Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The role of cognitive complexity and self -monitoring in counselor development
by Vidas, Jennifer Douglas, Ph.D., The George Washington University, 2008, 107; 3289153
Abstract (Summary)

This study examined the self-rated development in cognitive complexity, autonomy, and self-other awareness of master's-level counselor trainees during the internship year. Participants were 70 internship students enrolled in four counseling programs in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. With the cooperation of internship instructors, the researcher collected data at one of the first class meetings in September, then obtained follow-up data seven months later at one of the final class meetings. Instruments used were the Learning Environment Preferences (LEP; Moore, 1987), the Self-Monitoring Scale (SMS; Snyder & Gangestad, 1986), and the Supervisee Levels Questionnaire-Revised (SLQ-R; McNeill, Stoltenberg, & Romans, 1992). Demographic data, including race/ethnicity and age, were also collected.

It was hypothesized that cognitive complexity, self-other awareness, and autonomy would increase over the course of the year. To test this hypothesis, a repeated-measures MANOVA was performed with cognitive complexity, self-other awareness, and autonomy as the dependent variables. It was also hypothesized that cognitive complexity at the beginning of the year would predict self-other awareness and autonomy at the end of the year. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to test this hypothesis. Finally, it was hypothesized that there would be a significant correlation between self-monitoring and autonomy at the beginning of the year and a significantly weaker correlation at the end of the year.

Results indicated partial support for these hypotheses. While self-other awareness and autonomy significantly increased over the course of the year, cognitive complexity did not. Cognitive complexity at Time 1 predicted self-other awareness at Time 2, but not autonomy. Finally, there was no significant relationship between self-monitoring and autonomy at Time 1.

It was noted that there was a main effect for race/ethnicity on cognitive complexity, with White students scoring significantly higher than non-White students. Areas for future research are suggested, including further validation of cognitive complexity assessment instruments, obtaining ratings from supervisors and clients, and examining the possible moderating role of anxiety.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Marotta, Sylvia A.
Commitee: Dodge, Tonya, Lanthier, Richard P.
School: The George Washington University
Department: Counseling, Human & Organizational Studies
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 68/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Academic guidance counseling
Keywords: Cognitive complexity, Counseling, Counselor development, Counselor training, Integrated developmental model (IDM), Internship, Internships, Self-monitoring
Publication Number: 3289153
ISBN: 978-0-549-32777-6
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