The development of a survey instrument to assess the counseling needs of intermediate elementary school students

Material Information

The development of a survey instrument to assess the counseling needs of intermediate elementary school students
Thompson, Diane Wittmer, 1960-
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
xi, 164 leaves : ; 29 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Career counseling ( jstor )
Correlations ( jstor )
Elementary schools ( jstor )
Learning ( jstor )
Needs assessment ( jstor )
School counseling ( jstor )
School counselors ( jstor )
Schools ( jstor )
Statistical significance ( jstor )
Student surveys ( jstor )
Counselor Education thesis, Ph.D ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Counselor Education -- UF ( lcsh )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2001.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 160-163).
General Note:
General Note:
Statement of Responsibility:
by Diane Wittmer Thompson.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright [name of dissertation author]. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
027789330 ( ALEPH )
48449403 ( OCLC )

Full Text







Copyright 2001


Diane Wittmer Thompson


I would like to thank some of the many people who contributed to the successful

completion of this study.

My deepest appreciation and gratitude are extended to my chair and the members

of my doctoral committee. Dr. Larry Loesch was instrumental in the development of my

ideas for this study and remained an unconditional supporter of my progress. His editing

expertise, personal support, encouragement, and excellent advice gave me the strength to

persevere throughout my graduate studies. Dr. Anne Seraphine helped me through the

"jungles" of statistical analysis and was a bountiful resource for understanding

psychometrics. Dr. Cecil Mercer's enthusiasm and "words of wisdom" were always with

me. Dr. Harry Daniels assisted me by asking questions that compelled reflection and


I am grateful to the third, fourth, and fifth grade elementary students who

participated in this study and to the parents who gave permission for their participation. I

also am indebted to the school counselors who agreed to administer the survey and to the

many people who helped me locate those school counselors, including various counselor

educators, school board members, elementary school principals and teachers, and the

people working for National Board for Certified Counselors.

My friends and education colleagues, especially Tina Wilkerson, provided insight

about the study and encouragement to keep on writing no matter how hectic my life

seemed to become. I also thank all of my friends at Keystone United Methodist Church

for their prayers and support regarding my doctoral work.

And last, but definitely not least, I want to thank my family. My parents, both

counselors, raised me in a warm and supportive environment. They ignited a desire in

me to pursue a helping profession such as theirs. Their confidence and faith in my ability

to succeed was a major contributing factor in the completion of this study. I am

especially indebted to my father, Joe Wittmer, for his many hours of assistance and

professional advice and for modeling the kind of counselor educator that I wish to be.

My husband, Buddy, and my children, Raechel and Haley, were very understanding and

supportive when I needed the time and quiet to work and write. Furthermore, my

daughters motivated me to complete my studies, so that I might inspire them to achieve

their fullest academic potential and reach for their dreams.



ACKNOW LEDGEM ENTS............................................................................................ iii

LIST OF TABLES ........................................................................................................ vii

LIST OF FIGURES...................................................................................................... viii

ABSTRACT ................................................................................................................... x


1 INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................... 1

Need for the Study............................................................................................... 3
Purpose of the Study............................................................................................ 9
Research Questions............................................................................................ 10
Definition of Term s ........................................................................................... 10
Organization of the Remainder of the Study ...................................................... 11

2 REVIEW OF THE RELATED LITERATURE.................................................. 12

Theories of Need ............................................................................................... 12
Developm ental Characteristics of Children........................................................ 14
National Standards for School Counseling Program s ......................................... 24
Needs Assessm ent ............................................................................................. 33
Summ ary ........................................................................................................... 41

3 M ETHODOLOGY ............................................................................................ 42

Relevant Variables............................................................................................. 42
Initial Developm ent of the IESCNS................................................................... 43
Subject and Sampling Procedures...................................................................... 58
Adm inistration Procedures................................................................................. 62
Data Analysis .................................................................................................... 66
Potential Lim itations.......................................................................................... 67

4 RESULTS ........................................................................................................ 69

Resultant Sample............................................................................................... 69

R liability .......................................................................................................... 83
Concurrent V alidity ........................................................................................... 84
Item A nalyses.................................................................................................... 93
Factor A nalysis.................................................................................................. 96
Analyses of Variance for IESCNS Item Means................................................ 108

5 D ISC U SSIO N ................................................................................................. 126

Generalizability Lim itations............................................................................. 126
Research Q uestions.......................................................................................... 127
C onclusions..................................................................................................... 135
Im plications..................................................................................................... 135
Recom m endations ........................................................................................... 138
Sum m ary ......................................................................................................... 140


A SSO CIA TIO N ................................................................................... 141

SURVEY PRELIMINARY FORM...................................................... 142



SURVEY REVISED FORM................................................................ 150
TH E STU D Y ....................................................................................... 154

G SCHOOL COUNSELOR ADMINISTRATOR LETTER................................ 156

H INSTRUCTIONS FOR SURVEY ADMINISTRATOR................................... 157

I INFORMED CONSENT................................................................................. 159

R EFEREN C ES ........................................................................................................... 160

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH....................................................................................... 164


Table page

1. Test-Retest Reliabilities of IESCNS Items (Coefficient of Stability................... 85

2. Internal Consistency (Cronbach's Coefficient Alpha.......................................... 87

3. Correlation Between IESCNS and PHSCS (Concurrent Validity........................ 88

4. Mean and Standard Deviation of IESCNS Items................................................ 94

5. Intercorrelations of IESCNS Items..................................................................... 97

6. Descriptive Statistics of Intercorrelations Within and Between Need Areas..... 103

7. First Nine Eigenvalues, Proportions of Variance, and Cumulative Proportions
of Variance Accounted for by the Factors............................................. 105

8. Factor Loadings for the Three Factor Solution................................................. 106

9. Factor Loadings for each IESCNS Item for the Primary Factor Retained......... 109

10. Summary of F Ratios for One-way Analyses of Variance for IESCNS
D em graphic Item s.......................................................................................... 111

11. Item Means and Standard Deviations by Grade................................................ 114

12. Item Means and Standard Deviations by Gender.............................................. 117

13. Item Means and Standard Deviations by Region.............................................. 119

14. Item Means and Standard Deviations by Race.................................................. 122

15. Item Means and Standard Deviations by Lunch Status..................................... 124


Figure page

1. N eed Theories ................................................................................................... 15

2. Developmental Characteristics and Needs of Intermediate School-aged
C children ............................................................................................................. 25

3. A Representation of the ASCA Standard Competency Areas and the Existence
of a Relationship with Specific Developmental Need Theory.............................. 51

4. Resulting Number of Midwest Females by Region x Gender x Grade x Race
x Lunch Status................................................................................................... 71

5. Resulting Number of Midwest Males by Region x Gender x Grade x Race
x Lunch Status................................................................................................... 72

6. Resulting Number of North Atlantic Females by Region x Gender x Grade x
Race x Lunch Status .......................................................................................... 73

7. Resulting Number of North Atlantic Males by Region x Gender x Grade x
Race x Lunch Status .......................................................................................... 74

8. Resulting Number of Southern Females by Region x Gender x Grade x Race
x Lunch Status................................................................................................... 75

9. Resulting Number of Southern Males by Region x Gender x Grade x Race
x Lunch Status................................................................................................... 76

10. Resulting Number of Western Females by Region x Gender x Grade x Race
x Lunch Status................................................................................................... 77

11. Resulting Number of Western Males by Region x Gender x Grade x Race
x Lunch Status................................................................................................... 78

12. Resulting Number of Entire Sample Females by Region x Gender x Grade x
Race x Lunch Status ........................................................................................... 79

13. Resulting Number of Entire Sample Males by Region x Gender x Grade x Race
x Lunch Status................................................................................................... 80

14. IESCN S Resulting Sample: N -970 .................................................................. 81

15. Scree Plot ........................................................................................................ 122

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
Of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



Diane Wittmer Thompson

August, 2001

Chair: Larry C. Loesch, Ph.D
Department of Counselor Education

This study involved the development and field testing of the Intermediate

Elementary School Counseling Needs Survey (IESCNS). Its purpose was to determine

the extent to which the counseling needs of intermediate elementary school students

could be measured reliably and validly.

The 46-item IESCNS assesses children's counseling needs. It is based on the

compentency areas in the National Standards for School Counseling Programs:

academic, career, and personal/social development.

The IESCNS was field-tested with 970 third, fourth, and fifth grade students from

across the United States. The sample was determined to be adequately representative of

that population based on region where the subject lived, grade, gender, race, and school

lunch pay status.

An internal consistency of .93 (Cronbach's Alpha) was found for the results from

the 970 surveys. The IESCNS was readministered to 40 subjects, at a two-week interval,

to establish test-retest reliability. The Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale

(PHSCS) was administered to 75 subjects concurrently with administration of the

IESCNS to establish correlations between items and their PHSCS subscale scores. A

factor analysis revealed that the IESCNS is unidimensional and measures a single factor

identified as "counseling need."

Few differences on the bases of respondent demographic characteristics were

found. Based on the results of these analyses, it was concluded that the IESCNS is a

psychometrically sound way to assess the counseling needs of children in the upper

grades of elementary schools.

Although differentiation of various types of counseling needs is common in the

professional literature, the results of this study do not support such differentiation for

other than discussion purposes. Rather, the results of this study suggest that level of

counseling need transends life arenas and is holistic in nature.


Implementing a program that is void of clear goals and objectives is like
piloting a plane without a flight plan. The plane is airborne, all
instruments are working, but the pilot has no idea where the plane is
heading or why it is going in a given direction. School counselors who
"take off' without clear direction tend to implement services that
haphazardly "hit and miss" the real issues and needs of students, parents,
and teachers. (Schmidt, 1999, p.40)

As the turn of the century approaches, the population of the United States is

affected by many societal changes. For example, values in the home, community, school,

and family are changed by advanced technologies. Also, more and more families are at

or below the poverty level (Myrick, 1997). Indicators of these changes, such as dramatic

increases in substance abuse, suicide, child abuse, teen pregnancy, truancy, school

dropout, and random acts of violence, are documented throughout the literature (e. g.,

Baker, 1996; Myrick, 1997; Schmidt, 1999; Wittmer, 2000). The following statistics

illustrate the expansive nature of the problems in contemporary American society:

Arrests of 13- and 14-year-olds for rape nearly doubled during the past

Almost 6 of 10 high school students say they have used illegal drugs, not
counting alcohol.

Rising levels of hate-inspired youth violence promoted the organization
Research for Better Schools to publish a handbook on dealing with hate
crime in schools. (The Center for 4th and 5th R's, 1999)

Between 5,000 and 6,000 adolescents take their lives each year and another
500,000 teens make unsuccessful attempts.

There has been an 1000 % increase in depression among children since the

Daily, approximately 3000 children witness the divorce of their parents.

Approximately every 50 seconds a child is abused or neglected, every 10
seconds a child drops out of school, and every 30 seconds or so a child runs
away from home. (Cloud, 1999)

Considering this tremendous societal change, it is a stressful world for most of

America's population, but especially for its children. While some children are learning to

cope, others are overwhelmed and become depressed or unmotivated. Some even drop

out of school (Myrick, 1997). The influx of increased stress on children and the resulting

problems have led to great challenges for today's educators, and especially for today's

elementary school counselors. Accordingly, more and more teachers and school

administrators are calling on their school's counselors to assist with all students, not just

those in crisis. These teachers and administrators realize that children who bring

problems to school that interfere with learning need the special, competent assistance of

professionally trained school counselors (Wittmer, 2000).

Historically, the professional assistance provided by school counselors was

focused narrowly on the remedial needs of a few students. For example, in 1962, Gilbert

Wrenn chided secondary school counselors for their narrow focus, and recommended that

the newly evolving population of elementary school counselors learn from the mistaken

decisions of secondary school counselors to build only crisis-oriented programs. He

strongly urged that school counselors respond to the developmental needs of the total

range of students in their programs (Wrenn, 1962).

Many experts credit Wrenn for the fact that elementary school counselors across

the country began implementing developmentally-oriented school guidance programs,

i.e., ones that included primary prevention activities to meet the anticipated

developmental needs of students prior to problems occurring. For example, elementary

school counselors, anticipating that their students would eventually encounter

circumstances that would challenge their values and attitudes, attempted to prepare

students for these challenges by offering programs to help children explore and

understand their feelings and have greater confidence in their ability to understand others

(Baker, 1996). These activities were designed to respond to the needs of all children.

However, little research has been done to assess accurately the needs those activities were

supposed to address. That is the focus of this study.

Need for the Study

The research conducted concerning children's development and programs created

for elementary school developmental guidance programs provides much quality

information regarding the characteristics and general problems of elementary school

students. However, as noted, this research has provided little information about the

specific counseling needs of individual students. The professional literature clearly

indicates that developmental guidance programs have the potential to enhance the lives of

elementary school students. However, it also indicates that there are times when children

have difficulties that warrant direct counseling services for their specific concerns

(Schmidt, 1999). Schmidt addressed this issue specifically when he wrote, One danger

of programs that adopt a philosophy entirely of developmental guidance is that

counselors may neglect or ignore students who need individual attention. Future

counseling programs must maintain a balance of services to meet the needs of a wide

spectrum of students, including those with serious problems" (Schmidt, 1999, p. 308)

In order for elementary school counselors to address the needs of all elementary

school students effectively, advocates of developmental guidance programs suggest that,

first and foremost, school counselors must determine the needs of the school population

(Baker, 1996; Myrick, 1997; Schmidt, 1999; Snyder, 2000; & Wittmer, 2000). However,

there is little evidence that this is being done effectively.

Accurate analysis of the needs of the school population assists elementary school

counselors to know how to best focus their counseling efforts. Various means of

ascertaining the counseling needs of an elementary school s population are indicated in

the research, one of which is using a needs assessment survey with students. Several

need assessment instruments developed by school counselors are available in the

professional literature. Unfortunately, however, there does not currently exist a needs

assessment instrument for elementary school-age children that enjoys any degree of

psychometric credibility.

Elementary school counseling programs exist to assist the student populations

they serve in the prevention of and finding solutions for the problems which impede

academic success. Therefore, some mechanism (i.e., a needs assessment) must be

employed to determine what problems need to be prevented and/or solved. A simple

definition of a counseling needs assessment is that it is a method of gathering data from

a counseling program s service recipients in regard to the types of counseling services

desired from the program s providerss. Effective assessment of service recipients

counseling needs is crucial to the development, implementation, and evaluation of an

effective counseling service program (Hadley & Mitchell, 1994).

The reasoning underlying this criticality is quite simple. A counseling needs

assessment is usually conducted early in program development to determine factors such

as the program s goals and objectives, needed resources, and bases for evaluation.

Subsequently, needs assessment may be used in a formative evaluation context to

determine whether the program s functioning is still appropriate for the service

recipients needs (Hadley & Mitchell, 1994). Thus, a needs assessment is indeed an

important and significant component in any effective counseling program.

The professional activities provided and functions fulfilled by elementary school

counselors should be implemented within a goal-oriented, well-planned, and logically

sequenced context (American School Counseling Association [ASCA], 1997; Baker,

1996; Gysbers & Henderson, 1994; Paisley & Hubbard, 1994; Myrick, 1997; Schmidt,

1999; Wittmer, 2000). That is, elementary school counselors are supposed to implement

a school counseling program. In 1997, the American School Counseling Association

(ASCA) set the structure of an effective school counseling program by creating a

framework that identified the components of national standards for school counseling

programs. The goal was to establish school counseling as an integral component of the

academic mission of the educational system and to ensure that school counseling

programs were comprehensive in design and delivered in a systematic fashion to all

students (Dahir, 2001).

The National Standards for School Counseling Programs were developed and

designed based on three distinct but integrated components: (a) analysis of membership

survey data, (b) review of the school counseling research and literature for inclusion and

reference in the standards design and development, and (c) development of a draft

document and a series of field reviews by the ASCA members. It was determined

through the development process that the primary goal of the school counseling program

is to promote and enhance student learning. Thus, the focus of the National Standards

for School Counseling Programs is on three broad and interrelated areas of student

development: (a) academic, (b) career, and (c) personal/social. Each of the three areas of

student development include a variety of desired student learning competencies, which in

turn are comprised of specific knowledge, attitudes, and skills that form the foundation

for the developmental school counseling program (ASCA, 1997).

Identifying national standards for school counseling programs in the areas of

academic, career and personal/social development assists elementary school counselors to

organize the needs of their students and to develop goals and objectives for a

comprehensive school counseling program. However, developing national standards

does not eliminate the need for an assessment of the needs of the students in the various

elementary schools because their needs vary from school to school and community to

community. Moreover, the variability of counseling needs among individual school

populations is vast and tends to vary on the basis of factors such as the size of the school,

socioeconomic status of the community, cultural diversity, concentration of learning

problems found in the school, educational backgrounds of parents, community attitudes

toward the school and education, and leadership of the school and district (Baker, 1996).

The need for elementary school counselors to engage in needs assessment as part

of effective school counseling program implementation is addressed, or at least alluded

to, by major authorities in school counseling (e.g., Baker, 1996; Gysbers & Henderson,

1994; Paisley & Hubbard, 1994; Myrick, 1997; Schmidt, 1999; Wittmer, 2000). Further,

prominent and pertinent statements of elementary school counselor roles and functions

indicate that they should be adept at using a needs assessment as part of fulfilling their

various professional responsibilities effectively (e.g., ASCA, 1997). And finally, major

(school) counselor preparation standards support this position by requiring that students

in school counselor preparation programs be educated in and develop skills for

conducting a needs assessment (Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related

Educational Programs [CACREP], 1994). Thus, there is ample support for the contention

that an effective needs assessment should be an integral component of an effective

elementary school counseling program.

Unfortunately, even in light of widespread recognition of the importance of

conducting a needs assessment in elementary school counseling programs, there exists

little evidence that elementary school counselors are conducting need assessments and

even less evidence that the needs assessments devices they are using are valid. Why this

situation exists in view of the many professional recommendations for use of a need

assessment remains unexplained. However, it is likely that the situation exists at least in

part because there is not a well-developed needs assessment instrument available to fulfill

this function. All too often, only lip service is given to the need assessment process.

For example, in discussing needs surveys, Wittmer (2000) wrote,

Experts differ on which should occur first the appointment of the [school
counseling] advisory committee or a needs survey of the school s publics.
However, I suggest the selection of the advisory committee first. Then, the
committee, coordinated by the school counselor, writes the philosophy
statement and develops and administers specific needs surveys to the
entire student population. Surveys can be developed quite easily.
Simply ask questions or give checklists that you believe will help you
obtain the most accurate and viable data. [emphasis added] (p. 13)

While it is obvious that these statements are intended to encourage school counselors to

in fact conduct a needs assessment, they belie the difficulties in conducting a valid and

effective needs assessment. Indeed, a search of the professional literature reveals only a

few needs assessment instruments for use in school counseling, in general (e.g., Guidance

Program Needs Assesment, VanZandt & Hayslip, 2001), and even fewer for use in

elementary school counseling (e.g., Kelly & Ferguson, 1984), and none that have been

subjected to any high degree of psychometric scrutiny. It is tempting to suggest that there

are several good needs assessments in the professional literature simply because they are

easy to develop and use. However, a dose of reality suggests that if they are so easy to

develop, surely some school counselor and/or counselor educator would have developed

one and published it as soon as possible!

Needed then is a counseling needs assessment instrument for use in elementary

school counseling programs that has good psychometric quality and potential for

widespread use. A needs assessment instrument of this type would be extremely helpful

to elementary school counselors, especially during a time in which the demands on the

elementary school counselor have increased. This study originated as a consequence of

the lack of available, empirically-based, elementary student needs assessment

instruments. The research seeks to develop a valid needs assessment instrument that

reflects a broad-based, national sample and fulfills applicable standards for psychometric

quality. Such a needs assessment instrument should provide elementary school

counselors the means to obtain the information necessary to develop goals and objectives

for an effective, comprehensive, full-service elementary school counseling program.

Purpose of the Study

The achievement of effective counseling needs assessment requires the use of a

valid and appropriate measurement tool. For school counselors to recognize and work

with the problems of students, it is imperative to create and use items and response

choices that will in fact identify those students needing help. Therefore, the purpose of

this study is to develop a high-quality needs assessment instrument for use in grades three

through five in elementary schools. Such an instrument would be extremely valuable to

the school counseling profession. For example, it would allow conduct of a counseling

needs assessment with confidence in the results and for determining differentiation

among settings and circumstances. Such a needs assessment tool also would be useful

for school counselor preparation. That is, if school counselors are to be trained

effectively to conduct needs assessments for students, that training would be both

simplified and enhanced if they were exposed to effective needs assessment instruments.

Thus, the development and testing of the instrument described above have potential

benefit for all facets of the school counseling profession.

The primary purpose of this study is to develop the initial form of the

Intermediate Elementary Students Counseling Needs Survey (IESCNS), a school

counseling needs assessment instrument suitable for use with elementary school-age

children in grades three through five. The IESCNS will be field tested to establish

psychometric quality to the greatest extent possible. The field-testing process will

determine the extent to which the counseling needs of elementary school-aged children

can be measured reliably and validly. A second purpose of this research is to obtain

initial data on the counseling needs of a broad-based sample of third, fourth, and fifth

grade elementary school children in the United States.

Research Questions

The following research questions will be addressed in this study: (a) What is the

factor structure of the counseling needs of third, fourth, and fifth grade students? (b)

What are the most common counseling needs of third, fourth, and fifth grade students in

the United States? and (c) What are the primary (initial) psychometric properties of the


Definition of Terms

Several of the following terms have been previously defined; others will be

discussed in future chapters. They are repeated here for ease of reference because they

are used frequently throughout the remainder of this study.

Counseling is defined as "a relatively short-term interpersonal, theory-based

process of helping persons who are basically psychologically healthy resolve

developmental and situational problems" (Gladding, 1996, p. 8).

Developmental guidance is defined as an approach which attempts to "...identify

certain skills and experiences that students need to have as part of their going to school

and being successful. Learning behaviors and tasks are identified and clarified for

students. Then, a guidance curriculum is planned which complements the academic

curriculum. In addition, life skills are identified and these are emphasized as part of

preparing students for adulthood" (Myrick, 1997, p. 1).

Intermediate elementary students refers to any elementary school student in

regular classrooms in the third, fourth or fifth grade. Students in self-contained, special

population classrooms will not be represented is this study.

National Standards for School Counseling Programs, as developed by ASCA,

provide a framework for school counselors to develop a counseling service program that

will promote and enhance the learning process in the school setting. A school counseling

program based on the national standards presumably provides all the necessary elements

for students to achieve success in school.

Need is defined as a condition among members of a particular group (e.g.,

students, teachers or parents) that reflects a true lack of something or a perception that

something is lacking in their lives ( Collison, 1982).

Needs assessment is a common term referring to activities designed to acquire

information about consumer needs. The needs assessment process involves identifying

the population to be assessed, determining a method for reaching them, devising a

measuring plan, and interpreting the results to those who will make relevant decisions

regarding the population assessed (Cook, 1989).

Organization of the Remainder of the Study

Four chapters comprise the remainder of the study. Chapter 2 provides a review

of the related literature. The methodology used to develop and field test the needs

assessment instrument is discussed in Chapter 3. The results of the study are presented in

Chapter 4 and the discussion, conclusions, recommendations, and implications are

presented in Chapter 5.


The subject matter involved in assessing counseling needs of elementary school-

aged children is a blend of several diverse areas. The literature reviewed in this chapter,

in relation to the development of the Intermediate Elementary Students Counseling Needs

Survey (IESCNS), is organized into the following areas: (a) theories of needs, (b)

developmental characteristics of children, (c) The National Standards for School

Counseling Programs, (d) needs assessment, and (e) summary.

Theories of Needs

A need is commonly referred to as a condition among individuals, or among

members of a particular group, that reflects a lack of something or a perception that a

void exists in their lives (Collison, 1982). A need is an internal state that is less than

satisfactory. It is a real or perceived necessity for one's well being(Murray, 1938).

Something is needed in order for a change in condition to occur, whether this is an

achievement of a new condition, maintenance of the same condition, or avoidance of a

possible condition. That which is needed is essential for the occurrence of a particular

condition or state of being. To be considered a need, something must be lacking and also

necessary to fulfill some objective (Collison, 1982).

Many theorists believe that needs function through another process known as a

motive. Motives are needs which appear in people s thoughts, and are eventually

reflected in their behavior and actions (Mc Clelland, 1984). For example, the need for

food initiates a motivational state called hunger, which is experienced cognitively and

effectively. Hunger produces a mental preoccupation with the desire to extinguish the

need, leading to behavior that will reduce the hunger and also the need for food.

Although needs and motives can be distinguished from one another in this way, it is

difficult to say how a need, such as for achievement, differs from the motive to achieve.

For this reason, it is common for researchers to use the terms needs and motives

interchangeably (Carver & Scheier, 1992).

Henry Murray (1938) developed a theory of personality that was organized in

terms of needs and motives. Murray and his colleagues developed a list of psychological

needs categorized into six domains: (a) ambition, (b) inanimate objects, (c) defense of

status, (d) human power, (e) affection among people, and (f) exchange of information.

Murray believed that everyone has each of these needs as well as dispositional tendencies

towards some specific level of each need (Murray, 1938).

In 1954, Abraham Maslow turned from the more traditional motivational

approach of need theory to a more humanistic approach of a hierarchy of needs. Maslow

proposed that human needs may be grouped in a hierarchy from low-order to high-order

needs: (a) physiological, (b) safety, (c) belongingness and love, (d) self-esteem, respect

and independence, (e) information, (f) understanding, (g) beauty, and (h) self-

actualization. According to Maslow, people must satisfy lower-level needs before the

next need on the hierarchy can be assimilated (Maslow, 1968). For example, a person

who is hungry or in need of shelter (i. e., physiological or safety need) probably has little

ability to focus on getting in touch with his or her feelings or sense of self-worth

(Neukrug, 1999)

Also during the 1950s, another humanistic theorist, Carl Rogers, supported

Maslow s ideas regarding needs. Rogers believed that everyone has a need to be loved,

and implied that an individual given a nurturing environment that includes empathy,

congruence, and positive regard would develop according to Maslow s hierarchy.

According to Rogers, individuals who do not become self-actualized are reacting to an

unhealthy environment wherein their needs, especially the need to be loved, have not

been met (Rogers, 1980).

William Glasser also noted the importance of the human need to experience love

and worth in the process of fulfillment in his counseling theory known as Reality

Therapy. According to Glasser, human behavior was once controlled by physical needs

such as the needs for food, water, and shelter. In modem times, Glasser believes that

human behavior is controlled by psychological or new brain needs, such as the need for

belonging, power, freedom, and fun. Associated with these psychological needs is the

need for identity, which is a psychological healthy sense of self established by being

accepted as a person of worth by others. Important to this process is experiencing the

love and feelings of worth necessary to achieving a success identity. Those whose needs

are not met establish a failure identity that is accompanied by a lack of self-confidence

and a tendency to give up easily (Glasser, 1980). The need theories discussed above are

summarized in Figure 1.

Developmental Characteristics of Children

The development of a child occurs at many levels and is directly related to the

needs characterized in childhood and adolescence. Development refers to change over

the life span and comes in various forms and domains, including cognitive, physical,

Name of Theorist
& Theory

Needs & Motives

Hierarchy of Needs


Reality Theory

Summary of Need Theory

* A theory of personality organized in terms of needs and motives
* A list of psychological needs were categorized into six domains:
(a) ambition, (b) inanimate objects, (c) defense of status, (d) human power,
(e) affection between people, and (f) exchange of information

* A humanistic need theory where lower needs must be satisfied before
movement can be made to the next level of need
* Hierarchy of Needs from lowest to highest: (a) physiological, (b) safety,
(c) belongingness, (d) self-esteem, (e) respect and independence,
(f) information, (g) understanding, (h) beauty, and (i) self-actualization

* A humanistic need theory where the dominate need is to be loved
* People must have an environment that includes, empathy, congruence, and
Positive regard in order to become self-actualized

* A humanistic theory where people need to experience love and feelings
of worth
* Belonging, power, freedom, fun, and identify as a worthy person are the
areas of needs proposed

Figure 1. Need Theories

interpersonal, psychosocial, moral, spiritual, and vocational (DiLeo, 1977). Many

models of human development that encompass the developmental characteristics of

children have been postulated over the years, but increased attention was given to the

developmental needs of children during the 1960s. Although various models differ

tremendously in how they characterize developmental theory, each tends to share

common components. For example, most models postulate that development is

continuous and orderly, implies change, is by its nature painful and growth-producing,

can be applied with many differing counseling approaches, and is preventive, optimistic,

and wellness-oriented (Neukrug, 1999). In addition, most developmental theorists agree

that following birth and before death, human development is hierarchical. That is,

achievement of developmental tasks at one stage of life influences success with tasks in

later stages (Myrick, 1997).

As noted, numerous theories of human development have been proposed.

However, only a few of the more representative ones that address childhood development

are discussed in this chapter. These include Piaget's theory of cognitive development

(1954), Kohlberg's theory of moral development (1969), Erikson's theory of psychosocial

development (1963), Havighurst's theory of psychosocial development (1972), Fowler's

theory of faith development (1981), and Super's theory of career development (1957).

Cognitive Development

When Jean Piaget began exploring the characteristics of cognitive development of

children, he asked the question, "How does a child come to understand the world?"

(Flavell, 1963). Piaget found that children learn through assimilation, i.e., using existing

ways of understanding the world to make sense of new knowledge, and accommodation,

i.e., changing previous ways of knowing to make sense of new knowledge. According to

Piaget, children pass through four predictable stages of development, each of which is

characterized by a particular way of thinking and understanding the world (Piaget, 1954).

The first stage of Piaget's cognitive development theory is called thesensorimotor

stage, ages birth through two. In this stage, the child has not yet procured the use of

language and is unable to maintain mental images; therefore, he or she reacts only to

sensory inputs and physical "here-and-now" experiences. The preoperational stage, ages

two through seven, is marked by the ability to use language, sustain mental images, and

manipulate the meaning of objects. A child in this stage responds intuitively to what

seems immediately obvious, as opposed to what might be logical to an adult. From ages

seven through ten, children enter the concrete-operations stage in which they can begin

to "figure things out" through a sequence of logical tasks. The fourth and final stage of

development is termedformal operations; it extends from ages 11 through 16. During

this stage, children begin to think more abstractly and apply more complex levels of

knowing, such as symbolic meaning, to their understanding of the world (Piaget, 1954).

Moral Development

Like Piaget, Lawrence Kohlberg questioned how children come to comprehend

the world. However, he was especially curious about how children came to justify and

understand their moral behavior. After twenty years of research with children's responses

to moral dilemmas, Kohlberg developed a three-level, six-stage model of moral

development. The first level, preconventional, is divided into two stages characterized

by the notion that children make moral decisions based on punishments and rewards.

Children at this level of development, roughly ages two through seven, make decisions to

avoid punishment from authority figures in stage one and to satisfy their own needs in

stage two. Throughout the conventional level, older children and adolescents will make

moral decisions based on group norms in stage three and a system of laws and rules in

stage four. People in the final level of Kohlberg's moral development, postconventionaz

base their decisions on what is best for the majority or what is universally true. Kohlberg

felt that most individuals never reach the final level and that it is particularly dependent

upon the individual's cognitive development (Kohlberg, 1969).

Psychosocial Development

In 1963, Erik Erikson conceptualized a theory of development unlike that of

either Piaget and Kohlberg. His psychosocial theory of human development extends

beyond childhood and adolescence, presenting instead a developmental theory that

encompasses the life span. In his classic book Childhood and Society, Erikson expanded

the theory of biological growth and development into the psychological realm. Erikson

believed that as individuals pass through life, each has age-related developmental life

tasks or conflicts to overcome. Adjustments to these conflicts and tasks play an

important part in the development of personality. Distinguishing between personal and

social needs, Erikson considered crises between the two types of needs a critical element

in facilitating psychological growth (Erikson, 1963).

From Erikson's point of view, there were eight stages or crises of human or

psychosocial development, five of which are experienced during childhood and

adolescence. The first psychosocial stage in Erickson's theory is infancy, roughly the

first year of life. The conflict or crisis at this stage is between a sense of basic trust vs.

basic mistrust. At this stage, an infant develops a sense of trust or mistrust based on the

ability of his or her parents to nurture and provide a sense of psychological safety.

Autonomy vs. shame and doubt is the second developmental task, or crisis, experienced

by the toddler (one to two years of age). According to Erikson, the crises at this

developmental stage concern the effort of the child to develop a sense of control over

personal actions or behaviors. Promotion of a child's newfound physical abilities leads to

a sense of autonomy rather than a sense of shame and doubt brought about by inhibiting

the child (Erikson, 1968).

The third, fourth, and fifth stages of Erikson's theory ofpsychosocial development

involve preschool and school-age children and adolescents. As a children continue to

grow physically and intellectually, during the preschool years (from about three to five

years of age) they increase exploration of their circumstances and take the initiative to

actively impose a newly developed sense of will on their environment. Erikson labels

this stage of development as initiative vs. guilt. During this stage, parents and adult

caregivers can either reinforce a child to take initiatives or make the child feel guilty by

thwarting such initiatives (Erikson, 1982).

At the end of stage three, the child enters elementary school and gradually moves

into stage four of Erikson's model of development, which is known as industry vs.

inferiority. In this stage, children are beginning to comprehend the world and gain a

sense of what they do well, especially in relationship to their school experiences with

peers and social roles. To emerge from this stage successfully, children must feel they

are mastering the goals they have set for themselves in a fashion that is judged

appropriate by peers and adults close to them. Children who do not achieve their goals,

and perhaps are led by others (e.g., parents, teachers, and peers) see their performance

either as inadequate or morally wrong, and develop a strong sense of inferiority (Erikson,


Sometime near the end of elementary school or the beginning of middle school,

children enter into adolescence and begin to identify their temperament, values, interests,

abilities, and specific attributes that define their personality. Erikson appropriately

named this stage identity vs. role confusion. During this stage, which continues until

approximately age 20, there is more need for self-exploration and positive peer

relationships. Humans' level of awareness in this search differs, depending upon personal

history, accomplishment in preceding stages, anticipation of the future, and the

interpersonal skills that have been learned (Erikson, 1982).

Similar to Erikson, Robert Havighurst (1972) proposed a series of developmental

tasks that must be learned and mastered if an individual is to feel satisfied and successful

in life. Havighurst based these tasks on biological, psychological, and social factors as

opposed to the personal-versus-interpersonal dichotomy presented by Erikson. During

infancy and early childhood, Havighurst proposed developmental tasks that begin with

basic biological needs, such as learning to eat, talk, and walk, and move toward learning

to distinguish between right and wrong. From approximately ages 6 to 11, referred to as

middle childhood by Havighurst, children must achieve the following tasks:

Learning physical skills necessary for ordinary games

Building wholesome attitudes toward oneself and a sense of self-concept

Learning to get along with age mates-moving from the family circle to
groups outside the home

Learning the skills of tolerance and patience

Learning appropriate masculine or feminine social roles

Developing fundamental skills in reading, writing and calculating

Developing concepts necessary for everyday living

Developing conscience, morality, and a scale of values

Achieving personal independence

Developing attitudes toward social groups and institutions, through
experiences and imitation. (cited in Mi. ilk. 1997, p.30)

From approximately ages 12 to 18, adolescents' developmental tasks cluster around

changing relationships with peers, parents, and with society as a whole (Havighurst,


Faith Development

Drawing on the work of developmental theorists such as Erikson, Piaget, and

Kohlberg, James Fowler developed a theory of faith development (Neukrug, 1999).

According to Fowler, faith is not just a singular examination of one's religious

orientation, but also an integration of a person's core values, images of power, and stories

that motivate the individual consciously and unconsciously throughout life. Fowler

asserted that faith is deeper than one's belief system because it also includes unconscious

motivations (Fowler, 1981)

Like other developmental theorists, Fowler identified specific stages of faith

development. Stage 0 (primary faith) is based on Erikson's first psychosocial stage of

trust vs. mistrust. Fowler asserted that a child who develops trusting relationships with

others during infancy will have the foundation for faith development later in life. Based

on Piaget'spreoperational stage, children in Stage 1 (intuitive-projective faith) respond

positively to stories, feelings, and imagery. Their world is not logical, but rather a

symbolic mystery that can be affected greatly by a significant adult's view of faith. In

Stage 2 (mythic-literal faith), the six to eight year old begins to interpret symbols, stories,

and beliefs from traditions unidimensionally and literally. Fowler postulated that

significant others play a particularly powerful role in developing the child's meaning-

making system. As children move into adolescence, Stage 3 (synthetic-conventional

faith), they enter into Piaget'sformal operations stage, taking on increasingly complex

and abstract views of the world. Ultimately, the individuals in this stage integrate all

perspectives from their social sphere into a unique meaning-making system (Fowler,


Career Development

Another area of human development that has been extensively researched is

career development. Early in the 1900s, Frank Parsons suggested that career

development was a three-step process involving knowing oneself, knowing job

characteristics, and making a match between the two through "true reasoning" (Parsons,

1909). Parsons' idea was later expanded into one of the first developmental approaches

to occupational choice by Ginzberg, Ginsberg, Axelrad, and Hennrma in 1951 (Neukrug,

1999). This team, consisting of an economist, a sociologist, a psychiatrist, and a

psychologist, stated that occupational decision-making was not a single decision, but

rather a series of decisions made over a period of years. They divided these "decisions"

into three developmental phases based on age. The first, from birth to approximately age

11, is called the Fantasy stage, during which individuals have "idealistic" and commonly

nonsensical conceptualizations of future jobs they would like. The second phase,

Tentative, lasting approximately ages 11 to 17, involves the individual's exploration of

various occupations and tentative occupational choices. During the final phase, Realistic,

the 17 to 21 year old engages in initial work activities and makes "final" occupation

decisions (Ginzberg, Ginsburg, Axelrad, & Henna, 1951).

Donald Super's (1957) work on a theory of career development began shortly

after that of Ginzberg, et al. Super drew from a number of existing developmental

models to develop his own unique career life span developmental theory. Super's theory

is multifaceted and borrows from many areas of psychology (Vacc & Loesch, 2000). His

propositions included that:

career development is an ongoing, continuous, and orderly process starting in
early childhood and ending with death;

abilities, personality traits, and self concepts of people differ, and individuals
are qualified for a number of different types of occupations based on their

occupations tend to be specific toward people with certain kinds of qualities,
although there is enough variability in occupations to allow for some
differences in the kinds of people that will be drawn to them;

self-concept is both a function and result of one's career development process
and can change as one passes through developmental stages;

movement from one occupational level to another is influenced by a number
of factors including parental socioeconomic level, status needs, values,
interests, skill in interpersonal relationships, economic conditions, and

starting in early childhood and continuing into late adulthood, career
development can be assisted by helping individuals to understand and develop
their abilities and interests and by assisting them in understanding their
strengths and weaknesses;

by understanding the developmental level of the individual, counselors can
make appropriate interventions that can assist individuals in learning about
themselves and their career development process, thus making occupational
choices more likely to lead to satisfaction at work and a high self-concept;

career development is generally irreversible, although some people who face
important development crises may recycle through the stages at any point in
their career. (Neukrug, 1999, pp 273-274)

Super saw career development as a five-stage process in which each stage

incorporated different developmental tasks (Super, 1957). During the first stage, Growth,

children identify with others, gain an awareness of interest and abilities related to the

world of work, and begin to develop a career self-concept. This stage encompasses the

young child's beginning awareness of the world of work and the middle-school-aged

youth's comparison of talents, abilities, and interests to those of his or her peers. The last

four stages--Exploration, Establishment, Maintenance, and Decline--involve

crystallizing, specifying and implementing a vocational preference, stabilizing and

advancing the vocational preference, preserving the achieved occupational status and

gains, and disengaging and retiring from occupational activities, respectively (Super,


The developmental theories and stages for third, fourth, and fifth grade students

(i.e., the participants of this study) discussed in this section are summarized in Figure 2.

National Standards for School Counseling Programs

In the Fall of 1997, the American School Counseling Association (ASCA)

published the National Standards for School Counseling Programs. The National

Standards provide the organizational basis for developing quality school counseling

programs intended to promote educational success and meet the developmental needs of

all students. By creating this document, ASCA not only provided a framework for school

counseling programs, but also a comprehensive, detailed outline of the developmental

needs of school-aged children. Following is a summary of the (a) history of the National

Standards, (b) ASCA research leading to the development of the National Standards, (c)

organization of the National Standards, and (d) suggested guidelines for implementing

the National Standards.

History of the National Standards

Standards in the school counseling profession are not new. For example,

standards for ethical practices (ASCA, 1994), National School Counselor Certification

Theorist Summary of Stage


Moral Development



Ginzberg, Ginsberg,
Axelrad, and Herma
Career Development

Faith Development

Career Development

* concrete operations stage (ages 7 12)
* No complex thinking. Uses logical thinking, sequencing,
categorizing, to figure things out. Rigid ways of knowing.

* conventional level stage (ages 9-18)
* Social conformity/approval of others and rules and laws to maintain

* crisis between personal and social needs facilitate psychological
* industry vs. inferiority stage(ages 6-12)
* beginning to understand the world and obtain a basic sense of what
he or she does well, especially in relationship to peers
* sets goals based on his or her self-assessment of strengths
* a sense of accomplishment in achieving goals can lead the child
toward a sense of self-worth

* middle childhood stage (ages 6-11)
* developmental tasks based on biological, psychological and social
tasks involve learning and developing physical skills, getting along
with age mates, tolerance and patience, appropriate gender roles,
academic skills, personal independence, a sense of self-concept,
concepts necessary for everyday living, morality and a scale of
values, attitudes toward social groups and institutions through
experience and imitation

* Fantasy Stage (ages birth-11) -- idealistic views and commonly
nonsensical concepts of future jobs
* Tentative Stage (ages 11-17) --individual exploration of various

* Mythic-literal Faith Stage
* Children begin to interpret symbols, stories, beliefs from traditions
unidimensionally and literally
* Significant others play a powerful role in developing the child's
meaning-making system.

* Growth Stage (ages birth -14)
* children identify with others, gain an awareness of interests and
abilities related to the world of work and begin to develop a career

Figure 2. Developmental Characteristics and Needs of Intermediate School-aged


(NSCC), and preparation for school counselors (CACREP, 1994) were established to

advance quality, professional school counseling practice. In July, 1994, ASCA "joined"

the national standards movement in education and began the process of developing

national standards for school counseling programs. This process required examination of

theory, research, and practice to ensure that all aspects of school counseling were

considered, and then covered, in the final draft of the National Standards.

American College Testing (ACT) served as research consultants and became the

coordinator for the collection of survey information. ACT also donated personnel and

resources to ensure that the survey design, distribution, and data analyses followed

accepted research practices. Three distinct but integrated components comprised the

foundation for developing the National Standards: (a) ASCA membership survey data,

(b) school counseling research and literature, and (c) field reviews by ASCA members of

a draft document of the National Standard (ASCA, 1997).

ASCA Research

ASCA research resulted in the association moving forward in the development of

the National Standards for School Counseling Programs. According to ASCA (1994),

their research indicated that a comprehensive school counseling program is

developmental and systematic in nature, sequential, clearly defined, and accountable.

ASCA further indicated that quality school counseling programs are founded upon

developmental psychology, educational philosophy, and counseling methodology

(ASCA, 1994). More specifically, comprehensive school counseling programs enhance

students' academic development, career awareness, basic work skills, self-awareness,

interpersonal communication skills, and life-success skills.

The design of the comprehensive school counseling program is developed by

focusing on needs, interests and issues related to the various stages of student growth,

such as those discussed in previous sections. In general, effective programs include a

commitment to accept individual uniqueness and to maximize development in three

major areas: (a) academic, (b) career, and (c) personal/social (ASCA, 1990).

Organization of the National Standards

The National Standards are divided into three broad areas and the standards for

each content area are designed to furnish guidance and direction for states, school

systems, and individual schools that wish to develop effective school counseling


There are three standards within each of the major content areas, each followed by

competencies that delineate desired student learning outcomes. The student

competencies define the knowledge, attitudes, and skills that students should obtain or

demonstrate as a result of participating in a school counseling program. In other words,

the competencies list the developmental needs of kindergarten through twelfth grade

students. Thus, the competencies offer a foundation upon which a comprehensive

developmental school counseling program should be based. They also serve as

measurable indicators of student performance and success (ASCA, 1997).

ASCA's content standards for academic development are to be used as a guide for

implementing strategies and activities to support and maximize student learning.

Academic development pertains to obtaining the skills, attitudes, and knowledge

necessary for effective learning in school and across the life span; employing strategies to

achieve success in school; and understanding the relationship of academics to vocational

choice, life at home, and the community. According to ASCA, when students' academic

developmental needs are met, they are more likely to achieve educational success in

school and to develop into contributing members of society. ASCA's academic

development standards and competencies follow.

Standard A: Students will acquire the attitudes, knowledge, aptitudes, and skills that
contribute to effective learning in school and across the life span.

Students will:
take responsibility for their actions
demonstrate how effort and persistence positively effect learning
articulate feelings of competence and confidence as a learner
display a positive interest in learning
take pride in work and in achievement
accept mistakes a essential to the learning process
use communication skills to know when and how to ask for help when needed
articulate knowledge of learning styles and apply this knowledge to learning
identify attitudes and behaviors which lead to successful learning
display the ability to work independently as well as the ability to work
cooperatively in teams
develop a broad range of interests and abilities
demonstrate dependability, productivity and initiative
share knowledge
apply time management and task management skills
achieve their full academic potential

Standard B: Students will employ strategies to achieve success in school.

Students will:
demonstrate the motivation to achieve individual potential
establish realistic academic goals in elementary, middle/junior high, and high
use assessment results in educational planning
develop and implement an annual plan of study to maximize academic ability
and achievement
apply knowledge of aptitudes and interests to goal setting
use problem solving and decision making skills to assess progress towards
educational goals
understand the relationship between classroom performance and success in
identify post-secondary options consistent with interests, achievement,
aptitude and abilities
use knowledge of learning styles to positively influence school performance

learn and apply critical thinking skills
apply the study skills necessary for academic success at each level
recognize that information and support is available from faculty, staff, family,
and peers
organize and apply academic information from a variety of sources

Standard C: Students will understand the relationship of academics to the world of work.
and to life at home and in the community.

Students will:
demonstrate the ability to balance school, studies, extra-curricular activities,
leisure time and family life
seek co-curricular and community experiences to enhance the school
understand the relationship between learning and work
demonstrate an understanding of the value of life long learning as essential to
seeking, obtaining, and maintaining life goals
understand that school success is the preparation to make the transition from
student to community member
understand how school success enhances future career and avocational
opportunities. (ASCA, 1997)

Standards in the area of career development provide the foundation for skill,

attitude, and knowledge acquisition that enable students to make a successful transition

from school to the world of work and from job to job across the life career span. Career

development includes utilization of strategies that enhance future career success and job

satisfaction and increase student understanding of the association between personal

qualities, education, training, and career choice. The recommendations of the Secretary's

Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) and the content of the National

Career Development Association's Guidelines are reflected in ASCA's career content area

standards and competencies following.

Standard A: Students will acquire the skills to investigate the world of work in relation to
knowledge of self and to make appropriate career decisions.

Students will:
develop skills to locate, evaluate and interpret career information
acquire employability skills

learn about the variety of traditional and non-traditional occupations
demonstrate knowledge about the changing workplace
learn about the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees
develop an awareness of personal abilities, skills, interests and motivations
learn effective communication skills
learn effective interpersonal skills
learn how to interact and work cooperatively in teams
learn to respect individual uniqueness in the work place
develop a positive attitude toward work and learning
understand the importance of responsibility, dependability, punctuality,
integrity and effort in the work place
learn to make decisions
learn how to set goals
understand the importance of planning
become self-directed
utilize time and task management skills
identify the balance between work and leisure time

Standard B: Students will employ strategies to achieve future career goals with success
and satisfaction.

Students will:
apply decision making skills to career planning and career transitions
identify personal skills, interests, abilities, and aptitudes and relate them to
current career choices
apply job readiness skills to seek employment opportunities
learn how to write a resume
demonstrate awareness of the education and training needed to achieve career
assess and modify their educational plan to support career goals
use employability and job readiness skills in internship, mentoring,
shadowing, and/or other world of work experiences
learn how to use conflict management skills with peers and adults
demonstrate knowledge of the career planning process
know the various ways which occupations can be classified
use research and information resources to obtain career information
learn to work co-operatively with others as a team member
pursue and develop competency in areas of interest
develop hobbies and avocational interests
select course work that is related to career interests
maintain a career planning portfolio
learn to use the Internet to access career planning information

Standard C: Students will understand the relationship between personal qualities,
education, training and the world of work.

Students will:
understand the relationship between educational achievement and career
demonstrate how personal qualities relate to achieving personal, social,
education and career goals
explain how work can help to achieve personal success
identify personal preferences and interest which influence career choices and
demonstrate the knowledge that the changing workplace requires lifelong
learning and upgrading of skills
describe the effect of work on life styles
describe the implications of gender equity and traditional and non-traditional
occupations and how these relate to career choice
understand how economic and societal needs influence the supply and demand
of goods and services, and the resulting effects on employment
understand how occupational and industrial trends relate to training and
understand that work is an important and satisfying means of personal
expression. (ASCA, 1997)

As students progress through school and into adulthood, they need to acquire a

firm foundation for personal and social growth. ASCA asserts that implementation of

activities and strategies related to the content standards for personal/social development

provide students with this foundation, and thus contribute to academic and career success.

Personal/social development includes skills, attitudes, and knowledge that assist students

in respecting and understanding others, acquiring effective interpersonal skills,

understanding safety and survival skills, and developing into contributing members of

society. The ASCA standards and competencies for personal/social development follow.

Standard A: Students will acquire the knowledge, attitudes and interpersonal skills to
help them understand and respect self and others.

Students will:
Develop a positive attitude toward self as a unique and worthy person
Identify personal values, attitudes, and beliefs
Understand that change is a part of growth
Identify and discuss changing personal and social roles
Recognize that all people have rights and responsibilities

recognize that parents and children have rights and responsibilities
respect alternative points of view
recognize, accept, respect, and appreciate individual differences
recognize, accept, and appreciate ethnic and cultural diversity
recognize and respect differences in various family configurations
use effective communication skills
know that communication involves speaking, listening, and nonverbal
learn how to communicate effectively with family
identify and recognize changing family roles
understand interaction and cooperation between children and adults
identify and express feelings
know how to apply conflict resolution skills
distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate behaviors
recognize personal boundaries, rights and privacy needs
understand the need for self-control and how to practice it
demonstrate cooperative behavior in groups
identify personal strengths and assets
learn how to make and keep friends

Standard B: Students will make decisions, set goals and take action.

Students will:
learn to use a decision-making and problem solving model
understand consequences of decisions and choices
identify alternative solutions to a problem
develop effective coping skills for dealing with problems
learn when, where and how to seek help for solving problems and making
know when peer pressure is influencing a decision
learn the goal setting process
identify long and short term goals
identify alternative ways of achieving realistic goals
develop and action plan to set and achieve realistic goals

Standard C: Students will understand safety and survival skills.

Students will:
demonstrate knowledge of personal information (i.e., telephone number, home
address, emergency contact)
identify resource people in the school and community, and know how to seek
their help
learn about the relationship between rules and laws and safety and the
protection of rights
learn the difference between appropriate and inappropriate physical contact
demonstrate the ability to assert boundaries, rights and personal privacy

differentiate between situations requiring peer support and situations requiring
adult professional help
apply effective problem-solving and decision-making skills to make safe and
healthy choices
learn about the emotional and physical dangers of substance use and abuse
learn how to cope with peer pressure
learn techniques for managing stress and conflict
learn coping skills for managing life events. (ASCA, 1997)

Implementing the National Standards

ASCA suggests a systematic method for implementation of the National

Standards. ASCA states that implementation does not "just happen" because the school

system has adopted a "model" program; in-depth discussion, planning, designing,

implementation and evaluation must occur. During the discussion and planning stages of

implementation, ASCA stresses the importance of understanding students' needs and how

they relate to the mission of the school. "Knowledge about your students and their needs

is essential" (ASCA, 1997, p 2-4). ASCA suggests that (student) needs assessments be

conducted to acquire locally relevant information. Consideration of the local needs

assessment results should be considered along with the National Standards framework to

design and implement a comprehensive school counseling program (ASCA, 1997).

Needs Assessment

Human needs are assumed to exist based on several factors, such as institutional

or personal philosophy, government mandate, available resources, history or tradition,

and expert opinion (Gladding, 1996). Regardless of the reason for a needs existence, it is

important for a needs assessment to be conducted and used in the development of a

school counseling program. In this regard, needs are usually assessed to define and

prioritize an individual's expressed needs. Those needs are then linked to appropriate


Why Needs Assessment?

All human services programs are developed based on at least implicit assumptions

of needs of the population to be served. The level of success of any such human services

programs depends, however, on how well the service providers working in such programs

address those needs. Consequently, needs assessment is the essential first step in the

program planning cycle for the effective delivery of services as well as allocation of

resources. Needs assessment is defined as the "systematic appraisal of type, depth, and

scope of problems as perceived by study targets or their advocates" (Cook, 1989).

Needs assessment is an important step in the continuing process of comprehensive

school counseling program development and evaluation (Shaw, 1977). Such assessments

are conducted to establish the school counseling program goals and promote interest in

program development, as well as to demonstrate the need for continual program

improvement (Rimmer, 1980). To create a school counseling program with a realistic

vision, school counselors should first assess student needs and then interpret the data

accurately (Schmidt, 1999). In addition, a positive result of school-wide needs

assessment is that it will in involve students, parents, and teachers in the school

counseling program, thus giving the "consumers" and the "public stakeholders" of the

program a direct role in program planning and development (Rimmer, 1980).

Even though the importance of needs assessment in program planning is an

established fact, it only has been addressed sporadically in counseling literature. For

example, Cook (1989) found only three journal articles in the Journal of Counseling and

Development that specifically addressed needs assessment in the previous ten years.

Further, specific to school counseling since 1980, only three articles (two in The School

Counselor and one in Elementary School Guidance & Counseling) have specifically

addressed the issue of needs assessment and school counseling program planning. Given

that most of the experts writing in regard to planning a comprehensive school counseling

program assert the importance of student needs assessment, and the obvious lack of

research in this area, it is apparent that additional research is warranted.

The Process of Needs Assessment

The process of needs assessment is bound by four general parameters: (a)

identifying the target population or those to be assessed; (b) determining the method to

contact the target population; (c) devising a measurement scheme; and (d) interpreting the

data to those who will make relevant decisions. In school counseling, the most obvious

target population is students enrolled in the school. Students can be assessed or contacted

through a key informant approach, which involves surveying teachers, parents or other

especially knowledgeable persons regarding needs of students or a community forum

approach wherein discussion-generated issues and needs are presented by the students

and then recorded. Survey sampling using a structured questionnaire is another

assessment approach that might be utilized. The latter is the most popular and has the

potential of obtaining precise need-related information (Cook, 1989; Schmidt, 1999). A

final method of determining students' needs is to refer to the many publications about

child and adolescent development which offer ideas about the common needs individuals

have in various stages of life (Baker, 1996).

It is imperative to have a clear understanding of the term "needs" when measuring

student needs. As noted, needs are usually viewed as a discrepancy from some

recognized standard or as the discontinuity between an individual's desired and true

situation. The two basic approaches of soliciting information to measure student needs

involve simply asking students to state their needs or providing a predetermined list of

needs and asking them to choose needs from that list. Asking students to simply state

their needs has the advantage of allowing free response, thus increasing interest (Cook,

1989). Open-ended surveys are easier to design and allow students to "state their minds"

and volunteer ideas that surveyors using a predetermined list might not be prone to

consider. Conversely, an open-ended technique is more difficult to interpret and usually

limits students to reporting immediate needs as opposed to more important needs that

may arise in the future (Baker, 1996). An open-ended survey also may lead to students

identifying preferences or wants rather than basic needs. When students are asked to

choose needs from a provided list (i.e., a closed-ended format), tighter control of needs to

be assessed is provided and more efficient measurement and data processing result

(Cook, 1989). Furthermore, surveyors often include important topics that might not have

been thought of by "naive" respondents. Closed-ended surveys are more difficult and

time-consuming to develop, but are easier to interpret and can be used repeatedly (Baker,


Assuming that a questionnaire or survey instrument is to be created and used, the

researcher must create items that address the issues. It is important that goals and

objectives are stated in measurable terms and that the items created measure the

objectives appropriately and scientifically. In addition, the surveys should take into

consideration the differences among students, including the fact that surveys for children

should differ from surveys developed for adolescents or adults. For example, younger

students may be less able to read the items or may not be old enough to respond in

writing. Therefore, items for younger children need to be read orally, and oral responses

need to be recorded (Baker, 1996).

According to Kelly and Ferguson (1984), the steps involved in creating items for

a needs assessment involve: (a) determining what is to be known or learned from the

population being surveyed; (b) deciding on the best approach for acquiring the

information; (c) developing survey items while paying attention to language levels; and

(d) having the items reviewed by colleagues and then pilot-tested with a sample of

students to determine their adequacy (Kelly, 1984).

The needs assessment items should focus on the needs of the persons rather than

the needs of the institution that serves them. Therefore, students should be centrally

involved in the generation of the items in the survey. To accomplish this, the language of

the items should be indicative of their reading level as well as phrased in such a way so

that the students' needs are actually assessed. Collison (1982) stated four basic examples

of the form in which items are stated on student needs assessment surveys:

1. I have a hard time expressing my feelings to others.
2. I'd like help in expressing my feelings to others.
3. I'd like the counselor to help me in learning to express my feelings to others.
4. Counselors should help students learn to express feelings to others."
(Collison, 1982, p. 116)

The first item is indicative of an expressed or felt need. The second item appears to be a

request for help, but a student who answers no is not necessarily one who can express

feelings easily. The third item asks for a response to a service or implementation

strategy. The fourth item given addresses the counselor s role and may be answered

independent of the student's own need status. Collison suggested that the first statement

is the most appropriate form in which items should be phrased because it best assesses

student needs on which guidance programs can be based (Collison, 1982).

Cook (1989) suggested that there are two formidable concerns that exist when

needs assessment items are being constructed. First, the needs assessment items must be

clearly defined. Second, survey respondents should be able to place these needs in some

hierarchical order. Item generation may be facilitated by using previous surveys,

although experts in need assessment urge that researchers tap community views through

small group techniques such as the nominal group technique or Delphi survey approaches

so that the survey is "locally relevant." Once this has been accomplished, the scale

format must be selected. The most popular response format used in the human service

need assessment is a Likert scale (Likert, 1932). A Likert scale is most used when the

researcher is interested in individual differences among respondents. Analyzing each

item as a separate scale across various subgroups of people can be done easily through

use of a Likert scale. However, the Likert scale often leads to a skewed distribution

where all needs are viewed as important (Cook, 1989).

Rank ordering through paired comparisons is another scaling method to use with

surveys when prioritization of needs is a goal. In the paired comparison technique, each

item is contrasted with every other item. The respondents choose one need from each

pair of needs. The proportion of times a need is chosen results in a ranking of that need

among all other needs. The paired comparison method allows the researcher, via the law

of comparative judgment, to transform responses to z scores, thereby changing the

original ordinal scale to an interval scale. The final result is that rated needs are rank-

ordered in a way that clearly reveals high-level versus low-level needs. However, a

major drawback of this approach is that relatively few needs can be assessed at any one

time since each need is compared with every other need (Davis, 1987). Also, this

approach is too complex for elementary school-age children.

Needs assessment examples. In 1984, Kelly and Ferguson developed a needs

assessment for students in the primary grades stating that they did so because of the lack

of appropriate assessment modes available for younger students. The instrument was

administered orally because (a) it could be easily completed by all students, (b) item

understanding would be enhanced by explanation, (c) student questions would assist the

children with paying attention and staying on task, and (d) counselor administration

would personalize the approach and make it more meaningful. Relevant examples of

each of the topics were explained to the students and discussion was encouraged.

Students were then asked to decide if they wanted to learn how to "do" or to simply

"understand" each of the topics of discussion (Kelly, 1984). The topics included:

1. Jobs
2. Getting people to like you
3. Why you like some things and don't like other things
4. Speaking up for yourself
5. Feeling good about yourself and liking yourself
6. Avoiding getting mad
7. Avoiding getting in trouble
8. How to choose things
9. Why parents don't stay together
10. How to stop worrying
11. Why people act in different ways
12. Feelings
13. Making you body relax
14. Death
15. Understanding handicapped people
(Kelly & Ferguson, 1984, p. 178)

In 1982, Collison developed a needs assessment for use with high-school-aged

students. The procedure involved scheduling five successive class meetings with a senior

high school social science class of 29 students. The objective of each class meeting was

to (a) introduce and generate a list of student concerns; (b) clarify concerns and determine

a group response; (c) discuss group data and response to concerns; (d) discuss critical

issues, actual and ideal responses to issues, and resources available; and (e) summarize

and evaluate the class meetings. The results of the five class meetings generated 33

student concerns or needs which Collison could then use as item topics for future needs

assessment surveys. The 33 concerns generated by Collison's study included:

1. Getting a job
2. Deciding about college
3. Choosing a career
4. How to choose a career
5. Money--inflation
6. The future
7. Moving and the mobile society
8. The draft/registration
9. Women's rights and roles
10. Being what you appear to be
11. Stress
12. Sleep
13. Eating/diet
14. Depression
15. Parent-family problems
16. Peer pressure
17. Death
18. Chemical use
19. Chemical dependency
20. Aging
21. Self-esteem
23. Decisions about life-styles
24. Government
25. Racism
26. Social problems
27. Male-female relationships
28. Role stereotyping

29. Suicide
30. Religion
31. Child abuse
32. Abortion
33. Human Sexuality (Collison, 1982)


The research literature regarding needs theory, developmental characteristics of

children, the National Standards for School Counseling Programs, and needs assessment

methods were discussed in this chapter. It is apparent that elementary school students are

amidst many developmental changes. It is also apparent, therefore, that their "needs" are

diverse and relatively transitory. Students' needs can be assessed and then fulfilled

through a comprehensive school counseling program. Student developmental need

fulfillment must occur prior to their being able to move on to subsequent tasks and

achieve academic success as students. The first step, therefore, is to incorporate the

information in this review and then to use it to develop an appropriate needs assessment

instrument that will assess the developmental counseling needs of students effectively.


The need for effective and efficient counseling-oriented student needs assessment

instruments for use in the development and implementation of a comprehensive, full-

service elementary school counseling program is well-documented in the professional

literature as well as in professional school counselor role and function statements. In

addition, the need for adequate preparation to conduct a needs assessment effectively is

articulated in CACREP s school counselor preparation standards.

To fulfill the professional responsibilities effectively, it is imperative that a

comprehensive, full-service elementary school counseling program be planned and

developed based upon valid, systematic and empirically sound needs assessment devices

that reveal the true nature of students' counseling needs. That is, school counselors

should use measurement devices for assessing counseling needs of students that have

been developed systematically and validated empirically. Therefore, the focus of this

study was to develop and validate such a counseling needs assessment for students in

grades three, four, and five. The instrument developed was the Intermediate Elementary

Students Counseling Needs Survey (IESCNS).

Relevant Variables

Grade level (third, fourth, or fifth graders), gender (male or female), United States

geographic region (Midwest, North Atlantic, Southern, and Western as designated by the

American Counseling Association [Appendix A]), race (Caucasian, African American,

Hispanic, Asian, Native American, and other), and lunch status (paid lunch, reduced paid

lunch, and free lunch) were the independent variables investigated in this study.

Dependent variables included students' Likert-type ratings of their perceived needs in the

areas of academic, career, and personal/social development.

Initial Development of the IESCNS

Item Generation

The literature in Chapter 2 suggested the need for a systematic approach to

assessing counseling needs of elementary students based upon their developmental levels

and personal concerns. Academic, career, and personal/social developmental needs of

intermediate elementary school-age students have been addressed recently in the 1997

American School Counselor Association's (ASCA) National Standards for School

Counseling Programs and discussed much earlier by Murray (1938), Maslow (1968),

Rogers (1980), Glasser (1980), Piaget (1954), Kohlberg (1969), Erikson (1963),

Havighurst (1972), Fowler (1981), and Super (1957), among others. Also, Kelly and

Ferguson (1984) provided the necessary steps involved in creating items for a well

developed needs assessment, including (a) determine what is to be known or learned from

the population being surveyed, (b) decide on the best approach for acquiring the

information, (c) construct survey items that attend to language levels of the sample, (d)

have the items reviewed by professional colleagues and, (e) pilot-test the instrument with

a sample of students to determine item adequacy. Thus, by following these guidelines,

this study attempted to meld sound theory with sound practice.

The major categories of developmental needs that have evolved from the

professional literature represent three primary areas of concern, or needs, found among

intermediate elementary level school students: academic, career and personal/social

development. The categories are not equated in terms of scope or adherence of subject

matter. They were selected because they can be subdivided to incorporate the major

levels and types of developmental needs faced by elementary students today.

As suggested by Kelly and Ferguson (1983), the first step in creating a needs

assessment instrument is to determine what is to be known or learned from the

population being surveyed. Therefore, the subdivisions or concepts (competencies)

within each of the three categories are briefly discussed following in the manner in which

they pertain to the developmental needs of intermediate elementary school students.

Academic development. The first competency, or developmental need, involves

improving the student s academic self-concept (i.e., ability to articulate and display

competence and confidence as well as an interest in learning). Taking pride in work and

achievement is a major component of this need area and includes the capacity to accept

mistakes as essential to the learning process and to identify attitudes and behaviors that

lead to successful learning. Maslow, (1968), Rogers (1980), Erikson (1963), and

Havighurst (1972) all suggested that a sense of accomplishment in achieving goals, in

this case academic achievement, can lead a child toward a more positive self-concept and

a greater sense of self-worth. In other words, an intermediate elementary school student

can satisfy the need to have a positive academic self-concept by pursuing and

acknowledging their personal academic accomplishments.

The second competency, or academic developmental need, involves acquiring

skills for improving learning: time management, task management, communication, and

ability to demonstrate how effort and persistence effect learning positively. Time and

task management for intermediate elementary school students include completing and

turning in assignments on time. The communication skills involved with academic

development encompass the willingness to and knowledge of when and how to ask

others, especially adults, for assistance. Havighurst (1972) stated that the middle

childhood stage of psychosocial development involves tasks related to learning such as

the aforementioned academic skills. Specifically, practicing time and task management

skills facilitates fulfillment of the developmental need suggested by Kohlberg (1969) to

maintain social conformity and approval of others, as well as to maintain order. A

student s ability to apply knowledge of personal learning styles to influence school

performance positively also is included in this section.

The competency, or need, to achieve school success for intermediate elementary

school students is the third area of academic development: the ability to work

independently and cooperatively with other students. Achievement, as a need, has been

studied extensively, first by Murray (1938) and then by many others who subscribed to a

needs and motive developmental theory. Achievement motivation is the desire to do

things well, to take pleasure in overcoming obstacles, and to do tasks better and more

efficiently. Achievement, or the development of capabilities that enhance the self, also is

referred to as self-actualization by Rogers (1980) and Maslow (1968). Taking

responsibility for one s own actions and demonstrating dependability, productivity, and

initiative also are directly related to working independently and achieving academic

success. As suggested by Glasser (1980), students must take responsibility for their lives

and identify the behaviors they want and need to modify in order to succeed. Working

cooperatively and sharing knowledge with other students is imperative to academic

success. Kohlberg (1969), Erikson (1963), and Havighurst (1972) all discussed the

importance of social groups and peer relationships as it relates to school success and

developmental need fulfillment.

Improving learning, the fourth competency or academic developmental need,

involves the desire for students to become self-directed learners and to apply study skills

necessary for academic success. Intermediate elementary school students are in the

concrete-operations stage in which they make sense of the world through conducting a

series of logical tasks and the ordering or sequencing of events (Piaget, 1954). Therefore,

students are beginning to understand that when they are self-directed and study

appropriately, the logical consequence is to achieve academic success and improve


The next academic developmental need addresses a plan to achieve goals. It

involves a student s ability to set educational goals and use problem-solving and

decision-making techniques to progress towards fulfilling those goals. Erikson (1963)

suggested that students in the industry vs. inferiority stage have the need to set goals

based on their self-assessment of strengths and feel a sense of accomplishment in

achieving those goals. That is, a sense of accomplishment in achieving their educational

goals leads to a sense of student self-worth and academic success. Perhaps the most

appropriate educational goals for intermediate elementary students involve deciding what

letter grades they want to earn at school. Practicing goal-setting at this level assists

students in setting more specific, futuristic educational goals.

Relating school to life experiences, the final competency or academic

developmental need, addresses a student s ability to understand the relationship between

academics and the world of work and life at home and in the community. The

intermediate level elementary student is typically involved in extra-curricular activities

that must be kept in balance with studies, leisure time, and family life. They must

understand and embrace the idea that success in their studies will assist them and relate

positively to their careers and other aspects of their life.

Career development. The competencies, or need areas, for career development

found in the ASCA National Standards include developing career awareness and

employment readiness, acquiring career information, and identifying, acquiring

knowledge for, and achieving career goals. Super (1957) suggested that,

developmentally, students in the elementary school would be in the growth stage in

which children gain an awareness of interests and abilities related to the world of work.

Therefore, the focus of third, fourth and fifth grade career development would be in the

first three categories or need areas listed above. Specific competencies would include

developing skills to locate, evaluate, and interpret career information; developing an

awareness of personal abilities, skills, interests, and motivations; and learning how to

respect others and work cooperatively with them. In addition, learning the skills

necessary for successful problem solving and understanding that possessing good

character and succeeding in school will assist in career success are highly important

developmental needs for students in this age group.

Personal/social development. There are four categories of developmental needs

for the area of personal/social development: acquiring self-knowledge and interpersonal

skills, self-knowledge applications and acquiring personal safety skills. Acquiring self-

knowledge involves developing a positive attitude toward the self as a unique and worthy

person. The importance of acquiring self-knowledge that leads to self-worth is

acknowledged by Erikson (1963), Glasser (1980), and Rogers (1980), among others, in

the literature. The competencies involved in acquiring self-knowledge include

identifying personal values, attitudes, and beliefs (Fowler, 1981), learning the goal setting

process, understanding that change is a part of growth, identifying and expressing

feelings, distinguishing between appropriate and inappropriate behaviors and the need for

self-control (Kohlberg, 1969), demonstrating cooperative behaviors in groups, and

identifying personal strengths, assets to change personal, social, and family roles.

Acquiring interpersonal skills relates to development of effective interpersonal

communication skills. According to both Erikson (1963) and Kohlberg (1969),

elementary students in the industry vs. inferiority stage and conventional-level stage need

to experience appropriate social development. Social development includes the

attainment of effective interpersonal communication skills such as recognizing,

respecting, and appreciating individual differences, rights, and responsibilities;

alternative points of view; ethnic and cultural diversity; and differences in various family

configurations. It also includes learning how to communicate effectively at home and at

school and making friends.

The application of self-knowledge as a personal/social developmental need for

intermediate elementary students involves using a decision-making and problem-solving

model. Glasser (1980) suggested that for positive change and development to occur min

individuals, they must set a goal or formulate a plan for change and follow through on the

plan. Learning how to identify the problem, and alternative solutions to the problem, is

part of forming an effective plan. Developing conflict resolution skills and knowing

when, where, and how to seek help for solving problems and making decisions are other

important competencies and needs involved in applying self-knowledge.

Acquiring personal safety skills is a basic developmental need for elementary

students. Maslow (1968) placed safety as a lower need that must be satisfied before

movement can be made to higher-level need development. Therefore, in accordance with

Maslow's theory, personal safety for third, fourth, and fifth grade students must be

acquired before higher level need development can take place. Personal safety skills

include: (a) demonstrating knowledge of personal information (e.g., telephone number or

home address), (b) learning the emotional and physical dangers of substance use and

abuse, (c) learning how to cope with peer pressure, (d) learning techniques for managing

stress and conflict, (e) learning coping skills for managing life events, (f) learning the

difference between appropriate and inappropriate physical contact, and (g) learning the

relationships among rules, laws, safety, and the protection of an individual s rights. It is

also important for students to know how and when to ask for help and to have the ability

to differentiate between situations requiring peer support and those requiring adult

professional assistance.

Item development. Preliminary attempts at item development for the survey

instrument being created followed the refinement of the three major categories given in

the ASCA National Standards: academic, career, and personal/social development as

outlined above. An initial list of potential items reflecting the various needs of

intermediate level elementary schools discussed above was developed.

During initial item development of the IESCNS, it was important to differentiate

between a student s personal need and a school counseling need. A school counseling

need exists whenever a particular student demonstrates that a specific developmental

need has not been met and/or expresses the desire to talk with someone concerning a

specific individual need. Due to the developmental level of intermediate elementary

school students, it may be noted that they may not recognize when they should take the

initiative to talk with some adult concerning the expressed need. Therefore, a needs

survey instrument item which reveals a counseling need must be specific enough to

clearly indicate that school counselor intervention is implicit and necessary for that

particular student, even if that intervention is in terms of referral to a more appropriate

source of assistance. The focus of the specific item, therefore, must be in areas in which

elementary school counselors can take appropriate action on behalf of the child in


Figure 3 depicts the subdivisions of student competencies as found within each of

the academic, career, and personal/social development areas contained in the ASCA

National Standards described previously. In addition, Figure 3 also presents the names of

the developmental need theorist(s) who suggested a relationship between the respective

competencies and the developmental needs of intermediate elementary-aged students.

The data in Figure 3, excluding the designated item numbers in parentheses, were

reviewed and critiqued separately by two practicing elementary school counselors in

Putnam County, Florida and by two University of Florida Ph.D.-level counselor

ASCA Murray Maslow Rogers Glasser Piaget Kohlberg Erikson Havig Ginzberg
Standard & -hurst et al
Competency Fowler & Super

(Items: 1,2, 3,

Acquire Skills
for Improving
(Items: 5, 6,7,

(Items: 8, 10,
17, 18,20,24,

(Items: 11, 12,

Plan to
Achieve Goals
(Items: 8, 13,
18, 19,26,35,

Relate School
to Life
(Items: 14, 15,

(Items: 14, 16,
17, 18, 19, 20,

x x

x x

x x x x


x x


x x

x x

x x


x x


x x


Figure 3. A Representation of the ASCA Standard Competency Areas and the Existence of a
Relationship with Specific Developmental Need Theory

ASCA Murray Maslow Rogers Glasser Piaget Kohlberg Erikson Havig- Ginzberg
Standard & hurst et al
Competency Fowler & Super

(Items: 2, 14,
17, 18, 19,21,

(Items: 16, 19,

and Achieve
Career Goals
(Items: 15, 17,
19,22, 24)

Acquire Self-
(Items: 11, 17,
19, 20,23,24,

(Items: 21,29,

(Items: 19, 26,
35, 36. 37. 38.
39, 42)

Safety Skills
(Items: 14, 36,

x x

x x x x

x x x x x



x x

x x

x x

x x

educators specializing in school counselor preparation. These four professionals were

asked to evaluate the comprehensiveness of the categories and data presented. Each of

the four also was asked to conduct their respective evaluations in terms of their

perceptions of the needs and concerns of third, fourth, and fifth grade elementary

students. Agreement was reached among all four professionals regarding the three major

categories and the concepts included within each. It is noted that there may be some

overlap of concepts within each of the three major categories.

Using the ASCA Standards competencies of student developmental need (Figure

3) in conjunction with basic developmental need theories as a theoretical base, fifty items

reflecting the developmental counseling needs of third, fourth, and fifth graders were

created for inclusion on the initial version of the IESCNS. The item numbers were added

to Figure 3 at this time to indicate which items addressed which competencies. Three of

the fifty items were written so as to give the student-respondent the opportunity to

express the desire to talk with someone concerning a specific area of need that may be

considered a school counseling need but not developmental in nature. These three items

were generated based on the increase of various problems in contemporary American

society as discussed in Chapter 1. Students indicating these needs may require referral to

a more appropriate agency outside of the school (e.g., a psychologist or psychiatrist).

A four-point, Likert-type scale was selected for students to use to respond to the

items on the IESCNS. This is an appropriate format for use with intermediate grade level

students. It also eliminates the possibility of undecided or neutral responses to the items.

The four responses selected were: strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree.

Conceptual internal consistency was achieved by phrasing all items in a positive frame.

Therefore, a student's negative response to an IESCNS item is evidence of the existence

of a developmental school counseling need that has not been and/or is not being met.

The IESCNS scale and instructions were designed for group administration.

The resulting 50 items were reviewed by and discussed with the following

professionals: six teachers who have taught and/or are currently teaching intermediate

elementary school students, four practicing elementary school counselors, two

elementary school administrators, a school psychologist, and an elementary curriculum

resource specialist. These individuals were asked to evaluate the items for conceptual

consistency, format appropriateness, clarity of wording, comprehensiveness of subject

areas covered, possible ambiguity of items, and relevance to the needs of third, fourth,

and fifth grade students. They also were asked to comment on the face validity of the

IESCNS to determine if it would be potentially acceptable for a wide range of

intermediate elementary school students. Comments and suggestions by these

consultants were, for the most part, favorable, but did result in refinement in the wording

of several items and in the reordering of the response choices whereby Strongly Agree

now appeared as a respondent's first choice for each item on the scale. Although the

wording of several items was changed following this review, the original intent of the

items remained unchanged.

The 50 IESCNS items from these procedures are provided in Appendix B. Also

included are the demographic items and the instructions for completion of the survey.

Collectively, these items constitute the preliminary form of the IESCNS as used in the

pilot study.

Pilot Study

Sample selection. Three groups of subjects were selected for inclusion in the pilot

study. Each group was composed of students attending one elementary school in North-

Central Florida. Group I was comprised of 11 third graders who were included based on

the selection of every third name on an alphabetical list of third graders. The selection

process for participants in Group II (13, fourth graders) and Group III (17, fifth graders)

was identical to the manner in which participants for Group I were selected, except the

difference in student grade level. None of the students selected were in separate, self-

contained, exceptional student education classrooms. The participation of all students

was voluntary and appropriate permission seeking procedures required by the school

were followed.

Administration of the survey to groups of participants, rather than to individuals,

was done for two reasons: ease of accessibility to large numbers of subjects and the

potential for small group discussion regarding the IESCNS survey following the

administration. The instructions to the survey were read aloud to the third, fourth, and

fifth grade participants, who then were asked to complete the demographic and survey

items. With the exception of a few students requesting items be read and/or explained

further, all pilot study participants were able to complete the survey without assistance.

After completion of the instrument, all students participating in the pilot study

were asked to complete a written, follow-up questionnaire consisting of five questions

(Appendix C). The questions asked the student participants to share their respective

reactions to the format and content of the IESCNS survey. Because of the lower level

expressive writing ability of third, fourth, and fifth graders, the administrator of the pilot

study also led an open discussion with each group to gain additional information

regarding their reactions to the format and content of the survey. The participant s

written and oral responses to the five questions were used as a guide to further refinement

of the IESCNS needs survey instrument

Resulting sample. The survey instrument and the follow-up questionnaire were

administered to a total of 41 intermediate elementary school students. The resulting

sample included 22 females and 19 males. Two student participants were excluded from

the sample because they did not answer any of the items on the follow-up questionnaire.

All participants lived in the area of the school where the pilot study was conducted.

Results. The 39 participants in the pilot study completed the IESCNS in 20

minutes or less and on the follow-up questionnaire reported generally favorable

comments on the format, content, and readability of the IESCNS (with a few exceptions).

Three participants indicated words they did not understand. These words were

appropriate and inappropriate, communication, and parental separation. Eleven

items on the survey were listed as hard to understand by two or more of the participants.

The numbers of students and the items indicated as hard to understand are presented in

Appendix D. All of the participants except one answered yes when asked whether they

understood how to respond to the items. Twenty participants indicated that in general

they found the instrument interesting, fun, too short, or OK. The other nineteen

participants indicated that the questionnaire was boring, too long, or did not respond

to this question.

Refinements. Based on the data gathered in the pilot study, a decision was made

to revise the wording of the survey in order to lower the reading level, increase

participant understanding, eliminate some items deemed too long, and change words to

increase interest level. Those items as indicated by two or more participants as hard to

understand were modified. Items 48,49 and 50 were eliminated from the survey because

they: (a) were overwhelmingly misunderstood by participants, (b) did not pertain to

every third, fourth, and fifth grade student, and (c) were not developmental in nature.

Therefore, they were not appropriate for a developmental needs survey instrument. For

example, students questioned how they should answer item 48 regarding divorce if their

parents were married. The issues addressed in the last three items--divorce, death, and

abuse--may be better assessed in schools through individual student counseling and

counseling referrals. In addition, item 18 was eliminated because it often was reported to

be confusing and redundant.

The reading level of the IESCNS used for the pilot study was 2.1 (grade-level)

according to the Flesch-Kincaid readability statistic which is based on the length of

sentences and number of syllables. Appropriately lowering the reading level of the

revised IESCNS involved replacement of multi-syllable words with words containing

only one or two syllables wherever possible. In addition, rewording was done to

eliminate unnecessary words. These changes also resulted in shorter items in some

instances. Revisions were made in the wording of the following six items: 1, 4, 5, 7, 12,

and 37. Forty items were retained as originally stated and four items were eliminated.

Particular attention was given to maintaining the original intent of items found on the

IESCNS despite changes in the wording of several and the elimination of four. Thus, the

revised items on the IESCNS continued to reflect basic developmental needs.

Final form of the instrument. The changes discussed above resulted in the revised

form of the IESCNS as presented in Appendix E. This was the form of the IESCNS used

in the final field study.

Subjects and Sampling Procedure

The participant sample for this study consisted of 985 students in grades three,

four, and five, not in self-contained special education classes, representing a cross section

of the United States. The 985 children were administrated the IESCNS by 41 selected

elementary school counselors employed in 41 different schools located in 20 different

states. The 985 student participants represented four geographic regions of the United

States as used by the American Counseling Association (ACA) (Appendix A): the

Midwest Region (13 states), the North Atlantic Region (11 states), the Southern Region

(14 states) and the Western Region (12 states). The participating children who completed

the IESCNS resided in 20 different states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Oklahoma and

Wisconsin from the Midwest Region; Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New

York, and Vermont representing the North Atlantic Region; Florida, Louisiana,

Tennessee and Texas from the Southern Region and California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada,

New Mexico and Oregon representing the ACA Western Region.

Of the 985 surveys returned to the researcher, 970 were considered appropriately

completed by the participants and were subsequently used in the data analyses. The

demographic data, including gender, number per grade level, how they get their school

lunch, and ethnicity of the 970 participants are given in Chapter 4.

Two very different procedures were followed in locating elementary school

counselors willing to assist in the study. The first procedure involved asking the National

Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) to provide a list of the names and addressees of

all National Certified Counselors (NCC's) whose personal data file indicated that they

"might be" a practicing elementary school counselor somewhere in the four ACA

Regions as described above. In addition, two counselor educators from the Department

of Counselor Education at the University of Florida contacted 55 counselor educators on

behalf of the researcher. The 55 counselor educators were given the details of the study

and asked if they would provide the names of one or two elementary school counselors in

their area who they thought would be willing to administer the IESCNS in their

respective schools. They also were asked to make personal contact with the school

counselors prior to sending their names and addresses to the researcher. Each counselor

educator also gave permission for their name to be used in the follow-up letter that would

be sent to the respective elementary school counselors.

The NBCC provided the names of 844 individual NCC's. One hundred of these

were randomly selected, 25 in each of the four ACA Regions. Forty five of the 55

counselor educators responded positively either by providing the names and addresses of

one or two elementary school counselors in their area or by indicating that the name(s)

would be forthcoming. In final analysis, the 45 counselor educators provided the names

and addresses of 36 elementary school counselors who they thought would be willing to

participate in the study.

In sum, the total number of individuals originally contacted for assistance with the

study was 136 (100 from NBCC and 36 from the counselor educators). Each of the 136

individuals was sent a letter explaining the research and requesting their participation in

the study (Appendix F). Each letter included a single copy of the IESCNS, a self

addressed, stamped return envelope, and a single piece of Godiva chocolate candy as a

"thanks" for considering the request to participate in the study. Each also was requested

to provide the name of an elementary school counselor colleague who they thought might

be willing to participate if they themselves were unable to do so. Fifteen (15) names

were provided from this request.

Ten (10) of the 100 letters sent to the NCCs were returned unopened due to

incorrect addresses, twenty-three (23) individuals indicated that they were not elementary

school counselors, eleven (11) wrote that they were no longer NCC's and were not

interested in participating, six (6) had retired, eighteen (18) indicated that they did not

have the time and/or the interest in participating in the study, and nineteen (19) did not

reply. Thirteen, all elementary school counselors, of the 100 NCCs contacted indicated a

positive interest in participating in the study. Thirty of the 36 elementary school

counselors whose names were supplied by the counselor educators responded in the

affirmative concerning their participation in the study. In addition, nine school

counselors were contacted from the names provided by the original. Thus, a total of 52

practicing elementary school counselors agreed to assist in the research.

The 52 counselors expressing intent to participant in the study were then sent a

follow-up thank you letter (Appendix H) and a form to return to indicate the number of

surveys they were willing to administer. A stamped, self-addressed envelope was

provided for their response to this request. Fifty of the 52 selected elementary school

counselors returned the forms giving the number of IESCNS they were willing to


The number of survey instruments requested, along with an "Instructions for

Survey Administration" (Appendix H), and a copy of the parental permission slip for

duplication (Appendix I) were sent to each of the 50 elementary school counselor who

had replied in the affirmative. These school counselors requested, and were sent, a total

of 1430 IESCNS surveys. The mail out also included another piece of Godiva chocolate

and a large, self-addressed, stamped envelope for the counselors to use in returning the

completed surveys.

Nine of the 50 school counselors returned non-completed surveys and indicated

that either their school principal and/or school board would not agree to the

administration of the IESCNS, they could not obtain any parental permissions, and/or

they simply no longer had the time to go through with administration of the surveys in

their respective schools. Forty-one of the 50 elementary school counselors who were sent

surveys returned a total of 970 appropriately completed surveys over a two month time

period. Approximately 400 non-completed IESCNS surveys were returned along with

personal notes from the school counselors indicating that they "had over estimated" the

number of parental permissions they could obtain, some children had refused to

participate, etc.

The primary goal of the sampling procedures was to replicate and reflect the

population characteristics of intermediate elementary school students living and attending

schools in the United States. A concurrent objective was to obtain a participant group

large enough to conduct valid factor analysis on the data.

Administration Procedures


The 41 counselors administered the 985 IESCNS surveys in classroom group

settings. As noted, the counselors who participated in the study were mailed the number

of copies of the survey they had requested along with a parental permission slip to

duplicate as needed, along with detailed directions for administering the IESCNS. The

counselors who agreed to administer the IESCNS were instructed to first seek parental

permission and to: (a) read aloud the explicit directions for taking the survey to the

participating students during administration of the survey, (b) expand upon the

researcher's written instructions given on the IESCNS by reading the instruction narrative

included in the "Instructions for IESCNS Survey Administrators," (c) read aloud a

specific item given on the survey only upon a particular student's request, (d) avoid

interpreting any of the 46 items to the student participants, (e) avoid, as much as possible,

predetermining participants' responses by maintaining a controlled, neutral voice quality

and tone when reading items, and (f) to avoid discussing individual items or concerns

with the participating students prior to their completion of the survey.

These procedures were designed to facilitate the return of a majority of the

surveys distributed and to insure standardization of the IESCNS as much as possible.

The elementary school counselors administrating the experimental IESCNS surveys also

were requested to report in writing any particular problems in administration and/or

subjects' difficulties in responding to individual items. Although there were some

comments regarding the difficulty in obtaining parental consent, the overwhelming

majority of the counselor comments were positive. Thus, it is believed that the

standardization of the IESCNS administration did occur without major incident.


To establish test-retest reliability, one group of 40 student participants was

selected from the Southern region to complete the IESCNS survey again two weeks

following the first administration. A coefficient of stability between the individual scores

on the IESCNS for the two different occasions was calculated to indicate temporal


To estimate the test score reliability for internal consistency, a method of rational

equivalence also was conducted on the item responses of the 40 students participating in

the test-retest phase. Because the items on IESCNS survey are not scored

dichotomously, a Cronbach s coefficient alpha formula was applied to the data gathered

from these participating students.

Validation Study

Concurrent validity. In order to establish concurrent validity for the IESCNS, the

Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale (PHSCS) was administered to subjects at the

same time they responded to the IESCNS survey. The PHSCS was chosen for its

theoretical relationship to the developmental needs based on ASCA National Standards

and thus represents an attempt to provide a broad range of coverage in relation to the

three major needs categories (i.e., academic, career and personal/social development).

The PHSCS is a measure of the level of a child's self-concept, a factor relevant to

children' academic, career and personal/social developments. The data from the

administration of this instrument to participating students were correlated to each of the

46 items of the IESCNS. Special attention was given to the correlation with IESCNS

items specific to self-concept as discussed following. A total of 75 students completed

PHSCS questionnaires were obtained for this aspect of the study. The resultant PHSCS

data from this present study are presented in Chapter Four. The psychometric properties

of the PHSCS established in 1984 are presented following.

Psychometric properties of the PHSCS. The PHSCS, a self-report measure, was

designed to aid in the assessment of self-concept in children and adolescents. The scale

measures self-concept based on children s evaluation of their behavior, intellectual and

school status, physical appearance and attributes, anxiety, popularity, and satisfaction

(Piers, 1984).

The PHSCS is an 80-item questionnaire administered either individually or in

groups to children ages eight to 18. The test was written at a third grade reading

comprehension level and the norms extended from grades three through 12. The test

consists of a series of declarative statements that indicate successful or unsuccessful

functioning within the respective areas. Respondent children were shown the statements

and were asked to indicate whether each statement applied to them using dichotomous

yes or no responses. There were no time limits for the PHSCS and most children

were able to complete the scale in fifteen to twenty minutes (Piers, 1984).

When psychometric properties of the PHSCS were established in 1984, a meta-

analysis of interitem correlations yielded the six item clusters listed previously. The

child s total score was derived by determining the number of items checked in the

direction of positive self-concept using a scoring key. A profile is created by analyzing

the child s responses to items as they cluster around the six areas of functioning. The

total raw scores may be converted to percentiles, stanines, and/or T-scores. The use of

normalized T-scores is most appropriate for interpreting total scores, whereas stanines are

generally used to interpret the cluster scores (Piers, 1984).

The standardization procedure for the PHSCS included, for the total score, a

normative sample of 1,183 school children from a public school system in a small town

in Pennsylvania. The children ranged from grade four to 12. Because no consistent sex

or grade differences were found, the scores were pooled for normative purposes, which

resulted in a mean of 51.84, a standard deviation of 13.87, and a median of 53.43 (Piers,


Several test-restest reliability studies have been conducted for the'PHSCS. The

reliability coefficients from these studies range from .42 (with an interval of eight

months) to .96 (with an interval of three to four weeks). Several studies also were

conducted to determine internal consistency, and found generally high internal

consistency reliabilities. For example, Piers (1984) calculated internal consistency on a

normative sample of 297 sixth and tenth graders using the Kuder-Richardson 20 formula.

The reliability estimates for the total score ranged from .88 to .93 for various subgroups.

The discriminate validity of the scale is difficult to ascertain from the current

literature. A number of studies have been conducted to attempt to discriminate between

two or more subject groups on the basis of PHSCS scores. While some have found

significant between-group differences, others have not. In addition, several validation

studies have been done to predict and/or find differences in children s self-evaluations as

a function of other factors in children s lives. These studies were primarily correlational,

and do not imply causation between self-concept and these other factors (Piers, 1984).

Data Analyses

IESCNS surveys returned to the researcher with the demographic items

completed, and a minimum of 80% of the survey items completed (i.e., at least 39 of the

46 items correctly), were included in the final statistical analyses. Incomplete surveys

were reviewed to determine possible reasons for a student participant s failure to

complete all items.

All data collected were prepared for computer processing. An alpha level of .05

was set as the criterion for evaluating statistical significance. However, alpha levels of

.01 found also were reported.

The mean and standard deviation was calculated for each IESCNS item as well as

the mean for the academic, career, and personal/social development item areas. As

noted, a test-retest reliability coefficients was calculated utilizing the Pearson r statistic

for the 40 student participants having taken the IESCNS twice over a two-week interval.

The intercorrelations of all IESCNS items also were calculated.

Similar, previous research (e.g., Myers, 1978) suggested that various types of

counseling needs are highly interrelated. Therefore, principal axes factor analysis with

promax (oblique) rotation was completed to determine the underlying factor structure of

the IESCNS. Items having a factor loading of .40 or higher on a factor and not having a

factor loading of .40 or higher on two or more factors were retained. A 4 x 3 x 2 x 6 x 3

(region x grade level x gender x race x lunch status) factorial analysis of variance

(ANOVA) was then computed to determine possible significant differences among the

resultant item means. A Bonferroni adjustment was made to the alpha level to minimize

the amount of Type I error for these correlations. Finally, each of the resultant item

scores was correlated with PHSCS scores.

Potential Limitations

Potential limitations of the study existed in regard to sampling, procedures,

adequacy of instrumentation, and the participating students' response errors. The use of

student volunteers, involving in particular the need to gain parental permission, may have

introduced potential selection biases. That is, selection bias may have resulted because

the characteristics of the participants whose parents subsequently gave them permission

to participate may have differed from the characteristics of student participants who did

not volunteer for the study and/or who did not obtain parental permission to do so.

The procedures represented a second source of potential bias in the findings of

this study. The use of elementary school counselors who were not given a training

session regarding specific methods of administering the IESCNS may have introduced a

related source of error. However, giving explicit written instruction to the school

counselors reduced the potential for this particular type of error.

The test-retest reliability coefficients obtained may be dependent upon the

participant sample selected for participation in this aspect of the study. It is possible that

having selected a different group of participants might result in different reliability

coefficients. The students selected for this aspect of the research were chosen from the

participant group living in the Southern region because they were readily available.

The PHSCS was not necessarily the only available self-concept measure, nor was

it necessarily the best one available. However, it was chosen because of practical

features such as ease of administration, reading level, simplicity of format, and response

time required. The use of this particular instrument was suited to the purpose of the

present study.

The IESCNS and the PHSCS are both paper-and-pencil, self-report measures. As

is true of all self-report measures, they are subject to response bias and/or faking. A

variety of response errors were thus possible. Student participants may have tended to

respond to all items in the same way, either positively or negatively. The IESCNS items

were all worded in such a way that a negative response indicated a perceived need of the

student respondent; acquiescence response sets thus were possible. Further, the similarity

in format of some of the items may have lead to the occurrence of differential response

patterns because the respondents become aware of their response patterns by the middle

of the IESCNS survey and shift to a different pattern in order to avoid monotony or


Subjects also may have responded in a socially desirable or acceptable manner.

This may have occurred more readily with fifth graders than third graders because of an

increase in the importance of peer acceptance with age. Therefore, there was the

potential for socially desirability response sets among the students responding to the


An additional consideration that affects the interpretation of the resultant data is

the necessity for making a distinction between statistical and practical significance. All

correlations calculated on the IESCNS data were viewed as tentative; evaluations of the

data thus include analyses of practical usefulness as well as statistical significance.


The primary purpose of this study was to develop the initial form of the

Intermediate Elementary Students Counseling Needs Survey (IESCNS), a school

counseling needs assessment instrument suitable for use with elementary school-age

children in grades three through five. The IESCNS was field tested to establish its

psychometric quality to the greatest extent possible. A secondary purpose was to obtain

initial data on the counseling needs of a broad-based sample of third, fourth, and fifth

grade elementary school children in the United States. The results of the data analyses

are presented in this chapter.

Resultant Sample

The IESCNS was administered to a total of 985 third, fourth, and fifth grade

students within the four American Counseling Association (ACA) regions of the United

States. When incomplete surveys were excluded, 970 usable student surveys remained.

Surveys not retained included those partially completed by student participants (39 of the

46 IESCNS items; 80% or less answered). A description of the student sample by region,

gender, grade, and race is depicted in Figures 4 through 13. The largest number of

students in the sample lived in the Southern Region, which included students enrolled in

elementary schools in Florida, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Texas (N = 373). The Western

Region, which included 262 elementary school students from California, Idaho, Montana,

Nevada, New Mexico, and Oregon, was the second largest group. The group of students

attending school in the Midwest Region was the smallest (N = 128), and the students

from the North Atlantic Region were the second smallest group (N = 207).

The representation of the sample s gender was nearly equally divided within each

geographic region, with a maximum gender difference of 15 subjects in the Southern

Region (females = 194, males = 179). Females represented 51.1% of the total sample (N

= 496). A large number of female student subjects were in the fifth grade (N = 196). The

males and females in the third and fourth grade sample were comparably even, with a

maximum difference of 20 subjects in the fourth grade (males = 169, females = 149).

As noted, 970 of the 985 IESCNS surveys taken by the student participants were

considered "complete" and were used in the data analyses. Of this number, 631 were

from subjects (64.9%) who were Caucasian. Of the 339 minority subjects, most were in

the Western (N = 151) and Southern regions of the United States (N= 142). More

Hispanic students (N=179) were represented within the total minority subjects than any

other minority group.

Across the four regions, the student subjects who identified their lunch status as

reduced paid" lunch (N = 82) were fewer in number than paid (N = 508) or free"

lunch (N = 380). Those subjects who indicated that they had full paid lunch were in

the majority for every region except the Western Region, which had the majority of the

subjects receiving free lunch. The total number of subjects by variable (gender, grade,

race, and lunch status) and subject numbers represented by the four regions and twenty

states are depicted in Figure 14.


3d 4th 5M. .
18 25 26

W B H A N O W B H A N 0 W B H A N 0

15 1 1 1 21 2 2 26


I 1 I I I 1 1 4 2 1 1 2 1 4
4 6 1

I Race: W= White B=Black H=Hispanic A=Asian N=Native American 0 = Other Lunch Status:

Figure 4.
Resulting Number of Midwest Females by Region x Gender x Grade x Race x Lunch Status

P=Paid R=Reduced F=Free I


3r 4M 5M
16 14 29
W B H A N ..0 W B H A N O W B H A N O

13 1 1 1 11 2 1 26 1 2

9 1 3 1 1 7 2 2 1 1 1 1 4 4 1 1 1

SRace: W -White BBIack H-Hispanc A-Asian N=Native American 0 -Othr Lunch Status: P-Paid R=Reduced FFreec

Figure 5.
Resulting Number of Midwest Males by Region x Gender x Grade x Race x Lunch Status

North Atlantic

3P 41 5w
27 43 34

W B H A N 0 W B H A N 0 W B H A N 0

21 2 4 34 4 2 1 2 25 3 4 1
P R F P R F P R F P P F P"R F P R F P 1R F P R F P R F P R F P R F P R F P 1R F P R F P R F P R F P R F P R F
7 4 1 1 4 2 2 5 3 1 2 1 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 3 1 1
7 1

Race: W White B=Black H=Hispanic A=Asian N=Native American O Other

SLunch Status: P=Paid R=Reduced F=Free

Figure 6.
Resulting Number of North Atlantic Females by Region x Gender x Grade x Race x Lunch Status

North Atlantic

3-d 4th 5th
22 44 37

W B H A N 0 W B H A N 0 W B H A N 0O

15 1 6 38 1 4 1 30 6 1
P '' : FP1 FP R F P R F P R F PRF P RF P F

1 5 1 2 4 2 3 7 1 1 3 1 2 1 8 6 1
0 8 1

Race: W = White B=Black H=Hispanic A=Asian N=Native American

0 =- Other Lunch Status: P=Paid R=Reduced F=Free

Figure 7.
Resulting Number of North Atlantic Males by Region x Gender x Grade x Race x Lunch Status

I Rae ht =lc =lsai =sa =aieA eia


3rd 4n` 5th
67 48 79

W B H A N 0 W B H A N 0 W B H A N 0

42 10 11 1 3 26 10 9 2 1 52 9 12 3 2 1


2 4 1 5 2 3 1 1 9 1 2 1 1193 7 9 1 1 13 8 1 4 5 6 62 1 1 1 1
0 8 6 1 3

Race: W White B=Black H=Hispanic A=Asian N=Native American 0 --Other Lunch Status: P=Paid R=Reduced F=Free

Figure 8.
Resulting Number of Southern Females by Region x Gender x Grade x Race x Lunch Status


3rd 4t 5th
75 59 45

W B H A N 0 W B H A N 0 W B H A N 0

43 6 17 2 6 1 37 8 12 2 31 8 5 1


2 3 1 3 3 4 1 2 3 3 1 2 8 2 1 5 1 1 2 1 8 93 5 2 3 1
7 3 3 9 1 4

Race: W White B=Black H=Hispanic A=Asian N=Native American 0 Other Lunch Status: P-Paid R=Reduced F=Free

Figure 9.
Resulting Number of Southern Males by Region x Gender x Grade x Race x Lunch Status


3 Fd 4th .51
39 33 57

W B H A N 0 W B H A N 0 W B H A N 0

22 5 11 1 12 2 18 1 26 3 18 1 5 4

8 1
1 3 8 2 3 1 2 1 5 3 4 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 4 1 1 1 2 1 11 4 1 3
1 7 0 5

Race: W = White B=Black H=Hispanic A=Asian N=Native American 0 = Other Lunch Status: P=Paid R-Reduced

Figure 10.
Resulting Number of Western Females by Region x Gender x Grade x Race x Lunch Status

F=Free I



3rd 4 51
43 52 38
W B H A N 0 W B H A N 0 W B H A N 0

23 5 11 2 2 28 9 12 1 2 14 7 15 1 1


1 3 7 1 4 1 1 9 1 1 1 1 9 4 1 3 1 5 2 11 2 9 3 2 1 6 2 2 1 11
3 5 0 1

Race: W= White B=Black H=Hispanic A=Asian N=Native American 0= Other Lunch Status: P-Paid RReduced F=Frec

Figure 11.
Resulting Number of Western Males by Region x Gender x Grade x Race x Lunch Status

Entire Sample

3w 4ub 5"
151 149 196
W B H A N 0 W B H A N 0O W B H A N "0

100 18 27 1 5 93 18 29 2 2 5 129 15 34 5 7 6


6 7 3 5 5 8 2 3 2 1 4 1 6 7 2 7 1 1 2 2 1 1 3 1 1 9 1 2 6 2 7 7 3 2 3 2 2 5 2 1 3
2 1 2 3 2 1 8 33 3 4

Race: W = White B=Black H=Hispanic A=Asian N=Native American 0 = Other

I Lunch Status: P=Paid R=Reduced F=Free

Figure 12.
Resulting Number of Entire Sample Females by Gender x Grade x Race x Lunch Status

Entire Sample

3 4e 5th
156 169 149
W B H A N 0 W B H A N 0 W B H A N 0O

94 13 35 2 8 4 114 20 28 2 2 3 101 16 26 4
5 7 2 6 7 7 1 2 2 4 1 3 1 1 2 7 9 3 7 2 1 4 2 1 2 3 6 1 2 5 1 4 2 2 2 2
9 8 7 3 2 1 4 2 6 3 1 0

Race: W = White B-Black H=Hispanic A=Asian N-Native American 0- Other Lunch Status: P=Paid R=Reduced F=Free

Figure 13.
Resulting Number of Entire Sample Males by Gender x Grade x Race x Lunch Status

Third 307
Fourth =318
Fifth =345

Midwest 128 North Atlantic = 207 Southern
Illinois = 7 Connecticut = 20 Florida = 262
Indiana 61 Massachusetts = 29 Louisiana = 2
Michigan = 11 New Jersey = 31 Tennessee -
Oklahoma = 28 Vermont = 29 Texas = 76
Wisconsin = 21 New York = 98

* Number of represented States = 20
* Number of subjects completing a Piers Harris 75
* Number of subjects completing an IESCNS Re-test = 40

Figure 14.
IESCNS Resulting Sample: N = 970



Girls = 496
Boys = 474

Problems in Administration and Characteristics of Respondents Who Did Not Participate

The most common concern given by the school counselors who administered the

IESCNS involved obtaining required parental consent prior to its administration. There

also were difficulties with students returning consent forms, even when multiple copies

were sent home. Some parents indicated that they did not give their permission because

of the required statement on the consent form indicating that there were IESCNS items

regarding drug use and appropriate and inappropriate touching. In addition, many

IESCNS administrators indicated that obtaining permission from their school board or

school administrator before soliciting parental consent was time consuming, and in some

White =631
Black =100
Hispanic = 179
Asian- 12
Native American = 28
Other = 20

Lunch Status
Paid = 508
Reduced = 82
Free = 380

Western = 262
California = 79
Idaho 56
Montana = 26
Nevada = 44
New Mexico = 30
Oregon = 27

cases, permission was not granted. Thus, some blank IESCNS surveys were returned to

the researcher.

Another problem faced by the IESCNS administrators involved inadequate

reading skills, especially among third grade subjects. Most administrators indicated that

third graders had to have more items read aloud and explanations given to them than did

fourth or fifth graders. Third graders also were reported to have more problems

completing the demographic

of the survey, especially when requested to indicate their lunch status. One school

counselor recommended that bring lunch be added as a response choice. Compounding

the problem was the fact that information on student lunch status is considered

confidential and therefore could only be indicated by the individual student respondents

completing the survey.

As noted, surveys rejected for data analyses included those only partially

completed by 15 student participants. That is, those students who failed to complete

80%, or at least 39 items on the IESCNS, had their surveys excluded from the final data

analyses. The majority of the students who responded partially failed to complete the 18

items on the third page or the 15 items on the fourth page of the survey. Because they did

complete all the other items on the remaining pages, it can be assumed that at least some

of them failed to see the third or fourth pages of the survey. The school counselors who

administered the IESCNS were asked to check for incomplete surveys and to request that

students complete them. However, apparently some were overlooked. A few students

whose surveys were excluded had seven or more unmarked items spread sporadically

throughout the four-page long IESCNS.

There also were a few students whose surveys had between one and seven items

left unanswered. Some student respondents remarked that they did not complete a certain

item because they did not understand it, felt uncomfortable with the topic, could not

decide if they agreed or disagreed, or just wanted to hurry up and get finished. Because

the researcher was unable to attend the individual administrations of the IESCNS and the

partially responding students were diverse demographically, it is impossible to ascertain

the exact characteristics of those students who responded only partially to the IESCNS

and/or the reasons they did complete the survey fully.


The results of computing statistical correlations among the initial IESCNS scores

and the IESCNS re-test scores are discussed in this section. Prior to the discussion,

however, characteristics of the participants in the reliability study are given.

Characteristics of Resulting Sample

In order to establish the reliability of the IESCNS, forty students from the

Southern region completed the IESCNS a second time two weeks following the first

administration. Eighteen of the subjects were males; two were members of a minority

group. The remaining 22 subjects were female; two were ethnic minorities. The four

ethnic minority subjects indicated having free lunch status in contrast to nine Caucasian

subjects marking the free lunch status category. The remaining 27 Caucasian subjects

indicated either reduced paid (N 6) or paid lunch status (N =21).

Fourteen of the students retaking the survey were fifth grade students, while 17

were fourth grade students. The smallest number of subjects among those retaking the

survey were in the third grade group (N 9).

Test-Retest Reliability

The test-retest reliabilities (coefficients of stability) for all IESCNS items are

shown in Table 1. The correlations for 25 items were significant at the .01 level while

eight correlations were significant at the .05 level. The remaining 12 correlations were

not significant. The correlations for all items ranged from -.11 to .86, with a mean of .43,

a median of .42, and a standard deviation of. 17.

The test score reliability analyses for internal consistency of the total IESCNS

survey results (N--970), the IESCNS re-test results (N=40), and a combination of the two

(N=40) are given in Table 2. When the Cronbach s coefficient alpha formula was

applied to the IESCNS score data, the internal consistency was .93. The internal

consistency of the IESCNS re-test scores was .94 and of the combined initial and retest

IESCNS scores was .95.

Concurrent Validity

The results of computing statistical correlations among the IESCNS items and

scores on the Piers-Harris Self Concept Scale for Children (PHSCS) are discussed in this

section. Prior to the discussion, a description of the sample for the PHSCS is given.

Characteristics of Resulting Sample

A total of 75 subjects completed the PHSCS in addition to the IESCNS. All 75

students were enrolled in a school located in the ACA Southern region. The subjects

included 38 females (50.7%) and 37 males (49.3%). Ethnic minority races comprised

6.7% of the sample (9 subjects). The number of subjects representing each grade level

Table 1.
Test-Retest Reliabilities of IESCNS Items (Coefficient of Stability)
Counseling Needs Item # r
1 .37*

2 .59**

3 .22

4 .65**

5 .65**

6 .38*

7 .42**

8 .57**

9 .69**

10 .47**

11 .51 **

12 .50**

13 .50**

14 .67**

15 .58**

16 .28

17 .44**

18 .34*

19 .21

20 .26

21 .29

22 .37*

23 .14

Table 1---continued.
Counseling Needs Item #






















All Items
Mean =.43 S.D. =.18 Range =

-.11 to .86
























.67**p 1
**p <.01

* p <.05

Table 2.
Internal Consistency (Cronbach s Coefficient Alpha)
Test Internal Consistency
IESCNS (N=970) .93

IESCNS Re-test (N=40) .94

IESCNS & IESCNS Re-test (N=40) .95

was divided almost evenly with 22 subjects in third grade, 24 in fourth grade, and 29 in

fifth grade, respectively. Thirty-six of the subjects indicated a paid lunch status, 29 free

lunch status, and ten reduced lunch status.

Correlations Between the PHSCS and the IESCNS Items

Each of the six PHSCS Scales was correlated with each of the 46 IESCNS items

to determine the level of item concurrent validity. A total of 49 (18%) of these

correlations were found to be statistically significant. In addition, the PHSCS total score

was correlated with each of the 46 IESCNS items. In this specific analysis, 12 of the 46

correlations (26%) were statistically significant. Eight of the 12 correlations were

determined to be statistically significant at the .01 level. All but one of the statistically

significant correlations were negative. The PHSCS subscale correlations are discussed in

the following paragraphs.

Correlations between the PHSCS Behavior scale and the IESCNS items ranged

from -.39 to .16 (.55 difference), with a mean correlation of -.10 and a standard deviation

of .14. As shown in Table 3, five of the correlations were significant at the .01 level and

two were significant at the .05 level. Two of the 14 academic need item correlations

found on the IESCNS were significant at the .01 level, while none of the career need item

Table 3.
Cnrrplatinnm Retween TIESCNS and PHSCS (Concurrent Validity)


Number Behavior

1 .04

2 -.14

3 .05

4 -.07

5 -.37**

6 .07

7 -.16

8 -.20

9 -.17

10 -.17

11 -.31*

12 -.15

13 -.12

14 .01

15 -.05

16 -.22

17 .08

18 -.20

19 -.07

20 .09

21 .16

22 -.37**

23 -.12

24 -.16

Anxiety Popularity



















































































































































Table 3-continued.
Number Behavior Intellectual Physical Anxiety Popularity Happiness Score

25 -.05

26 -.26*

27 .12

28 .07

29 .12

30 -.17

31 -.02

32 -.08

33 -.10

34 -.16

35 -.16

36 -.39*

37 -.36*

38 -.08

39 -.14

40 .04

41 -.29*

42 -.22

43 -.01

44 -.02

45 .08

46 .07

Items 1-14:
Items 15-21:
Items 22-46:













** -.29*










Academic Needs
Career Needs
Personal/Social Needs

















































































































*p <.05

Full Text
xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8
REPORT xmlns http:www.fcla.edudlsmddaitss xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.fcla.edudlsmddaitssdaitssReport.xsd
INGEST IEID EN2OT78Z2_YBX5KC INGEST_TIME 2014-06-25T14:32:10Z PACKAGE AA00022180_00001