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Moving towards a comprehensive understanding of multicultural counseling competence: the role of diversity cognitive complexity

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This study explored several training variables that may contribute to counseling trainees' multicultural counseling self-efficacy and multicultural case conceptualization ability. Specifically, this study aimed to examine the cognitive processes that contribute to multicultural counseling competence (MCC) outcome variables. Clinical experience,

This study explored several training variables that may contribute to counseling trainees' multicultural counseling self-efficacy and multicultural case conceptualization ability. Specifically, this study aimed to examine the cognitive processes that contribute to multicultural counseling competence (MCC) outcome variables. Clinical experience, multicultural knowledge, and multicultural awareness are assumed to provide the foundation for the development of these outcome variables. The role of how a counselor trainee utilizes this knowledge and awareness in working with diverse populations has not been explored. Diversity cognitive complexity (DCC) quantifies the process by which a counselor thinks about different elements of diversity in a multidimensional manner. The current study examined the role of DCC on the relationship between training variables of direct clinical experience with diverse populations, multicultural knowledge, and multicultural awareness and the two training outcomes (multicultural counseling self-efficacy and multicultural case conceptualization ability). A total of one hundred and sixty-one graduate trainees participated in the study. A series of hypotheses were tested to examine the impact of DCC on the relationship between MCC predictors (multicultural knowledge, multicultural awareness, and direct contact hours with diverse clinical populations) and two MCC outcomes: multicultural counseling self-efficacy and multicultural case conceptualization ability. Hierarchical regression analyses were utilized to test whether DCC mediated or moderated the relationship between the predictors and the outcome variables. Multicultural knowledge and clinical hours with diverse populations were significant predictors of multicultural counseling self-efficacy. Multicultural awareness was a significant predictor of multicultural case conceptualization ability. Diversity cognitive complexity was not a significantly related to any predictor or outcome variable, thus all hypotheses tested were rejected. The results of the current study support graduate programs emphasizing counselor trainees gaining multicultural knowledge and awareness as well as direct clinical experience with diverse clinical populations in an effort to foster MCC. Although diversity cognitive complexity was not significantly related to the predictor or outcome variables in this study, further research is warranted to determine the validity of the measure used to assess DCC. The findings in this study support the need for further research exploring training variables that contribute to multicultural counseling outcomes.

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2013

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Interpersonal problem type, gender, and outcome in psychotherapy

Description

This study examined the relationship that gender in interaction with interpersonal problem type has with outcome in psychotherapy. A sample of 200 individuals, who sought psychotherapy at a counselor training facility, completed the Outcome Questionnaire-45(OQ-45) and the reduced version of

This study examined the relationship that gender in interaction with interpersonal problem type has with outcome in psychotherapy. A sample of 200 individuals, who sought psychotherapy at a counselor training facility, completed the Outcome Questionnaire-45(OQ-45) and the reduced version of the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems (IIP-32). This study was aimed at examining whether gender (male and female), was related to treatment outcome, and whether this relationship was moderated by two interpersonal distress dimensions: dominance and affiliation. A hierarchical regression analyses was performed and indicated that gender did not predict psychotherapy treatment outcome, and neither dominance nor affiliation were moderators of the relationship between gender and outcome in psychotherapy.

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2013

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Manifestations of generativity during the last stage of life

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Generativity was first described by Erikson (1963) as an adult's concern for and commitment to promoting the welfare and development of future generations. Generativity is juxtaposed by stagnation in Erikson's stage of midlife (35-65 years old). The developmental hurdle faced

Generativity was first described by Erikson (1963) as an adult's concern for and commitment to promoting the welfare and development of future generations. Generativity is juxtaposed by stagnation in Erikson's stage of midlife (35-65 years old). The developmental hurdle faced at this point in the developmental cycle is whether a person will produce something of real value, both in the present and impacting future generations. Generative adults seek to give something back to society, generally behaving in a way to make the world a better place for others with no personal gain attached. The goal of the current study was to assess differences in levels of generativity at the final stage of adult life, and the potential functions that generativity can serve individuals. Results suggest that lowly generative individuals in older adult life tend to experience doubts about the impact they have had on the world and the lack of legacy they are leaving behind. Themes of highly generative participants included having felt they lived a purposeful and meaningful life, along with feeling fortunate and lucky in their lives. Also highly generative participants seemed to feel confident in the legacy they will leave behind after death. Results are discussed in light of the theories and findings of Erikson and McAdams.

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2013

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The influence of psychological assessment language on counselor trainees' evaluations of client characteristics

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ABSTRACT

Psychological assessments contain important diagnostic information and are central to therapeutic service delivery. Therapists' personal biases, invalid cognitive schemas, and emotional reactions can be expressed in the language of the assessments they compose, causing clients to be cast in

ABSTRACT

Psychological assessments contain important diagnostic information and are central to therapeutic service delivery. Therapists' personal biases, invalid cognitive schemas, and emotional reactions can be expressed in the language of the assessments they compose, causing clients to be cast in an unfavorable light. Logically, the opinions of subsequent therapists may then be influenced by reading these assessments, resulting in negative attitudes toward clients, inaccurate diagnoses, adverse experiences for clients, and poor therapeutic outcomes. However, little current research exists that addresses this issue. This study analyzed the degree to which strength-based, deficit-based, and neutral language used in psychological assessments influenced the opinions of counselor trainees (N= 116). It was hypothesized that participants assigned to each type of assessment would describe the client using adjectives that closely conformed to the language used in the assessment they received. The hypothesis was confirmed (p = .000), indicating significant mean differences between all three groups. Limitations and implications of the study were identified and suggestions for further research were discussed.

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2015

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Experimental evaluation of internet-based stress inoculation for adult children of divorce

Description

Descriptions of gray divorce often include consequences for young adult children who are increasingly being left to cope with their parents’ decision. Adult children of divorce may experience different stressors and reactions than younger children especially during holidays; moreover, their

Descriptions of gray divorce often include consequences for young adult children who are increasingly being left to cope with their parents’ decision. Adult children of divorce may experience different stressors and reactions than younger children especially during holidays; moreover, their increased social awareness leaves their parental relationship vulnerable to rupture as a result of pressure to choose sides. Interventions for helping young adults cope with their parents’ break-up are rarely described, much less evaluated. An online delivery format would be especially well-suited given the possibility of in-home participation at any time of day with privacy assured and negligible cost. We thus developed and experimentally evaluated Transitions, a two week internet-based program organized around a classic stress inoculation framework. The goals of Transitions are to foster stress-coping skills and to improve parent-child relationships throughout the divorce process. Our study was restricted to young adult college students (N = 95) who had experienced parental separation or divorce within the past year, and who were not receiving psychological services elsewhere. Participants were screened and randomly assigned to experimental and delayed-treatment control conditions; a priori analyses indicated sufficient power to detect large effects. During the first week of Transitions, participants received psychoeducation, training in progressive muscle relaxation, and a cognitive restructuring curriculum derived from Ellis and Beck. The second week began with a review and then introduced mindfulness meditation and communication skills. Practice sessions were embedded throughout the curriculum and simulations were specific to experiences of parental divorce. Videos of young college graduates sharing personal stories about their parents’ divorce were streamed between each module. Comprehension of the content presented in Transitions was monitored and coded for partial or full completion of the program. Outcome measures were keyed to the nature of the clinical problem and interventions deployed. A repeated-measures multivariate analysis of variance (RM-MANOVA) yielded a significant interaction. Univariate follow-up ANOVAs showed significant improvement relative to controls on stress but not on relationship variables. Neither moderator nor intent-to-treat analyses altered this outcome pattern. Future research will focus on refining the stress reduction components of Transitions and improving its impact on relationships with parents.

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2016

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Relationship between working alliance and client outcomes: the role of substance use

Description

This study examined the role of substance use in the relationship between the working alliance and outcome symptomatology. In this study, two groups of participants were formed: the at risk for substance abuse (ARSA) group consisted of participants who indicated

This study examined the role of substance use in the relationship between the working alliance and outcome symptomatology. In this study, two groups of participants were formed: the at risk for substance abuse (ARSA) group consisted of participants who indicated 'almost always,' 'frequently,' 'sometimes,' or 'rarely' on either of two items on the Outcome Questionnaire-45.2 (OQ-45.2) (i.e., the eye-opener item: "After heavy drinking, I need a drink the next morning to get going" and the annoyed item: "I feel annoyed by people who criticize my drinking (or drug use)"). The non-ARSA group consisted of participants who indicated 'never' on both of the eye-opener and annoyed screening items on the OQ-45.2. Data available from a counselor-training center for a client participant sample (n = 68) was used. As part of the usual counselor training center procedures, clients completed questionnaires after their weekly counseling session. The measures included the Working Alliance Inventory and the OQ-45.2. Results revealed no significant differences between the ARSA and non-ARSA groups in working alliance, total outcome symptomology, or in any of the three subscales of symptomatology. Working alliance was not found to be significant in predicting outcome symptomatology in this sample and no moderation effect of substance use on the relationship between working alliance and outcome symptomatology was found. This study was a start into the exploration of the role of substance use in the relationship between working alliance and outcome symptomatology in individual psychotherapy. Further research should be conducted to better understand substance use populations in individual psychotherapy.

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Date Created
2013

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Posttraumatic stress and the emotional experiences of anger and happiness

Description

Previous research indicates that difficulties in emotion regulation and greater dissociation from one's emotions are often observed among trauma survivors. Further, trauma survivors often show greater negative emotions such as anger, and diminished positive emotions such as happiness. Relatively less

Previous research indicates that difficulties in emotion regulation and greater dissociation from one's emotions are often observed among trauma survivors. Further, trauma survivors often show greater negative emotions such as anger, and diminished positive emotions such as happiness. Relatively less is known about the relationship between posttraumatic stress symptoms, dissociation, emotion regulation difficulties, and non-trauma related emotional experiences in daily life. This study examined whether greater reports of posttraumatic stress symptoms, difficulties in emotion regulation, and dissociative tendencies were associated with greater intensity of anger and lower intensity of happiness during a relived emotions task (i.e., recalling and describing autobiographical memories evoking specific emotions). Participants were 50 individuals who had experienced a traumatic event and reported a range of posttraumatic stress symptoms. Participants rated how they felt while recalling specific emotional memories, as well as how they remembered feeling at the time of the event. Results showed that dissociative tendencies was the best predictor of greater intensity of anger and, contrary to the hypothesis, dissociative tendencies was predictive of greater happiness intensity as well. These findings are consistent with previous research indicating a paradoxical effect of heightened anger reactivity among individuals with dissociative tendencies. In addition, researchers have argued that individuals with a history of traumatization do not report lower positive emotional experiences. The present findings may suggest the use of dissociation as a mechanism to avoid certain trauma related emotions (e.g, fear and anxiety), in turn creating heightened experiences of other emotions such as anger and happiness.

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Date Created
2013

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Chaotic environment and child behavior problems: a comparative study of high-conflict never married and divorcing parents

Description

Never married parents (NMPs) are a burgeoning population within the Family Court system. However, there is no empirical research on these parents' separation process, though the neighboring literature purports that NMPs are more at risk for negative child wellbeing outcomes

Never married parents (NMPs) are a burgeoning population within the Family Court system. However, there is no empirical research on these parents' separation process, though the neighboring literature purports that NMPs are more at risk for negative child wellbeing outcomes than their divorcing counterparts. This study investigated child behavior problems in high conflict litigating never married families by assessing four salient issues collectively termed chaotic environment: economic strain, lack of social support for the parents, parental repartnering, and family relocation, which included parent changing residence and child changing schools. They were then compared to divorcing parents. It was hypothesized that NMPs would experience higher levels of chaotic environment, and subsequent increases in child behavior problems than divorcing parents, but that the relationship for NMPs and divorcing parents would be the same with each of the chaotic environment variables. This study found the contrary. NMPs only had significantly higher mean scores on lack of social support for fathers and marital status did not predict child behavior problems. Both economic strain and child changing schools predicted child behavior problems for both mothers and fathers. Two interaction effects with mothers were found, indicating that the more a never married mothers repartnered and/or changed her residence, the more behavior problems her child had, while divorcing mothers experiencing the converse effect.

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Date Created
2011

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Counselors-in-training's perceptions of clients: the influences of client weight and job status

Description

It is crucial for counselors to be aware of their own attitudes and beliefs and to prevent them from influencing the counseling process. The prevalence of obesity is growing and biases against obese people are becoming more apparent. Counselors must

It is crucial for counselors to be aware of their own attitudes and beliefs and to prevent them from influencing the counseling process. The prevalence of obesity is growing and biases against obese people are becoming more apparent. Counselors must become aware of the potential weight bias and what factors influence it. The purpose of the current study was to examine whether counselors- in-training hold negative attitudes toward obese clients and whether the career status of the client affects these perceptions. Seventy-six students in graduate level counseling programs at Arizona State University were randomly assigned one of four vignettes describing either an obese bookkeeper, a normal weight bookkeeper, an obese executive, or a normal weight executive. Negative attitudes were measured using two scales; one evaluating perceived personal characteristics of the client and one evaluating the perceived work efficacy. Results indicated that counselors-in-training perceived the client with more negative characteristics when the client was described as obese rather than normal weight, and also when she was described as having a low status job compared to a high status job. The perceived work efficacy of the presented client was not affected by the client’s weight or job status. It is important for students in counseling programs to receive training regarding weight biases and job status biases.

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Date Created
2011

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The role of future time perspective: an examination of a structural model

Description

The present study of two hundred and seven university students examined the structural relation of future-orientation (both valence and instrumentality), career decision-making self-efficacy and career indecision (choice/commitment anxiety and lack of readiness). Structural equation modeling results indicated that while the

The present study of two hundred and seven university students examined the structural relation of future-orientation (both valence and instrumentality), career decision-making self-efficacy and career indecision (choice/commitment anxiety and lack of readiness). Structural equation modeling results indicated that while the overall proposed model fit the data well, my hypotheses were partially supported. Valence was not significantly related to career decision-making self-efficacy, choice/commitment anxiety and lack of readiness. However, instrumentality completely mediated the relation between valence and career decision-making self-efficacy, choice/commitment anxiety and lack of readiness. Instrumentality was significantly related to career decision-making self-efficacy and lack of readiness. Career decision-making self-efficacy completely mediated the relation between instrumentality and choice/commitment anxiety; however, it only partially mediated the relation between instrumentality and lack of readiness. Although the proposed model was invariant across gender, the findings indicate that women reported higher instrumentality and lower lack of readiness than did men. No differences were found for career decision-making self-efficacy and choice/commitment anxiety across gender. The findings suggest that psychologists, counselors, teachers, and career interventionists should consider the role future time perspective in university students' career development.

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2014