Effect of a systems-oriented graduate training program on practitioner systemic thinking : a follow-up study Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/t435gh71k

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  • This follow-up study investigated the effect of a systems-oriented graduate training program upon system thinking among practitioners who had completed training, using a post-test only, treatment-comparison group design. The subjects consisted of practitioners matriculated through two counselor-related programs at a medium-sized college in the Northwest during the years 1985-1991. A family systems-oriented training program for clinical child and youth work (CCYW) counselors and a nonsystems- oriented training program for school and agency counselors (SAC), respectively, were the sources for treatment (n=40) and comparison (n=30) groups. The theoretical orientations of the two programs were the principal independent variable, and years of post-training experience, conjugal experience, and age (life experience) were the additional independent variables used for the study. The principal dependent variable was systemic thinking and the secondary dependent variable was executive skill (therapeutic intervention skills). Data was collected from the administration of the Family Therapy Assessment Exercise (FTAE), developed by Breunlin and Associates (1989). The FTAE consists of a 30-minute videotaped simulated family therapy session, followed by administration of a series of multiple-choice questions concerned with subject judgments of therapeutic steps portrayed in the simulation. The FTAE has been found to have high discriminative validity across studies for the measurement of systemic thinking among subjects with different levels of training in family systems therapy. The primary research hypothesis was that means scores for the treatment group would be higher for systemic thinking than for the comparison group. Descriptive and inferential statistics were derived from the data and multiple regression analysis was conducted. The statistical hypothesis of no difference was set at the .05 level of significance. From findings, the null hypothesis was rejected at the .01 level of significance and the research hypothesis was accepted. From correlational tests between systems thinking and the three secondary independent variables, and between Executive Skills and the two independent variables of years of experience and conjugal experience, differences for the null hypotheses were not found to be significant at .05 and were not rejected. These results indicated that relative to the variables considered for the study, systems-oriented training had an important effect upon the ability to predict systems thinking abilities. The implications of the findings and recommendations for future research were discussed.
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