Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)



First Advisor

S. Marvin Rife


Guidance directors in the junior and senior high schools of Rhode Island were surveyed regarding group counseling as an integral part of a complete guidance program. Items in the questionnaire dealt with barriers to, topics for, and basic issues in group counseling. Fifty-six responses were obtained from thirty-four high school and twenty-two junior high school directors of guidance, 73.7 percent of the total population.

The respondents considered most important for the innovation of group counseling, a willingness of counselors to initiate group counseling programs and that they obtain the additional professional training necessary for competence in the use of this method. The directions also felt that a reduction in counselor load was necessary to free time for engaging in group counseling. The understanding and support of school administration was stressed. An essential condition for developing the program was the voluntary participation of students.

Having emphasized the importance of identifying the problem areas adaptable to group counseling, the directors were concerned with the critical “drop-out” problem as well as with apathy of students toward academic work, a lack of concentration on schoolwork, violation of community laws, and the impact of pressures caused by accelerated courses. Topics of a social-personal nature, as “sexual morality among adolescents” and “teacher-pupil personality conflicts,” resulted in strong ambivalence.

Group counseling was almost unanimously considered to be an essential part of a complete guidance program; however, there was no evidence that any such programs were in operation in the schools. The concept that group counseling might be used as a means of saving time by serving more students was rejected.

Recommendations were developed concerning the role of the counselor in initiating group counseling programs. Considered most important to the establishment of group counseling was the relating of a general understanding of the program by counselors to students, administrators, teachers, and parents. Colleges and universities might provide more opportunities for training counselors in group counseling procedures and practices, assisting the counselors in demonstrating professional proficiency in the endeavor of improving guidance programs.



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