The effects of group counseling on low-achieving and/or underachieving ninth graders participating in an alternative education program

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Virginia Tech


This study utilized a Quasi-experimental Pretest-Posttest design to determine whether or not group counseling would improve the achievement (measured by grade point average), self-concept and locus of control (both measured by the SAM) of low-achieving and/or underachieving ninth grade students in an interdisciplinary alternative educational program. participants in this study were 66 students in an alternative educational program called IMAGESS who were computer-assigned to either a treatment group or a control group. Students who were in the treatment group participated in ten 45 minute group counseling sessions over a four month period of time. Concepts of reality therapy were utilized during the group sessions with an emphasis on goal setting, decision making and problem solving skills. Qualitative information was collected during the course of the study and utilized to formulate conclusions.

Statistical analysis included descriptive statistics, analysis of covariance utilizing parent participation, sex, group membership and the corresponding pretest as covariates. Once suitable predictors were identified, multiple linear regression was used to identify suitable models for future prediction. Although no significant findings could be identified to support group counseling analysis of covariance produced significant results with the post self-concept and post grade point average variables for parent participation and with the post self-concept variable for the interaction of parent participation and post grade point average.