Date of Award:
Master of Science (MS)
The primary purpose of this study was to compare the relative effectiveness of two group counseling methods, a self-directed behavior change group and an experiential growth group, for increasing inner-directedness as measured by Shostrom's Personal Orientation Inventory, in college students who were differentiated, on the basis of a pre-treatment measure of inner-directedness, into internals and externals. A second goal was to compare the overall outcome of each method with a no-treatment control group.
Pretest-posttest gain scores on the "I" scale of the Personal Orientation Inventory were obtained for a sample of 72 college students. The data collected were used to test five specific hypotheses which were developed from theoretical considerations.
For internal subjects, the order of effectiveness of the treatment conditions was as follows (from most to least): Experiential growth group, self-directed behavior group, and a no-treatment control group. In comparison, the two treatment methods produced statistically similar results. This finding indicates that internals may become more inner-directed as a result of exposure to a variety of group-counseling approaches.
For external subjects, the order of effectiveness of the treatment conditions was as follows (from most to least): Self-directed behavior group, experiential growth group, and no-treatment control group. In comparison, the two treatment methods produced significantly different results. This finding indicates that externals are more responsive to a cognitive-oriented, structured approach, than to an affective-oriented, less structured, member-centered approach.
Group gain score means on a measure of inner-directedness were significantly higher for treated subjects than for control subjects. This finding suggests that group counseling is an effective method for increasing inner-direction in college students.
McCullough, Larry R., "A Comparison of the Effects of a Growth Group and a Behavior Change Group on the Inner-Directedness of College Students" (1974). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 5719.
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