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Title:Examination of Variation in the Structure of Counselors' Conceptualization of Clients
Author(s):Anderson, Mary Zwoyer
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Terence J.G.Tracey
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Higher
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to investigate variation in counselors' conceptualizations of clients. Fifty-nine counselors and counselors-in-training (33 beginning practicum students, 5 advanced practicum students, 4 interns and 17 Ph.D. level counselors) viewed two ten-minute videotaped excerpts of initial counseling sessions, recorded the ideas they considered important for understanding or working with each client, and rated the similarity of each conceptual idea to every other conceptual idea. Participants also recorded questions for each client, and completed the Counselor Information Sheet, the Conceptualization Measure, and the Theoretical Orientation Survey (Coan, 1979). Based on review of existing client-conceptualization research (Cummings et al., 1990; Hirsch & Stone, 1983; Martin et al., 1989), and findings from research on expertise in other domains (Bedard & Chi, 1992), experienced counselors' client-conceptualizations were expected to (a) to include more individual ideas, (b) to have more connections among those ideas, and (c) to be organized around deeper or more inferred characteristics than the conceptualizations of novices. Formal hypotheses focused on points (a) and (b), while post-hoc analyses examined point (c). Variables representing the structure of counselor's conceptualizations were derived by subjecting each participant's similarity ratings to cluster analysis and multidimensional scaling (MDS). Cluster analysis results were used to derive two variables for measuring the amount of connection between individual conceptual ideas: the ratio of identified clusters to the number of individual conceptual ideas; and the fit of the obtained clusters to the raw data. MDS results were used to derive three variables for measuring the complexity of the observed relations among conceptual ideas or clusters: the variance accounted for by the first dimension, and the increments in variance accounted for by the second and third dimensions of the MDS solution. Formal hypotheses were examined using multivariate analyses of variance with counselor experience level serving as the grouping variable. Post-hoc analyses consisted of in depth examination of the content of three prototypical experienced and three prototypical beginning level counselors' conceptualizations. Although none of the formal hypotheses were supported, post-hoc analyses suggested that experienced counselor's client conceptualizations may be based on deeper or more inferred characteristics than are beginning level counselor's client-conceptualizations.
Issue Date:1997
Description:234 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9737034
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:1997

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