Date of Award:

1976

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Glen H. Maw

Abstract

The telephone crisis intervention service at Utah State University (Help-Line) was evaluated in order to make the training program accountable and to produce recommendations for improvement in volunteer training.

Help-Line training teaches a "non-directive" counseling model and incorporates experiential sensitivity type exercises, didactic discussion, and role playing.

Help-Line volunteers were assessed by two methods. The first was a pretest-posttest control group design. Training was the independent variable and the discrimination of core conditions (as measured by the Crisis Center Discrimination Index) and the communication of empathy (as measured by the Crisis Center Communication Index) were the dependent variables . The Indexes are patterned after the work of Robert Carkhuff and utilize his 5-point rating system. The trainees scored significantly better than the control group on both the discrimination task (.01 level) and the connnunication task (.05 level).

The second method was a comparison of the volunteers on the variables of Conceptual Level as postulated by Harvey, Hunt, and Schroder, and the decision of the volunteers regarding whether or not to work on Help-Line after training. Conceptual Level was measured by the Conceptual Systems Test (form 71) categorizing subjects according to cognitive structure and beliefs into one of four Conceptual Levels (CL): CL 1--concrete-proestablishment, CL 2--concrete-antiestablishrnent, CL 3--abstract-dependent, and CL 4--abstract-independent.

Both trainers were CL 4 individuals and the interaction between subject and trainer is unknown. A comparison of CL 1, CL 3, and CL 4 subjects (the test identified no CL 2 members) on the Crisis Center Discrimination Index produced no significant differences.

A comparison of CL 1, CL 3, and CL 4 subjects on the Crisis Center Colillllunication Index showed no significant differences on the pretest scores but a significant difference (.05 level) on the post test scores, CL 4 subjects scoring significantly higher than CL 3 and CL 1 subjects. No significant differences in the comunication of empathy were found between CL 1 and CL 3 subjects.

A comparison of those subjects who elected to work on Help-Line after training and those who elected not to work on Help-Line after training revealed no significant differences on either the discrimination or communication indexes.

A comparison of those subjects who elected to work on Help-Line after training and those who elected not to work on Help-Line after training with respect to Conceptual Level was made. Chi-square tests showed no significant differences for CL 1 subjects choosing to work or not to work, significance at the .05 level favoring CL 3 subjects choosing to work, and significance at the .05 level favoring CL 4 subjects choosing not to work.

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