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Characteristics of Mothers among Counselor Education Faculty

Description: Pre-tenured faculty in higher education and as well as mothers have reportedly struggled with low wellness levels, high demands, little social support, and an imbalance of work and home life. Mothers in higher education and in counselor education have reported struggling with work-life balance, high scholarly productivity, and long hours as well as the emotional and physical energy demands of working with counselors-in-training. A search of the professional literature revealed a paucity of quantitative research regarding demographic characteristics, wellness levels, and social support levels of mothers among counselor education faculty (MCEs). Participants for this study were faculties of counselor education programs recruited from the Holland List of Counseling Programs and from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs online directory. A total of 180 MCEs participated (aged 29-63, with mean age 40.6 years; 83% Caucasian, 8% other, 5% African American, 3% Hispanic, <1% Asian). Results showed that faculty rank did not account for a significant difference among wellness scores of MCEs and that reported social support, tenure or non-tenure track, number of children in the care of MCEs, number of children under age 8, number of publications, and teaching workload accounted for 14% of the variance in wellness levels of MCEs. Specifically, reported higher teaching workload (β = -.194, rs2 = .35, p = .012) and higher social support (β = -.258, rs2 = .36, p = <.001) were found to be significant predictors of lower wellness levels among MCEs, both with small effects. Based on these results, MCEs may benefit from advocating that their departments and universities adapt to their unique needs to improve their levels of wellness and social support through mentoring, which, in turn, may result in not only their own increased productivity but also their students' increased wellness levels.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Jimenez, Kyrstin Anne

Child Centered Play Therapy (CCPT) with Latina/o Children Exhibiting School Behavior Problems: Comparative Effects of Delivery by Spanish-Speaking and English-Speaking Counselors

Description: The shortage of bilingual counselors is one barrier to young Latina/o children receiving mental health services. Child-centered play therapy (CCPT) is a developmentally responsive intervention based on the premise that play is children's natural means of communication across cultures. This randomized controlled study examined the effects of CCPT with young Spanish-speaking Latina/o children exhibiting clinical levels of school behavior problems. Participants were 57 pre-K to kindergarten Latina/o children (72% male; mean age = 4.0) randomly assigned to three treatment groups: CCPT with Spanish-speaking, bilingual counselors; CCPT with English-speaking, monolingual counselors; or active control (bilingual mentoring). Monolingual counselors participated in cultural competency training and supervision with bilingual counselors and supervisors. According to independent observers and teachers blinded to children's group assignment, both the bilingual CCPT group and the monolingual CCPT group demonstrated moderate treatment effects over bilingual mentoring, yet between-group differences were not statistically significant. Analysis of within-group change over time indicated that children in both CCPT interventions demonstrated statistically significant improvement, while the mentoring group did not. The percentage of children in each treatment group who improved from clinical to normal behavioral functioning suggests the clinical significance of the findings: 80% bilingual CCPT, 70% monolingual CCPT, 15% bilingual mentoring. Overall, findings indicate that CCPT, whether delivered by bilingual counselors or culturally-competent, monolingual counselors, is a promising intervention for young Latina/o children exhibiting behavior problems.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Barcenas Jaimez, Gustavo

Child-Centered Play Therapy with Children Affected by Adverse Childhood Experiences: A Single Case Design

Description: Child centered play therapy (CCPT) is a therapeutic intervention that provides the environment for children to work through and heal from difficult experiences through expression of play and therapeutic relationship. It has been demonstrated effective with multiple types of disruptive behaviors. I conducted single-case research to explore CCPT's influence on children who had four or more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and provided analysis of data collected from one assessment administered weekly and one assessment at pre-, mid-, and post-intervention: the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire and the Trauma Symptoms Checklist for Young Children. The two participants (one 8-year-old White American male and one 9-year-old White American female) demonstrated significant improvement in total difficulties and prosocial behaviors. The study revealed potential therapeutic benefits for utilizing CCPT with children who had four or more ACEs. Encompassed in discussion of study results are implications for practice, suggestions for future research, and limitations.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Haas, Sara C

Coming Out: The Lived Experiences of LGB College Students who Feel Supported by Their Parents

Description: The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore how LGB college students created meaning out of their coming out process to their parents. I recruited LGB college students who perceived support from their parents during their coming out process and asked the following research question: What are the lived experiences of LGB college students who have experienced support from their parents during the coming out process? Seven White (n = 4), African American (n = 2), and Hispanic (n = 1) college students, three men and four women aged 18-24 years, shared narratives that included time periods before, during, and after their coming out disclosures to their parents. Using an adapted phenomenological analysis, I identified nine major themes: awareness of feeling different, positive relationship with parents prior to coming out, college impacting the coming out process, feeling unsure of how parents would respond to disclosure, parents assuring continued loved and acceptance, parents affirming LGB identity, increased relational depth with parents, increased sense of authenticity, and an appreciation for family's response and support. The findings provide insight into how counselors might work most beneficially with LGB college students and their parents around the coming out process. Opportunities for future research and limitations of the study are discussed.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Price, Eric W

Counselors Explore their Attachment Strategies: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

Description: This study explored participants' experiences of being interviewed with the Adult Attachment Interview as a means of supporting counselor self-awareness and fostering effective counselor-client working alliances. A sample of first-year counselor education doctoral students (n = 7) completed an AAI interview and feedback session. Participants completed five reflective journals over three weeks and explored their experiences in individual, semi-structured interviews. Data were analyzed according to interpretative phenomenological analysis protocol. Four superordinate themes emerged from the analysis: (a) reactions to the AAI interview process, (b) process with AAI feedback, (c) AAI and intrapersonal process, and (d) AAI and interpersonal process. Additionally, there were eight subordinate themes: (a) surprised by AAI interview process, (b) interview process sparked reflection, (c) initial reaction to AAI feedback, (d) evolving process of integrating AAI feedback, (e) AAI process increased awareness, (f) increased self-awareness increased self-efficacy, (g) awareness from AAI process prompted relational shifts, (h) impact of AAI on clinical work, (i) importance of relationships, (j) importance of self-awareness, and (k) mutual influence of personal and professional. Findings in this study suggest that the AAI is an effective tool in supporting counselor self-awareness regarding attachment strategies. Additionally, findings suggest multiple personal and professional benefits, such as increased awareness of conflict and stress management strategies. Limitations to the study and further discussion of the results are presented. Implications for clinical practice, counselor education, and future research are also included.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Spellings, Maria

Effect of Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) with Adoptive Parents of Preadolescents: A Pilot Study

Description: Older adopted children and their families often express high need for support for attachment and trauma related concerns. Post-adoption mental health intervention focused on enhancing the parent-child relationship among adoptive parents and adoptees is essential for fostering placement permanency among these families. This single group pilot study explored the effect of Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) for adoptive parents of preadolescents who reported attachment related concerns, stress in the parent-child relationship, and child behavior problems. Participants were 11 adoptive parents ages 25 to 64 (55% male; 91% couples; 100% married; 56% European American, 27% Asian, 9% Hispanic, and 9% Black American) with adoptees between the ages of 8 to 14 (56% male; 56% Hispanic, 33% European American, and 11% Black American). All child participants were adopted out of foster care. Data was collected at baseline, pretest, midtest, and posttest. Results from non-parametric Friedman test of differences across 4 points of measure indicated that CPRT demonstrated statistically significant improvement for the 3 outcome variables: parental empathy, child behavior, and parent child relationship stress. Specifically, results indicated that prior to receiving CPRT (baseline to pretest), parents demonstrated no change or worsening in functioning across all variables, whereas during the intervention phase findings showed a large treatment effect for parental empathy, a medium effect for parenting stress, and a small effect for child behavior problems. Findings from this pilot study support CPRT as a promising mental health intervention for adoptive parents and preadolescent children. Clinical implications and recommendations for working with adoptive parents of preadolescents are explored within the context of these findings.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Swan, Alyssa

The Effectiveness of Peer Mentoring with High School Student Mentors and Child Mentees

Description: This randomized, controlled study examined the effectiveness of two mentoring programs, child mentor relationship training (CMRT) and peer assistance and leadership (PAL®), on high school mentor empathic behaviors and child mentee behavior problems. Participants were 60 young, at-risk students (61.7% male; 38.3% Hispanic/Latino/a, 31.7% Caucasian, 21.7% African American, 8.3% biracial) and 30 high school students (53.3% male; 66.7% Caucasian, 26.7% Hispanic/Latino/a, 0.03% African American, 0.03% Asian). Mentors and mentees were randomly assigned to CMRT or PAL®, which was treatment as usual in the participating school district. Results from 2 (group) by 2 (time) repeated measures ANOVAs indicated compared to the PAL® treatment group over time, mentors in the CMRT group demonstrated statistically significant improvement in empathic behaviors with a large treatment effect, as rated by independent observers. Analysis revealed a moderate treatment effect with CMRT group mentee behavior problems, but the difference was not statistically significant between treatment groups over time. Further analysis revealed the CMRT group demonstrated statistically significant reductions in behavior problems from pre- to post-test with a very large treatment effect. Overall, findings support CMRT as a promising school-based intervention for at-risk young children that potentially increases school counselor efficiency.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Dafoe, Eric C.

Empirical Benchmarks for Interpreting Effect Sizes in Child Counseling Research

Description: The goal of this study was to establish empirical benchmarks for Cohen's d in child counseling research. After initial review of over 1,200 child intervention research studies published from 1990 to 2016, 41 randomized clinical trials were identified in which intervention and control groups were compared with children 3-12 years old (N = 3,586). Upon identification or calculation of a Cohen's d for each study, I calculated a weighted mean d by multiplying the effect size of each study by the number of participants in that study then dividing by total number of effect sizes. The weighted mean accounted for study sample size and served as the suggested medium effect size benchmark. Results indicated effect size is impacted in large part by type of reporter, with parents apparently most sensitive to improvement and yielding higher effect sizes overall; teachers relatively less sensitive, perhaps due to difficulty observing change in a classroom setting; and children self-reporting lowest levels of improvement, perhaps reflecting a lack of sufficient measures of child development. Suggested medium benchmarks for Cohen's d in child counseling literature are .70. for parent report, .50 for teacher report, and .36 for child self-report. Small and large benchmarks are suggested based on the use of standard deviations of the mean Cohen's d for each reporter.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Weisberger, Andrea Godwin

Examining Help-Seeking Intentions of Chinese Individuals: A Path Analysis

Description: Utilizing the theory of planned behavior, I examined the variables that affect Chinese individuals' help-seeking intention. A total of 251 Chinese individuals participated in this study. Results showed that the variables in the theory of planned behavior accounted for 16% of the variance in help-seeking intention. Specifically, attitude (r = .22, p < .001) and perceived behavioral control (r = .22, p < .001) were found to be significant predictors of help-seeking intention. Based on these results, mental health professionals can design outreach interventions, such as psychoeducational programs, to improve Chinese individuals' help-seeking attitude and perceived behavioral control in an attempt to increase mental health service utilization. Additionally, counselors can discuss with clients' their attitude and perceived behavioral control regarding seeking counseling in an attempt to assist clients in being committed to the counseling process.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Yee, Terence

The Experience of Language Use for Second Generation, Bilingual, Mexican American, 5th Grade Students

Description: There is a paucity of research regarding language use among bilingual clients, particularly with Latino children. In order to provide culturally sensitive counseling for bilingual, Spanish-speaking, Latino children it is important to understand their experience of language use. The purpose of this study was to investigate how second generation, bilingual, Mexican American, 5th grade students experience language use in the two languages with which they communicate. I employed a phenomenological method to data collection and analysis and conducted semi-structured individual and group interviews with three boys and five girls (N = 8). Analysis of the individual and group interviews yielded four main structures: (a) dominant language determined perception of developing dual selves, (b) speaking two languages useful in language brokering and upward mobility, (c) dominant language determined experience of language use, and (d) language use and aspects of the complementarity principle. Findings from this study suggest that bilingual Latino children experience language brokering for their parents as difficult, speaking two languages as useful regarding upward mobility, and that their dominant language influences various aspects of their daily experiences such as with whom and where they use each language. Limitations to this research include insufficient time building rapport with participants and challenges related to unexplored dimensions of bilingualism in the counseling research literature. An overarching implication for future research, clinical practice, and counselor education is that bilingualism, language use, and the depth of experience of Latino children are largely understudied topics.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Paz, Michael

Impact of an Online Education Program on Counselors' Knowledge and Attitudes about Near-Death Experiences

Description: An estimated 15 million people in the US have had a near‐death experience (NDE), an experience of usually lucid consciousness during a close brush with death. Following an NDE, experiencers (NDErs) sometimes feel challenged and seek counseling to integrate the experience into their subsequent lives. They have reported psychologically harmful experiences disclosing their NDEs to healthcare professionals, including counselors. Counselors' knowledge and attitude about NDEs appear to be critical variables in their ability to uphold the ethical imperative to do no harm to clients. The recent development of a psychometrically sound instrument to assess these variables, coupled with online availability of a three-part NDE educational program for health professionals, made possible for the first time a large‐scale pre‐post study of the effect of the program on counselors' knowledge and attitude about NDEs. Participants were 212 licensed professional counselors (LPCs) aged 23 to 71 years old (M = 44.93, SD = 12.69); sex self-identified as 12.3% male, 87.3% female, and .5% other; racially/ethnically self-identified as 84% White and 17% non-White and as 6.6% Latino-Hispanic and 92.5% non-Latino/Hispanic; and representing four regions of the US. Results revealed that, compared to control group, composed of LPCs who completed topically unrelated online programs (n = 112), those who completed the NDE program (n = 100) showed significantly more accurate knowledge and more positive attitude about NDEs. Participants also overwhelmingly expressed enjoyment of the programs. These results support the use of online training to increase counselors' knowledge and improve their attitude about NDEs so they can provide clinically and ethically sound treatment to NDErs. Limitations of the study and future research are addressed.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Loseu, Saharnaz

A Phenomenological Exploration of Counselors' Experiences in Personal Therapy

Description: Professional counselors may choose to increase self-awareness and/or engage in self-care through the use of personal therapy. In particular, counselors may feel reluctant to pursue personal therapy due to stigma related to their professional identity. To date, researchers have paid limited attention to the unique concerns of counselors in personal therapy. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore counselors' experiences and decision-making in seeking personal therapy. I addressed the following questions: What contributes to counselors' decision to seek personal therapy? How do counselors make meaning of their experiences in utilizing personal therapy? Participants included 13 licensed professional counselors who had attended personal therapy with a licensed mental health professional in the past three years. I identified six emergent themes through adapted classic phenomenological analysis: presenting concerns, therapist attributes, intrapersonal growth, interpersonal growth, therapeutic factors, and challenges. Participants reported positive changes in personality and relationships, as well as several barriers specifically related to their counselor identity. Findings inform mental health professionals and the field of counselor education and supervision about the personal and professional needs of counselors. Limitations and future research directions are discussed.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Bevly, Cynthia