Recent Submissions

  • The Prevalence of Anxiety and Perfectionism in High School Students

    Outland, Rafael; Moore, Sarah E.; The College at Brockport (4/1/2016)
    Academic performance is a major stressor for adolescents in high school. American high schools are offering more Advanced Placement (AP) courses than in the past and there has been an increase in enrollment in AP courses (Judson & Hobson, 2015). This study examines the presence of anxiety and maladaptive perfectionism in high school students. The purpose of this research is to determine if there is a connection between course difficulty (AP vs. Regents) and, anxiety and maladaptive perfectionism. The present study surveyed 65 eleventh and twelfth grade students using a self-report questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of the Screen for Childhood Anxiety Related and Emotional Disorders and the Almost Perfect Scale-Revised. The results indicated that students enrolled in AP courses had more anxiety then students enrolled in regents courses. The group of students with the highest level of anxiety was the students enrolled in two AP courses followed by students enrolled in one AP course, and students in three or more AP courses. There was not a substantial difference in maladaptive perfectionism for students in AP courses compared to students in regents courses. This study suggests that students enrolled in two AP courses are the most at risk for negative outcomes including anxiety and maladaptive perfectionism. This study was limited to a convenience sample and there were a small number of students willing to participate at the researcher’s internship state.
  • Barriers to Treatment and the Connection to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

    Outland, Rafael; James, Kelsey; The College at Brockport (4/1/2016)
    Individuals who are engaging in mental health counseling services are demonstrating a lack of engagement in treatment. The purpose of this research study is to demonstrate a relationship between client’s perceived barriers to mental health treatment and to human needs as identified through Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (1943). This study was conducted through administration of a 27-item survey that consisted of a list of barriers to treatment and basic needs. The development and administration of this survey will be detailed through describing the location of the research site, recruitment process, and collection of data. A total of 22 participants completed the survey. Data analysis showed that 72.27% of participants reported at least one of their barriers to treatment being a basic need as identified by Maslow. The findings are discussed and implications for professional counseling and future research.
  • Mindfulness Meditation: A Practical Intervention in Addressing Stress and Anxiety in Inmates

    Outland, Rafael; Williams-McGahee, Patricia; The College at Brockport (10/1/2015)
    This research study explores the history of meditation, and the evolution and use of mindfulness and mindfulness-based interventions to address certain physical, emotional and mental health conditions. It also reviews scholarly literatures regarding the use of mindfulness meditation as a rehabilitation intervention in various correctional settings. More specifically, this research studies the overall impact and practical implications of using mindfulness meditation as an intervention to address stress and anxiety among inmates in the New York Monroe County Sheriff’s, Monroe Correctional Facility (MCF). The results from this study revealed that inmates who practiced mindfulness meditation at MCF showed a substantial reduction in their levels of stress and anxiety.
  • Effects on Retention of Students with Learning Disabilities Utilizing Services at Community Colleges

    Hernandez, Thomas J.; Martin, Jacquelyn (5/15/2015)
    Retention of students with learning disabilities in community college has become a concern to college officials. In this study retention rates and grade point averages of students with learning disabilities at community college were observed. This is a quantitative study and there was no interaction with participants. Data was collected through databases utilized by the urban, northeastern community college. Correlations between utilizing services and counseling and retention rate and GPA were calculated utilizing SPSS. It was discovered that there were weak correlations between retention status and accommodation and services use as well as GPA and accommodation and services use. There were moderately strong correlations between GPA between semesters, cumulatively and retention status.
  • Addressing Absenteeism through a Positive Reinforcement Intervention

    Outland, Rafael; Malley, Jillian M.; The College at Brockport (4/1/2016)
    Chronic absenteeism within a school setting is defined as missing 10 percent or more of a school year. Additionally, school attendance is often correlated with academic success. This research study aimed to address the effect of positive reinforcement on school absenteeism and raw GPA percentages in chronically absent middle school students. Chronically absent students met weekly with the researcher during a 5 week period to receive the agreed upon positive reinforcement strategy. Students received a motivator only if he or she did not miss any school during that week. Absenteeism rates and raw GPA percentages were recorded at the start and completion of the study, and were compared to determine the effectiveness of positive reinforcement on improving absenteeism and GPA rates. Final results suggested that the positive reinforcement intervention decreased absenteeism rates by 2.37% overall, and increased overall raw GPA percentages by 2.13%. Additionally, raw GPA percentages were suggested to have a direct, inverse correlation with absenteeism rates.
  • Counseling to Reduce Stress and Anxiety: A Mixed Methods Study

    Hernandez, Thomas J.; Goodspeed, Patricia; Hernandez, Thomas J.; Pakan, Jessica A. (5/5/2015)
    This mixed method study examines the relationship between general counseling and stress and anxiety in individuals seeking counseling services. A brief historical background and terms associated with stress and anxiety are presented. Specific diagnoses associated with stress and anxiety and implications for treatment of these diagnoses are addressed. Recommendations for counseling individuals with stress and anxiety are made based on research findings and evidence-based practices. Implications for counselors working with individuals who have stress and anxiety or related disorders are made. The need for continued research and limitations of this study are addressed.
  • Determining the Impact of a Psychoeducational Group on Student-Athlete Identity

    Outland, Rafael; Manioci, Raymond; The College at Brockport (4/1/2016)
    This study examined the impact of a psychoeducational group on middle school student-athlete identity. Literature regarding stigmas, academic eligibility, time commitment, athletic burnout, substance usage, role conflict, and moral orientation, was reviewed to identify challenges faced by student-athletes. Supportive programs and the benefits of psychoeducational groups were discussed to provide information on combating these challenges. This study followed a quantitative, action research design, and the Academic and Athletic Identity Scale was administered as part of a pre and post-test data collection to measure a psychoeducational intervention. The data collected showed that the psychoeducational group intervention increased academic and athletic identity recognition. Limitations and implications were discussed to provide further recommendations for future research.
  • Perceptions of Stress Experienced by Student-Athletes in an Education Opportunity Program

    Reiner, Summer; Finnemore, Renee (1/1/2017)
    Stress has been shown to have a negative impact on psychological and physical health. Individuals who experience chronic stress are at increased risk for serious health conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, coronary disease and some cancers as well as mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, disordered eating and substance use. The resulting conditions impact any area of an individual’s life such as academic or career endeavors. In the case of college students, experiences of stress impact student achievement and persistence. Research on student- athletes, underrepresented, first generation, and low-income students has shown these populations to be at increased risk for stress and the negative effects of stress experiences. This study aims to increase understanding of the experiences of student-athletes in an Education Opportunity Program (EOP). Participants indicated that they felt stressed sometimes to fairly often but felt in control of their lives. They identified academics, social, and personal wellness issues as concerns which caused them to experience stress. The new insights gained by this study will expand research in this area and could improve efforts by The College at Brockport EOP counselors to serve their student-athletes.
  • Resilience in Urban Middle School Students: The Impact of Character Education

    Hernandez, Thomas J.; Martinez, Christina C. (4/1/2015)
    There is a benefit in promoting character education in urban school settings. Character education could foster traits of resiliency and support youth in recognizing their innate abilities to become successful future citizens and leaders despite the adversities they may encounter. Resilience is an adaptive behavior trait that combats adversity. The recent research on resilience and youth is a growing topic due to the benefits of positive youth development. This literature review and study will explore characteristics of resilience and character education to identify a correlation between the two principles in regard to positive development within urban youth. Resilience traits such as purpose, problem solving, social competence, and autonomy will be the focus while incorporating character education traits such as trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, caring, fairness and citizenship.
  • Examining the Role of Parents/Caregivers of Youth Demonstrating Truant Behavior

    Reiner, Summer; Clark, Terri; The College at Brockport (12/1/2017)
    Truancy, which refers to unexcused absenteeism from school, is precipitated by numerous home and school factors. Generally, laws in most countries across the world require parents or caregivers to ensure that children attend school. In the United States, the No Child Left Behind Act requires all children to attend school (Kim & Page, 2012). The United States government’s statistics indicated that a large percentage of pupils in the country fail to attend school and classes for various reasons (Dahl, 2016). The numerous causes of truancy may be broadly classified as community and school-based. This qualitative study investigated the experiences of parents/caregivers of youth demonstrating truant behavior. In-depth interviews were conducted with 5 parent/caregivers and recurring themes were identified. These themes include: parental-stress, lack of supervision, parental uncertainty, and mental health issues as contributing factors to truancy.
  • Mentoring Middle School Students: A Program Evaluation

    Hernandez, Thomas J.; Maerz, Dianne; The College at Brockport (5/1/2015)
    This work examined the effectiveness of a first year middle-school-based mentoring program on improving the overall achievement of at-risk students. The literature on school-based mentoring was reviewed to determine variables used to examine the effectiveness of school-based mentoring programs. Following a quasi-experimental design, three sets of pre- and post-test quantitative data was collected and analyzed regarding students’ academic performance, attendance, and behavior referrals and compared against those of a control group. Mentoring was found to have differential effects on students’ GPA, total and unexcused absences, and behavior referrals. Implications for future research are discussed.
  • Holistic Factors that Influence Counselor Wellbeing in a High Stress Environment

    Hernandez, Thomas J.; Goodspeed, Patricia; Lewin, Deborah; The College at Brockport (5/15/2015)
    This is a phenomenological study of mental health professionals working in the high stress environment of a community mental health agency. Individual interviews were conducted to explore what attitudes and behaviors allow or inhibit wellness both at work and outside work. The existence of burnout was considered a given. Themes including initial attraction to the work, holistic balance, productivity requirements, and colleagueship emerged. While the establishment of boundaries was paramount to wellness, results indicated that there was a flow between home and work personas. Data showed that the personal characteristics of onsite leaders and staff were the primary factor that created a supportive environment. Participants agreed that colleagueship was the essential element that allowed a modicum of acceptance of the productivity demands to coexist with the inherently intense frustration. The generalizability of the success of this site was found to be uncertain due to data that indicated that personal characteristics of individuals are the key to achieving a well workplace within the clinic’s chosen theoretical model of team leadership.
  • “What Do I Want to Do When I Grow Up?” – A Look at the Impact of Career Curriculum in the Fifth Grade

    Outland, Rafael; Kusse, Elyse; The College at Brockport (10/1/2015)
    Current research suggests that early exposure to career-related curriculum may give students more academic buy-in resulting in higher graduation rates. The ASCA model suggests that career development should be a K-12 program providing students with the skills to “investigate the world of work in relation to knowledge of self” (ASCA, 2005). Though research regarding career interventions at the elementary level is sparse, the literature suggests that beginning to introduce career curriculum at such a developmentally fundamental time could have significant impact on student success and ultimately career choice. This study examines the impact career curriculum taught by the School Counselor has on the knowledge fifth grade students have regarding their post-secondary options. These findings are applied to the school setting in order to develop a more well-rounded comprehensive plan.
  • BeYOUtiful: Assessing the Impact of a High School Girls’ Group

    Hernandez, Thomas J.; Marianetti, Anna E.; The College at Brockport (4/1/2015)
    Adolescent girls are at risk for having low self-esteem and low body satisfaction as a result of having a negative body image. Past research indicates that psychoeducational groups positively impact self-esteem and overall body satisfaction. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of a psychoeducational girls’ group focused on building a positive body image. The group will be detailed through describing the location and community of the site, explaining the recruitment process, and outlining the group sessions. Four high-school aged girls participated in the study. The results were measured through pre- and post-test administrations of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and Body Shape Questionnaire 16B. The results did not indicate statistically significant changes in self-esteem and body shape satisfaction. However, the numbers in the raw data showed that the group positively impacted self-esteem and overall body satisfaction. The findings are discussed and recommendations for future research are explored.
  • Succor Through Suboxone Treatment

    Hernandez, Thomas J.; Goodspeed, Patricia; Dobmeier, Robert; Campbell, Shiela R.; The College at Brockport (5/15/2015)
    Opioid misuse has created a National health crisis. Thousands of opiate abusers die each year from drug overdose. Prescription painkillers have become the source of addiction for millions of Americans. Individuals are becoming addicted to the medication used to treat pain and are overdosing and dying as a result. Finding a solution for the treatment of this chronic disease is essential because its widespread use is reaching pandemic proportions. This paper will explore the use of Buprenorphine (Suboxone) as a medical-assisted treatment response. This qualitative study provides first-person accounts of the struggle with opiate addiction, and the impact that Buprenorphine has on the quality of life of the participant.
  • Relationships and Mental Health: A Qualitative Perspective of Individuals within the Transgender Community

    Reiner, Summer; Horth, Amanda; The College at Brockport (12/1/2017)
    Trans individuals as a population are more likely to endure the effects of depression, anxiety, suicidal ideations as well as discrimination, violence, and traumatic experiences compared to the general population. To begin to understand these experiences, five trans women participated in this study in order to explore their mental health symptoms with the quality of their relationships with their family, friends, partners, and within the community, specifically counselors. As a result, participants grounded their identity in their religious or spiritual beliefs in order to counter their families’ dismissal of their identity. Participants disclosed the nature of their experiences regarding the pressure to meet societal expectations, dealing with their mental health, trauma, and social isolation as their identity development progressed. Implications for counseling are discussed as it relates to building resiliency and using the counseling relationship as a beginning to establish support.
  • Girls In Real Life Situations (GIRLS) and Self-Understanding: A Program Evaluation

    Hernandez, Thomas J.; Bosarge, Keturah; The College at Brockport (4/29/2015)
    The purpose of this research project is to evaluate the school-based, psychoeducational Girls In Real Life Situations (GIRLS) group program (Taylor & Trice-Black, 2007). This research project examined the effectiveness of the program at a rural middle school in Livingston County, New York. It also looked to see if the GIRLS program enhances participants’ self-understanding. This research project includes a literature review that explored self-understanding and its dimensions (self-concept and self-esteem) as well as how it relates to development. Also discussed was why addressing self-understanding matters and how it can be connected to the GIRLS group. A total of nine early adolescent females with a mean age of 12.78 years (Treatment Group = 5 and Control Group = 4) completed a Pre-test before the start of the eight-session GIRLS program and a Post-test at the end of the program. The average Pre-test statement response for the Treatment Group was 2.80, while the average Post-test statement response was 2.97. The average statement response score for the Control Group remained the same for both the Pre-test and Post-test at 2.85. Eighteen of the twenty-five statement responses increased for the Treatment Group from the Pre-test to the Post-test. The Control Group had 13 of 25 increased from the Pre-test to the Post-test. The Pre-test and Post-test statement response mean data shows that the GIRLS group program did have an effect on the participants’ increased self-understanding and coping skills. The GIRLS program helped the participants understand more about themselves in relation to the topics discussed in the group.
  • The Impact of School-Based Health Centers on Ethnic Minority Adolescents’ Awareness, Perception, and Utilization of Mental Health Services

    Reiner, Summer; Green, Latrina; The College at Brockport (12/1/2017)
    This study explored the impact of School based health centers on the awareness and perception of mental health and services on students of ethnic minority populations. It also explored the impact of the use School based health centers on further utilization of mental health services beyond the School based health center. The purpose of the study was to gain insight on the effectiveness of this School based health center at addressing the barriers faced by the ethnic minority population to seeking, engaging, and being satisfied with mental health treatment. Three ethnic minority students, aged 17-18, participated and completed an eight-item Likert-scale survey regarding client’s perception and awareness of mental health pre and post use of the School based health center. The School based health center helped improve perceptions of mental health, counseling and therapy.
  • School Personnel Attitudes and Knowledge Towards LGBTQ Students

    Reiner, Summer; Mollura, Jenna; The College at Brockport (12/1/2017)
    Literature highlights areas of discord for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning/Queer (LGBTQ) students in the school setting as well as teacher, administrator, and school counselor attitudes and knowledge about LGBTQ students. Overall, most LGBTQ students will experience bullying, harassment, and/or a lack of support during their time in the K-12 education system. Educators (N=53) provided their attitudes and knowledge regarding LGBTQ student issues in a high school setting. Respondents indicated that there are a variety of attitudes towards LGBTQ student issues, policies, and identities. Additionally, results demonstrate school personnel knowledge of the subject lacks, which results in unintentional harm to their LGBTQ students. This suggests that more professional development opportunities for educators are necessary to minimize negative LGBTQ student experiences.
  • Teacher and Staff Perspectives on the Needs of High School Students who are At Risk of Academic Failure and Truancy

    Reiner, Summer; Parry-Gurak, Allison; The College at Brockport (12/1/2017)
    Students, who are at risk of academic failure and truancy, are at an increased risk of school dropout. Understanding why academic failure and truancy occurs, may lead to the development of comprehensive prevention and intervention programs in order to best support these students. Teachers and staff have unique insights as to the needs of students and their barriers to success. Results of this research found, family support is vital in student success and often is an area lacking for students who are at risk of academic failure and/or truancy. Furthermore, providing comprehensive support, school resources, family engagement, and student engagement were identified by participants as possible areas of potential implications for school counselors.

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