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Outcomes Research on School Counseling Interventions and Programs


Outcomes Research on School Counseling Interventions and Programs CHAPTER 6 Introduction Although professional school counselors may believe certain approaches are ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Outcomes Research on School Counseling Interventions and Programs

Outcomes Research on School Counseling
Interventions and Programs

  • 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
  • Many of these individuals not only want
    confirmation that school counseling services are
    beneficial to students, but also that these
    services are cost effective.

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

  • 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

Is Professional School Counseling Effective?
  • School counseling outcomes research is generally
    based on qualitative reviews and meta-analytic
  • Results from qualitative reviews are generally
    supportive about the effectiveness of school
  • Substantial impact on educational and personal
  • 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

Which students benefit from school counseling
  • 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
  • African American students
  • Students who display early onset mental health
    and educational problems
  • Students who possess externalizing or educational
  • African American males were more likely to seek
    school counseling to help with academic
    achievement than White students.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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
  • 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.

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

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

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.

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.

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
  • 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.

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.

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

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
  • (a) they had earned higher grades
  • (b) their education better prepared them for the
  • (c) they had more career and college information
    available to them and
  • (d) their schools had a more positive
  • Many other studies showed consistent results.

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

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