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What the Research Says About School Counseling Effectiveness: A 10 Year Review of Outcome Studies'


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Title: What the Research Says About School Counseling Effectiveness: A 10 Year Review of Outcome Studies'

What the Research Says About School Counseling
Effectiveness A 10 Year Review of Outcome
  • MASCA Annual Conference
  • Hyannis, MA
  • May, 6, 2003

National Center for School Counseling Outcome
  • John Carey
  • Wendy McGannon
  • Carey Dimmitt
  • Ivar Henningson
  • http//www.umass.edu/schoolcounseling/

Empirical Studies of School Counseling Outcome
  • Need to Identify Best-Practices
  • Need to Identify Evidence-based Interventions
  • Need to be Accountable
  • Need to Demonstrate Impact on Student Achievement

  • Reviews Of Outcome Studies
  • Classroom Guidance
  • Responsive Services
  • Career Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Summary
  • Discussion

(No Transcript)
Review ConclusionsClassroom Guidance
  • Study Skills Intervention can enhance 4th graders
    academic achievement as measured by CTBS.
    (Whiston Sexton, 1998)
  • Multicultural Understanding Intervention can
    enhance 3rd graders social skills and reduce
    arguments. (Whiston Sexton, 1998)
  • Classroom Guidance can improve elementary
    student's school behavior (Gerler, 1985).

Review ConclusionsClassroom Guidance
  • Short Academic skills workshop can increase
    middle school students grades. (St. Clair,
  • Short nontraditional career workshop can alter
    middle school students occupational stereotypes.
    (St. Clair, 1989)
  • Four Month Long Human Relations Training for
    middle school students can reduce teacher
    referrals for disciplinary problems. (St. Clair,

Classroom Guidance
  • Bergin, J.J., Miller, S.E. (1990). The effects
    of a comprehensive guidance model on a rural
    schools counseling program. Elementary School
    Guidance Counseling, 25(1), 37-47.
  • Ciechalski, J.C., Schmidt, M.W. (1995). The
    effects of social skills training on students
    with exceptionalities. Elementary School
    Guidance Counseling, 29(3), 217-222.
  • Graham, B. C., Pulvino, C. (2000).
    Multicultural conflict resolution Development,
    implementation and assessment of a program for
    third graders. Professional School Counseling,
    3(3), 172-183.
  • Henderson, P.A., Kelbey, T.J., Engebretson,
    K.M. (1992). Effects of a stress-control program
    on childrens locus of control, self-concept, and
    coping behavior. The School Counselor, 40,

Classroom Guidance
  • Gerler, E.R. Anderson, R.F. (1986). The
    effects of classroom guidance on childrens
    success in school. Journal of Counseling and
    Development, 65, 78-81.
  • Gerler, E.R. Drew, N.S. (1990). Succeeding in
    middle school A multimodal approach. Elementary
    School Guidance Counseling, 24(4), 263-272.
  • Gerler, E.R. Herndon, E.Y. (1993). Learning
    how to succeed academically in middle school.
    Elementary School Guidance Counseling, 27(3),

Classroom Guidance
  • Schlossberg, S.M., Morris, J.D., Lieberman,
    M.G. (2001). The effects of a counselor-led
    guidance intervention on students behaviors and
    attitudes, Professional School Counseling, 43,

Classroom Guidance Findings
  • Comprehensive curriculum about career, academic
    and social/personal development can positively
    impact student knowledge in each of those
  • Social skills training can increase the social
    attractiveness of gifted and special needs
    students, but did not impact student self-esteem
    or school behaviors.

Classroom GuidanceFindings
  • Multicultural conflict resolution education can
    provide students with more positive perspectives
    on conflict and can build related skills, but did
    not impact on cultural understanding.
  • Classroom curriculum about stress reduction
    techniques can improve student self-concept,
    sense of locus of control, and appropriate coping

Classroom Guidance
  • Classroom guidance focusing on academic
    achievement can influence elementary students
    behavior and attitudes toward school, impact MS
    students school attitudes, and improve MS
    students knowledge about how to succeed in
    school. This curriculum did not have a
    significant impact on grades in any of the

Classroom GuidanceFindings
  • Classroom curriculum designed to educate HS
    students about goal-setting, problem-solving,
    career exploration, and school resources
    significantly improved student behavior, attitude
    and knowledge in these areas. A prior needs
    assessment to determine content may help focus
    classroom interventions.

Classroom GuidanceCritiques of Research
  • Many measures lack reliability and validity data.
  • Pedagogical and classroom management skills, and
    personal characteristics of the counselors
    teaching the intervention were not controlled
  • Teacher ratings may have been impacted by
    knowledge about who was receiving classroom
  • Some studies lacked control groups.
  • Most studies lacked generalizability

Review ConclusionsResponsive Services
  • School based psychotherapy has demonstrable
    beneficial effects on student well-being but not
    academic achievement (Prout and Prout, 1998).
  • Directive Counseling and Behavioral Counseling
    have positive effects on academic achievement as
    measured by GPA, with underachieving students,
    adding study skills training improves
    effectiveness. (Wilson, 1986).
  • Group Counseling can improve elementary student's
    school behavior (Gerler, 1985).

Review ConclusionsResponsive Services
  • Group-Format Social Skills Training develops
    adolescents skills and reduces aggressive and
    hostile behavior. (Whiston Sexton, 1998).
  • Peer Mediation programs benefit the trained
    mediators who show transfer of knowledge outsede
    school setting. (Whiston Sexton, 1998).
  • Group cognitive-behavioral and relaxation
    training interventions with middle school
    students can reduce teacher reports/referrals for
    disciplinary problems. (St. Clair, 1989)
  • Group counseling can improve middle school
    students self concept. (St. Clair, 1989).

Review ConclusionsResponsive Services
  • Behavioral and Adlerian consultation with
    teachers can improve elementary students
    academic performance, work habits, and classroom
    behavior. (Bundy Poppen, 1986).
  • Adlerian Parent Consultation and Parent
    Effectiveness Training can increase student
    academic performance, student motivation and
    parent-child relationship quality (Bundy
    Poppen, 1986).

Responsive Services Group Counseling
  • Brantley, L.S. Brantley, P.S. (1996).
    Transforming acting-out behavior a group
    counseling program for inner-city elementary
    school pupils. Elementary School Guidance and
    Counseling, 31(2).
  • Edmondson, J.H. White, J. (1998). A tutorial
    and counseling program Helping students at risk
    of dropping out of school. Professional School
    Counseling, 1(4), 43-51.

Responsive Services Group Counseling
  • Nelson, J.R., Dykeman, C. (1996). The effects of
    a group counseling intervention on students with
    behavioral adjustment problems. Elementary School
    Guidance and Counseling, 31(1), 21-34.
  • Omizo, M.M. Omizo, S.A. (1988). The effects of
    participation in group counseling sessions on
    self-esteem and locus of control among
    adolescents from divorced families. The School
    Counselor, 36, 54-60.
  • Littrell, J.M., Malia, J.A., Vanderwood, M.
    (1995). Single-session brief counseling in high
    school. Journal of Counseling and Development,
    73, 451-458.

Responsive Services Group Counseling
  • Reeder, J., Douzenis, C., Bergin, J.J. (1997).
    The effects of small group counseling on the
    racial attitudes of second grade students.
    Professional School Counseling, 1(2), 15-22.
  • Riddle, J., Bergin, J.J., and Douzenis, C.
    (1997). Effects of group counseling on
    self-concepts of children of alcoholics.
    Elementary School Guidance and Counseling, 31,
  • Zinck, K. and Littrell, J.M. (2000). Action
    research shows group counseling effective with
    at-risk adolescent girls. Professional School
    Counseling, 4(1), 50-60.

  • Group counseling interventions helped to reduce
    the acting out behaviors of at-risk, inner city
    students, improve students behavioral
    adjustment, reduce hostility and aggression,
    improve self-esteem and coping skills of children
    of alcoholics, improve self-esteem of children
    from divorced families, and improve racial

  • Many studies had very small sample sizes and
    sample group results were not generalizable to
    other school populations.
  • Reliability and validity evidence was not
    provided for many of the measurement instruments
    that were used.
  • Clear links were not always demonstrated between
    the intervention and the change in behaviors in
    many of the studies.

Responsive Services Peer Counseling
  • Bowman, R.P. and Myrick, R.D. (1987). Effect of
    an elementary school peer facilitator program on
    student helpers and on problem-behavior helpees.
    School Counselor, 34, 369-378.
  • Diver-Stamnes, A.C. (1991). Assessing the
    effectiveness of an inner-city high school peer
    counseling program. Urban Education, 26, 269-284.

Responsive Services Peer Counseling
  • Morey, R.E., Miller, C.D., Rosen, L.A., Fulton,
    R. (1993). High school peer counseling The
    relationship between student satisfaction and
    peer counselors' style of helping. The School
    Counselor, 40, 293-300.
  • Robinson, S.E., Morrow, S., Kigin, T.,
    Lindeman, M. (1991). Peer counselors in a high
    school setting Evaluation of training and impact
    on students. The School Counselor, 39, 35-40.
  • Tobias, A.K. Myrick, R.D. (1999). A peer
    facilitator-led intervention with middle school
    problem-behavior students. Professional School
    Counseling, 31, 27-33.

  • Peer counseling training programs provided many
    benefits to students, schools, and community
  • peer counselors gained significant knowledge and
    skills as a result of their training
  • students attendance, grades, attitudes, and
    classroom behaviors improved as a result of peer
    intervention services

  • Very few outcome studies available
  • Many of the studies focus on the training and
    benefits to the facilitators rather than the
    outcomes to the students being counseled

Responsive Services Individual Counseling
  • Edmondson, J.H. White, J. (1998). A tutorial
    and counseling program Helping students at risk
    of dropping out of school. Professional School
    Counseling, 1(4), 43-51.
  • Littrell, J.M., Malia, J.A., Vanderwood, M.
    (1995). Single-session brief counseling in high
    school. Journal of Counseling and Development,
    73, 451-458.

  • A comprehensive drop out prevention program
    involving counseling and tutoring significantly
    assisted at risk students in improving school
    achievement, self esteem, and classroom behavior
  • Single-session brief-counseling helped high
    school students reduce their concerns about
    problems and move closer to their goals.

  • Both studies were designed and implemented well
  • Positive examples of studies looking to address
    the individual counseling that occurs in schools
  • More studies of this type are needed

Review ConclusionsCareer Development
  • Career Education in general has small-moderate
    effects on a variety of outcome measures (Mean ES
    .34). (Baker Taylor, 1998)
  • Career Education, in general, has minimal effects
    on academic achievement as measured by GPA (Mean
    ES .16). (Evans and Burck, 1992)
  • Career Education has slightly larger effects on
    academic achievement for younger students, for
    average ability students, and when integrated
    into English or math lessons. (Evans and Burck,

Review ConclusionsCareer Development
  • 10th Grade Career Course based on Crites Model
    enhanced students career planning and reduced
    career decision problems. (Whiston and Sexton,
  • Career programs enhance career maturity of
    minority students and students with disabilities.
    (Whiston and Sexton, 1998)

Career Development
  • Mau, W., Bikos, L. (2000). Educational and
    vocational aspirations of minority and female
    students A longitudinal study. Journal of
    Counseling and Development, 78, 186-194.
  • Mau, W., Hitchcock, R., Calvert, C. (1998).
    High school students career plans The influence
    of others expectations. Professional School
    Counseling, 2(2), 161-166.
  • Wahl, K.H., Blackhurst, A. (2000). Factors
    affecting the occupational and educational
    aspirations of children and adolescents.
    Professional School Counseling, 35, 367-373.

Career Development
  • Fouad, N. A. (1995). Career linking An
    intervention to promote math and science career
    awareness. Journal of School Counseling and
    Development, 73, 527-534.
  • Jones, L.K., Sheffield, D., Joyner, B. (2000).
    Comparing the effects of the career key with
    self-directed search and job-OE among eighth
    grade students. Professional School Counseling,
    3(4), 238-250.
  • Krass, L., Hughey, K. (1999). The impact of an
    intervention on career decision-making
    self-efficacy and career indecision.
    Professional School Counseling, Vol. 25, 384-
  • Luzzo, D.A., Pierce, G. (1996). Effects of
    Discover on the career maturity of middle school
    students. Career Development Quarterly, Vol. 45,

Career DevelopmentFindings
  • An eighth grade math and science career
    intervention may make minority and female
    students more likely to choose academically
    challenging courses.
  • While career inventories are a good choice for
    school counselors to use as part of career
    guidance programs designed to meet ASCA
    standards, school counselors should not rely too
    heavily on them.
  • Because each student has unique learning
    experiences that influence their behaviors,
    career development activities and learning
    experiences should begin at an early age and
    continue into high school and beyond.
  • DISCOVER can lead to more age-appropriate
    decision making in middle school students.

Career DevelopmentFindings
  • A thorough examination of students school,
    family, and psychological background is essential
    in increasing the probability that students
    realistically identify their educational and
    occupational aspirations and to help them
    complete the appropriate educational programs.
  • The unique educational/vocational needs and
    barriers facing different minority groups needs
    to be addressed in counseling programs.
  • Counselor assistance to parents in helping them
    work with their children in planning for high
    school and beyond is crucial.
  • Preparing students to make informed career
    choices is a developmental process spanning the
    entire K-12 curriculum and requiring counselors
    to have up-to-date knowledge about students
    developmental needs as well as cultural values,
    job market trends, and postsecondary education

Career DevelopmentCritique
  • Survey questions limited in scope and depth
  • Some data analysis was based on single-item
  • Small sample sizes
  • Some interventions carried out by just one person
  • Proposed interventions are very time consuming

Program Evaluation
  • Lapan, R.T., Gysbers, N.C and Sun, Y. (1997).
    The impact of more fully implemented guidance
    programs on the school experiences ob High School
    students A statewide evaluation study. Journal
    Of Counseling and development, 75, 292-302.
  • Lapan, R.T., Gysbers, N.C. and Petroski, G.F.
    (2001). Helping seventh graders be safe and
    successful A statewide study of the impact of
    comprehensive guidance and counseling programs.
    Journal of Counseling and Development, 79,

Program Evaluation
  • Purpose To determine if more fully implemented
    Comprehensive Developmental Guidance Programs
    impact students.
  • Method Used School data from Missouri
    accreditation program. Used hierarchical Linear
    Modeling to study the relationships between level
    of CDG implementation (counselor or teacher
    survey) and student outcomes.

Program Evaluation
  • Results In more fully implemented programs,
    Students reported
  • Earning higher grades
  • Better relationships with teachers
  • Greater satisfaction with school
  • Education is relevant to later life
  • School is safe
  • Career and College information is accessible (HS)

Program Evaluation
  • Treatment Integrityself-report, no checks, no
    evidence that ratings accurately measure
  • Outcome Measuresstudent self report, no
    institutional data, no additional standardized
  • Research Designdata from 236 HS and 184 MS, good
    statistical controls, no control for school

Program Evaluation
  • Future Research
  • Pre-Post Design
  • Check Integrity of CDM Implementation
  • Standardized Achievement Measures
  • Institutional Data
  • Control for School Leadership/Management
  • Report Effect Sizes

Review ConclusionsGeneral
  • Comparatively few studies.
  • Many had small sample sizes.
  • Many poorly controlled.
  • Few check for Integrity of Intervention
  • Manuals
  • Reviews
  • Few report Effect Size
  • Outcomes Measures problematic

Discussion and Questions
National Center for School Counseling Outcome
  • Thank You

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