UNT Theses and Dissertations - 10 Matching Results

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Adventure Based Counseling: Exploring the Impact of Abc on Adaptive Functioning in High School Males

Description: 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.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Christian, David D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Confirming the Constructs of the Adlerian Personality Priority Assessment (Appa)

Description: 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.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Dillman Taylor, Dalena
Partner: UNT Libraries

Confirming the Constructs of the Child Interpersonal Relationship and Attitudes Assessment

Description: The purpose of this study was to confirm the four-factor model of the Child Interpersonal Relationship and Attitudes Assessment (CIRAA) in order to establish the instrument’s factor/structure validity using a sample different than that used in instrument development. The CIRAA was the first parent-report instrument based on child-centered theory and designed to measure play therapy outcomes. Its four factors are Self-Regulation (formerly Self-Control), Interpersonal Relationships, Coping Skills, and Internal Locus of Evaluation. For this study, the CIRAA was administered to 206 parents; their children were 75 females and 131 males aged 3 to 10 years old. The distributions of children’s genders and ages in this study were similar to the distributions of the sample used to develop the CIRAA. Based on confirmatory factor analysis results of overall goodness-of-fit indices; localized areas of strain; and interpretability, size, and statistical significance (p < .001) of the model's parameter estimate, the four-factor model of the CIRAA was confirmed with both theoretical and empirical support. Internal consistency reliability for the subscales and total score were acceptable, with an overall reliability coefficient of .928. A medium negative correlation (r = -.417, n = 47, p < .01) was found between the CIRAA total scores and Child Behavior Checklist Total Problems scores, a result in the expected direction. All subscales and total scores, except the Internal Locus of Evaluation score, distinguished differences between non-clinical and clinical samples. Altogether, results indicated that the CIRAA is appropriate for making clinical decisions about individuals. Limitations, additional implications, and future research are discussed.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Chung, Chiao-Feng
Partner: UNT Libraries

Congruence, Unconditional Positive Regard, and Empathic Understanding in Child-centered Play Therapy

Description: The purpose of this study was to explore how the therapist-provided conditions of congruence, unconditional positive regard, and empathic understanding were experienced and conveyed in child-centered play therapy (CCPT). Although the therapist-provided conditions are considered essential to the therapeutic process in CCPT, a gap exists between child-centered theory and empirical exploration of the process and dynamics of these relational variables in CCPT. Due to the limited research in this area, a grounded theory approach was utilized to explore how the three variables emerge in CCPT. Participants included four advanced doctoral students, all Caucasian females with extensive training in CCPT, and 12 children ranging from 4 to 8 years of age receiving weekly, individual CCPT. One individual CCPT session was observed and video-recorded for each therapist-child dyad (n = 12). Following each observation, play therapists were interviewed regarding the observed play session (n = 12). During each interview, the researcher and therapist watched the recorded play session in its entirety and discussed noteworthy interactions between the child and therapist. The video-recorded play therapy sessions and therapist interviews were analyzed using a multiphasic, constant comparative method. Results of the analysis included a process-model of the therapist-provided conditions in CCPT, examples of play therapists’ internal experiences and external behaviors associated with the presence and absence of the therapist-provided conditions, and a model of the process play therapists utilize to respond to breaks and barriers to congruence, unconditional positive regard, empathic understanding, and unconditional positive self-regard in CCPT. Implications for clinical practice, training, supervision, and research are discussed.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Jayne, Kimberly M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Development of the Knowledge and Attitudes Toward Near-death Experiences Scale

Description: The purpose of this study was to develop an instrument to measure healthcare professionals’ knowledge and attitudes about near-death experiences (NDEs) that would demonstrate acceptable psychometric properties. In consultation with a focus group of six NDE experts, I developed the 50-item Knowledge and Attitudes toward Near-Death Experiences Scale (KANDES), including the 24-item KANDES–Attitude subscale (KANDES-A) and the 26-item KANDES–Knowledge subscale (KANDES-K). Including a pilot administration in which feedback indicated no need for revision, a total of 256 professional and student counselors completed the KANDES. Separate reliability and validity analyses were conducted for each subscale. For the KANDES–A, Cronbach’s alpha was .909, and Pearson’s r for test-retest was .748, both indicating acceptable reliability. An exploratory factor analysis indicated four factors to retain and yielded a factor solution that explained 54.87% of the variance, an acceptable amount of variance to substantiate construct validity. For the KANDES–K, Cronbach’s alpha was .816, indicating acceptable reliability. For each of the scale’s three domains, Cronbach’s alpha was .816 for Domain 1: NDE Content, .817 for Domain 2: NDE Aftereffects, and .631 for Domain 3: Experiencer Characteristics, indicating acceptable reliability. Pearson’s r for test-retest on the total KANDES–K was .812, further demonstrating acceptable reliability.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Pace, Laura
Partner: UNT Libraries

Doctoral Level Counseling Students’ Experiences and Perceptions of Learning in a Cohort Environment

Description: 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.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Huffman, David D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Adlerian Play Therapy on Maladaptive Perfectionism and Anxiety and in Children

Description: 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.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Akay, Sinem
Partner: UNT Libraries

Pilot of a Learning Management System to Enhance Counselors' Relational Qualities Through Mindfulness-based Practices

Description: 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.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Ballinger, Julie Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Relationship of Counselor Education Program Applicants’ Cognitive Complexity to Other Admission Criteria

Description: Counselor cognitive complexity is a counselor’s ability to recognize and organize multiple characteristics that might affect client needs. I examined whether various admissions criteria–Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing scores; previous coursework grade point averages; and faculty co-leaders’ admissions group interview ratings–for 182 applicants to a southwestern U.S. CACREP-accredited master’s counseling program predicted cognitive complexity scores on a modified Counselor Cognitions Questionnaire (CCQ). Participants were predominantly ages 20 to 30 years (91.8%), female (91.8%), and White (81.3%). Multiple regression analyses showed statistical significance with small effect sizes: the admissions criteria together significantly predicted cognitive complexity differentiation (p = .033), accounting for 6.6% of variance, and cognitive complexity integration (p = .003), accounting for 9.8% of variance. The small effect sizes and low variance percentages support the idea that cognitive complexity measured by the modified CCQ is a substantially different phenomenon from commonly-assessed academic aptitude and personality characteristics. If future researchers confirm these findings with additional samples, subsequent researchers could determine whether one or both domains of cognitive complexity, either alone or in combination with one or more of the commonly used admissions criteria, could help counselor educators better predict which applicants will be successful in master’s programs and the counseling field.
Date: August 2013
Creator: De La Garza Jr., Mario A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Resilience Among Middle School Students

Description: 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.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Donaghey, Mary V.
Partner: UNT Libraries