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Child Centered Play Therapy with Children Exhibiting Aggressive Behaviors

Description: Aggressive behaviors in childhood currently serve as the leading cause of counselor referrals within the United States. Children exhibiting maladaptive aggressive symptomology are at an increased risk for highly externalized and problematic behaviors across the lifespan. Emotional self-regulation and empathy are two constructs currently believed to be closely related to aggression, but a lack of research exploring these variables currently exists in the counseling literature. In this study I examined the effect of child-centered play therapy (CCPT), is a manualized, developmentally responsive, and nondirective intervention, on these variables. Participants were 71 students from four Title 1 elementary schools in the southwest U.S. referred by teachers for aggressive behavior (12 females, 59 males; age range 5-10 years with mean age 6.28. The sample consisted of 52.1% (n = 37) children identified as African American, 21.1% (n = 15) as Latina/Latino, 19.7% (n = 14) as Caucasian, and 7% as multiracial (n = 5). Participants were randomly assigned to 8 weeks of a twice-weekly CCPT experimental group (n = 36) or a waitlist control group (n = 35). Results of descriptive discriminant analyses (DDA) of the Social Emotional Assets and Resilience Scale and the Children’s Aggression Scale scores revealed that parents perceived children’s group membership in CCPT as significant and reasonably predictive of improvement in children’s aggression, self-regulation, and empathy. However, teachers did not perceive a statistically significant difference between the two groups with respect to these variables. These results suggest the relevancy of CCPT for parents in providing children with a developmentally responsive intervention to reduce aggressive behaviors and support their healthy development.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Wilson, Brittany Jean

Individual and Group Child-Centered Play Therapy: Impact on Social-Emotional Competencies

Description: A randomized controlled trial study was conducted to test the effectiveness of 16 sessions of the modalities of individual and group child-centered play therapy (CCPT) on improving social-emotional assets, including self-regulation/responsibility, social competence, and empathy. Participants were 56 students in four urban elementary schools in north central Texas, referred by teachers for disruptive or problematic behavior: 10 female and 46 male; ages 5 to 10 years with mean age 7.12; and 21 identifying as Hispanic, 17 as White, 8 as Multiracial, 1 as Asian, and 9 unspecified. Teachers and parents completed the Social and Emotional Assets and Resilience Scale (SEARS; Merrill, 2011) at pre- and post-treatment. With a significance criterion of p< .05, teacher reports provided no statistically significant results. However, parent reports indicated a statistically and practically significant interaction effect with a medium to large effect size, indicating a substantial improvement in children's scores from pre- to post-test attributed to group assignment. Mean differences indicated substantial gains in overall social-emotional assets, according to Total scores, in both individual and group treatment conditions as compared to the waitlist control group. Additionally, both individual and group play therapy was correlated with significant improvement with a large effect for the constructs of self-regulation/responsibility and social competence, with the group condition having a larger effect than the individual condition. Regarding empathy, neither modality resulted in significant improvement, though individual CCPT resulted practically in a large effect. These results indicate CCPT may provide a developmentally appropriate treatment for clinicians working with children in schools and in the community to foster their social and emotional competencies.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Blalock, Sarah M.

Master Therapists' Decision Making Process Concerning Adolescent Confidentiality: A Grounded Theory Approach

Description: Ethical codes and laws provide counselors with guidance for how to approach confidentiality, but there is a gap in the literature surrounding counselors' process of decision-making when managing confidentiality with a adolescent clients. This study explored the decision-making process of master therapists concerning adolescent clients. I conducted semi-structured interviews with peer identified master therapist (N=10), all of whom were licensed professional counselors with 15 or more years of counseling experience and whose case load contained 25% or more adolescent clients. Participants included seven females and three males; nine participants identified as Caucasian, and one participant identified as Hispanic. Participants ages ranged from 39-61. I analyzed the data, along with two research partner, according to Grounded Theory (GT) methodology. Through constant comparative analysis, a grounded theory emerged from the data in which participants converged understanding of client safety, relationships, clinical intuition in a process of integrated experience and consultation. With the exception of mandated reported and mortal danger, ethical guidelines and laws did not seem to factor into participants' decision making. Implications for counseling practice, preparation, and research are provided.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Michero, Emily

Mentors' Perceptions of Online-Educated Principal Interns

Description: This qualitative study centered on perceptions of the quality and effectiveness of online-educated principal interns from the viewpoint of principal mentors. Six current principals who have served as mentors to both online and traditionally educated principal interns were asked to name characteristics of successful interns, to discuss to what degree those characteristics have been observed in online-educated principal interns and to share their perceptions of the quality and effectiveness of online-educated interns. The individual interview responses were analyzed and interpreted using thematic analysis. Three overarching themes emerged through data analysis: (1) the importance of certain characteristics in predicting internship success; (2) the impact of program delivery method on principal intern effectiveness; and (3) the influence of perception and bias in hiring decisions. This study may provide a better understanding of the characteristics of successful interns to universities and colleges offering principal preparation programs, which may result in a better understanding of the elements of successful interns and productive internship experiences.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Coomer, Traci

The Perceptions of Policymakers on the Transfer Pathway in Texas Public Higher Education

Description: Community college students transfer to public universities experiencing a pathway filled with complexity and inequity. Transfer students are not able to graduate at the same pace as native students at the university and complete their baccalaureate degrees 18% below the rate of native students. Policymakers have attempted to address the baccalaureate gap. This qualitative study explored the perspectives of Texas policymakers and policy influencers on the efficacy of policies intended to improve transfer outcomes. This study investigated what experience participants have with transfer policy, what their perceptions of the transfer pathway are, and how their voices can refine an understanding of policy development and ways to improve student persistence. Purposeful sampling was used to explore the perspectives of 14 Texas policymakers and those that influence policy. Findings revealed that significant gaps exist between expectations and student realities and that the completion agenda is driving policy decisions. Participants perceived that transfer students have been ignored in the completion metrics, which influence institutional priorities. Moreover, the decentralized system of independent, autonomous institutions is a major contributor to inefficiencies such as excessive student credit hours. Improving the transferability of courses was a priority recommendation of all participants both because it benefits the State’s economy and, more importantly, because it is in the best interest of students.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Faris, Kimberly A

Preferred Qualifications of Collegiate Athletic Directors: Opinions of Presidents and Athletic Directors

Description: This study explored the preparation methods, qualifications and criteria that both university and athletic directors deemed necessary when searching for athletic directors. Participants completed a survey via Qualtrics online software. Two different populations were sampled for this study: 651 university presidents and 651 athletic directors whose schools compete in either Division I or II in the NCAA, resulting in 96 abd 150 usable responses respectively. Participants in both groups were primarily white males with mean ages of 62 for presidents and 52 for the athletic directors. The study provided demographic information, educational history, professional experience, and prior careers of athletic directors. The rankings of the athletic were compared to the rankings of the presidents and identified consistenncies of opinions. The respondent groups were in agreement on the qualities and ranking of many dimensions of leadershihp in this role. The top seven, for both groups, in order, were ethics, budgeting and finances skills, fundraising, communications, sport leadership, strategic management and policy, and athletic administration. This information could be used as a guide for people who want to strategically maneuver up the ranks in athletics administration. Presidents might use the information as they prepare to hire candidates for the athletic director position.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Sheffield, Cinnamon

Social-Emotional Competencies of African American Children: Impact of Child-Centered Play Therapy

Description: African American children experience risks due to heightened socio-environmental problems and responding to negative racial messages in their environments. Child Centered Play Therapy (CCPT) is one viable intervention for the development of social emotional competence among African American children to help mediate adverse conditions. I sought to explore the effects of CCPT on the social emotional competencies of African American children utilizing Social Emotional Assets and Resilience Scale-Parent & Teacher (SEARS-P; SEARS-T) reports. Thirty-seven African American participants with a mean age of 6.68 years were recruited from four suburban elementary schools in the southwest U.S. Twenty participants were randomly assigned to the intervention group receiving a mean of 13.3 CCPT sessions over 8 weeks, and 17 participants were assigned to the waitlist control group. Factorial ANOVA results indicated that parents reported statistically and practically significant improvement for children who participated in CCPT in overall social-emotional competencies. Follow-up analysis revealed statistical and practical improvement in children’s empathy, as well as practical improvement in self-regulation/responsibility and social competence. Teacher-reported results indicated practical but non-statistically significant improvement in overall social-emotional competencies for children who participated in CCPT, including statistical and practical improvement in children’s responsibility, as well as practical improvement in self-regulation, social competence, and empathy. Thus, CCPT showed promise as a culturally responsive treatment intervention to improve African American children’s social-emotional competencies
Date: May 2016
Creator: Taylor, LaKaavia

Addressing Multicultural Issues in the Counselor Education Classroom: a Phenomenological Analysis

Description: Multicultural education in counselor education is a popular topic among counselor educators and scholars. To date, scholars have focused on understanding the experiences of counselor educators who teach dedicated multicultural courses. However, less attention has been given to other counselor educators who are required by ethical and training standards to address multicultural issues across the curriculum. The purpose of this study was to understand counselor educators’ experiences addressing multicultural issues in courses that do not have a specific multicultural or diversity focus. I used phenomenological methodology to explore the experiences of counselor educators who hold doctoral degrees in counseling or a related field, have taken a multicultural/diversity course in their graduate training, are full-time clinical or tenure-line faculty members in CACREP-accredited programs, and have never taught courses dedicated to multicultural or diversity issues. Twelve participants (six men and six women), ranging in age ranged from 31 to 65, participated in the study. Ten participants identified as White, one African-American, and one Hispanic. The research team identified eight themes: (1) reasons for avoidance, (2) constraints, (3) qualities and practices, (4) educator as a factor in student development, (5) infusion, (6) personal background, (7) awareness of biases and assumptions, and (8) counselor educator responsibility/gatekeeping. Findings from this study will add to the literature regarding infusion of multicultural issues across the curriculum. Additionally, the implications offered will serve as a resource for counselor educators as they experience unique personal and professional challenges when addressing multicultural issues in classrooms beyond the main multicultural or diversity course offered in counseling programs. Implications for this study may lead to development of more focused guidelines on how to increase the increase the comfort of counselor educators as they facilitate multicultural discussions and assist counselors-in-training in working toward cultural competence.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Wagner, Terra M.

An Educational Intervention to Promote Self-management and Professional Socialization in Graduate Nurse Anesthesia Students

Description: Traditionally, nurse anesthesia educators have utilized prior academic achievement to predict student success. However, research has indicated that prior academic achievement offers an inadequate assessment of student success in graduate healthcare programs with extensive clinical residencies. The educational literature has identified many non-cognitive factors, such as self-efficacy and locus of control, that may provide a more holistic prediction model of student success. An experimental study with pretest-posttest design and stratified random assignment was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational intervention to promote self-management, professional socialization, and academic achievement among first semester graduate nurse anesthesia students. Participants (N = 66) were demographically similar to the national graduate nurse anesthesia student body, though Hispanics and younger students were a little over-represented in the sample (56% female, 75.8% White, 15.2% Hispanic, 6% Other, 59% ≤ 30-years-old, 67% ≤ 3 years of ICU). The results showed that most graduate anesthesia students had strong self-management and professional socialization characteristics on admission. The results did not support the effectiveness of this educational intervention. Thus, ceiling effect may have accounted in part for statistically non-significant results regarding self-efficacy (p = .190, ω2 = .03), locus of control (p = .137, ω2 = .04), professional socialization (p = .819, ω2 = .001), and academic achievement (p = .689, ω2 = .003). Future researchers may need to expand the scope of the intervention, use a more powerful and sensitive instrument, and utilize a larger sample.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Maloy, Debra A.

A Canonical Correlational Analysis Exploring Characteristics of Children Presenting to Counseling for Grief and Loss

Description: To date, researchers who have explored the complexity of childhood bereavement have utilized unstandardized assessment instruments and/or have independently evaluated specific constructs rather than factoring in the dimensionality of loss. The purpose of this study was to use parents' completion of established instruments--the Child Behavior Checklist and the Parenting Stress Index--to examine the multivariate shared relationship between characteristics of bereaved children referred for counseling--their ages, genders, ethnicities, types of loss, and life stressors--and their behavioral manifestations as well as the relationship between these characteristics and levels of parent-child relational stress. Utilizing archival clinical files, I examined these characteristics from bereaved children (N = 98) whose parents sought counseling services from two university-based counseling clinics. The sample consisted of 67 boys and 31 girls between the ages 3 and 11 years old (M = 6.28). The majority of participants (67%, n = 66) identified as Caucasian, 10% (n = 10) as African American, 10% (n = 10) as Hispanic/Latino, 6% as Bi-racial (n = 6), 4% as Native American (n = 4), and 2% as Asian (n = 2). A canonical correlational analyses (CCA) was conducted to examine relationship between characteristics of children and their subsequent behavioral manifestations. The full model was found to be statistically significant using the Wilks’s λ = .611 criterion, F(25, 328.41) = 1.862, p = .008. The R2 type effect size was .389, which indicates the full model explains about 39% of the variance shared between the two variable sets. A second CCA was conducted to explore the relationship between characteristics of bereaved children and levels of parent-child relational stress. The full model was found statistically to be significant using the Wilks’s λ = .790 criterion, F(10, 154) = 1.926, p = .045. The R2 type effect size was .210, which indicates the full model explains ...
Date: August 2015
Creator: Ener, Liz D.

Early Second-career Faculty: a Phenomenological Study of Their Transition Into a New Profession

Description: In this phenomenological study I investigated the experiences of early second-career, tenure-track faculty members who entered academe after working in a position outside of higher education for at least five years. The purpose of this study was to learn about experiences and factors that contributed or impeded to the success of second-career faculty members. Eight early second-career faculty members, from a four-year university located in the Dallas Metroplex area, were interviewed. Participants demographics were ages 34 to 68 with the average age being 45; 50% male and 50% female; and one African American, six Caucasian, and one Hispanic and/or Latino. Participants’ previous professional experience was a benefit in teaching and relating to students, in understanding the complex university bureaucracy, and in setting goals. The participants reported that mentoring, whether formally assigned by the institution or through informal means such as departmental colleagues or professional organizations, was a benefit to all of the participants. A primary area of concern for the participants was collaboration and collegiality with other faculty members. Participants stated that traditional faculty members lack the skills and training to collaborate effectively in researching and in joint teaching endeavors. Participants reported that they had to monitor and restrain their opinions during interactions with departmental colleagues during the probationary period leading up to tenure decisions because the participants fear retaliation by co-faculty members who will vote on whether to grant them tenure. These participants bring a wealth of industry experience and knowledge to the university. Administrators, departmental chairs, and future early second-career faculty members will find that this research provides recommendations that, if heeded, will ensure a long and productive mutually beneficial affiliation.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Assaad, Elizabeth A.

The Essence of African Americans’ Decisions to Seek Professional Counseling Services: a Phenomenological Study

Description: Mental health disparity is an emerging national concern with evidence suggesting individuals from non-dominant populations are less likely to seek and persist in mental health services compared to their dominant culture peers. In particular, African Americans may underutilize professional counseling services due to factors such as stigma, healthy cultural mistrust, and cultural values. To date, researchers have paid limited attention to ways to break through barriers to mental health equity. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore African Americans’ experiences and decision-making seeking professional counseling services. I addressed the following questions: How do African Americans make meaning of their decision to seek counselor services? What considerations are involved in decision- making with African Americans who decide to seek professional counseling services? Participants included 10 African American women who had attended counseling with a licensed professional counselor (LPC) or LPC Intern in the past three years. I identified six emergent themes through adapted classic phenomenological analysis: feelings prior to attending counseling, coping mechanisms utilized prior to counseling, barriers to treatment, motivation to attend counseling, characteristics of counselor, and post counseling experiences. Participants reported increased personal growth, insight, and desire to recommend counseling to others. Findings inform communities about what counseling is (and is not) as well as different types of support that can be obtained from a professional counselor. Limitations and future research directions are discussed.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Yaites, LaToya D.

Establishing a History and Trajectory of LGBT and Queer Studies Programs in the American Research University: Context for Advancing Academic Diversity and Social Transformation

Description: The system of higher education in the United States of America has retained some of its original character yet it has also grown in many ways. Among the contemporary priorities of colleges and universities are undergraduate student learning outcomes and success along with a growing focus on diversity. As a result, there has been a growing focus on ways to achieve compositional diversity and a greater sense of inclusion with meaningful advances through better access and resources for individuals from non-dominant populations. The clearest result of these advances for sexual and gender diversity has been a normalization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) identities through positive visibility and greater acceptance on campus. However, it appears that relatively few institutions have focused on improving academic diversity and students’ cognitive growth around LGBTQ issues. Through historical inquiry and a qualitative approach, this study explored the fundamental aspects of formal LGBTQ studies academic programs at some of the leading American research universities, including Cornell University, the University of Maryland, College Park, and the University of Texas at Austin – a purposeful sample chosen from the Association of American Universities (AAU) member institutions with organized curricula focused on the study of sexual and gender diversity. The analysis of primary and secondary sources, including documents and interviews, helped create historical narratives that revealed: a cultural shift was necessary to launch a formal academic program in LGBTQ studies; this formalization of LGBTQ studies programs has been part of the larger effort to improve the campus climate for sexual and gender diversity; and there has been a common pattern to the administration and operation of LGBTQ studies. Clearly, the research shows that LGBTQ studies, as a field of study and formal curriculum, has become institutionalized at the American research university. A key outcome of this ...
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Date: August 2015
Creator: Kessler, M. David

Expanding the Notion of Campus Climate: the Effect of Religion and Spirituality on the Perception of Campus Climate

Description: Religion/spirituality is a salient facet of identity for many college students, yet addressing issues related to spirituality/religion is contentious in many higher education institutions. Prior research has shown that various other facets of identity, including race/ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation, affect a student’s perception of campus climate, but religious/spiritual identity has not been examined in the same manner. Using confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling, this study empirically tests the addition of religion/spirituality to the campus climate theory developed by Hurtado et al. (1999). Data came from the 2010 College Senior Survey administered by the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles. Results indicate that religious and spiritual identity have significant direct effects on the perception and other aspects of campus climate. Future research is needed to extend the understanding between religious and spiritual identity and the perception of campus climate.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Herrera, Christina M.

The Full Range Advising Experience: an Assessment of College Academic Advisors’ Self-perceived Leadership Styles

Description: The purpose of this quantitative, descriptive study was to identify the self-perceived leadership styles of college academic advisors and to explore the variance in the perceived leadership styles based on demographic information such as academic advising approaches, institutional type, age, years of experience, and gender. Participants were 225 college advisors from among 5,066 members of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) during the 2013-2014 academic year who met study criteria and whose email invitation to complete an online survey was presumably delivered, rendering a 4.44% response rate. The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire Version 5X (MLQ 5X) with five supplemental questions was used for data collection The composite score for leadership style served as the dependent variable, and advising approach, institutional type, age, years of experience, and gender served as the independent variables for the study. Descriptive statistics, frequency distribution, and a factorial analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used for data analysis. The descriptive statistics for this study revealed that college academic advisors represent all points along the entire spectrum of the Full Range Model of Leadership continuum employing different leadership behaviors based on the situation. The descriptive data were supported by the frequency distributions per case which identified transformational leadership as the perceived dominant leadership style for the college academic advisors in this study. A priori to conducting the factorial ANOVA, Leneve’s test for homogeneity of variance indicated a statistically significant coefficient, thus violating the assumption of data normality and rendering the ANOVA findings uninterpretable. An implication of this study is that transformational leadership is the most desired leadership style of the Full Range Model of Leadership for college academic advisors. If this is true, professional development activities for college academic advisors should focus on strengthening transformational leadership behaviors/techniques including with whom and when this leadership style should be employed compared ...
Date: August 2015
Creator: Davis Jones, Chrissy L.

The Generational Shift: an Exploration of Leadership Behaviors of Senior Student Affairs Officers Through a Generational Lens

Description: The purpose of this quantitative study was to identify and compare differences in leadership behaviors of senior student affairs officers (SSAOs) based on their generational cohort (Baby Boomer, Generation X, Millennial). The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) was used to measure nine leadership behaviors and three leadership outcomes. Surveys were administered electronically to 3,361 individuals identified as a chief student affairs officer or director of student affairs in the Higher Education Online Directory (2014). The 449 respondents included 246 Baby Boomers, 192 Generation Xers, and 11 Millennials. Due to an uneven sample size, the Millennial group was removed from the data analysis. The total respondents consisted of 215 male and 219 female SSAOs with 260 employed at four-year private institutions and 170 employed at four-year public institutions. A MANOVA was utilized to determine whether or not statistical differences existed between the nine dependent variables (leadership behaviors) and independent group variables (generational group). The findings showed that whereas Generation X SSAOs exhibited more transactional leadership behaviors, Baby Boomer SSAOs were more transformational. The results of this study have implications for the field of student affairs in that research and practice support the need for more transformational leaders in senior administrative positions in higher education. If Generation X SSAOs who represent the next generation of administrators are more transactional in their leadership, college presidents and professional associations may need to develop a new, more transformational generation of SSAOs to replace Baby Boomers as they retire.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Robinson, Johnny A.

Graduate Counseling Students’ Preferences for Counselor Educators’ Teaching Dispositions, Orientations, and Behaviors: a Q Methodology Inquiry

Description: Teaching is a central role of counselor educators. However, teaching in counselor education lacks guiding standards or best practice recommendations. Existing scholarly dialogue predominantly features the perspectives of educators and addresses content knowledge, techniques, activities, and assignments for courses across the curriculum with relatively less emphasis on foundations of teaching. The purpose of this study was to develop greater understanding of counselor educator dispositions, orientations, and behaviors that students perceive as important to their learning. Q methodology was utilized to gather and distill counselor education students’ (N = 48) preferences for characteristics identified via focus groups and a comprehensive literature review. Factor analysis revealed four distinct factors, upon which 45 participants’ sorts loaded and which accounted for 41% of total variance. The findings of this study support the importance of the person of the counselor educator in the teaching and learning process in addition to behavioral characteristics. Moreover, these findings support the use of student learning style assessments and customization of course facilitation to fit students’ unique preferences and values.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Hurt, Kara Marie

Impact of Child-centered Group Play Therapy on Social-emotional Assets of Kindergarten Children

Description: Early childhood is a critical period during which children develop social-emotional competence that will affect future success. Developing social-emotional assets is of importance for kindergarten children because of their concurrent cognitive and social changes as well as the experience of transitioning from home to school environment. A growing number of schools have adopted social-emotional learning (SEL) programming to focus on fostering children’s prosocial behaviors through direct instruction and engaging activities in classroom settings. However, some researchers have proposed that learning should capitalize on children’s natural interests rather than adult-determined agendas. Based on theoretical assumptions regarding potential effectiveness of child-centered group play therapy (CCGPT) as a treatment modality, I sought to explore the effects of CCGPT on social-emotional assets of kindergarten children utilizing parent and teacher reports across pretest, posttest, and one-month follow-up. Additionally, given that group sizes have been inconsistent and rarely explored across previous studies, I investigated the therapeutic aspect of group sizes in CCGPT outcome by comparing 2-member and 3-member CCGPT groups. Forty-three participants with mean age of 5.14 were recruited from three elementary schools, including 19 Hispanic, 14 Caucasian, and 10 African American. Twenty-one participants were randomly assigned to the intervention group receiving a mean of 15.32 CCGPT sessions over 8 weeks, and 22 participants were assigned to the waitlist control group. Six mixed between-within ANOVAs were conducted applying an alpha level of .05 to interpret statistical significance and η2 calculation to assess practical significance. Results indicated a statistically significant interaction effect on SEARS-P Total score, F (2, 72) = 4.533, p = .014, with medium effect size of η2 = .101. Post Hoc analyses indicated a non-statistically significant interaction effect on SEARS-P Self-Regulation/Responsibility subscale with a small effect, F (1.868, 67.248) = 1.776, p = .179, η2 = .043; a statistically significant interaction effect on SEARS-P ...
Date: August 2015
Creator: Cheng, Yi-Ju

The Impact of Kinder Training on Early Elementary School Children’s On-task Behavior: a Single Case Design

Description: Teachers appear to feel challenged by children’s off-task behavior in the classroom. Children’s off-task behavior can result in reduced academic engagement, increased teaching stress, and strained teacher-child relationships. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of kinder training on young children’s on-task behavior in the classroom. This study utilized an experimental single-case methodology and a multiple baseline across subjects design. Three elementary school teachers conducted weekly individual play sessions with students they identified as frequently exhibiting off-task behavior. The three children ranged in age from five to six years: two males and one female, two Caucasian non-Hispanic and one biracial. Two trained observers repeatedly assessed the child participants’ on-task behavior using the Direct Observation Form throughout the baseline and intervention phases. The findings provide support for kinder training as an effective play-based professional development-training model that can improve children’s on-task behavior. Results demonstrated that all child participants showed improvement in on-task classroom behavior. Visual analysis revealed that all child participants demonstrated a positive change in on-task behavior during the intervention phase. All teacher participants reported observing improvement in the child participants’ on-task behavior and teacher-child relationships. Teachers’ post-intervention reports supported the notion of reciprocal interactions among teacher-child relationships, understanding of children’s lifestyle and goals of misbehavior, and children’s on-task behavior.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Chen, Szu-Yu

Intensive Short-term Child Centered Play Therapy and Externalizing Behaviors in Children

Description: Play therapists use children’s natural symbolic play as a method of mental health treatment (Landreth, 2012). Meta-analysis research has demonstrated the effectiveness of treating children with play therapy (Bratton, Ray, Rhine, & Jones, 2005), and child-centered play therapy (CCPT) has proven to be an effective treatment for children with externalizing behaviors such as aggression and other disruptive behavior (Bratton & Ray, 2000; Bratton et al., 2005). Some studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of brief and short-term CCPT, such as twice weekly within two to three months (Blanco & Ray, 2011; Shen, 2002) and when delivered in an intensive format, conducting 12 sessions within three weeks (Jones & Landreth, 2002). In this current study, I sought to determine the effectiveness of intensive CCPT with children identified as having externalizing problem behaviors. Participants were recruited from public schools in the urban area of Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia area. A total of 24 participants completed the study: 18 boys and 6 girls aged 6 to 9 years old (M = 7); 17 Australian Caucasians, 1 English (UK) Caucasian, 1 Asian, 3 Hispanic/Latino, and 2 Biracial. Participants were randomly assigned: 12 to the experimental group and 12 to the wait-list control group. Children in the experimental group received 20 intensive CCPT sessions: twice daily for 10 days. For each child participant, a parent completed the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and a teacher completed the CBCL Teacher’s Report Form (TRF) three times: at pretest, posttest, and one-week follow-up. Mixed between-within ANOVAs were conducted applying an alpha level of .05 to interpret statistical significant and η2 calculation to assess practical significance. Follow-up results indicated a statistically significant interaction effect on CBCL Externalizing score, F (2, 44) = 14.747, p < .001, with a large effect size of η2 = .277. Results also indicated a statistically significant ...
Date: August 2015
Creator: Ritzi, Rochelle M.

Sexual Identity Development: Findings From an Exploratory Grounded Theory Study

Description: Counselors and other mental health professionals lack training on healthy sexuality and sexual identity development (SID). To begin to construct a comprehensive model of SID that can be used in counseling and counselor education, I conducted an exploratory study utilizing a grounded theory approach to collect and analyze SID stories from a purposive sample of eight adults from the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area: four male and four female; seven White Caucasian-American and one Asian American; and self-identified as two gay, one lesbian, three heterosexual, and two sexually fluid. Participants elucidated a process model of the sexual-self that incorporated biological, psychological, social, cultural, and spiritual factors. Emergent themes included discovering, distinguishing, placing boundaries around, differentiating, and integrating the sexual-self. This preliminary model advanced a more holistic understanding of SID that counselors and other mental health professionals, educators, and researchers may find useful within their respective disciplines.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Kinsey, Lee

Examining Self-efficacy in Community College Adjunct Faculty

Description: Though professional development interventions are widespread in higher education, administrators often do not formally assess their effectiveness, particularly in relation to teacher self-efficacy. The purposes of this study were to determine if any statistically significant difference existed between the self-efficacy scores of adjunct faculty participants in a community college’s professional development program and nonparticipants and to identify the variables with a statistically significant relationship with self-efficacy. A modified version of the Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) was administered to 21 adjunct faculty participants in Lone Star College’s Adjunct Certification Program (ACP) and 312 adjunct faculty not currently participating in the program. A demographic questionnaire development by the researcher was also administered. Independent variables of the demographic questionnaire included gender, ethnicity, age, K-12 teaching experience, highest degree earned, subject taught, years of college teaching experience, and number of courses taught each semester. Paired t-test results indicated statistically significant differences in Efficacy in Instructional Strategies for adjunct participants in the ACP program. No significant differences were found for Efficacy in Student Engagement and Efficacy in Classroom Management. Multiple regression analyses indicated that gender has a statistically significant relationship to Efficacy Instructional Strategies. A statistically significant relationship was found for race for Efficacy in Classroom Management. Finally, analysis also indicated a positive relationship between race and gender for Efficacy in Student Engagement. No other statistically significant relationships were found across the other demographic variables. Findings of this study revealed that the ACP increased teacher self-efficacy across two of the three dimensions of the TSES indicating that the professional development intervention had a positive effect on the efficacy of its participants. The present study contributes to the research on teacher self-efficacy, adjunct faculty and professional development interventions.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Weisel, Jessica W.

Exploring the College Pathways of Asian American Community College Students and the Model Minority Myth

Description: Contrary to the model minority myth that portrays Asian Americans as academic all-stars over-represented in elite four-year institutions, half of all Asian American college students do in fact attend community colleges, and many experience myriad challenges. This exploratory study investigated the community college pathways of Asian American community college students, the role of family and culture in shaping expectations for higher education, and participants’ perceptions of the model minority myth and the degree to which this myth influenced their college experiences. Institutional practices and policies, or lack thereof, that support the success of this highly diverse population were also studied. Purposeful sampling was used to gather a sample of 28 students, who self-identified as Asian American and attended one of the three largest community college districts located in North Texas. The sample included 16 males and 12 females, whose ages ranged from 18 to 49 years old, with a mean age of 24. Data collection involved a demographic questionnaire and semi-structured individual interviews. The participants represented 13 different ethnicities, and nine were members of more than one ethnic or racial group. Ten participants were foreign-born citizens, and all of the participants had at least one foreign-born parent. Qualitative data provided description rich information that shed light on the expectations, experiences, and views of Asian American community college students, a virtually unstudied population. Consistent with current literature on Asian American college students, the findings suggest many Asian American community college students struggle with tremendous cultural and familial pressures for succeeding academically, and many described their experiences with racial microaggressions related to model minority stereotypes that they perceived their peers and instructors to have held. Recommendations for policy and practice designed to improve educational outcomes for Asian American community college students are addressed.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Hamm, Amanda E.

Predicting Latino Male Student Retention: the Effect of Psychosocial Variables on Persistence for First-year College Students at a Southwest University

Description: The purpose of this study was to investigate and predict Latino male student retention using ACT’s Engage College survey at a research university in the southwestern region of the U.S. ACT’s Engage survey was designed to predict first-year college retention using 10 psychosocial measures. However, no empirical study exists to support ACT’s claim especially for Latino male students. Data from a four-year research university between 2009 and 2011 were analyzed with logistic regression. Logistic regression analysis was performed for the whole sample (N = 8,061) and for the Latino male subsample (n = 860). In the entire sample’s first regression model, high school grade quartile and SAT score as well as demographic variables were used as predictor variables. In this model, the independent variables of high school grade point average quartile, SAT score, gender, and race made statistically significant contributions to the model (Nagelkerke R2 = .031, p < .01). In the entire sample’s second regression model, ACT’s 10 psychosocial variables were added to the first regression model as predictor variables. Results indicated the instrument was valid for the freshmen as a whole because five out of 10 psychosocial measures displayed statistically significant odds ratios (ORs) for predicting retention: (a) Commitment to College (OR = 1.006, p < .01), (b) Academic Discipline (OR = 1.005, p < .01), (c) Social Activity (OR = -.997, p < .01), (d) Social Connection (OR = 1.004, p < .01), and (e) Academic Self-Confidence (OR = -.997, p < .01). Regarding the subsample of 860 Latino males, none of the 10 psychosocial measures produced statistically significant results. The findings indicate the need to determine a new way of identifying at-risk Latino male students because current methods have failed to build a robust predictive model for this student population.
Date: May 2015
Creator: McGuire, Melissa