Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




John Lavach


This study focused on the effectiveness of Personal Mastery Counseling (PMC), a small-group cognitive-behavioral approach to counseling. Thirty 7th grade male volunteers were assigned, 10 subjects per group, to a PMC group, a bibliotherapy group, or a No-Treatment Control group. The PMC group participated in ten 55-minute counseling sessions. The PMC group leader helped the subjects identify and eliminate self-defeating behaviors by teaching them how to set behavioral goals, accept personal responsibility, practice new behaviors, and monitor improvement. The bibliotherapy group participated in ten 55-minute sessions with assigned readings and discussions on eliminating self-defeating behaviors and improving self-concept. The No-Treatment Control group met only for pre- and post-testing.;Academic grade point averages, the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale, and Rotter's I-E Scale were administered pre- and post-treatment. A teacher-completed behavior rating scale and an individualized goal attainment scale were administered post-treatment only. It was hypothesized that the PMC group would show significantly greater improvement in self-concept, locus of control, and grade point average than the bibliotherapy or the control group; that students participating in PMC would receive significantly higher teacher behavior/conduct and class participation ratings than students in the bibliotherapy group; and that students in the PMC group would make more improvement on a goal attainment scale than would be predicted by chance variations.;Data analysis using an analysis of variance did not demonstrate that PMC positively effected self-concept, locus of control, grade point average, or teacher ratings. A Chi-square one-sample test did indicate that PMC students made significantly higher than expected goal attainment scale ratings after treatment.;It was concluded that neither Personal Mastery Counseling nor bibliotherapy significantly effected the self-concept, locus of control, grades, or teacher ratings of 7th grade male students. Personal Mastery Counseling did however help students modify a self-defeating behavior. Several possible reasons were discussed for the failure to obtain hypothesized results with all but one variable.



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