first couple-client is that of confidence because they have had little to no experience in interacting in a professional capacity with couples. Many beginning counselors experience anxiety, which can inhibit their effectiveness with clients (Scanlon & Baille, 1994). Introducing counselor trainees to a relatively non-threatening interaction with couples might reduce the initial anxiety that characterizes the neophyte counselor venturing into new clinical territory. The interaction may also enhance feelings of warmth and closeness of the couples. John Gottman's Oral History Interview (Gottman, 1999) was the protocol used in the interaction between trainee and couple. An instrument developed for this study to measure couple counseling confidence, the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (Spielberger, 1983), and the Personal Assessment of Intimacy in Relationships (Schaefer & Olson, 1981) were used to assess levels of counselor confidence, counselor anxiety, and couple intimacy, respectively. The confidence instrument and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory were administered to 37 students who were enrolled in four graduate level introductory couple counseling classes and who interviewed couples, as well as to 34 counselor-trainees who were enrolled in five graduate level counseling courses other than couple counseling and who did not interview couples. Analyses of the quantitative data revealed no statistically significant differences in confidence between trainees who interviewed a couple and trainees who did not interview a couple. Analyses of qualitative data suggested there were differences. The Personal Assessment of Intimacy in Relationships was administered to 67 individual couple participants who were interviewed by counselor trainees, and 35 individual couple participants who were not interviewed by counselor-trainees. Analyses of the quantitative data revealed no statistically significant differences in couples who participated in the Oral History Interview and those who did not. Analyses of qualitative data suggested there were differences. Regarding both counselor confidence and couple intimacy, future research using a larger sample size and more refined quantitative methods appears warranted.
Effects of Child-Centered Play Therapy and Curriculum-Based Small-Group Guidance on the Behaviors of Children Referred for Aggression in an Elementary School Setting
The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of child-centered play therapy and curriculum-based small-group guidance on the behaviors of aggressive children in an elementary school as determined by (a) the reduction of aggressive behaviors, (b) the decrease in internalizing problems, and (c) the decrease in externalizing problems of aggressive children. Two types of behavioral instruments, the Behavioral Assessment System for Children-Teacher Rating Scale/Parent Rating Scale and the Child Behavior Checklist-Caregiver/Teacher Report Form, were used to provide multiple measures of the same construct in this matched pretest-posttest comparison group experimental designed study. Qualitative data was also collected. The population studied was comprised of 37 volunteer children identified as aggressive in kindergarten through fourth grade, ages 5-12, who qualified for counseling services at a Title I public elementary school in North Texas . Children who were referred by teachers and parents, and met the required criteria, were matched in pairs on grade level and randomly assigned to one of the two real-world setting interventions; play therapy treatment group (n=20), which received 12-15 individual child-centered play therapy sessions, or the curriculum-based small-group guidance group (n=17), consisting of 12-19 lessons. Major strengths of the study included utilizing students referred for counseling due to behavioral difficulties (students demonstrating at-risk and clinically significant aggressive behaviors) and servicing them at school, a real-world setting. Another strength was the use of 30-minute play therapy and guidance sessions, which conform to typical school practice. Twelve hypotheses were tested using two-factor mixed repeated measures and eta squared. The data of this study tentatively support the effectiveness of both modalities in decreasing the aggressive behaviors, internalizing problems, and externalizing problems of aggressive children. The data seems to indicate that school-based child-centered play therapy is as effective at improving the behaviors of aggressive children as a nationally recognized guidance curriculum program. Qualitative data from the parents and teachers of the children demonstrated clinical significance, suggesting that school-based child-centered play therapy is more noticeably effective in reducing the aggressive behaviors of children. A control group is needed to determine conclusive results and discern possible effects of maturation.
Effects of Culturally Responsive Child-centered Play Therapy Compared to Curriculum-based Small Group Counseling with Elementary-age Hispanic Children Experiencing Externalizing and Internalizing Behavior Problems: a Preliminary Study.
This study was designed to determine the effectiveness of culturally responsive child-centered play therapy when compared to a curriculum-based small group counseling intervention as a school-based intervention for Hispanic children experiencing behavioral problems that place them at risk for academic failure. Specifically, this study measured the effects of the experimental play therapy treatment, compared to Kids' Connection, on reducing Externalizing and Internalizing behavior problems of elementary school-age Hispanic children. Twenty-nine volunteer Hispanic children were randomized to the experimental group (n=15) or the comparison group (n=14). Subjects participated in a weekly 30 minute intervention for a period of 15 weeks. Pre- and posttest data were collected from parent and teachers using the Behavior Assessment Scale for Children (BASC). A two factor mixed repeated measures analysis of variance was computed for each hypothesis, to determine the statistical and practical significance of the difference in the pretest to posttest behavior scores of children in the two groups. According to parents' reports, the children receiving play therapy showed statistically significant decreases in externalizing behaviors problems, specifically conduct problems, and moderate improvements in their internalizing behavior problems, specifically anxiety. Teacher BASC results showed no statistical significance and negligible-to- small practical significance between the two groups at posttest as a result of treatment; however, problems with integrity of data collection of teacher BASCs were noted. This study determined that, according to parents' reports, culturally responsive child-centered play therapy is an effective intervention for school-aged, Hispanic children referred for behavioral problems that have been shown to place them at risk for both academic failure and future, more serious mental health problems. Additionally, culturally responsive considerations regarding counseling Hispanic children and families were explored. This was a progressive research study that, according to a review of the literature, is the first of its kind to focus on the effects of culturally responsive child-centered play therapy treatment with Hispanic, Spanish-speaking children.
Effects of Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback-assisted Stress Management Training on Pregnant Women and Fetal Heart Rate Measures.
This study examined effectiveness of heart rate variability (HRV) biofeedback-assisted stress management training in reducing anxiety and stress in pregnant women and the effect of maternal stress management skills practice on fetal heart rate measures in real time. Participants were seven working pregnant women who volunteered in response to recruitment announcements and invitations from cooperating midwives. Reported state and trait anxiety and pregnancy specific stress were measured during five 45- to 50-minute training sessions. Training included bibliotherapy, instruction in the use of emotion-focused stress management techniques, and HRV biofeedback. Subjects used portable biofeedback units for home practice and were encouraged to practice the skills for 20 minutes a day and for short periods of time during stressful life events. At the end of training, fetal heart rate was monitored and concurrent maternal HRV measures were recorded. Repeated measures ANOVA and paired samples t-test analysis of study data revealed no statistically significant reductions in state or trait anxiety measures or in pregnancy specific stress measures. Partial eta squared (n²) and Cohen's d calculations found small to medium effect sizes on the various test scales. Friedman's analysis of variance of biofeedback measures showed a statistically significant decrease in low HRV coherence scores (X2 = 10.53, p = .03) and medium HRV coherence scores (X2 = 11.58, p = .02) and a statistically significant increase in high HRV coherence scores (X2 = 18.16, p = .001). This change is an indication of improved autonomic function. Results of concurrent maternal and fetal HRV recordings were generally inconclusive. A qualitative discussion of individual subject results is included. During follow-up interviews five subjects reported that they felt they were better able to cope with stress at the end of the study than at the beginning, that they used the stress management skills during labor, and that they continue to practice the skills in their daily lives.
Effects of Heart-Rate Variability Biofeedback Training and Emotional Regulation on Music Performance Anxiety in University Students
Student musicians were recruited to participate in an experimental repeated measures research design study to identify effects of heart rate variability (HRV) biofeedback training and emotional self-regulation techniques, as recommended by HeartMath® Institute, on music performance anxiety (MPA) and music performance. Fourteen students were randomly assigned to a treatment or control group following a 5 minute unaccompanied baseline performance. Treatment group participants received 4-5 HRV training sessions of 30-50 minutes each. Training included bibliotherapy, using the computerized Freeze-Framer® 2.0 interactive training software, instruction in the Freeze-Frame® and Quick Coherence® techniques of emotional regulation, and also use of an emWave® portable heart rate variability training device for home training. Measures included the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Performance Anxiety Inventory (PAI), Flow State Scale (FSS), average heart rate (HR), and heart rate variability (HRV). Quade's rank transformed ANCOVA was used to evaluate treatment and no-treatment group comparisons. Combined MPA scores showed statistical significance at p=.05 level with large effect size of eta2=.320. Individual measurements of trait anxiety showed a small effect size of eta2=.001. State anxiety measurement showed statistical significance at the p=.10 level with a large effect size eta2=.291. FSS showed no statistical or effect size difference. PAI showed no statistical significance and a large effect size eta2=.149. HR showed no statistical significance and a large effect size eta2=.143. HRV showed statistical significance at p=.000 level and a large effect size eta2=.698. This study demonstrated practical/clinical significance of a relatively quick and inexpensive biofeedback training that had large effect at decreasing mental, emotional, and physiological symptoms of MPA for university students.
The Effects of Premenstrual Syndrome Symptomatology on Marital Satisfaction
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Many women reporting PMS symptoms state their symptoms affect their mood, social, and family functioning. This study attempted to provide clinicians with information to assist in psychotherapeutic intervention, by determining the effect PMS has on marital satisfaction. Nineteen female subjects reporting PMS symptoms and their partners completed the study. The Marital Satisfaction Inventory - Revised (MSI-R) and the Moos Menstrual Distress Questionnaire-Form T (MDQ-form T) were used to determine if the nineteen couples reported marital distress as a result of the women's cyclical premenstrual symptoms. The results of the study suggested that the women and their partners, report high levels of marital distress that is not reflective of the cyclical nature of the PMS symptomatology. Scores on the MSI-R for the subjects and their partners indicated the couples perceived level of distress in the t-50 to t-70 range on scales 3-8 is consistent throughout the menstrual cycle. The couples reported higher levels of marital distress than would be the expected norm, suggesting that PMS may be a contributing factor to the level of distress they reported experiencing. This study did not include a control group, which would have provided a norm for couples who do not report PMS by which to compare the MSI-R scores.
Effects of Three Interventions with International College Students Referred for Adjustment and Language Difficulties: A Preliminary Study
This quasi-experimental study examined the effects of three interventions with international college students referred for adjustment and language difficulties. Fifty-four international students were assigned to treatment groups including expressive group counseling (n = 14), group speech therapy (n = 14), interdisciplinary counseling/speech intervention (n = 13), and the no treatment control (n = 13). Three null hypotheses were analyzed using a two factor repeated measures analysis of variance to determine whether the four treatment groups behaved differently across time according to pre- and posttest results of the ASR Total and Internalizing Problems scales and the CCSR total scores. Two null hypotheses were rejected at the alpha .05 level of statistical significance with large treatment effects. Post hoc analyses were conducted when a statistically significant interaction effect was found. The no treatment control group was established as a baseline to examine how each intervention group performed over time when compared to the no treatment control group. Results of the post hoc analysis for Total Problems indicated that international students in all three treatment groups demonstrated statistically significant improvements in total behavior problems at the alpha .025 level (Expressive counseling: p = .002, Speech: p = .01, and Interdisciplinary: p = .003) and large treatment effects (partial η2 = .33, .24, and .31, respectively), thus indicating all three may be considered effective mental health treatments to target international students' total behavior problems. Results of the post hoc analysis for Internalizing Problems indicated that the interdisciplinary counseling/speech intervention was statistically significant (p = .02) in lowering internalizing problems and had a large treatment effect (partial η2 = .22). The expressive group counseling intervention also demonstrated a large treatment effect (partial η2 = .15) although not a statistically significant level (p = .04). The large treatment effects obtained for both interventions highlight the benefit of expressive group counseling as a sole intervention, as well as when combined with group speech therapy, for ameliorating international students' internalizing problems.
The Efficacy of Equine Assisted Group Counseling with At-Risk Children and Adolescents
The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of equine assisted group counseling as compared to in-school curriculum group guidance/counseling. Research examined externalizing, internalizing, maladaptive, and adaptive behaviors of elementary and middle school students who were considered at-risk of academic or social failure. Two types of behavior instruments, the Behavioral Assessment System for Children (BASC)-Self-Rating, Parent-Rating, and Teacher-Rating Scales; and the Animal Assisted Therapy-Psychosocial Session Form (AAT-PSF), were used in a pretest-posttest comparison group quasi experimental design. Results of the paired sample t-test analysis of the BASC Self-Report indicated that the equine assisted counseling group showed statistically significant improvement in five behavior areas, and the in-school curriculum group guidance/counseling group showed statistically significant improvement in four areas, with only one behavior area the same as the equine assisted counseling group. Results of the paired sample t-test analysis of the BASC Parent-Report indicated that the equine assisted counseling group showed statistically significant improvement in twelve behavior areas, whereas the in-school curriculum group guidance/counseling showed statistically significant improvement in only one behavior area. Results of the paired sample t-test analysis of the BASC Teacher-Report indicated that the equine assisted counseling group showed no statistically significant improvement; however the in-school curriculum group guidance/counseling group showed statistically significant improvement in one area. An ANCOVA comparison of equine assisted counseling group verses in-school curriculum guidance/counseling group using the BASC Self, Parent, and Teacher-Reports indicated that the equine assisted counseling group showed statistically significant improvement in seven behavior areas that the in-school curriculum guidance/counseling group did not. Results of the repeated measures ANOVA of the AAT-PSF (equine assisted counseling group only) showed statistically significant improvement in all 3-scale scores: 1) overall total behaviors; 2) increased positive behaviors; and 3) decreased negative behaviors.
Ego development and theoretical orientation among counseling students.
This study investigated potential relationships between master's level counseling students' levels of ego development and their identified orientations to one of six guiding theories of counseling; students' theoretical orientation classifications when classified according to the theory's domain of emphasis: affective, behavioral, or cognitive; students' degrees of confidence in identifying their theoretical orientations; and students' degrees of comfort in applying their theories in clinical practice. Seventy participants enrolled in a master's level practicum course completed the Washington University Sentence Completion Test, a measure of ego development, and the Counseling Theory Survey, a survey developed by the researcher, in order to identify students' identified theoretical orientations, students' degrees of confidence in identifying their theoretical orientations, and students' degrees of comfort in applying their theories in clinical practice. Ego development level was operationalized as a dichotomous variable consisting of level E5 and below and E6 and above, based on the developmental task attained at E6: a shift from emphasis on in-group identity to self-evaluated standards. To determine potential relationships between the students' ego development levels and their theoretical orientations and their orientations when classified by domain of emphasis, 2 x 4 and 2 x 3 Chi-square analyses were used. Independent t-tests were conducted to determine if the students' degrees of confidence in identifying their theoretical orientation and their degrees of comfort in applying their orientation varied across the two groups. No statistically significant results were found. Alternative explanations for the identification of theoretical orientation, limitations of the study, and suggestions for future research are discussed with emphasis on the need for greater integration of current theories related to the identification of theoretical orientation.
Electromagnetic aftereffects of near-death experiences.
The purpose of this quantitative study was first to investigate the comparative incidence of electromagnetic aftereffects (EMEs) during the past year among near-death experiencers (NDErs), people who experienced a close brush with death without an NDE (CBrs), and people who reported never having experienced a close brush with death (LCErs). The second purpose was to investigate a possible change in EME incidence among the three groups before and after a critical life event. The third purpose was to investigate the relationship between the reported overall depth and specific components of the subjective experiences of people who have had a close brush with death -- NDErs and CBrs -- and their reported incidence of EMEs. I used the Near-Death Experience Scale (Greyson, 1983), and developed the Close Brush with Death Question form, Life Changing Event Question form, and Electromagnetic Effects Questionnaire for this study. The final sample included 36 NDErs, 20 CBrs, and 46 LCErs. The results of this study firmly supported more reported problems with EM devices experienced by NDErs compared to CBrs or LCErs. Especially with respect to EM devices such as lights and cell phones, as well as the emotional state of individuals affecting EM devices, this study showed more reports of problems with these devices between before and after NDEs for NDErs compared to before and after a life changing event for LCErs. Moreover, findings of this study showed a correlation between the depth of NDEs and EMEs. This study has important implications for counselors working with NDErs. Findings from this study show that NDErs have a strong possibility of experiencing electromagnetic interferences when close to electromagnetic devices such as cell phones, computers, lights, and watches after their NDEs. This phenomenon can be a stressor in the lives of NDErs and their families and friends. As some participants in this study indicated, information about EMEs can reduce NDErs' stress. Thus, counselors can use information from this study to psychoeducate their NDEr clients and work with them to develop strategies to cope with EMEs, thereby hopefully reducing the stress of EME-related NDE aftereffects.
The Emotional Needs of Mothers of Multiple Birth Children
The purpose of this study was to assess the emotional support needs of mothers of multiple birth children based on administration of a survey the researcher developed. The survey consisted of 25 demographic items, six 6-point Likert scale items, and three open-ended questions. Likert scale items were based on amount of perceived emotional support mothers received in their environments at the time of survey administration. Open-ended questions addressed negative and positive aspects of parenting multiples and emotional support needs. The sample consisted of 171 mothers of multiple birth children from 23 states in the United States. Participants ranged in age from 20-50 years old with 38% not reporting age. Participants were 95.3% Caucasian, 0% African-American, 1.8% Asian, 0% Native American and 1.2% other; of these, 5.8% were Hispanic. We used demographic statistics and constant comparison to determine basic demographic characteristics of this sample and to identify emotional support needs of mothers of multiple birth children. We used Pearson product moment correlation to determine potential relationships between variables. Results indicated a statistically significant positive correlation between overall life satisfaction and partner satisfaction (r = .420, n = 170, p < 0.01). Therefore, mothers of multiples experience increased satisfaction with their lives when they receive greater support from partners. Also, results indicated a statistically significant positive correlation between partner satisfaction and partner caretaking responsibilities (r = .305, n = 169, p < 0.01). As partners of mothers of multiples increase contribution to caretaking of children, mothers demonstrate greater relationship fulfillment. Implications for mental health professionals working with mothers of multiple birth children are discussed.
An Examination of Parents' Preferred School Counselor Professional Activities
The purpose of this study was to examine parent preferences for school counselor professional activities. The primary focus of research was to determine if any relationship exists between (1) parents' demographic factors - gender, age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity - and their preferences for school counselors' professional activities; (2) educational factors - parents' level of education and grade level of their student (9-12) - and parents' preferences for professional activities; and (3) parents' experience parenting high school students and their preferences for school counselors' professional activities. I utilized a 7-item demographic questionnaire and an adapted version of the School Counselor Activity Rating Scale (SCARS; Scarborough, 2005). The SCARS is a 48-item standardized instrument that measures how school counselors actually spend their time engaged in professional activities compared to how they would prefer to spend that time. The format was adapted from a verbal frequency scale to a 5-point Likert-type scale. In the current study, parents indicated their preference for school counselors to enact certain tasks, with higher scores indicating greater endorsement of the task. Cronbach's alpha for each of the SCARS subscales indicated good internal consistency: Counseling .879; Consultation .831; Curriculum .933; Coordination .867; and "other" .828. The sample was composed of 250 parents from a school district in the southwestern United States. The study population consisted of 198 female and 52 male participants ranging in age from 31 to 66 years old and included 6.4% African American, 1.6% Asian/Pacific Islander, 8.0% Hispanic, 4% Native American, and 83.6% White. Results indicated that parents overall preferred counselors to engage, from most to least, in Coordination, Counseling, "other," Curriculum, and Consultation activities and that they most strongly endorsed counselors providing students with academic advising and counseling for school related behavior. Regarding the primary focus of this study, the Pearson product moment correlation coefficient was utilized to ascertain potential relationship between variables. Results indicated a small statistically significant correlation between gender and the Counseling subscale score, r = .178, p < .01. Compared to male parents, female parents' scored higher on the Counseling subscale. Results also indicated a small statistically significant negative correlation between parents' eligibility for their children to receive free or reduced-price lunch and Coordination subscale scores, r = -.126, p < .05. Parents eligible to participate in the government's free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch and Child Nutrition Program were more likely than non-eligible parents to indicate a preference for counselors to coordinate student referral to school-related programs and services. Respondents' reports of their age, ethnicity, parents' educational attainment, student grade level, and parents' experience parenting high school students did not correlate significantly with their SCARS scores. Parents' preferences based on responses to the SCARS are discussed, as are implications for school counselors, directors of guidance, and counselor education faculties.
An Examination of the Relationships Between Affective Traits and Existential Life Positions
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There were two major goals of this study - to examine validity of scores for the Boholst Life Position Scale and to examine potential associations between life positions and affective traits. Two hundred seventy-seven students enrolled in undergraduate psychology classes at a large university volunteered for the study. Concurrent validity of scores for the life position scale was supported based on two compared instruments. Pearson product-moment correlations for the comparisons were -.765 and .617, both statistically significant at the p < .001 level. Factor analysis demonstrated that the scale could accurately be conceptualized as consisting of two factors - an "I" factor and a "You" factor. MANOVA, ANOVA, multiple linear regression, and canonical correlation analysis were used to examine associations between life positions and the affective traits of angry, sad, glad, social anxiety, loneliness, and satisfaction with life. Subjects were catagorized into four groups representing their life position: "I'm OK, you're OK," "I'm OK, you're not OK," "I'm not OK, you're OK," and "I'm not OK, you're not OK." A MANOVA employing life position as the independent variable with four levels and the six affective traits as the dependent variables demonstrated statistical significance (p < .001 level) and h2 was .505. All six separate ANOVAs, with life position as the independent variable and each separate affective trait as the dependent variable, revealed statistical significance (p < .001) and h2 varied from a high of .396 for the sadness variable to a low of .116 for social anxiety. Six separate multiple linear regression equations using two independent variables, a measure of self-esteem and a measure of the perceived OK-ness of others, and each separate affective trait as the dependent variable, showed statistical significance (p < .001). The average Adjusted R2 was .475. Both canonical correlation functions were statistically significant (Rc12 = .77 and Rc22 = .21). In summary, life positions were strongly associated with specific affective traits.
Experiences Learning Interpersonal Neurobiology: an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Neuroscience is increasingly part of the national dialogue regarding mental health. The field of interpersonal neurobiology may offer a framework for helping mental health professionals identify and apply the most relevant neuroscience principles to counseling. This study explored mental health professionals’ experiences learning IPNB. I conducted semi-structured interviews with participants (n = 6), all of whom were licensed mental health professionals and had completed a year-long study in the application of IPNB through Nurturing the Heart with the Brain in Mind. I analyzed the data, along with a research partner, according to interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) protocol. Four super-ordinate themes emerged from the analysis: (1) learning process as dynamic and engaging, (2) deepening knowledge and understanding of self and others, (3) personal and professional growth, and (4) impact on therapeutic practice. A number of sub-ordinate themes also emerged through the analysis , including experiential learning; learning through group process; influence of the past on the present; increased understanding of the change process; increased compassion, empathy, and acceptance for self and for others; increased confidence; using IPNB to educate clients; using IPNB to conceptualize clients; and using IPNB to select interventions. Finally, I identified three higher-order constructs that appeared embedded within and across themes: learning as ongoing, person of the participant, and person of the instructor. The findings in this study suggest that participants’ learning of IPNB had a significant impact on their personal and professional development, specifically in areas related to characteristics of effective counselors. The findings also suggest that these meaningful changes occurred in a learning environment characterized by emotional engagement, experiential activities, and group process. Limitations to this research, as well as further discussion of the results are included. Implications for future research, clinical practice, and counselor education are also offered.
An exploration study of the relationship between effectiveness of filial therapy training groups and group cohesion.
This study examined the relationship of group cohesion among heterogeneous and homogeneous groups on individual treatment outcome of child-parent relationship therapy (CPRT). CPRT is a filial therapy model that targets the parent-child relationship as a means for preventing or improving child and/or family problems. This study included 30 parents or caregivers from 9 groups which met for 10 sessions. Participants qualified for this study if their groups ended with at least 3 group members and 2 leaders, all pretest and posttest data on their child between the ages of 2-11 was completed, and if they attended at least 6 of the 10 sessions. Correlation coefficients, t-tests, and effect sizes were calculated. Results demonstrated no statistically significant differences between pretests and posttests on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) for all 30 participants; however, differences in measured effect (η2) between children identified with borderline and clinical behavior problems and children with normal behavior problems suggest that CPRT is more effective among children who demonstrate significant behavior problems. Perceived and observed group cohesion measurements demonstrated no significant difference at the individual outcome level. This finding suggests that group cohesion may not be related to individual outcome. Although there was no significant relationship between group cohesion and individual outcome for this study, results of the group measurements regarding engagement and group cohesiveness, coupled with previous studies on CPRT effectiveness, suggest that CPRT should be utilized in homogeneous groups.
Exploratory Study of Animal Assisted Therapy Interventions Used by Mental Health Professionals
The purpose of this study was to explore the various animal assisted interventions mental health professionals incorporate in the therapeutic treatment process, as well as the various therapeutic purposes intended with each technique. Participants were recruited from animal assisted therapy related databases. Participants included professionals who practiced in the mental health field. Thirty one participants qualified for the study. A survey was developed based on information found reviewing literature related to animal assisted therapy. Nineteen animal assisted therapy techniques and ten therapeutic intentions were identified from a review of the literature. Participants were asked to rate on a Likert scale how often they incorporated each technique in their treatment process. Additionally, participants were asked to identify which therapeutic purposes they intended with each technique. Results indicated participants incorporated a variety of animal assisted techniques for various therapeutic intentions. Results indicated seven animal assisted techniques were incorporated by more than 50% of the participants. Building rapport in the therapeutic relationship was the most common therapeutic intention reported with a variety of animal assisted techniques.
Expressive Arts Therapy with Bereaved Families
Most current grief programs support the children and/or parents of bereaved families rather than the family as a whole. This exploratory study was a quantitative and qualitative investigation of the use of expressive arts therapy with bereaved families during a weekend camp experience and a series of followup sessions. The purpose of the study was to determine the effectiveness of using expressive arts activities in improving the functioning of the bereaved family as a whole as well as individual family members. Participants included eight families who lost a child to a chronic illness between 2 to 36 months months prior to the onset of the study. Children ranged in age from 3 to15, and parents ranged in age from 26 to 66, for a total of 27 participants. The Child Life Department at Children's Medical Center of Dallas, a division of The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas recruited the families. Participants received flyers and invitational letters and registered through the mail. Families attended a weekend camp where they experienced a wide variety of expressive arts activities in a combination of group formats: multi-family groups, parents' group, developmental age groups for children, total childrens' group, individual family group, mothers' group, and fathers' group. The research design was a pretest/posttest quasi-experimental control group design, but a control group could not be established. Therefore, one-tailed t-tests were used to compare participant functioning between the beginning and end of the study. Instruments used in this study included the Family Environment Scale, the Behavior Assessment System for Children the Beck Anxiety Inventory and the Beck Depression Inventory. In addition, the researcher used qualitative analysis to assess contents of family members' and counseling staff's journals, expressive arts products, and family members' evaluations. Results of this exploratory study indicated some improvements in children's, parents' and total family functioning. Expressive arts therapy shows promise in effecting constructive change in bereaved families and is deserving of further research.
Factors Affecting Academic Interest and Self Perception of Adolescent Hispanic Females
This investigation identifies deterrents to the educational, social, and cultural success of Latina adolescent females. Across the nation, and especially in states such as Texas and California, the Hispanic population is fast becoming the largest minority in society. Because the adolescent Hispanic population within the United States today will comprise much of America's future economic and social base, identifying and addressing educational, cultural, and social deterrents to their success becomes important not only for personal well-being, but for the well-being of future society as a whole. A second purpose was that of determining the efficacy of group-centered psychoeducational therapy in improving self-esteem and decreasing anxiety and depression symptoms in adolescent female Hispanic high school students. The experimental groups consisted of one group of seven female Hispanic adolescents who received computer and internet training and psychoeducational group counseling twice a week for five weeks. and a second group of five female Hispanic adolescents who received computer and internet training and psychoeducational group counseling twice a week for five weeks. The control group consisted of fourteen female Hispanic students who received no treatments. The Beck Depression Inventory was used to measure pre and post test levels of depression, the Beck Anxiety Inventory was used to measure pre and post test levels of anxiety, and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem questionnaire and the Index of Self-Esteem were used to measure pre and post levels of self-esteem.
Filial Therapy and the Family: Examining the Impact of Child Parent Relationship Therapy (Cprt) on Family Functioning
Research has indicated that filial therapy, an approach in which parents conduct play sessions with their young children, has strong effects on the participating parents and children. As a result, some have speculated that filial therapy improves the family system; however, minimal research exists to support this claim. Using a single-case, time-series design, I examined the impact of child parent relationship therapy (CPRT), a filial therapy approach, on the functioning of 8 diverse families (two-parent, biological children = 4; two-parent, adopted children = 3; single-parent, biological children = 1). 15 parents and 17 children (male = 15, female = 17) participated in the study. All but 1 parent was Caucasian. The children were more ethnically diverse (Caucasian = 5, Hispanic/Caucasian = 5, Hispanic = 3, Asian = 2). Parents’ ages ranged from 29 to 49 and children’s from 2 to 13. Results from simulation modeling analyses (SMA) indicated that 6 of 7 families experienced a statistically significant improvement in their targeted areas of family functioning, and the average effect size was moderate. Results from self-reported measures indicated that 7 families experienced notable improvements in family satisfaction, 4 in cohesion, 3 in communication, and 1 in flexibility. Data from an observational measure rated by independent assessors also indicated improvements pre- to post-intervention: 5 families in flexibility, 4 families in cohesion, and 4 families in communication. All families reported improved functioning in post-intervention interviews. The results support that the benefits of filial therapy may indeed extend to the family system.
Filial Therapy with Immigrant Korean Parents in the United States
This study was designed to determine the effectiveness of filial therapy training in: (a) increasing immigrant Korean parents' empathic behavior with their children; (b) increasing immigrant Korean parents' acceptance level toward their children; and (c) reducing immigrant Korean parents' stress related to parenting.The experimental group, consisting of 17 immigrant Korean parents in the United States, received 10 weekly 2-hour filial therapy training sessions and participated in weekly 30-minute play sessions with one of their children. The control group, consisting of 15 immigrant Korean parents in the United States, received no treatment during the ten weeks. All the parents were videotaped playing with their child before and after the training as a means of measuring change in empathic behavior. The two written self-report instruments completed for pretesting and posttesting purposes were the Porter Parental Acceptance Scale and the Parenting Stress Index. Analyses of covariance revealed that the immigrant Korean parents in the experimental group had significant changes in 10 of 12 hypotheses, including (a) a significant increase in their level of empathic interactions with their children; (b) a significant increase in their attitude of acceptance toward their children; and (c) a significant reduction in their level of stress related to parenting. This study supports the use of filial therapy for promoting the parent-child relationship in immigrant Korean families in the United States. Filial therapy helps immigrant Korean parents to be therapeutic agents for their children. It helps them regain their own power as parents and restore positive relationships with their children.
Filial Therapy with Israeli Parents
The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of an intensive version of the Landreth (2002) 10-week filial therapy model as a method of intervention for children of Israeli parents living in Israel. This study was designed to determine the effectiveness of intensive filial therapy training in (a) reducing internalizing behavior problems of Israeli children; (b) reducing externalizing behavior problems of Israeli children; and (c) reducing overall behavior problems of Israeli children. A second purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of intensive filial therapy training with Israeli parents in increasing the parents' (a) empathic responsiveness with their children; (b) communication of acceptance to their children; (c) allowance of self-direction by their children; (d) involvement in their children's play activities; (e) feelings of efficacy as parents; and (f) reduction of parental stress. The experimental group consisted of fourteen Israeli children who their parents received nine intensive Filial Therapy training sessions within a five week period and had seven parent-child play sessions. The non-treatment comparison group consisted of thirteen Israeli children whose parents received no treatment. Parents in the study completed the Hebrew version of the Child Behavior Checklist, the Parenting Stress Index, and conducted pre-test and post-test play sessions for the Measurement of Empathy in Adult-Child Interaction. Multivariate Analysis of Covariance revealed the children in the experimental group significantly reduced external behavior problems. The results also revealed the parents in the experimental group significantly reduced parental stress and significantly increased communication of empathy to their children.
Group sandtray therapy at school with preadolescents identified with behavioral difficulties.
Sandtray therapy, a modality of play therapy, has been used in a variety of ways as the treatment intervention with different theoretical approaches; however, there is a very limited amount of empirical research. The purpose of this research is to examine the effectiveness of group sandtray therapy at school with preadolescents identified with behavioral difficulties. This is a pretest-posttest control group design. Participants in the experimental group received sandtray therapy in group for ten weeks, and participants in the wait-list control group received no treatment intervention. The researcher compared two groups to examine the overall effectiveness of sandtray therapy as determined by the scores of the Child Behavior Checklist-Teacher Report Form (CBC-TRF), Parent Report Form (BASC-PRF), and Self Report of Personality (BASC-SRP). Based on teachers' reports, statistically significant difference existed between the two groups in terms of preadolescents' overall behaviors, externalizing behavior problems, and internalizing behavior problems after the ten week treatment intervention. The effect sizes were medium (d= .52-.59). According to parents' reports, a statistically significant difference was found regarding preadolescents' externalizing behavior problems, and the effect size was medium (d=.63). No statistically significant differences were found regarding preadolescents' total behaviors and internalizing behavior problems based on BASC-PRF. The effect sizes arranged from medium to small (d=.55 and .35, respectively). In terms of the total behavior on BASE-SRP, no statistical significant difference was found and the effect was small (d=.18). A case example was included to illustrate the process and effect of group sandtray therapy. Based on the results of this study, it is determined that group sandtray can be an effective treatment intervention for preadolescents identified with behavioral problems. The primary contribution of this study is to present empirical support for the effectiveness of using sandtray therapy.
How Parenting Stress and Discouragement Impact Functioning Within Stepfamilies
The study analyzed how parenting stress and discouragement affect stepfamily functioning. Whether the parent was a biological parent or stepparent, whether the stepparent was a stepmother or stepfather, or whether the marriage had been formed more or less than two years was also considered. One assumption made was that increased parenting stress and discouragement will lead to decreased family functioning. Other assumptions were that there will be more increased parenting stress and discouragement and decreased family functioning found in stepparents than biological parents, in stepmothers more than stepfathers, and in parents in families formed less than two years more than those in families formed more than two years. Complete data was collected from 30 subjects. Three instruments were used in the study. The Parenting Stress Index measures how much stress parents experience in areas relating to how they see their child and how they see themselves as parents. The Discouragement Scale for Adults was developed to measure the Adlerian concept of discouragement in an adult population. The Family Assessment Device measures how a family functions.
The impact of child teacher relationship training on teachers' and aides' use of relationship-building skills and the effect on student classroom behavior.
This study examined the impact of child teacher relationship training (CTRT) on teachers' and aides' use of relationship- building skills in the classroom and the correlation between teachers' and aides' demonstration of relationship- building skills and the effect on student behavior. CTRT was modeled after Landreth and Bratton's (2006) 10-session filial therapy model titled child parent relationship therapy (CPRT) which is based on the principles and procedures of child -centered play therapy. The CPRT manual was adapted slightly for use with teachers and aides for this project. In this quasi-experimental design, 12 teacher aide dyads (n = 24) were assigned to the experimental (n = 12) or active control groups (n = 12). Children who scored in the Borderline/Clinical range on at least one scale of the Child Behavior Checklist-Caregiver/Teacher Report Form (C-TRF) at pretest qualified for the study (N = 32). During the first phase of treatment, teachers and aides participated in the equivalent of 10 training/supervision sessions consistent with the principles and procedures of CPRT. During CTRT Phase II, teachers and aides participated in 10 weeks of coaching/modeling to facilitate the use of CTRT skills in the classroom environment and continued to participate in weekly 1-hour group training/supervision sessions. Eight hypotheses were analyzed. Different analyses were conducted based on the hypotheses. Analyses of covariance and repeated measures analysis of variance were conducted. Correlation coefficients were also calculated. Additionally, effect sizes were calculated to determine practical significance. Two hypotheses were retained at the .05 level of significance. Children in the experimental group (n = 19) demonstrated a significant decrease (p = .04) in Externalizing Problems between Measurements 1 and 3 when compared to the children in the active control group (n = 13). A statistically significant relationship was found between teachers' and aides' higher use of relationship-building skills and students' decrease in externalizing behaviors (p < .05). No statistically significant results were found on the remaining hypotheses.
The impact of rising women's salaries on marital and relationship satisfaction.
Using data from a national survey, this study examines income and other key variables (division of labor and work-family conflict) and their relationship to marital satisfaction. This study builds upon the body of research regarding working couples and women's increased participation in the paid labor force as well as evaluates the findings in the context of data gathered from the recent United States census. Results from this study also are compared to the findings of other key studies. Emergent data may be used to prepare counselors to work more effectively with couple clients and to assist employers in the development of work life policies for dual career and dual earner employees. Results from the multiple regression revealed no direct effects of income on marital satisfaction. For this sample, increases in work family conflict contributed to less marital satisfaction as did the presence of children. Increased participation in household chores by respondents' partners contributed to increased marital satisfaction. No differences were observed by gender. Limitations of the study, recommendations for further research, and implications for practitioners also are addressed.
The impact of school-based child centered play therapy on academic achievement, self-concept, and teacher-child relationship stress.
This study examined the effectiveness of child centered play therapy (CCPT) with academically at-risk 1st graders. In this quasi-experimental design, twenty-one 1st grade students were assigned to the experimental group and 20 students were assigned to the no treatment control group. The children in the experimental group received two 30 minute play therapy sessions per week for the duration of eight weeks. Three hypotheses were analyzed. A two-factor repeated measures analysis of variances (SPANOVA) were performed on each dependent variable to determine if the experimental group performed differently from the control group across time according to the pretest and posttest results of the Young Child's Achievement Test (YCAT), the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance for Young Children (PSPCSAYC), and the Student-Teacher Relationship Scale (STRS). Additionally, partial η2 was calculated to determine practical significance. One hypothesis was retained at the .05 level of significance. Findings indicated that academically at-risk 1st graders who participated in CCPT scored statistically significant higher on academic achievement. Specifically, children assigned to the experimental group demonstrated a statistically significant increase in Early Achievement Composite (p = .03) when compared to children assigned to the no treatment control group. No statistical significant results were found on Self-Concept and Student-Teacher Relationship Stress.
Impact of Texas Counselors' Network on students: A preliminary study.
This study assessed the impact of the Texas Counselors' Network (TCN) on students of counselors who attended TCN workshops. TCN is a professional organization created in 1996 for the professional development of counselors. TCN impacts primary and secondary school students by providing counselors with selected skills to assist them in helping students. In theory, TCN thus impacts these students by improving overall skills of participating counselors. This study assessed the progress of students before and after implementation of TCN. Students' progress was considered in four areas: Texas Accountability Assessment Scores (TAAS), attendance rates, dropout rates, and high school student enrollment in technical programs. The current study compared student performance in the above four areas during a two to three year period prior to the establishment of TCN, with the initial six years of TCN existence. This study examined data attained through the Texas Educational Agency (TEA) Website using their Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) for four regional TCN groups. The study used a paired t-test to compare the performance of students before versus after counselor participation in network workshops. The findings indicated that overall, counselor participation in TCN could have a significant effect on student performance. In fact, eight tests were run and all were found significant at the .05 alpha level.
The impact of unresolved loss on adolescent anger and defiant behavior
This study examines the impact of issues of loss on adolescents. It was hypothesized that adolescents who experienced incidents of loss which were not adequately supported or processed to the point of resolution are much more likely to exhibit more angry and defiant behaviors than those who did not have such life experiences. Three instruments were used to identify loss and related impact. The first is the Interview Process, designed to identify issues of loss and screen for problematic behavior. This tool is used to qualify the participant for the study, and to designate which study group the participant will be assigned. The Family Constellation Exercise is an experiential assessment tool that exemplifies how emotionally close or distant the participant feels in relation to his or her nuclear family members. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Assessment - Adolescent version (MMPI-A) is used to identify behaviors and thought patterns associated with anger and defiance.The study was able to conclude that there is a strong potential for unresolved loss to negatively impact an adolescent. The study also discovered that many teenagers who do not exhibit angry or defiant behaviors have also experienced loss, yet do not act out anger. Suggestions are made as to why this is so, and implications for future research are made.
Interest Differentiation and Profile Elevation: Investigating Correlates of Depression, Confidence, and Vocational Identity
Using a correlational design, this study examined relationships among and between differentiation, profile elevation, gender and educational level (predictors) and depression, confidence, and vocational identity (criterion). Clients presenting for counseling services (n = 90) with a career concern at a large, metropolitan university were included in the study. Six assumptions were examined using three single hierarchical regression analyses to reveal relationships among and between variables. Two research assumptions were confirmed at the .05 level of significance. Bivariate correlations were computed to examine the structure coefficients. Beta weights and structure coefficients were examined to determine the relative contribution of the predictors in the regression model. Results indicated that differentiation, profile elevation, gender and educational level did not predict significant variance in depression and vocational identity. However, differentiation, profile elevation, and educational level did significantly predict confidence (p< .0001).
Intimate Relationships of Adult Children of Alcoholics
Difficulties developing and maintaining intimate relationships are often attributed to adult children of alcoholics (ACAs). However, the focus of the literature has been on those obtaining psychological treatment and has primarily involved clinical impressions. The purpose of this study was to examine intimacy in the close friendships and love relationships of ACAs. Autonomy and intimacy in respondents' families of origin were also analyzed. Comparisons were made between ACAs currently in (n = 59) and not in (n = 53) therapy, and comparisons who had (n = 48) and had not (n = 77) received therapy. Alcoholics were eliminated. It was hypothesized that ACAs would score significantly lower than comparisons on love and friendship intimacy and autonomy and intimacy in their families of origin. Among the ACAs, those in therapy would score lower than those not in therapy. Hypotheses were tested using MANOVAS. ANOVAs were administered where there were significant differences, and Newman-Keuls contrasts further delineated the divergence. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to obtain explanatory data. The two ACA groups seem to represent distinct populations with those not in therapy failing to report intimacy differences previously ascribed to them. While all of the groups were similar in friendship closeness, only the ACAs in therapy had significantly less intimacy in love relationships. Furthermore, clinical ACAs differed from the other groups by having less family of origin health, more physical and sexual abuse, more maternal drinking, more depression, and more suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Family of origin health predicted intimacy in a love relationship. Family characteristics encompassing honesty, empathy and respect, which may or may not involve alcoholism, seemed to create an atmosphere of faulty parenting in the ACA clinical group which may have subsequently affected the child's intimacy in a love relationship. Results of the study support a developmental model and demonstrate the importance of including nonclinical ACAs as well as clinical comparisons in future research.
An investigation of beliefs and practices of conservative Protestant parents and the cultural applicability of child parent relationship therapy.
The purpose of this study was to conduct a survey to identify the beliefs and practices of conservative Protestant parents, which assisted in clarifying the assertions in the current literature regarding conservative Protestant parenting. Additionally, this researcher sought to determine the applicability of child parent relationship therapy (CPRT), a filial therapy model based upon the principles of child centered play therapy, for conservative Protestant parents by ascertaining the need for cultural modifications. Beliefs and practices of conservative Protestants were measured using the Protestant Parenting Inventory (PPI), an original instrument developed through a series of focus groups and pilot testings. The population comprised 148 mothers and fathers from 4 Southern Baptist churches in and around the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. Exploratory factor analysis was applied to the data in order to increase internal consistency estimates and percent of explained variance. Criterion coding of demographic data allowed a multiple regression analysis to determine which demographic variables were significant predictors of participant responses on the PPI. Descriptive statistics allowed the researcher to investigate the compatibility of conservative Protestants and CPRT. Results of this study both confirm and refute past findings regarding conservative Protestants. Results also revealed the need for some cultural modifications to CPRT in order to make it an acceptable parenting resource for conservative Protestant parents.
An Investigation of the Perceptions of Christian Seminary Counseling Students Regarding Play Therapy
The threefold purpose of this study was to assess the extent to which counseling seminary students' beliefs corresponded to the tenets of child-centered play therapy, the amount of training seminary counseling students received in the area of child counseling and play therapy, and the applicability of child-centered play therapy courses in seminary counselor education programs. The researcher pursued this purpose through administration of a survey instrument she developed. The instrument consisted of 22 demographic items and 23 5-point Likert scale items based on the tenets of child-centered play therapy. The sample was comprised of 206 seminary counseling students from 12 Christian seminaries across the United States: 155 female and 51 male participants ranging in age from 21 to 60 years old and including 5.3% African American, 3.9% Asian, 1.5% Biracial/Multiracial, 3.4% Hispanic, 83% White (Non-Hispanic), 2.4% Other. Multiple regression analysis was utilized to determine which demographic variables were significant predictors of respondents' beliefs regarding child-centered play therapy. Results indicated significance at p < .05 level. Specifically, respondents who reported feeling more prepared to counsel children reported beliefs more congruent with child-centered play therapy, and respondents from the Southwestern and Southeastern portions of the United States exhibited beliefs less congruent with child-centered play therapy. Respondents' reports of their gender, age, denominational grouping, counseling theory, previous training to work with children, parental status, and future plans to counsel children did not significantly predict beliefs corresponding to child-centered play therapy. Descriptive data revealed that 83.5% of respondents intended to counsel children after completing their graduate studies, yet only 20.4% of respondents reported having completed coursework in child counseling; thus, they appeared inadequately prepared to work with this specialized population. Implications for seminary counselor education programs are discussed.
Latino Students’ School Counseling Needs: an Exploratory Needs Assessment
The purpose of this study was to examine Latino/a student preferences for school counselor activities. The primary focus of research was to determine what school counseling activities Latino/a students perceived as important and which school counseling activities Latino/a high school students perceived as satisfying. The researcher pursued this purpose through administration of a survey instrument developed by the researcher. The instrument consisted of 14 demographic items and 42 5-point Likert scale items based on the domains described in the ASCA’s national model and current literature on experiences of Latino/a adolescents. The sample was comprised of 210 Latino/a high school students from five high schools in three school districts in the suburbs of a large Southwestern U.S. metroplex. The study population consisted of 94 female and 115 male participants ranging in age from 14 to 20 years old with the median age of 17.54 years. Overall, students preferred school counseling activities focusing on college and career readiness. According to the results of this study, students indicated that although they believed college and career activities to be important, they were not satisfied with how their school counselors provided those activities. Multiple regression analyses were utilized to determine which demographic variables were significant predictors of respondents’ perceptions of importance. Results indicated student perceptions of importance did not vary across grades, economic levels, genders, or cultural differences. The results, limitations, and suggestions for school counseling programs were provided within the report.
Licensed Professional Counselors’ Attitudes Toward People with Schizophrenia: Predictors of Interest in Providing Interventions
For individuals with schizophrenia and their caregivers, psychosocial interventions have been shown to significantly improve recovery and reduce relapse rates. Although this population is underserved and stigmatized, counselors have been excluded from most research into attitudes toward and interventions for these families. Using a stratified random sample survey design, researchers explored the relationships between participating U.S. Licensed Professional Counselors’ attitudes towards, recovery beliefs regarding, familiarity with, desire for social distance from, and interest in providing services to individuals with schizophrenia and their caregivers. Most of the 111 participants (11.1% response rate) identified themselves as female (83.8%) and Caucasian (86.5%). A few participants described themselves as Hispanic (6.3%) or Black or African-American (5.4%). Respondents ranged in age in years from 20’s to 60’s with the largest group in their 40’s. Descriptive statistics indicated that the majority of LPC participants reported low to moderate stigmatizing attitudes, strong beliefs in recovery, and moderate to high interest in providing interventions for people with schizophrenia and their caregivers. Furthermore, almost half of participating LPCs reported already working with individuals with schizophrenia. Bivariate correlations and hierarchical regressions indicated that high interest in providing interventions for this population was significantly correlated (p < .01) with high frequency of already working with the population (large effect), low desire for social distance (medium effect), high desire to help socially (medium effect), and strong beliefs in recovery (small effect). The results support including LPCs in all areas pertaining to interventions, research, and recovery for people with schizophrenia and their caregivers.
Marital Satisfaction and Stability Following a Near-Death Experience of One of the Marital Partners
The purpose of this quantitative and qualitative study was to determine retrospectively marital satisfaction and stability following the near-death experience (NDE) of one of the marital partners, focusing on the role of Gottman's Sound Marital House (1999) in the couple's relationship before and after the NDE. The researcher used the Locke-Wallace Marital Adjustment Test (1959), the Weiss-Ceretto Marital Status Inventory (1980), and a modification of Gottman's Shared Meanings Questionnaire (1999). The first group of participants included 26 NDErs. To create as comparable a group as possible, the researcher designed a life-changing event (LCE) group of 26 people who used as their referent the non-NDE-related experience they considered their most life-changing one during their marriage. Sixty-five percent of the marriages in which the NDErs were involved at the time of their NDEs ended in divorce. This number is in contrast to the 19 percent of LCE participants whose marriages ended in divorce. Marital adjustment, marital stability, and meanings in marriage between retrospectively based pre-event and post-event composite scores were statistically significantly different between the NDErs and LCErs. Low effect sizes were identified for each of the instruments except the Weiss-Ceretto Marital Status Inventory, which had a moderate effect size. Strong correlations among the scores were identified. Further analysis of the results indicated strongly that the NDErs were less satisfied in their marriages, their marriages were less stable, and they did not have a strong level of shared meaning in the marriage after the NDE occurred as compared to the LCE participants. This study has serious implications for counselors who may work with NDErs. Findings from this study show that NDErs who were married at the time of their experiences have a strong possibility of experiencing marital problems. Encouraging these couples to seek professional help as soon as possible can provide a forum for them to address the potential numerous changes in their relationship. By having more information about the effects of an NDE on a marriage, counselors will be better prepared to assist those couples who are not well prepared to navigate their way through the aftereffects of the event. Through psychoeducation and the application of counseling approaches, counselors can help their clients address specific issues related to their NDEs.
A Mixed-Methods Approach to the Experiences of Non-Offending Parents of Children who have Experienced Sexual Abuse Participating in Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT)
When a child has been sexually abused, the non-offending parent and child may benefit from an intervention aimed at enhancing the parent child relationship. This mixed-methods study examined the process of child parent relationship therapy (CPRT) with non-offending parents of children who had been sexually abused. One purpose of the present study was to examine change in parent-child relationship, child behavior, and parent empathy of non-offending parents whose children have been sexually abused after participation in CPRT. A secondary purpose of this study was to explore subjective experiences of non-offending parents who participate in CPRT. Participants (N = 8) completed 11 weeks of CPRT in either Spanish speaking (n = 4) or English speaking (n = 4) groups. All participants completed pretest and posttest instruments including Child Behavior Checklist, Parenting Stress Index, and Measurement of Empathy in Adult-Child Interaction. Pretest and posttest means were reported but because of small sample size, only descriptive statistics are reported. Possible trends in pretest/posttest mean scores of the quantitative instruments are discussed. All participants also completed a post semi-structured interview to account for the experience of participants qualitatively. Analysis of the qualitative data revealed enhanced parent-child relationships, improved communication, greater acceptance, positive parental internal changes, positive behavioral changes in child, and positive changes in discipline.