Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Purpose. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of group counseling on the self-concept of emotionally disturbed students in a public middle school. This study examined the efficacy of non-directive group counseling and structured group counseling and compared the two approaches.;Method. Thirty middle school students diagnosed as emotionally disturbed and enrolled in self-contained special education classes at four different schools were subjects in the study. Two classes were assigned to receive non-directive group counseling and the other two classes received structured group counseling. Both groups received their respective group counseling for ten weeks. Pre and posttesting was accomplished with the Tennessee Self Concept, the Behavior Evaluation Scale, and the projective technique; the Human Figure Drawing. It was hypothesized that by virtue of group counseling there would be significant improvement in self-concept as measured by (1) the Total Positive Scale of the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale, and (2) significant improvement in classroom behavior as measured by the Behavior Quotient of the Behavior Evaluation Scale. Furthermore it was hypothesized that the students who participated in structured group counseling would show significantly greater improvement on the Total Positive Scale, and the Behavior Quotient Scale, and manifest significantly fewer emotional indicators on Human Figure Drawings than students who participated in non-directive group counseling.;Finds and Conclusions. The results were not statistically significant for any of the hypotheses. However, there were positive trends indicated by the direction of posttest means. This suggested that group counseling in general and structured group counseling in particular may have some potential to effect changes with emotionally disturbed students. Moreover, qualitative data seemed to support this indicating that future research along these lines may need to consider elements such as the emotionally disturbed population, instruments, and data gathering strategies.



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