Date of Award

Summer 8-13-2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Counseling and Psychological Services

First Advisor

Dr. Catharine Chang

Second Advisor

Dr. Gregory Brack

Third Advisor

Dr. Andrea Dixon

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Kelly Lyn

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to gain a fuller understanding of the sort of assistance, support, or education parents feel they need from school counselors in parenting adolescents. The research question examined was: What sort of assistance, support, or education do independent school parents feel they need from school counselors in raising adolescent children? The participants for this study were parents of middle school children attending an independent school located in an urban southern city. All parents of children attending the independent school were asked to respond to an online “needs assessment” survey asking parents to select parent education topics that are of interest to them. Parents participating in this phase of the study had an opportunity to volunteer for the next phase of the study, an online card sort activity. Parents who volunteered for the online card sort activity were sent a link to the online card sort activity where they took a list of parent education topics and arranged them into groups as they saw fit. Analysis of the results revealed nine themes, or categories of topics that are of interest to parents of middle school children: Parenting Skills, Adolescent Self-Management, Self-Awareness and Esteem, Academic Opportunities and Career Choices, Peer Relationships and Skills, Emotional Wellness, Physical Health and Wellness, Parent-Teacher/Staff Communication, and Technology Safety and Use. An informal concept map was created to visually represent the categories of parent education topics that emerged from the study. The results of this study can assist professional school counselors in designing parent education and consultation curriculum and interventions, and help ensure that school counselors better meet parents’ needs.

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