Date of Award
Morgridge College of Education
Maria T. Riva, Ph.D.
Adolescents, Group cohesion, Group psychotherapy, Stage of change beliefs, Working alliance
This study examined the process of psychotherapy with adolescents in group psychotherapy, assessing the adolescents' motivation to change behaviors, also called stage of change beliefs, and how these relate to the quality of the relationship, or working alliance, between the adolescent and therapist. Adolescent ratings of group cohesiveness were also measured. Twenty participants between the ages of 13 and 18 receiving group treatment in an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) at a psychiatric hospital in Colorado were included in the study. The IOP group targeted parents and adolescents and implemented a manualized treatment to improve family communication and adolescent functioning. The group met for five weeks with three sessions per week. Assessment measures utilized included the Ohio Scales, the University of Rhode Island Change Assessment (URICA), the Working Alliance Inventory-Short Form Revised (WAI-SR), and the Group Climate Questionnaire-Short (GCQ-S). Participants completed the WAI-SR and GCQ-S four times to measure working alliance development and group cohesion. The URICA was administered at the beginning and end of the IOP group to measure the participants' stage of change beliefs. Data were analyzed with profile analyses, independent sample t-tests, and Pearson product moment correlations. Participants improved in overall functioning with decreased problem severity ratings during the group. Working alliance and group cohesion were shown to be correlated during the second half of the IOP group. Working alliance and stage of change beliefs were not correlated. Working alliance ratings did not increase significantly over time. Parent and adolescent ratings of the adolescents' stage of change beliefs at the beginning and end of the IOP group were not correlated. Adolescents with previous mental health treatment rated their stage of change as Precontemplation most often while those with no prior mental health treatment rated stage of change as Preparation or Action. Overall, these findings suggest that brief group treatment may improve adolescent functioning and decrease their ratings of problem severity. Also significant for adolescent group psychotherapy research is the relatedness of working alliance and group cohesion. Further research is needed to learn how stages of change beliefs affect adolescents and how the working alliance develops in psychotherapy.
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Jennifer Lynn Grote
Received from ProQuest
Grote, Jennifer Lynn, "The Relationship Between Adolescents' Stage of Change and Their Ability to Establish a Working Alliance in Psychotherapy" (2011). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 250.