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Outcomes Research on School Counseling Interventions and Programs

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Title: Outcomes Research on School Counseling Interventions and Programs


1
Outcomes Research on School Counseling
Interventions and Programs
  • CHAPTER 6

2
Introduction
  • Although professional school counselors may
    believe certain approaches are effective, others,
    such as school board members, administrators,
    parents, and legislators, want documented
    evidence of the effectiveness of school
    counseling.
  • Many of these individuals not only want
    confirmation that school counseling services are
    beneficial to students, but also that these
    services are cost effective.

3
Introduction
  • The U.S. Department of Education made it a goal
    to transform education into an evidence-based
    field.
  • Outcome research in professional school
    counseling analyzes whether school counseling
    programs or components of a program result in
    positive outcomes for students.

4
Introduction
  • Counselors are ethically bound to provide
    effective services to their clients, and without
    thorough knowledge of the research, counselors
    will not know what has been shown to be the
    best.

5
Is Professional School Counseling Effective?
  • School counseling outcomes research is generally
    based on qualitative reviews and meta-analytic
    techniques.
  • Results from qualitative reviews are generally
    supportive about the effectiveness of school
    counseling.
  • Substantial impact on educational and personal
    development.
  • If results from meta-analytic results are
    coalesced there is support that school counseling
    interventions are moderately to highly effective.
  • Results from both qualitative and meta-analytic
    techniques are based on a limited number of
    studies.

6
Which students benefit from school counseling
interventions?
  • Effectiveness of school counseling at different
    school levels is somewhat mixed and is probably
    related to differences in interventions used at
    different levels.
  • Who uses school-based counseling services most
    often?
  • African American students
  • Students who display early onset mental health
    and educational problems
  • Students who possess externalizing or educational
    difficulties
  • African American males were more likely to seek
    school counseling to help with academic
    achievement than White students.

7
Which students benefit?
  • It is less important to figure out who benefits
    than how professional school counselors can
    deliver a school counseling program effectively
    to all students.

8
What Are Effective Methods for Delivering School
Counseling Programs?
  • Professional school counselors must implement a
    comprehensive school counseling program for all
    students that is a systematic component of the
    larger schools purpose and mission.

9
School Counseling Core Curriculum
  • Although much of the research is on elementary
    guidance curriculum, it seems middle school
    students benefited most from guidance curriculum
    offerings with an effect size of .46.
  • High school students benefited with an effect
    size of .39.
  • Elementary students benefited with an effect
    size of .31.

10
School Counseling Core Curriculum
  • Elementary counselors primarily used the guidance
    curriculum to address personal/affective needs.
  • Elementary guidance lessons which focused on
    improving self-esteem and self-concept had
    limited impact on students self-esteem.
  • Schlossberg, Morris, and Lieberman (2001) found
    that counselor-led, developmental guidance units
    presented in 9th grade classrooms have the
    potential to improve students' expressed behavior
    and general school attitudes, while also
    addressing student developmental needs.

11
Individual Student Planning
  • Only 10 studies of individual planning have been
    conducted, mostly with high school students.
  • Overall weighted effect size was statistically
    significant.
  • Professional school counselors often design
    individual planning around educational and
    career/vocational planning.

12
Individual Student Planning
  • Parents and students indicate that they would
    like more emphasis on career guidance and
    development activities.
  • Meta-analyses differ somewhat on the degree to
    which career interventions are effective.
  • The first meta-analysis (Oliver Spokane, 1988)
    indicated career interventions were highly
    effective, whereas the meta-analysis of more
    current research (Whiston et al., 1998) found
    career interventions to be moderately effective.

13
Individual Student Planning
  • A recent study found that counselor-free
    interventions are not effective, and
    interventions that involve a counselor are
    significantly more efficacious (Whiston,
    Brecheisen, Stephens, 2003).
  • Whiston et al. (1998) found that career
    interventions were more effective at the
    junior/high middle school level than at the high
    school level.
  • Career development activities seem to be
    generally effective.

14
Responsive Services
  • It seems elementary children, in particular,
    benefit from responsive services.
  • Few findings have been conducted with adolescents.

15
Individual and Group Counseling
  • Group interventions seemed to be more effective
    than individual counseling, however few studies
    have been conducted of the effectiveness of
    individual counseling in schools.
  • Littrell, Malia, and Vanderwood (1995) concluded
    that three approaches to brief individual
    counseling were effective with secondary
    students.
  • In a meta-analysis of the effects of school-based
    programs on aggressive behavior, Wilson, Lipsey,
    and Derson (2003) found that behavioral
    counseling approaches showed the largest effects.

16
Individual and Group Counseling
  • A substantial number of studies verified the
    positive effects of group counseling
    interventions.
  • Support for group counseling was mostly found
    with elementary students.
  • Much more research needs to be conducted with
    secondary students.

17
Bullying and Violence Prevention Programs
  • In recent studies of the Olweus Bullying
    Prevention Program, Olweus (2005) found
    reductions in bullying behavior which approached
    around 50.
  • Some of the initial studies of the implementation
    of the Bullybusters program found a 20 reduction
    in the number of bullying incidents reported in
    the first year.
  • In a study of the effectiveness of the
    PeaceBuilders program, Flannery et al. noted
    significantly higher ratings of social competence
    among K-2 students who received the intervention
    and moderately higher levels of social competence
    for students receiving the intervention in grades
    3-5.

18
School- Based Alcohol and Drug Programs
  • The National Registry of Effective Prevention
    Programs (NREPP) is a list of over 150 substance
    abuse programs recommended by the Substance Abuse
    and Mental Health Services Administration.
  • Studies on school-based substance abuse
    prevention programs have shown important criteria
    to include community components and peer leaders.

19
Suicide Prevention
  • Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among
    young people (NIMH, 2012)
  • Studies have shown that students who participate
    in suicide prevention and intervention programs,
    such as Signs of Suicide (SOS), to report 40
    fewer suicide attempts.
  • Gatekeepers trained in QPR reported a
    significant increase (14) in questioning youth
    about suicide.

20
Peer Mediation
  • Although many studies indicated that those who
    participated in peer mediation programs have
    substantial knowledge of the program, they did
    not indicate the effectiveness on reducing
    conflict.
  • Wilson et al. (2003) found that peer mediation
    programs had a small impact on reducing
    aggressive behavior.
  • There does not seem to be conclusive empirical
    support for peer mediation programs.

21
Parent Education and Family Counseling
  • Many studies indicate that parent and educational
    family counseling is extremely effective.
  • There is some evidence that with low achieving
    and underachieving students, the effectiveness of
    counseling is significantly related to the amount
    of parental involvement in the process.
  • This is an important time for professional school
    counselors to take a role in parent education and
    family counseling.

22
System Support
  • There is growing empirical support for the
    effectiveness of consultation activities.
  • Consultation can lead to more students being
    referred for school counseling.

23
Does a Fully Implemented School Counseling
Program Make a Difference?
  • According to Lapan, Gysbers, and Sun
    (1997),students from schools with more fully
    implemented programs were more likely to report
    that
  • (a) they had earned higher grades
  • (b) their education better prepared them for the
    future
  • (c) they had more career and college information
    available to them and
  • (d) their schools had a more positive
    environment.
  • Many other studies showed consistent results.

24
Does a Fully Implemented School Counseling
Program Make a Difference?
  • Schools with higher counselor-to-student ratios
    were more likely to have higher numbers of
    students with recurring disciplinary problems.
  • There is increasing research that demonstrates
    that lower professional school counselor-to-studen
    t ratios positively influence a number of student
    outcomes.

25
Conclusion
  • Reviews of outcome research in professional
    school counseling generally indicate that school
    counseling activities have a positive effect on
    students.
  • More research needs to be conducted about the
    effectiveness of professional school counseling.
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