Behavioral changes of participants in family group consultation Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/7w62fc79m

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  • The study investigated the effect of family group consultation. Specific hypotheses to be examined were: 1. Family group consultation is productive in helping individuals move toward more effective behavior as measured by the increase in correlation between self sort and the ideal sort at the end of consultation. 2. An individual will have accomplished greater congruence between self and ideal self indicating the likelihood of more effective behavior after eight weeks of participation than after twelve weeks in family group consultation. 3. As family group consultation progresses the goals of the individual family members become more congruent with the goals of the counselors. The subjects included two groups, one of which was made up of families who had been referred to the counseling staff at Portland Center. Families who were having difficulties because of faulty communication were accepted. In all cases the identified reason for referral was an adolescent in the family who was having difficulty in school. Twenty persons participated in the experimental group. The comparison group was made up of family members who had sought help at two other agencies in the Portland metropolitan area. There were sixteen persons in this group. The counselors who were involved with the experimental group subjects were of similar academic background, with the emphasis in psychology and education. The staff members of the agencies where the comparison group was located, had had academic emphasis in psychology and had had clinical training. Family group consultation was described to the family members who participated in the experimental group as a way of consulting with each other and with professional counselors. They were told that two or three families would meet together once a week for two hours. It was explained to them that they would be given an opportunity to relate to one another during the session and the counselor tried to prepare them for the openness and involvement expected of them. The first session was used to get acquainted and to gathering information. During the first hour, parents and children were seen together. The second hour the parents were seen in one group while the children were seen in another. During the second session the members were encouraged to describe family events. By the third session the individual family members were evaluating their own behavior, and the consultative process was engaged in by other families' members. The fourth session found the counselor involved in events in the group. The fifth session was devoted to encouraging the members to use the skills learned, to look at their individual behavior and to examine what messages were sent and received. The sessions from the fifth to the twelfth were a reiteration of what went before: information gathering, identification of issues, description of events, continuation of the consultative process, and discussion of alternative ways of behaving. The last session was used by the group to summarize the process of consultation. Data gathering involved the administration of an 80-item Q-sort designed to measure self-concept. Rogers' definition of the self-concept was used. The family is seen to have profound effect on the self-concept of its members. Therefore, it was in the family that change was sought through family group consultation. The data were gathered to find out if family group consultation results in change. The instrument was administered three times and comparisons were made between self-sorts, ideal sorts, and the experts' sorts. Since the experimental and the comparison groups were not taken from the same population a nonparametric statistic had to be used. A contingency table and a test of probabilities were computed directly. There was no significant change in the experimental group. The limitations of the study were a consequence of the error in research design. The study should be replicated using a larger sample from the same population. The need for evaluating family group consultation has not been met by this study. However, the methodology described represents a departure from that which has been used and may be considered a worthy contribution to the literature.
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