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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Decade: 2010-2019
 Degree Discipline: Counseling
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Adlerian Play Therapy: Effectiveness on Disruptive Behaviors of Early Elementary-Aged Children
Approximately 20% of children experience serious mental health problems severe enough to meet diagnosis criteria, and less than one third of these children receive the services they need. Identifying effective school-based counseling interventions provides a viable and accessible solution, especially for families with financial barriers. This randomized, controlled outcome study examined the effectiveness of Adlerian play therapy (AdPT) compared to reading mentoring (RM) with 58 kindergarten through third grade students who qualified with clinical levels of disruptive behavior in the classroom. Participants were identified as 48% Latino, 33% European American, and 19% African American. Approximately four-fifths of participants were male. Children were randomly assigned to AdPT (experimental group) or RM (active control group) for 16 sessions of treatment. Children in both groups participated in twice weekly, individual, 30-minute interventions that took place in their schools. Results from a two (group) by two (repeated measures) split plot ANOVA indicated that, compared to the RM group over time, the AdPT group demonstrated statistically significant improvement on (a) disruptive behaviors in the classroom, as directly observed by objective raters and as reported by teachers, and (b) stress in the teacher-child relationship, as reported by teachers. Teachers and observers were blinded to children's treatment group assignment. AdPT demonstrated moderate to large effect sizes on all measures, indicating the practical significance of treatment. Further, 72% of children receiving AdPT improved from clinical/borderline levels of disruptive behavior problems to more normative functioning post-intervention, demonstrating the clinical significance of results. Whereas further research is warranted, results from this preliminary study are promising and support the use of AdPT in elementary schools to meet the needs of children exhibiting disruptive classroom behavior.
Adventure Based Counseling: Exploring the Impact of Abc on Adaptive Functioning in High School Males
The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of ABC on adaptive functioning in high school males. Specifically, a pretest/posttest, experimental design (N = 46; Caucasian = 26, Hispanic = 20) was used to examine the changes in adaptive and maladaptive functioning in ABC participants (n = 21) compared to those in a control/waitlist group (n = 25) as measured by the Behavior Assessment System for Children, second edition (BASC-2). Participants randomly assigned to the treatment group engaged in 10 ABC sessions. In order to better understand group process in ABC, I had experimental group participants complete the Group Climate Question Short form (GCQ-S) three times during the intervention. A mixed between/within subjects ANOVA of the BASC-2 scores revealed a statistically significant increase in adaptive functioning for both groups, F(1, 33) = 8.58, p < .01, with a partial eta squared of .21 indicating a large effect. There was no statistically significant difference between the experimental and control/waitlist groups, F(1, 33) = .064, p = .80, and a very small effect size (partial eta squared < .01). A repeated measures ANOVA of the GCQ-S scores revealed a statistically significant increase in engagement, F(2, 38) = 4.067, p = .025, with an eta squared of .21, indicating a large effect. Limitations of the study, implications of the results for practice, and recommendations for future research are presented.
Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) with Adoptive Families: Effects on Child Behavior, Parent-Child Relationship Stress, and Parental Empathy
This randomized controlled study is a preliminary investigation on the effects of Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) with 61 adoptive parents. The participants in this study identified themselves as the following: 54 European American, 3 Black American, 3 Hispanic/Latino, and 1 individual who chose not to indicate ethnicity. The study included 23 couples and 15 individual mothers. The CPRT is a structured, time limited approach that trains caregivers to be an active participant as a therapeutic change agent in their child's life. Results from a two (group) by two (measures) split plot ANOVA indicated that adoptive parents who participated in 10 weeks of CPRT reported statistically significant decreases in child behavior problems and parent child-relationship stress. Statistically significant increases in parent empathy were also reported by raters blinded to the study. CPRT demonstrated a medium to large treatment effect on reducing children's behavior problems and parent-child relationship stress. In addition, CPRT demonstrated a large treatment effect on increasing parental empathy. The results of the study provide preliminary support for CPRT as a responsive intervention for adoptive parents and their children.
Child Teacher Relationship Training As a Head Start Early Mental Health Intervention for Children Exhibiting Disruptive Behavior: an Exploratory Study
This exploratory study examined the effectiveness of child teacher relationship training (CTRT) with at-risk preschool children exhibiting disruptive behavior. The participants included a total of 23 Head Start teachers and their aides, and children identified by their teachers as exhibiting clinical or borderline levels of externalizing behavior problems. Teacher participants included 22 females and 1 male; demographics were reported as 56% Hispanic ethnicity, 17% Black American, and 22% European American. Child participants included 15 males and 5 females; demographics were reported as 60% Hispanic, 30% Black American, and 10% European American. A 2 by 3 (Group x Repeated Measures) split plot ANOVA was used to analyze the data. According to teacher reports using the Teacher Report Form (C-TRF) and blinded raters’ reports using the Direct Observation Form (DOF) to assess disruptive behaviors, children whose teachers received the CTRT intervention demonstrated statistically significant decreases (p < .05) in externalizing behaviors on the C-TRF and total problems on the DOF from pre- to mid- to post-test, compared to children whose teachers participated in the active control group. The CTRT intervention demonstrated large treatment effects on both measures (C-TRF: ?p2 =.173; DOF: ?p2=.164) when compared to CD, revealing the practical significance of the findings on reducing disruptive behaviors. According to independent raters on the DOF, 90% of children receiving the CTRT intervention moved from clinical levels of behavioral concern to more normative levels of functioning following treatment, establishing the clinical significance of CTRT as an early mental health intervention for preschool children in Head start exhibiting disruptive behavior.
Child Teacher Relationship Training (Ctrt) with Children Exhibiting Disruptive Behavior: Effects on Teachers’ Ability to Provide Emotional and Relational Support to Students and on Student-teacher Relationship Stress
This study investigated the impact of child teacher relationship training (CTRT) on teachers’ ability to provide emotional support in the classroom, teachers’ use of relationship-building skills, and teachers’ level of stress related to the student-child relationship. Teachers and aides from one Head Start school were randomly assigned to the experimental group CTRT (n = 11) or an active control Conscious Discipline group (CD; n = 12). Overall, 21 females, 11 (CTRT) and 11 (CD), and one male (CD) participated in the study. Participating teachers and aides identified themselves as the following: 13 Hispanic/Latino, 5 Black American, and 5 European American. Teachers and aides identified children with clinical levels of disruptive behavior problems for the purpose of selecting children of focus for the study. The children’s mean age was 3.63 for CTRT group and 3.36 for CD group. Overall, 9 females, 2 (CTRT) and 7 (CD), and 10 males, 6 (CTRT) and 4 (CD) participated in the study. Teachers reported children’s ethnicity: 13 Hispanic/Latino, 5 African American, and 1 other. A two-factor (Treatment x Group) repeated measures split plot ANOVA was utilized to analyze the data with an alpha level of .05. According to objective raters blinded to the study using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) and the Child Teacher Relationship Skills Checklist (CTRT-SC) and teacher reports using Index of Teaching Stress (ITS), results revealed a statistically significant interaction effect for the experimental teachers’ use of child-teacher relationship skills (CTRT-SC: p = .036), a non-statistically significant interaction effect for the experimental teachers’ ability to provide emotional support (CLASS: p = .50), and a non-statistically significant interaction effect on teacher stress (ITS: p = .997). Partial eta squared effect sizes were calculated to determine the practical significance of the findings. Compared to the active control, CTRT demonstrated large treatment effects over time on the CTRT-SC (?p2 = .19) and the CLASS (?p2 = .16). Study findings provide support for CTRT as an effective intervention for increasing Head Start teachers’ ability to provide emotional and relational support to at-risk students.
College Student Resilience: Selected Effects of Service-Learning
Resilience implies the concept of buoyancy. Specifically, it denotes an individual's capacity to persevere and even do well in the face of adversity. Service-learning is pedagogy often used to enable students to apply classroom learning in a real world context. The goal of this study was to examine the effects of service-learning upon college student resilience. The study utilized a convenience sample of undergraduate students (N = 172) across three disciplines including counseling, social work and kinesiology. In a pre-post test design, the CD-RISC was employed to measure resilience of the experimental and control groups. Factor analysis of the CD-RISC was also conducted in order to explore interrelationship of the variables among the data. One undergraduate sample (N = 210) was used to conduct the EFA before determining a best fit factor structure for this study's population. A repeated measures analysis of variance was employed to detect any differences between pre-post test groups. No statistical significance was found across pre and post-test among the two groups (p=.49, &#951;2=.00). However significant results were found between the experimental and control groups (p=.00, &#951;2 =.09). Examination of mean score differences among demographic variable yielded interesting findings across the three disciplines as well as between age and gender of the participants. Findings indicated students given freedom of choice within service-learning logistics scored greatest gains in resilience.
Combat Near-Death Experiences: An Exploratory, Mixed-Methods Study
This mixed-methods study’s purpose was a systematic comparison of contents and aftereffects of near-death experiences (NDEs) occurring in a variety of circumstances with those occurring in combat. They completed an online survey: a demographic questionnaire, the Near-Death Experience Scale, the Life Changes Inventory-Revised (LCI-R), and four narrative response items. Survey completers were 68 participants: 20 combat near-death experiencers (cNDErs) and 48 non-NDErs (nNDErs). The 29% of participants who met NDE Scale criterion for an NDE was comparable to NDE incidence findings from previous retrospective studies. For statistical analyses, significance was set at p < .05, and effect size (Cohen’s d) was calculated. Mean total NDE Scale scores were significantly lower for cNDErs than variety-of-circumstance NDErs from one of two comparable studies (t = 5.083, p < .0001, d = -1.26), possibly suggesting cNDEs may have “less depth” than other-variety NDEs. Regarding cNDE aftereffects, absence of previous LCI-R data made comparison impossible. Cronbach’s alpha analysis yielded acceptable reliability on the total scale and seven of nine subscales, a finding that matched Schneeberger’s (2010); however, factor analytic results did not support the hypothesized subscale structure of the LCI-R. Although cNDErs did not score significantly higher than nNDErs on the total scale or subscales after Bonferroni correction, results indicated a possible trend toward greater absolute changes (p = 0.02, d = 0.74) and spirituality (p = 0.02, d = 0.67) with the latter finding substantiated by narrative responses. Informal analysis of narrative responses yielded several themes.
Confirming the Constructs of the Adlerian Personality Priority Assessment (Appa)
The primary purpose of this study was to confirm the four-factor structure of the 30-item Adlerian Personality Priority Assessment (APPA) using a split-sample cross-validation confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). The APPA is an assessment, grounded in Adlerian theory, used to conceptualize clients based on the four personality priorities most commonly used in the Adlerian literature: superiority, pleasing, control, and comfort. The secondary purpose of this study was to provide evidence for discriminant validity, examine predictive qualities of demographics, and explore the prevalence of the four priorities across demographics. For the cross validation CFA, I randomly divided the sample, 1210 undergraduates, at a large public research university (53% Caucasian, 13.1% Hispanic/Latino(a), 21.4% African American, 5.4% American Indian, and 5.8% biracial; mean age =19.8; 58.9% females), into two equal subsamples. I used Subsample 1 (n = 605) to conduct the initial CFA. I held out Subsample 2 (n = 605) to test any possible model changes resulting from Subsample 1 results and to provide further confirmation of the APPA's construct validity. Findings from the split-sample cross-validation CFA confirmed the four-factor structure of the APPA and provided support for the factorial/structure validity of the APPA's scores. Results also present initial evidence of discriminant validity and support the applicability of the instrument across demographics. Overall, these findings suggest Adlerian counselors can confidently use the APPA as a tool to conceptualize clients.
Contemporary Research on Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT) Modalities: A Meta-Analytic Review of Controlled Outcome Studies
The present meta-analytic study estimated the overall effectiveness of child therapy interventions using CCPT methodology and explored the relationships between study characteristics and treatment effects. Fifty-two studies between 1995 and the present were included based on the following criteria: (a) the use of CCPT methodology, (b) the use of control or comparison repeated measure design, (c) the use of standardized psychometric assessment, and (d) clear reports of effect sizes or sufficient information for effect size calculation. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) techniques were utilized to estimate the overall effect size for the collected studies and explore relationships between effect sizes and study characteristics. Dependent variable included 239 effect sizes, and independent variables included 22 study characteristics. The mean age of all child participants in the collected studies was 6.7. In 15 studies, the majority of participants were Caucasian. An equal number of studies were made up of non-Caucasian participants, including 3 with majority African American, 4 with majority Hispanic/Latino participants, 5 with majority Asian/Asian American participants, and 3 with other ethnic populations. Study collection included 33 studies with majority of boys and 11 studies with majority of girls. HLM analysis estimated a statistically significant overall effect size of 0.47 for the collected studies (p < 0.001). This result indicated that the overall improvement from pre to post treatment demonstrated by children in experimental groups was approximately 1/2 standard deviation better than by children in control groups. A statistically significant amount (49.2%) of between-study variance was found (p < 0.001), indicating the heterogeneity among the 52 studies Statistically significant relationships were found between effect sizes and study characteristics including child age, child ethnicity, clinical level of referral, treatment integrity, presenting issue, source of data, population, and caregiver involvement. Effect size findings for CCPT and its moderators should be interpreted in light of the specific, and perhaps more rigorous statistical analysis method (HLM) and effect size calculation formula used for the present study, particularly in comparison to previous meta-analytic findings. Overall findings support CCPT's beneficial treatment effect. Specifically, CCPT can be considered a developmentally and culturally responsive effective mental health intervention across presenting issues.
The Development of Disordered Eating Among Female Undergraduates: A Test of Objectification Theory
Objectification theory (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997) has been used to explain how mechanisms related to socialization, sexual objectification, and psychological variables interact to predict mental health difficulties. Among a sample of 626 undergraduate women (age 18-24), this study empirically tested components of Moradi and Huang’s (2008) model and extended it by including additional socialization experiences (i.e., sexual abuse, societal pressures regarding weight and body size). Structural equation modeling analyses suggested that the model provided a good fit to the data and the model was tested in the confirmatory sample. Across the two samples, high levels of Body Shame and low levels of Internal Bodily Awareness directly led and high levels of Societal Pressures Regarding Weight and Body Size, Internalization of Cultural Standards of Beauty, and Self-objectification indirectly led to increased Bulimic Symptomatology and accounted for 65 to 73% of the variance in Bulimic Symptomatology. A history of sexual abuse and sexual objectification were not consistently supported within the model and do not appear to be as salient as the experience of societal pressures regarding weight and body size in understanding women’s experience of bulimic symptomatology. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.
The Development of the Child Interpersonal Relationships and Attitudes Assessment for Child Centered Play Therapy
The purpose of this study was to develop a parent report form instrument congruent with the philosophy of child-centered play therapy. The study sought to develop an instrument with acceptable levels of construct validity, reliability, sensitivity to clinical attitudes and relationships, and responsiveness to intervention. The Child Interpersonal Relationships and Attitudes Assessment (CIRAA) and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBC) and the Parenting Stress Index (PSI) were administered to 136 parents of children aged 3 to 10. The children of the parents sample consisted of 90 males and 46 females. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted for construct validity. Parallel analysis was conducted to determine the number of factors to retain. The factor solution explained 53.86% of the variance, which is an acceptable amount of the variance. Cronbach's alpha was conducted for total scale and all subscales. Reliability scores for the total score and subscales were acceptable, with an overall reliability coefficient of .93. A Pearson's r was conducted for concurrent validity between the instrument, the CBC, and the PSI, with Pearsons' r of .75 and .74 respectively. Paired-sample t-tests using the pretest and posttest scores of the instrument in development examined the responsiveness of the instrument to play therapy intervention at the same level as the CBC and PSI. ROC curve analysis, indicated acceptable discrimination of clinical scores and adaptive scores, with a clinical score being generated from the analysis. It is the first parent-report form developed for child-centered play therapy, and provides an efficient and philosophically consistent instrument for child centered play therapists to use in clinical and research settings.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Parents Of Children With High-functioning Autism: Experiences In Child-parent Relationship Therapy (Cprt)
This qualitative study attempted to capture the experiences of parents of children with high-functioning autistic spectrum disorders participating in child-parent relationship therapy (CPRT). Parents of children with high-functioning autistic spectrum disorders (HFASD) are prone to experiencing stress in the parent-child relationship due to difficulty in social understanding and rigid behavioral patterns often found among children with HFASD. Moreover, parents of children with HFASD may feel challenged to find suitable interventions that are time-limited, affordable, and appropriate for parents and children with HFASD. Because no research currently investigates the perceived acceptability of CPRT for parents of children with HFASD, it was decided that a qualitative study would best capture the experiences of parents of children with HFASD participating in CPRT to understand more fully whether CPRT is an appropriate intervention for these parents. Four parents and one grandparent were interviewed prior to and following their participation in 10 sessions of CPRT. Thematic analysis of the pre- and post-intervention interviews as well as the 10 CPRT sessions revealed eight themes related to the parents overall experience of CPRT and change in the parent, child, and parent-child relationship: understanding of CPRT concepts, reactions to CPRT, group dynamic, child characteristics, parent characteristics, knowledge and experiences with HFASD, family context, and parent-child relationship. The emerging themes indicated that the five participants found CPRT to be a useful intervention for developing skills to deal with child-behavior concerns related to HFASD. The participants also reported developing a better understanding of their children with HFASD and four parents reported increased closeness in the parent-child relationship. The implications for this research are that CPRT may offer parents of children with HFASD a time-limited intervention that meets their needs as parents, as well as possibly helping parents and children with HFASD develop increased closeness in the parent-child relationship.
Pilot of a Learning Management System to Enhance Counselors' Relational Qualities Through Mindfulness-based Practices
Mindfulness-based practices are associated with increased attentional qualities, improved self-focus styles, enhanced empathic understanding, and strengthened self-compassion, making these practices a viable addition to counselor training programs. However, current mindfulness training models are primarily designed for relief of psychological distress, stress reduction, and increased well-being rather than focused on enhancing therapeutic skills and require intensive time commitments that may present logistical difficulties for overburdened curricula and graduate students. This study piloted an on-line, eight-week mindfulness-based practices learning management system for counselors (MBLMS-C) with a specific focus on the cultivation of qualities associated with successful therapeutic relationships. Ten of forty-six recruited counseling master's students enrolled in their first basic skills course at a sample of accredited universities across the United States completed the exit survey. Data were analyzed using multivariate repeated measures analyses comparing pre- post- counselor relational qualities of mindfulness traits, empathy, self-focus style, and self-compassion. Results indicated no statistically significant difference with a partial ?2 = .73. What-if analyses (N = 30) indicated statistical significance may have been obtained given a larger sample. Variance was explained by increased self-compassion (partial ?2 = .34) and mindfulness traits (partial ?2 = .31) and decreased self-focus style rumination (partial ?2 = .23) and empathic personal distress (partial ?2 = .12). Changes were observed in the desired direction for self-focus style reflection and empathic perspective taking/empathic concern. Discussion includes a review of the findings including examination of participant feedback regarding training experience. Study limitations and implications for counselor education, professional enhancement, and suggestions for future research are also offered.
The Relationship Between Professional Sexual Boundary Violation And Sex Addiction: An Exploratory Study Of Post-treatment And Retrospective Pre-treatment Dispositions
In this exploratory study, 35 male professionals who had successfully completed residential sex addiction treatment were surveyed. Respondents’ median age was 47.5, and reported ethnicities were White (89%), Asian, (9%) and Hispanic (2%). Prior to intake, 17 respondents had reportedly violated sexual boundaries with patients, clients, or staff (BV group) and 18 reportedly had not (NBV group). Respondents completed a demographic information form and two validated instruments: (a) Sexual Symptom Assessment Scale (S-SAS), measuring symptom severity of Compulsive Sexual Behavior (CSB); and (b) Boundary Violation Index (BVI), assessing frequency of risk factors for Sexual Boundary Violation (SBV). Respondents reported a very large decrease in CSB symptom severity over time (partial 2 = .856), change that was statistically equal for respondents in the BV and NBV groups. Furthermore, respondents reported a large decrease in SBV risk over time (partial 2 = .620); however, the BV group reported a greater decrease in SBV risk than the NBV group (partial 2 = .221). Reductions in both CSB symptoms and SBV risk were stable over time, up to five years post discharge. CSB symptoms and SBV risk were not correlated at retrospective pre-treatment, but for practical purposes, were moderately correlated at post treatment (r = 0.386, n = 25, p = 0.057). Although not significant, correlation at pre-treatment was more than twice as strong for the BV group than for the NBV group. Days of Treatment was a meaningful, although non-significant, contributor to decreases in CSB symptom severity (? = -.323). Similarly, Days of Treatment (? = -.785), Counseling (? = -.303), Recovery Support (? = -.292), and Continuing Education (? = -.259) were meaningful, although non-significant, contributors to decrease in SBV risk. At study participation, 77.1% of respondents had reportedly retained their professional licenses, although 15.4% reported having received a new licensing board complaint. Clinical and professional implications, limitations, and areas for future research are discussed.
Relationships Among and Between Early and Late Freshmen Admission Applications and Academic Persistence
This quantitative study investigated relationships among and between university early and late admitted freshmen and academic performance and persistence. The participants in this study consisted of 3,197 early freshmen applicants and 309 late freshmen applicants admitted at a large southwestern student centered public research university over the course of the year prior to the fall 2008 academic year. Significant results, using a statistical significance level of p < .05, were reported for the majority of variables examined: chi-square analysis revealed a significant relationship between application date and ethnicity; independent-samples t-tests revealed significant differences in SAT scores; 78.06% of late applicants were male compared to 40.83% of early applicants; mean GPA of early applicants was 2.62 compared to 2.18 among those who applied late; and lastly, 76.62% of early applicants returned the following year in comparison to 57.42% of late applicants. The results of this study provide preliminary support for the examination of admission policies and procedures in relation to late application. Recommendations are made for advising, counseling, and other interventions that may ease the transition of freshmen late applicants while enhancing retention and persistence.
Resilience Among Middle School Students
Resilience is the ability to survive and persevere during difficult times. Resilient people also thrive after overcoming adversity. Adolescents have many developmental tasks to overcome in their quest to becoming adults. Difficulty with these tasks can lead to academic and personal failures. Adolescents with low resilience often struggle with low self-esteem. If students are identified early as having lower levels of resilience, professional school counselors have an opportunity to provide resilience-enhancing activities. Prior to middle school, students are assigned all of their classes. During middle school, students begin to select their elective courses which may be representative of their interests and current emotional status. By looking at students' elective courses, I looked for patterns of resilience that may help professional school counselors proactively identify students in need of additional guidance in order to be academically successful. This study utilized a convenience sample of middle school students enrolled in the 8th grade (N = 190) of a large suburban school district located in the southwest United States to measure levels of resilience and elective course enrollment. Gender of the participants was 107 females and 83 males. The students reported their ethnicity as 5.8% African American/Black, 11.1% Asian, 12.6% Hispanic, 1.1% Native American, 1.6% Pacific Islander, 59.5% Caucasian/White, and 8.4% multiracial. I measured resilience in this study using the Resilience Scale and comparisons based on elective course. Data analyses include descriptive statistics and ANOVAs. Based on a statistical significance criterion of p < .05, students enrolled in athletics scored significantly higher in resilience than did non-athletics students enrolled in physical education/outdoor education (p = .035). Additionally, Caucasian females were significantly less resilient than Caucasian males (p = .031). Limitations of the study, implications of the results for practice, and recommendations for future research are presented.
South Asian Women’s Experiences In Counseling: An Exploration Of Working Alliance, Multicultural Competence, Acculturation, And Cultural Value Conflicts
The purpose of this study was to examine predictors of client-counselor working alliance by understanding the effects of acculturation, perceived multicultural competence in counselors, and cultural value conflicts among South Asian women. The study was based on a nonrandom sample of women ages 18 to 39 years living in the United States who had completed at least three counseling sessions with a mental health professional in the last 5 years. Forty participants completed the online survey. Participants were recruited through personal contacts, social networking Internet websites, businesses, agencies, and places of worship. The majority of participants were highly educated, second-generation women descending from India or Pakistan. The full survey included an eligibility screening questionnaire, demographic questionnaire, the Working Alliance Inventory-Short Revised with an average mean of 4.82, Cross-Cultural Counseling Inventory-Revised with an average mean of 4.17 and reliability of excellent internal consistency reliability at ? = .92, Asian Values Scale-Revised with an average mean score of 2.44, and Cultural Value Conflicts Scale for South Asian Women with a mean score of 3.33. Participants reported experiencing working alliance often within the therapeutic relationship and experienced middle levels of Asian value adherence, falling in the integration level. The results indicated that participants experienced neutral to agreeable cultural value conflicts. Bivariate correlations indicated a statistically significant, moderate relationship between participants’ perceptions of counselors’ multicultural competence and their reports of working alliance in the therapeutic relationship. All other correlations reflected small to moderate effect sizes; however, these correlations were not statistically significant. Similarly, bivariate regression indicated that perceptions of multicultural counselor competence predicted the client-counselor working alliance to a moderate degree. From the results of hierarchical linear regression, acculturation and cultural value conflicts did not predict client-counselor working alliance even after accounting for perceived multicultural competence in counselors. The strongest predictor of client-counselor working alliance was the perceived multicultural competence of counselors. Probable reasons for the results of this study were discussed, limitations were identified, and suggestions for counseling practice were provided. Implications for the profession of counseling were made, and recommendations for future research were provided.
A Systematic Review of Research on After-Death Communication (ADC)
In this study, after-death communication (ADC) is defined as spontaneously occurring encounters with the deceased. Reported occurrences of ADC phenomena range widely among published ADC research studies, so a systematic review of 35 studies was conducted. A rubric was developed to evaluate the methodological quality; final inter-rater reliability among three raters was r = .90. Results were used to rank the studies; the methodologically strongest studies were used to arrive at best estimate answers to four research questions/subquestions: (1) How common are experiences of ADC? How does occurrence vary by gender, age, marital status, ethnicity, religious practice, religious affiliation, financial status, physical health, educational level, and grief status? (2) To what extent do ADCrs report ADC experiences to be beneficial and/or detrimental? What are the leading benefits and/or detriments? (3) What is the incidence of research studies in which the researchers mentioned that the research participants appeared mentally healthy? (4) What is the incidence of sensory modalities—for example, visual, auditory, and kinesthetic—in which ADCs occur? Best estimate results were compiled into a one-page fact sheet that counselors and others can use to educate people who seek empirically-based information about ADC.