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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Graduate School

First Advisor

W. Preston Gleason

First Committee Member

Gary N. Howells

Second Committee Member

M. Lewis Mason

Third Committee Member

Robert D. Morrow

Fourth Committee Member

Robert R. Hopkins


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of varying degrees of involvement in the therapeutic process. The sample of this field study was comprised of those clients involved in a county mental health linked program administered by a private agency. The target population was kindergarten, first and second grade students in selected county schools. Having been referred by their teachers, each child was then treated by a counselor who provided individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, and/or consultation. If it seemed appropriate, in-class tutoring or compensatory classes were offered for the child. The two experimental groups were a) the full-time clients and b) those whose situations limited them to part-time involvement with the therapeutic situation. Each experimental group was compared to a control group of referred individuals that was never seen by a counselor due to the limitations of the staff.

The instrument for the recording of any changes between the onset of counseling and the conclusion was the agency established Behavior Rating Form consisting of 13 observable behaviors. Academic performance and school attendance were also monitored. Analyses of variance were performed to test the hypotheses pertaining to the eight testable variables as well as the sum of all behaviors. The Scheffe Test for all pairwise comparisons and a Pearson Correlation were performed also.

The results revealed that there was a significant difference between the full-time clients and the control group with regard to seven of the 16 variables. The full-time group significantly changed in the area of school related behaviors including academic performance. The part time group was shown to be significantly different in 4 of the studied variables, again school related. The Pearson Correlation showed these same school related variables, in general, to be significantly high in correlation with the length of the treatment situation.

It would appear from the statistical findings that duration of involvement with the therapeutic situation was a significant factor with regard to changes in school related behaviors and academic performance.



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