Introduction and rationale for the research In the fields of counseling, education, and psychology, there has been a strong emphasis placed on evidence-based practices to determine the effectiveness of school counseling interventions. In this article, two types of Meta-Analysis interventions were used during this study. Meta-Analysis 1 involved treatment-control comparisons and Meta-Analysis 2 involved pretest-posttest differences. The overall average weighted effect size for school counseling interventions was . 30.
This study determined how effective moderator variables influenced effect size of, guidance curriculum, individual planning, responsive services, and system support. Analyses of moderator variables are designed to determine the effectiveness of school counseling program activities in this article. Major strengths/weaknesses in the article The overall school counseling interventions produced an average effect size of . 30 which is significant. However, in this article, the average effect size of Meta-Analysis 2 intervention was not significant, only .
07. Previously research has found that meta- analyses using pretest-posttest typically produces a higher effect size compared to the more traditional treatment-control group comparisons. It’s difficult to determine the non-significant mean effect size for pretest-posttest meta-analysis. Additional analyses in the pretest and posttest form will need to focus on specific interventions and additional information regarding the effectiveness of specific strategies in school counseling.
One of the common criticism of meta-analytic approaches is that studies with weak methodological rigor may artificially inflate average effect sizes(M. W. Lipsey,2003). M. W. Lipsey (2003) also argued that methodological moderator variables that often are assumed to be independent are not necessarily independent and carefully conducted meta-analytic reviews should explore methodological relationship patterns. The effect size of . 30 was based on 117 experimental studies that involved 153 interventions, which is a significant increase from the six studies used by Sprinthall (1981).
Many more studies were conducted with elementary school students; however, school counseling interventions included in this meta-analysis appeared to be slightly more effective with middle or junior high students followed by high school students. Thus, these studies show a significant effect on school counseling interventions for all levels of K-12 education. There are also some limitations when meta-analytic techniques are used. The validity of effect size largely depends on the quality of studies that were included in the review.
Some major limitations in school counseling research could not be addressed statistically. Also there are few studies that address the issues of treatment integrity. Only a handful of studies used treatment manuals or well-developed curricula. It was difficult for researches to determine what was effective because researchers could not determine what interventions were implemented with students. Another limitation was the elimination of 111 studies that had insufficient data or missing information.
Another limitation from this article concerns the dominance of non-standardized outcome assessments in school counseling research. Meta-analysis also lacked long-term follow-up data. The lack of longitudinal data allows for the measurement and analysis of only short-term effectiveness. Another issue with meta-analysis research is that interventions focused mostly on specific interventions rather than comprehensive school counseling programs. There has been very few research studies conducted on comprehensive school counseling programs.
Summary of research outcome. There were 118 studies that used meta-analysis 1, involving treatment-control comparisons and 153 school interventions; however, two studies were considered one study because of the same simple. Out of the 117 studies, 81 were published in journals and 36 were theses or dissertations. This meta-analysis study had 16,296 participants and the sample ranged from 8 to 5, 618, with the average study involving 139. 28 participants. From these studies, 50. 4% were elementary school students, 17. 9% were middle or junior high school students, and 24.
8% were high school students, and 6% had a mixture of ages, and one study did not report the age of the student participants. There was an overall weighted effect size of 27% for students that received school counseling intervention compared to those students that did not receive school counseling intervention. The average effect size was significant. Also, there were a total of 33studies that used meta-analysis 2, involving pretest-posttest design; however, two effect sizes were eliminated from one study. Therefore, 31 studies that involved 51 school counseling interventions were used.
The effect sizes calculated from these 31 studies involved 2,015 participants and the average study involving 62. 97 students and the sample ranged from 9 to 283. Out of the 31 studies, 17 were published in journals, 13 were theses or dissertations, and one study was an ERIC document. From these studies, 29% involved elementary school students, 12. 9% were middle or junior high school students, and 54. 8% were high school students, and 3. 2% had a mixture of ages and grade levels. There was only a . 07% weighted effect size on pretest and posttest meta-analysis which indicates the average effect size was not significant.
Two methods of applying this research to practice Firstly, my goal as an aspiring school counselor is to implement a comprehensive school counseling program for all students. I would provide a variety of interventions and activities using the four components of the delivery system of a school counseling program, guidance curriculum, individual student planning, responsive services, and system support. I would then, conduct studies in my school, collecting data, and determine which services students and the school will benefit from the most.
This will help me determine what type of programs and activities are most effective for our students and school. Secondly, I would consider taking additional research courses to prepare me to contribute to the knowledge base of school counseling, while conducting research projects related to school counseling. Simply, there needs to be more and better research in the area of school counseling. “Without additional empirical support, some schools may eliminate professional school counseling programs”(Erford, p 68). Conclusion.
From this research on meta-analyses not all school counseling interventions were equally effective. Additional research is needed to examine the impact these studies had on students from diverse backgrounds. Although more research is often a recommendation after completing a meta-analysis (e. g. , Ehri et al. , 2001; Swanson, 1999; Whiston, Brecheisen,& Stephens, 2003; Xin, Grasso, Dipipi-Hoy, & Jitendra, 2005), we contend that lack of methodological rigor and dearth of studies make the calls for additional sound research in school counseling particularly important.
Also, the issues of treatment integrity and increasingly use standardized outcome assessments will enhance future school counseling interventions. From this study, one would learn that additional research is needed, however, from this research; data shows that school counseling interventions have a positive effect size on student outcomes. Furthermore, there were significant effect sizes for interventions at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. School counselors’ were able to increase students’ ability to solve problems while decreasing discipline problems.
However, the researchers were unable to identify specific programs or approaches that produce positive outcomes. Additional research is needed to address what interventions for school counseling works, with what students, and under what circumstances. References Erford, B. T. (2011). Transforming the school counseling profession (3rd Ed. ). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. Whiston, Tai, Rahardja, and Eder. (Winter 2011 Volume 89). School Counseling Outcome: A Meta-Analytic Examination of Interventions. Journal of Counseling.
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