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The conditions that facilitate or hinder adjustment for graduate students in counselling psychology Mah, Deveda Lynn 1991

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THE C O N D I T I O N S THAT F A C I L I T A T E FOR GRADUATE  STUDENTS  OR HINDER  ADJUSTMENT  I N C O U N S E L L I N G PSYCHOLOGY by  DEVEDA LYNN  MAH  B.A., T h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL  C o l u m b i a , 1989  F U L F I L L M E N T OF  THE R E Q U I R E M E N T S FOR THE DEGREE MASTER  OF  OF ARTS  in THE F A C U L T Y OF GRADUATE Counselling  We a c c e p t to  this  Psychology  T h e s i s as  the required  THE U N I V E R S I T Y  STUDIES  conforming  standard  OF B R I T I S H  COLUMBIA  S e p t e m b e r 1991 ©  DEVEDA  LYNN MAH, 1 9 9 1  In  presenting  degree  this  at the  thesis  in  University of  partial  fulfilment  British Columbia,  freely available for reference and study. copying  of  department  this or  thesis by  for scholarly  his  or  publication of this thesis  her  purposes  DE-6 (2/88)  may  representatives.  Counsel 1 i ng Psychol ogy  October 2, 1991  I agree  requirements  for  an  advanced  that the Library shall make it  It  be is  granted  by the head of  understood  that  for financial gain shall not be allowed without  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  Date  the  I further agree that permission for extensive  permission.  Department of  of  copying  my or  my written  Abstract Flanagan's  (1954) c r i t i c a l  u t i l i z e d to explore  what f a c i l i t a t e s  adjustment t o graduate school. students  this  or  study.  Twenty-two g r a d u a t e  or hindered  Psychology  C o l u m b i a were r e c r u i t e d  I n i n t e r v i e w s t h a t were  each i n d i v i d u a l reported  audio-taped,  events that e i t h e r  facilitated  t h e i r adjustment t o graduate school.  227 i n c i d e n t s r e p o r t e d c a t e g o r i e s were formed.  was  hinders  from t h e Department o f C o u n s e l l i n g  at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h for  incident technique  Of  from p a r t i c i p a n t s , nine Using  p e r c e n t a g e o f agreement  between judges i n p l a c i n g i n c i d e n t s i n t o c a t e g o r i e s , reliability  o f t h e c a t e g o r i e s was a t 94.4%.  iii Table o f Contents  Abstract List  i  o f Tables  i v  Acknowledgements  v i  Dedication  v i i  CHAPTER 1.  INTRODUCTION  1  Background  o f t h e Problem  1  R a t i o n a l e and S i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h e Study  2  D e f i n i t i o n s and Views o f Adjustment  3  Views o f S t r e s s  5  CHAPTER I I .  8  REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE  The P r o f e s s o r - S t u d e n t R e l a t i o n s h i p  8  Thesis-writing  12  Family and Marriage Issues  13  Gender I s s u e s  14  L o n e l i n e s s and Depression  16  M a s l o w ' s H i e r a r c h y o f Needs  17  Summary  18  CHAPTER I I I .  METHODOLOGY  Review  of theC r i t i c a l  Review  o f t h e P r o c e d u r e a n d Mode o f D a t a C o l l e c t i o n . 22  Participants  I n c i d e n t Technique  20 20  27  iv  Background o f P a r t i c i p a n t s  27  Critical  28  Incidents  Interview  Follow-up Interviews  31  Analysis  32  CHAPTER IV.  RESULTS  35  Reliability  35  Basic Categories  36  Definitions of Basic  Categories  36  P a r t i c i p a n t Rate o f t h e Categories  57  CHAPTER V.  59  DISCUSSION  Summary o f F i n d i n g s  59  L i m i t a t i o n s o f Research  60  Implications  f o r Theory and Research  62  Implications  f o rPractice  72  Implications  f o rFurther  Research  75  Summary a n d C o n c l u s i o n  76  REFERENCES  80  APPENDICES A.  Initial  Recruitment Letter  B.  C o n s e n t Form  C.  Biographical  D.  Definition List  84 85  Sheet  86 87  L I S T OF  Table 1  Percentage of  TABLES  Participators  Represented i n Each  Category  vi ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  I would l i k e t o thank Dr. L a r r y Cochran f o r h i s encouragement, support,  reassurance  c r e a t i o n and p r o d u c t i o n o f t h i s  and guidance  i n the  thesis.  I w o u l d a l s o l i k e t o t h a n k D r . Norman Amundson f o r h i s guidance  and c o n s t r u c t i v e i d e a s , which  helped  immensely.  S p e c i a l thanks  goes o u t t o B e v e r l y O g i l v i e ,  who  through  h e r e n c o u r a g e m e n t a n d e x p e r t a d v i c e , a s s i s t e d me greatly  i n putting together t h i s  thesis.  I a l s o want t o t h a n k t h e t w e n t y - t w o c o - r e s e a r c h e r s participated  i nthis  study,  who  who w i t h t h e i r e n l i g h t e n i n g  e x p e r i e n c e s , made t h i s p r o d u c t i o n p o s s i b l e .  M o s t i m p o r t a n t l y , I w o u l d l i k e t o t h a n k my f a t h e r Dong, and b r o t h e r D a v i d ,  f o r without  their  l o v e and  e n c o u r a g e m e n t , I w o u l d n e v e r h a v e f o u n d my way.  vii  Dedication  T h i s t h e s i s i s d e d i c a t e d t o my m o t h e r , M a i , t h e " g r e a t e s t Mom  i n t h e w h o l e w i d e w o r l d " , who,  her never-ending  through  l o v e and encouragement, t a u g h t  about " g i v i n g and l o v i n g " ,  a n d who  me  always b e l i e v e d i n  me....Thanks, Mom!!.... I hope y o u a r e w a t c h i n g me  from  heaven.  T h i s d e d i c a t i o n a l s o g o e s o u t t o my c o n t i n u e s t o e n c o u r a g e me, who,  f a t h e r , Dong,  a n d t o my b r o t h e r , D a v i d ,  w i t h h i s n e v e r - e n d i n g s u p p o r t and l o v e ,  me t h r o u g h  "good t i m e s a n d i n b a d " .  impossible.  encourages  T h a n k s , Mom,  a n d D a v i d , f o r h e l p i n g me t o g e t where w i t h o u t you a l l ,  who  I am....for  g e t t i n g here would have  been  Dad,  1 CHAPTER 1 Introduction  Background  Of The  Problem  F o r many s t u d e n t s , a d j u s t m e n t t o g r a d u a t e is difficult. life  A c c o r d i n g t o Holmes a n d Rahe  event i s s t r e s s f u l  routine,  (1967), a  i f i t upsets a person's  r e q u i r i n g c h a n g e and r e a d j u s t m e n t .  involve  t o a new  living  l o c a t i o n , making  new  friends,  normal  In t h i s  regard, e n t e r i n g graduate s c h o o l might  s m a l l income,  school  moving on  and c o p i n g w i t h t h e demands o f a  a  new  setting. With r e f e r e n c e t o the S o c i a l Readjustment Scale  (Holmes  & Rahe, 1 9 6 7 ) , one w o u l d e x p e c t  Rating that  adjustment t o graduate s c h o o l would rank r e a s o n a b l y high i n stress.  Empirical investigations  have  demonstrated that students experience graduate  school  as a s t r e s s f u l p e r i o d o f a d j u s t m e n t , p a r t i c u l a r l y i t s t h r e a t of p o t e n t i a l academic Ferber,  1983;  Gustitus, Leiden,  Munson, 1984;  (Berg &  de R o s e n r o l l , Norman, & S i n d e n ,  Golden, & H a z i e r ,  1984;  failure  Leong,  1986;  Mallinckrodt,  Phillips,  with  H e i n s , Fahey, & Kralj,  Daubman, & W i l m o t h /  1987; &  1990; 1986).  2  Fondacaro, the  Heller,  and R e i l l y  (1984) f o u n d  that  s u i c i d e r a t e o f graduate s t u d e n t s exceeded  that of  u n d e r g r a d u a t e s t u d e n t s , and t h a t t h e p e r i o d o f g r e a t e s t risk to  was t h e f i r s t  f o u r m o n t h s , t h e t i m e when  a d j u s t w o u l d b e most d i f f i c u l t .  a d j u s t m e n t m i g h t be r e l a t e d t o p o o r performance,  illness,  other p o s s i b i l i t i e s .  striving  Difficulties i n academic  and mental w e l l - b e i n g ,  among  Given t h e importance of  adjustment t o t h e experience of graduate students, t h i s study i s concerned w i t h c o n d i t i o n s t h a t h e l p and hinder.  What c a t e g o r i e s o f e v e n t s f a c i l i t a t e o r  i n t e r f e r e w i t h t h e adjustment of students t o a graduate program?  R a t i o n a l e A n d S i g n i f i c a n c e Of The S t u d y F e e l i n g s o f ease and o r adequacy a r e i m p o r t a n t i n h e l p i n g one t o s u c c e e d a t g r a d u a t e s c h o o l Ferber, 1984;  (Berg &  1983/ de R o s e n r o l l e t a l . , 1 9 8 7 ; H e i n s , e t a l . ,  Munson, 1 9 8 4 ) .  facilitators  Identification  and h i n d r a n c e s w i l l  o f such  i n c r e a s e awareness o f  issues that are of concern f o r graduate students. A c t i o n s c a n t h e n be t a k e n t o d e v e l o p p r e v e n t i v e programs t h a t can h e l p f a c i l i t a t e adjustment f o r  3 graduate students. In  addition,  r e s u l t s from t h i s  s t u d y may p r o v i d e  i n s i g h t a n d i d e a s on how t o h e l p g r a d u a t e s t u d e n t s a d j u s t t o not j u s t t h e i r academic s t u d i e s , b u t t h e i r personal lives  as w e l l ,  since the stressors of  attending graduate school w i l l areas of t h e i r  certainly affect  other  lives.  D e f i n i t i o n s A n d V i e w s Of A d j u s t m e n t D e f i n i n g adjustment has been p r o b l e m a t i c . r e s e a r c h e r s d i s a g r e e on how i t i s d e f i n e d 1968;  D e r l e g a & Janda,  1965).  Many  (Arkoff,  1978; L a z a r u s , 1976; S c h n e i d e r s ,  They a g r e e t h a t many l i f e  s i t u a t i o n s can  i n t e r f e r e w i t h a d j u s t m e n t , b u t t h e y c a n n o t a g r e e on what c o n s t i t u t e s Firstly,  "normal"  adjustment.  one's t h e o r e t i c a l v i e w p o i n t o f t e n  d e t e r m i n e s how a d j u s t m e n t may be d e f i n e d .  For  instance,  a p e r s o n who b e l i e v e s i n t h e p s y c h o a n a l y t i c  view w i l l  d e f i n e adjustment d i f f e r e n t l y  from t h e person  who b e l i e v e s i n t h e b e h a v i o u r i s t v i e w , who, i n t u r n , may d e f i n e a d j u s t m e n t d i f f e r e n t l y t h e n t h e p e r s o n the  h u m a n i s t i c approach.  from  4 Secondly,  t h e r e i s some d i s a g r e e m e n t on how  a d j u s t m e n t s h o u l d be v i e w e d ; more  specifically,  w h e t h e r a d j u s t m e n t s h o u l d be v i e w e d a s a " p r o c e s s " o r an  "achievement".  Viewing  adjustment as a p r o c e s s , f o r  e x a m p l e , i n v o l v e s b e i n g a b l e t o s e t g o a l s a n d t o be a b l e t o d e c i d e on how t o p u r s u e t h e m 1978; is  Lazarus,  1976).  (Derlega & Janda,  I n o t h e r words, b e i n g  b e i n g a b l e t o cope w i t h s e t b a c k s ,  and  "adjusted"  unforeseeable  delays.  I t ' s being able t o pursue d i f f e r e n t plans or  options,  i f necessary.  "process",  Adjustment i f d e f i n e d as a  involves being able t o continuously  s t r e s s o r s and problems as t h e y  arise,  throughout  Another view o f adjustment conceives "end"  o r an " a c h i e v e m e n t " .  persons,  F o r example, f o r d i f f e r e n t  a d j u s t m e n t may i n v o l v e s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h o n e ' s  d i s c o v e r i n g a meaning o r purpose i n l i f e ,  being  f r e e t o be o n e s e l f 1976).  is  that occurs  expected  handle  particular  be s e e n a s a  i n one's l i f e .  t o occur;  or  ( D e r l e g a & Janda, 1978;  For the purposes of t h i s  however, a d j u s t m e n t w i l l process  life.  i t a s an  life,  Lazarus,  handle  study,  continuous  Stress, therefore,  adjustment i n v o l v e s being able t o  s t r e s s o r s as t h e y a r i s e .  An e x a m p l e  of a c h a l l e n g i n g but also s t r e s s f u l experience  m i g h t be  5  "attending  graduate school", which i s the focus  of this  study.  V i e w s Of  Stress  According when t h e r e  t o Lazarus  (1969, 1 9 7 6 ) , s t r e s s  occurs  a r e demands on t h e p e r s o n t h a t t a x o r e x c e e d  his adjustive resources.  When an i m p o r t a n t  c a n n o t be met, f r u s t r a t i o n o c c u r s .  goal  Lazarus f u r t h e r  s t a t e s t h a t s t r e s s does n o t e x i s t by i t s e l f ; t h e i n d i v i d u a l ' s r e a c t i o n h a s t o be t a k e n i n t o a c c o u n t a s well  (1976).  Examples o f s t r e s s o r s i n c l u d e :  combat, d i a g n o s i s  of a terminal  illness,  military  or loss of a  l o v e d one. It  i s important  t o remember, h o w e v e r , t h a t n o t a l l  p e o p l e r e a c t t o t h e same s t r e s s o r i n t h e same way; s t r e s s o r s a r e more s t r e s s f u l  f o r some t h a n  others,  d e p e n d i n g on t h e p e r s o n a n d what i s i m p o r t a n t her.  Being evaluated  t o him o r  i n an exam, f o r e x a m p l e , o r b e i n g  r e j e c t e d b y someone we h i g h l y r e g a r d more s t r e s s f u l  some  f o r some t h a n o t h e r s  o r l o v e may be (Lazarus,  1976),  d e p e n d i n g on t h e d e g r e e o f t h r e a t t h a t one p e r c e i v e s i s h a p p e n i n g a n d t h e amount o f c o n t r o l t h a t he o r s h e perceives  t o have.  6 Mechanic's example,  (1962)  s t u d y on g r a d u a t e s t u d e n t s , f o r  r e v e a l e d t h a t 1) d e g r e e  of stress  reaction  i n c r e a s e d as t h e d a t e o f t h e c o m p r e h e n s i v e  exam d r e w  c l o s e r a n d 2) t h e t y p e o f b e h a v i o u r s u s e d t o c o p e a n x i e t y c h a n g e d as t h e d a n g e r example,  grew n e a r e r .  Joking for  i n c r e a s e d as t h e d a t e o f t h e exam  approached.  Students a l s o sought o t h e r p e o p l e who complaints,  out s o c i a l  Physical  well. school,  i s g e n e r a l l y p e r c e i v e d by many as  p r o v o k i n g and a l i e n a t i n g .  anxiety-  A n x i e t y , however, i s not  p e r c e i v e d as n e g a t i v e , as i t h a s b e e n shown  that anxiety actually  facilitates  the performance  some s t u d e n t s i n t h a t i t h e l p s them t o a d a p t a d j u s t ; comments l i k e examples of t h i s . adjustment others.  avoided  s u c h as s t o m a c h a c h e s , t i r e d n e s s , e t c .  experience of a t t e n d i n g graduate  therefore,  always  s u p p o r t and  aroused t h e i r anxiety.  i n c r e a s e d a r o u n d t h i s t i m e as The  with  to  " I work b e s t u n d e r p r e s s u r e " a r e  E v e n t s and o r c o n d i t i o n s t h a t h i n d e r  f o r some may  One  and  of  a c t u a l l y be a f a c i l i t a t o r  would expect t h a t i n t e r v i e w i n g  s t u d e n t s as t o t h e e v e n t s t h a t  facilitate  for  individual  or hinder  t h e i r adjustment t o graduate s c h o o l would p r o v i d e  insight  into  this  area.  Before t h i s  an e x p l o r a t i o n o f c u r r e n t r e s e a r c h i s  is  accompli  necessary.  8 CHAPTER I I  Review o f R e l a t e d L i t e r a t u r e  T h e r e h a s b e e n no d i r e c t facilitators school. area  or hindrances  t o adjustment i n graduate  o f s t r e s s and t h e g r a d u a t e s t u d e n t , 1) t h e p r o f e s s o r - s t u d e n t  2) t h e s i s - w r i t i n g ,  Maslow's  5) d e p r e s s i o n  Professor-Student  i n turn. t h e n be  ideas.  Relationship  (1984) i n v e s t i g a t e d s o u r c e s  manifestations  and  o f s t r e s s f o r s o c i a l work g r a d u a t e  A r e l a t i o n s h i p was f o u n d b e t w e e n  i n s t r u c t o r s u p e r v i s i o n and s t u d e n t s physical  and l o n e l i n e s s .  o f human n e e d s w i l l  d e s c r i b e d t o h e l p c o n n e c t t h e above  students.  relationship,  a r e a s w i l l be d i s c u s s e d  (1970) t h e o r y  Munson  a n d how i t  3) f a m i l y a n d m a r r i a g e i s s u e s ,  gender i s s u e s , and  Each o f these  The  on t h e  However, much r e s e a r c h h a s b e e n done i n t h e  relates to  4)  research  illnesses.  conferences  experiencing  Graduate students,  with f i e l d  instructors,  more c o l d s a n d s l e e p p r o b l e m s .  field  who d r e a d e d  reported  I f the f i e l d  having instructor  9 was d e s c r i b e d a s u n a p p r o a c h a b l e o r u n s u p p o r t i v e , and  gastro-intestinal  occur.  Students,  instructors  (GI) u p s e t s  performance and/or u n f a i r greater frequency disturbances  disagreements  evaluations also  to entering c l i n i c a l p a r t i c u l a r times,  perceptions  entering students  psychology  students  same s t u d e n t s  they  given  a t two  I t was f o u n d t h a t  of e x i s t i n g faculty.  role After  one  p e r c e p t i o n s were e v e n more s i m i l a r  faculty perceptions.  program p o l i c i e s )  and e x p e c t a t i o n s o f  h a d "somewhat s i m i l a r "  t o those  diminished control  Thelen  once b e f o r e t h e s e m e s t e r began and  semester, students'  before  and s l e e p  A q u e s t i o n n a i r e was  once a t t h e end o f t h e semester.  had  experienced  o f r o l e p e r c e p t i o n Descutner and  the department and f a c u l t y .  these  regarding  o f h e a d a c h e s , GI u p s e t s  (1989) e x p l o r e d s t u d e n t  to  angry a t c e r t a i n  (Munson, 1984) .  In a study  perceptions  w e r e more l i k e l y t o  who r e p o r t e d b e i n g  and/or having  colds  What was i n t r i g u i n g was t h a t  also indicated  a g r e a t e r sense o f  ( i . e . a need t o comply w i t h d i s l i k e d after their first  entered  semester than  graduate school.  c a r e e r m i g h t be a t s t a k e , t h e s t u d e n t  Since  might f e e l  they  his/her a  10 g r e a t e r n e e d t o comply w i t h d e p a r t m e n t s e m e s t e r t h a n b e f o r e he s t u d e n t s may academic  not  feel  o r she  rules  started.  t h a t they  medical,  e t a l . (1984)  law,  graduate  and  compared s t r e s s  graduate  students  as w e l l .  students.  Intense  develop  and  maintain  programs,  likes  and  responses  the  s t i m u l a t i o n and  the  specific  described  Law  feedback  and  dislikes  were:  from  two  to  were  not  "likes"  having  performance, were n o t  of i n t e r a c t i o n to the  (McLaughlin,  asked  of t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e  r e q u i r e d o f them, n o t  f a c u l t y members who  students  students  of t h e i r programs.  t h e p r o f e s s o r s i s key  f o r the  medical  were:  c h a l l e n g e o f t h e i r programs,  as d i s l i k e s  quality  both  the pressure  When t h e s e  regarding their  deal with  in  students  but  o f t e n d e s c r i b e d as  content  a l l t h a t was  The  their  interpersonal relationships  et a l . , 1984).  to r a t e the  levels  anxiety often arises  a c a d e m i c e x p e c t a t i o n s and  do  over  reported experiencing intense  areas:  (Heins,  Hence,  have c o n t r o l  r e p o r t e d e x p e r i e n c i n g t h e most s t r e s s ,  stress  one  environment.  Heins  and  after  Responses enough t i m e  having and  1985).  enough  having  to  supportive.  between t h e sense  and  students  of w e l l - b e i n g I f growth  and  to  academic p o t e n t i a l are satisfaction will i n s t r u c t o r s may  increase.  not  e x p e r i e n c e d by  f o s t e r e d by  only  Lack of i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h  increase  s t u d e n t s but  s u c c e s s as w e l l . i n s t r u c t o r and  professors,  the  stress  also hinder  S u p p o r t and  ultimate  mutual respect  student appear c r u c i a l  between  (McLaughlin,  1985). In a study of a n x i e t y , B a k e r , and e f f e c t on  01k  Friedlander,  (1986) e x a m i n e d r o l e c o n f l i c t  s e l f - e v a l u a t i o n s of c o u n s e l l i n g  graduate students.  four experimental  supported the beginning  counsellor's valid)  and  4)  Results  1)  3)  psychology  conflict  no  conflict  counsellor  neutral  i n t e n t and  2)  (professor  stated  that  o p p o s i n g o p t i o n were (no i n p u t by  indicated that role c o n f l i c t  but  an  student  equally  professor) did  not  p r o d u c e a d v e r s e e f f e c t s on b e g i n n e r c o u n s e l l o r s ' evaluations,  of  i n what h e / s h e  (professor  a c o n t r o l group  to  (the  student counsellor take  c o n t r a d i c t o r y t o what t h e  c o u n s e l l o r wanted t o do),  wanted t o do),  its  were e x p o s e d t o one  manipulations:  recommended t h e  a c t i o n t h a t was  and  Peco  A sample of s t u d e n t s responded  " d i l e m m a " i n c o u n s e l l i n g and  professor  Keller,  d i d produce adverse e f f e c t s  on  self  12 advanced c o u n s e l l o r s - i n - t r a i n i n g ( F r i e d l a n d e r e t a l . , 1986).  R e a s o n s f o r t h i s may be t h a t  beginner  counsellors tend  t o n o t t r u s t t h e i r own j u d g e m e n t s , a n d  will  change t h e i r o p i n i o n t o c o n f o r m t o  more l i k e l y  that of t h e i r professor.  Advanced t r a i n e e s , however,  may v i e w t h e c o n f l i c t w i t h t h e s u p e r v i s o r their  competence and t h i s a t t i t u d e w i l l  as a t e s t o f  more  l e a d t o f e e l i n g s o f a n x i e t y and o r n e g a t i v e comments.  Generally  speaking,  inversely related to anxiety  likely self-  trainee-performance levels;  i n other  was  words,  t h e more a n x i o u s t h e t r a i n e e was t h e w o r s e he o r s h e was l i k e l y  t o perform.  T h i s phenomena i s s u p p o r t e d b y  what i s g e n e r a l l y known a s t h e " i n v e r t e d U i n d i c a t i n g t h a t a s m a l l amount o f a n x i e t y  curve", i s good f o r  p e r f o r m a n c e , b u t t h a t once a n x i e t y exceeds a c e r t a i n level,  performance w i l l  begin  to decline  (Solso,  1988).  Thesis-writing A n o t h e r known s o u r c e o f s t r e s s f o r g r a d u a t e students Brewer  i s the task of t h e s i s w r i t i n g . (1987) d i s c o v e r e d  that students  Rennie and who  suffered  f r o m " t h e s i s - b l o c k " were o f t e n t o o a f r a i d t o t e l l thesis supervisors  their  f o r f e a r t h a t t h e y w o u l d be t h o u g h t  13 "less of". skills"  These s t u d e n t s  i n that they  t h e i r own  found  l a c k e d "time  management  i t difficult  to abide  self-imposed deadlines.  Students  also  t h e s i s - w r i t i n g as an enormous t a s k r e q u i r i n g i n t e n s i v e amount o f t h o u g h t , ability.  With these thoughts  that these for  the  s t u d e n t s , who  f i r s t time,  Corcoran for to  work, and  research  o f t e n are completing and  overwhelmed.  (1984) d i s c o v e r e d t h a t l e s s  s t u d e n t s e v a l u a t i n g t h e t h e s i s as a  preference  students  f e e l i n g t h i s way  thesis revisions,  and  may  related  positive  In o t h e r words, because l o g i c a l  i s often related to being r i g i d  wonder  research  a c o g n i t i v e m o d e l o f r e a c h i n g d e c i s i o n s was  experience.  see  an  i n m i n d , i t i s no  f e e l anxious  by  thinking  and u n r e l e n t i n g ,  be  l e s s w i l l i n g t o make  t h e r e f o r e , may  see  thesis-writing  as a b u r d e n .  Family  and M a r r i a g e  Issues  According to McLaughlin enter graduate  s c h o o l w i l l not  a student, but h i s or her well.  (1985),  Lack of time,  the d e c i s i o n t o  only a f f e c t the l i f e  f a m i l y members' l i v e s  of  as  academic p r e s s u r e s ,  d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h r e c r e a t i o n a l p u r s u i t s e t c . a l l add  up t o enormous p r e s s u r e s .  Time c o n s t r a i n t s due t o  a c a d e m i c p r e s s u r e s , f o r e x a m p l e , may a f f e c t a n d possibly  s t r a i n e x i s t i n g communication between t h e  s t u d e n t a n d h i s o r h e r f a m i l y members. M a r r i e d women, who were g r a d u a t e more l i k e l y loyalties"  t o experience a f e e l i n g of "divided i n t h e i r attempt  f a m i l y and s c h o o l . their  t o be c o m m i t t e d t o b o t h  Women a r e e x p e c t e d  " t r a d i t i o n a l household  students.  s t u d e n t s , were  Presence  t o continue  tasks" while being  o f c h i l d r e n a l s o seems t o b e a  negative f a c t o r f o r t h e graduate  student.  Close  s c r u t i n y o f t h e d a t a i n d i c a t e s , however, t h a t a r r a n g e m e n t s f o r c h i l d c a r e a p p e a r t o b e more o f a n issue than t h e a c t u a l presence (McLaughlin,  Gender  and F e r b e r  or failure  one's gender. complete  1985) .  Issues  Berg success  of the children  (1983) i n v e s t i g a t e d  i n graduate  Women were l e s s  o r pursue  graduate  whether  s c h o o l was r e l a t e d t o likely  t h a n men t o  s c h o o l , a n d most d e g r e e s  were i n t h e a r e a o f e d u c a t i o n r a t h e r t h a n t h e s c i e n c e s . In  addition,  female  graduate  students e n r o l l e d i n t h e  15  physical  s c i e n c e s r e p o r t e d a l a c k o f encouragement o r  s u p p o r t from male Widnall  faculty.  (1988) d i s c o v e r e d t h a t d r o p - o u t r a t e s f o r  women g r a d u a t e s t u d e n t s were h i g h e r t h a n t h o s e o f men. Surveys, d i s t r i b u t e d t o graduate students enroled i n scientific and  and t e c h n i c a l c a r e e r s a t S t a n f o r d  Massachusetts I n s t i t u t e o f Technology  University  (MIT),  i n d i c a t e d t h a t male s t u d e n t s n o t o n l y e x p r e s s e d anger a n d r a g e a t t h e s y s t e m b u t a l s o g a v e a d v i c e on how t h e s y s t e m c o u l d be a l t e r e d .  F e m a l e s t u d e n t s , on t h e o t h e r  hand, e x p r e s s e d f r u s t r a t i o n and d i s c o u r a g e m e n t system.  Widnall  at the  (1988) a l s o d i s c o v e r e d t h a t more women  t h a n men f e e l a s e n s e o f p o w e r l e s s n e s s a n d i s o l a t i o n . More f e m a l e t h a n male s t u d e n t s r e p o r t e d t h a t t h e environment women  was d e t r i m e n t a l t o t h e i r h e a l t h ,  ( v e r s u s 9% o f t h e men) r e p o r t e d t h a t t h e y  t h e y w e r e on t h e v e r g e o f a n e r v o u s (Widnall,  1988).  advisors.  felt  break-down  F e m a l e s t u d e n t s (more s o t h a n m a l e  students) d i d not f e e l  free t o disagree with  their  Women may i n a d v e r t e n t l y c o n t r i b u t e t o t h i s  b y r e l i n q u i s h i n g power t o t h e i r a d v i s e r s 1988).  23% o f t h e  (Widnall,  16 Generally  speaking  then,  females report  l e v e l s of s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e , greater i n c l a s s , and 1988).  less opportunity  issues i s i n order, the  area  and  depression  and  expectations. and  I t has confidante, living  s e n s i t i v i t y to possibilities  gender  exist  c a n n o t meet a c a d e m i c  Many a r e u n a b l e t o c o p e w i t h subsequently f a i l  this  or drop out  (Booth,  Head & L i n d s l e y , 1983;  O'Neil  1988). b e e n shown t h a t a b s e n c e o f a t l e a s t  one  l o s s of a s i g n i f i c a n t p e r s o n , changes i n  arrangements, change i n academic s i t u a t i o n  depression  in  concerns.  f e e l i n g s t h a t one  change i n f i n a n c i a l  s t a t e are  (O'Neil & Mingie,  Feelings can  (Widnall,  s u f f e r from l o n e l i n e s s , a n x i e t y ,  Ganz & Ganz, 1988,  & Mingie,  up  Depression  Many s t u d e n t s  1985;  research  of r e s o l u t i o n of these  Loneliness  pressure  and  f e a r s of speaking  to publish  I t appears t h a t i n c r e a s e d  lower  risk  factors for  1988) .  of l o n e l i n e s s , anxiety,  and  a l l l e a d to f e e l i n g s of hopelessness  helplessness.  or  S u i c i d e i s c u r r e n t l y the  c a u s e o f d e a t h among u n i v e r s i t y s t u d e n t s  depression and  second  leading  (Dashef,  17 1984).  Not  only are s u i c i d e rates higher f o r those  a t t e n d u n i v e r s i t y t h a n f o r t h o s e who stated earlier, typically Johnson,  do n o t , b u t  s u i c i d e rates of graduate  exceed t h a t of undergraduates 1985;  Fondacaro  et a l . ,  who  as  students  (Carson &  1984).  M a s l o w ' s H i e r a r c h y o f Needs M a s l o w ' s h i e r a r c h y o f n e e d s c a n be u t i l i z e d d e s c r i b e how  a person experiences graduate  A c c o r d i n g t o Maslow  t o be  T h e s e n e e d s a r e a r r a n g e d i n an h i e r a r c h i a l f r o m t h e l o w e s t t o t h e h i g h e s t and  b e i n g p h y s i o l o g i c a l needs  (hunger,  i n that  hierarchy,  t h i r s t ) , must  f u l f i l l e d b e f o r e s a f e t y n e e d s c a n be  follows:  be  pursued.  then, i n ascending order, are  physiological,  met.  fashion,  fulfilled  F o r example, t h o s e l o w e s t i n the  Maslow's needs,  school.  (1970), e v e r y p e r s o n goes t h r o u g h  p r o g r e s s i v e s e r i e s of needs t h a t clamour  order.  to  as  safety, belongingness  l o v e , e s t e e m , a e s t h e t i c and c o g n i t i v e ,  and  and  self-  actualization. A s t u d e n t , l i k e a l l human b e i n g s , w o u l d f o o d and  shelter  ( p h y s i o l o g i c a l needs),  security  (safety needs),  a f f i l i a t i o n and  require  structure affection  and  a  18 (belongingness from  others  (esteem  understanding finally, be  and l o v e n e e d s ) , needs),  (aesthetic  self  r e s p e c t and esteem  awareness o f knowledge and  and c o g n i t i v e n e e d s ) ,  t h e n e e d t o p u r s u e one's p o t e n t i a l  the best  t h a t one c a n be  and  in life,  (self-actualization  to  needs).  Summary Much o f t h e r e s e a r c h on g r a d u a t e on t h e s t r e s s students  mingled  Previous Thelen  stress  with  fear  investigators  a n d Munson on s t u d e n t s  Many  s c h o o l w i t h mixed emotions  (1984)  —  and/or a n x i e t y . such  as D e s c u t n e r  (1989), F r i e d l a n d e r et a l . (1986),  (1985),  focuses  and c h a l l e n g e o f t h e e x p e r i e n c e .  enter graduate  excitement  students  and  McLaughlin  examined t h e e f f e c t s o f  and a l l c o n c l u d e  that  adequate  professor-student  interactions  academic s u c c e s s ,  b u t p s y c h o l o g i c a l w e l l - b e i n g as w e l l .  Performing to  well i n c l i n i c a l  write a thesis  expressed 1986,  were j u s t  by g r a d u a t e  & Munson,  were key t o n o t j u s t  some o f t h e  students  1984) .  courses  and b e i n g concerns  (Friedlander et a l . ,  able  19 McLaughlin graduate school student,  but  not  Ferber  attending  life  of  f a m i l y members as  (1983) and  Widnall  the  well.  (1988)  t h a t f e m a l e s w e r e more l i k e l y t o d r o p  than males.  I n a d d i t i o n , f e m a l e s were a l s o  e n c o u r a g e d by m a l e p r o f e s s o r s , of  that  only a f f e c t s the  h i s or her  B e r g and discovered  (1985) d i s c o v e r e d  particularly  out  less i n the  area  science. Many g r a d u a t e s t u d e n t s  o f l o n e l i n e s s and  a l s o s u f f e r from f e e l i n g s  depression  and  many f e a r t h a t  a r e u n a b l e t o meet a c a d e m i c e x p e c t a t i o n s Ganz and and  Ganz, 1988;  Mingie,  Head and  L i n d s l e y , 1983;  o f needs can  t h e p u r s u i t o f knowledge can  place,  needs f o r food  and  What i s m i s s i n g e x p l o r a t i o n of the  O'Neil  utilized  i n the  therefore, w i l l  to  school.  adequately  take and  met.  literature,  however, i s  actual conditions that  adjustment to graduate school.  area.  1985;  shelter, belongingness  l o v e , e s t e e m , e t c . n e e d t o be  this  be  a person adjusts to graduate  Before  hinder  (Booth,  1988) .  Maslow's h i e r a r c h y d e s c r i b e how  they  facilitate  This  study,  hopefully bring forth insights into  an or  20 CHAPTER I I I METHODOLOGY  The Critical Flanagan  Incident  Technique  d e v e l o p e d by  ( 1 9 5 4 ) , was u s e d t o e l i c i t e v e n t s  facilitate  and h i n d e r adjustment  that  t o graduate  Twenty-two c o u n s e l l i n g p s y c h o l o g y g r a d u a t e  school.  students  were i n t e r v i e w e d .  Review o f t h e C r i t i c a l The c r i t i c a l  Incident  Technique  incident technique  was d e v e l o p e d t o s t u d y a c t i v i t i e s  ( F l a n a g a n , 1954)  and o r j o b  r e q u i r e m e n t s b y t h e Army A i r F o r c e i n W o r l d War I I , using observation of behaviours develop c r i t i c a l The " c r i t i c a l specific  (critical  incidents) t o  requirements f o r c e r t a i n occupations.  i n c i d e n t s " would t h e n be p u t i n t o  c a t e g o r i e s and i n f e r e n c e s / i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s  made. Andersson reliability  and N i l s s o n  and v a l i d i t y  o f t h i s t e c h n i q u e by a n a l y z i n g  t h e j o b o f s t o r e managers. c o e f f i c i e n t was .83.  (1964) c h e c k e d t h e  The a v e r a g e  reliability  In addition, the s t a b i l i t y  of the  21 c a t e g o r i z a t i o n system  a p p e a r e d t o be q u i t e h i g h when  s t u d e n t s were r e q u i r e d t o r e - c a t e g o r i z e t h e Flanagan  data.  (1954) d e f i n e s an i n c i d e n t as  "...an  o b s e r v a b l e human a c t i v i t y t h a t i s s u f f i c i e n t l y in  itself  to permit  i n f e r e n c e s and p r e d i c t i o n s t o  made a b o u t t h e p e r s o n p e r f o r m i n g t h e a c t " particular  incident  "significant"  is critical  or important  p o s i t i v e o r n e g a t i v e way 1954).  In t h i s  graduate event  case,  school".  complete  (p. 3 2 7 ) .  contribution,  (Broughton,  either in a  1984;  Flanagan,  "adjustment  word " s i g n i f i c a n t "  to  refers to  i n t e r p r e t e d by t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s as h a v i n g  a facilitating  o r h i n d e r i n g e f f e c t on t h e i r  Flanagan's  Critical  A  i f i t makes a  i t w o u l d be  The  be  any  either  adjustment.  I n c i d e n t Technique i n v o l v e s  the c o l l e c t i n g of data that helps to r e s o l v e p r a c t i c a l problems.  I t ' s use,  therefore, w i l l  produce  information useful i n helping students adjust to graduate It  school. i s i m p o r t a n t t o remember t h a t t h e d a t a t o  c o l l e c t e d s h o u l d come f r o m p a r t i c i p a n t s who  h a v e some  knowledge of e x p e r t i s e i n the p a r t i c u l a r area studied.  The  to  t h a t t h e e x p e r i e n c e s g i v e n meet  ensure  p a r t i c i p a n t s are asked  be  being  concise questions specific  22  criteria.  The d a t a a r e a n a l y z e d a n d " c r i t i c a l  requirements" "critical event  a r e then d i s c o v e r e d and o r g a n i z e d .  requirement"  A  i s d e f i n e d as a s i t u a t i o n o r  i d e n t i f i e d by p a r t i c i p a n t s as making a d i f f e r e n c e  i n being able t o complete a c e r t a i n task successful i n clinic,  completing  ( i . e . being  a research paper  etc.).  Review o f t h e Procedure T h e r e a r e no r i g i d stage o f t h i s  a n d Mode o f D a t a rules i n the data  research technique.  1954) .  participants'  utilized.  be o b t a i n e d , a l t h o u g h  shown t h a t p a r t i c i p a n t s do make s i m i l a r (Flanagan,  collection  Only r e p o r t s from  q u a l i f i e d o b s e r v e r s , h o w e v e r , a r e t o be Subjective data w i l l  Collection  This s i m i l a r i t y  reports supports  i t has been  observations  or overlap i n  a sense o f o b j e c t i v i t y .  One must e n s u r e t h a t t h e i n c i d e n t s a r e d e f i n e d i n a c l e a r a n d c o n c i s e manner, s o t h a t c o m p e t e n c e i n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n c a n be a c h i e v e d . I n c i d e n t s a r e c o l l e c t e d from p a r t i c i p a n t s . limits  on how many e v e n t s  or c r i t i c a l  No  incidents are  r e q u i r e d ; however, t h r e e o r f o u r examples o f each  23 critical 1954).  behaviour or i n c i d e n t i s suggested Four types of data c o l l e c t i o n  are  Flanagan:  i n t e r v i e w s , group i n t e r v i e w s ,  and  forms  will  record be  utilized  Once t h e will  be  (p. 3 4 2 - 3 4 3 ) . in this  and  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s can  be  1)  1)  use.  are  frame of r e f e r e n c e ,  data  that  to  Flanagan  and  3)  2)  the  formulation  general  data. of  behaviour.  D e t e r m i n a t i o n o f what  incident  i n t o a p a r t i c u l a r c a t e g o r y d e p e n d s on i t s Categories  Flanagan, Formulation  t o be  used should  meet  the  ( B r o u g h t o n , 1984,  &  1954). of  categories:  a.  Categorization  b.  D e f i n i t i o n of c a t e g o r i e s  c.  c o l l e c t e d , the  according  statement of requirements  2)  method  drawn.  frame of r e f e r e n c e : falls  interview  a d d r e s s e d when a n a l y z i n g  particular categories,  by  questionnaires  s u m m a r i z e d i n a way  Three important areas, ( 1 9 5 4 ) , n e e d t o be  suggested  study.  events/incidents  described  They a r e  The  (Flanagan,  of e v e n t s / i n c i d e n t s and  placement  i n c i d e n t s i n t o the  piles.  D e v e l o p m e n t o f new  categories,  definition  into  and/or  of e x i s t i n g c a t e g o r i e s ,  piles. of  re-  until  a l l of  24 the i n c i d e n t s or events are d.  Option to sub-divide large categories creating narrower  e.  classified.  ones.  Re-examination  of d e f i n i t i o n s of the c a t e g o r i e s  and h e a d i n g s , e n s u r i n g t h e b e s t match between t h e i n c i d e n t s and t h e One  c o u l d then decrease  people review the 3.  specific  " s u b j e c t i v i t y " , by h a v i n g o t h e r  categories.  General behaviour: how  headings.  I t i s important to  or g e n e r a l each  b a l a n c e between s p e c i f i c i t y h o w e v e r , c a n be o b t a i n e d .  incident and  cut, Once t h i s  sub-headings  o r g a n i z e d and  In order f o r t h i s t o  A  be  headings,  a n d r e q u i r e m e n t s be  clear-  well-defined.  i s done, t h e w h o l e p r o c e d u r e  examined a g a i n , t o ensure Andersson  s h o u l d be.  generality,  a c h i e v e d , one must e n s u r e t h a t any titles,  determine  and N i l s s o n  i s to  be  a l l p o s s i b l e b i a s i s removed. (1964) i n v e s t i g a t e d  c a t e g o r i e s a r e e x h a u s t i v e by f i r s t  collecting  i n c i d e n t s r e p o r t e d by e a c h p e r s o n ; t h e y t h e n  whether 5% o f t h e  grouped  t h e s e i n c i d e n t s t o g e t h e r and t o o k t h e n e x t 5% o f t h e i n c i d e n t s o f each p e r s o n and group This continued u n t i l  20 g r o u p s  those together.  o f e v e n t s were  formed.  T h e s e i n c i d e n t s were t h e n approximately  When  t w o - t h i r d s were c l a s s i f i e d ,  the subcategories In  classified.  95%  of  appeared.  o t h e r words, s u b c a t e g o r i e s i n c r e a s e d a t a  pace u n t i l collected. appeared.  approximately  2/3  of the data  were  A f t e r that time,  o n l y 5% new  subcategories  On  the b a s i s of these  d e c i d e d t h a t d a t a c o l l e c t i o n was determine  quick  what was  findings,  i t was  adequate enough t o  e s s e n t i a l t o meet r e q u i r e m e n t s  t h e s a l e s manager p o s i t i o n s ( A n d e r s s o n  & Nilsson,  of 1964;  B r o u g h t o n , 1984) . The was  reliability  also assessed  Nilsson's  of the c r i t i c a l  and  and  a n a l y z e d by A n d e r s s o n  (1964) s t u d y .  c o l l e c t i n g procedures  i n c i d e n t technique  They t e s t e d two  ( t h e i n t e r v i e w and  discovered that subjects reported a  number o f c r i t i c a l  types  of  questionnaire) different  i n c i d e n t s v i a the q u e s t i o n n a i r e  by t h e i n t e r v i e w m e t h o d . statistically  and  significant,  than  T h i s d i f f e r e n c e was according to  Kolomogorov-Smirnov two-sample t e s t .  the  However, t h e  rank  c o r r e l a t i o n between the s i z e s of t h e c a t e g o r i e s from e a c h m e t h o d was They t h u s  .85  concluded  (Andersson  and N i l s s o n , 1964) .  that a strong correlation  exists  26 between t h e s i z e o f c a t e g o r i e s  b e t w e e n t h e s e t w o modes  of data c o l l e c t i o n . Control  o f c a t e g o r i z a t i o n was done b y a s k i n g  24  p s y c h o l o g y s t u d e n t s t o s o r t o u t 2 s e t s o f 100 incidents, area.  t h a t had been randomly chosen from each  They w e r e t o l d t o s o r t t h e s e i n c i d e n t s  subcategories, Nilsson  w h i c h were g i v e n  (1964) c o n c l u d e d t h a t  t o them.  there  was a  tendency f o r d i f f e r e n t people t o place the  into  Andersson and strong  the incident i n  same c a t e g o r y a n d t h u s s t a t e d t h a t t h e c r i t i c a l  i n c i d e n t t e c h n i q u e was " p l a u s i b l e " a n d n o t " t o o subjective". A n d e r s s o n and N i l s s o n content v a l i d i t y obtained  (1964) a l s o e x a m i n e d t h e  of the data  actually pertained  (whether t h e i n c i d e n t s t o what d e t e r m i n e d t h e  making o f a good s t o r e manager).  They e x a m i n e d  t r a i n i n g l i t e r a t u r e t o e n s u r e no c o n t e n t was  missing,  and  came t o t h e c o n c l u s i o n  incident  had  been t h o r o u g h and c o n c i s e  that the c r i t i c a l and had c o n t e n t  validity.  They t h e n w a n t e d t o v e r i f y i f t h e i n c i d e n t s obtained The  were a c t u a l l y i m p o r t a n t as w o r k a b l e t o o l s .  average r e l i a b i l i t y  c o e f f i c i e n t obtained  was .83  27 when 86 from  s u b c a t e g o r i e s were r a t e d  1-6)  (Andersson  (on a l i c k e r t  and N i l s s o n ,  1964).  B e c a u s e o f t h e above d e t a i l e d and N i l s s o n b o t h c o n c l u d e t h a t t e c h n i q u e was the  purposes  both a r e l i a b l e of t h e i r  scale  analyses,  the c r i t i c a l and v a l i d  Andersson incident  instrument f o r  study.  Participants Twenty-two f u l l - t i m e  graduate  s t u d e n t s from  department  of c o u n s e l l i n g psychology  of  Columbia  British  Participation networking The  and  proposed  s t u d e n t s and  Master  in this  study.  through personal  and  second  year  then described to  fellow that  Participants  A total study,  classes.  in participating.  twenties to t h e i r  this  University  i n t e r v i e w s were a r r a n g e d f o r t h o s e  Participants  in  solicited  r e s e a r c h was  Background of  age.  was  attending f i r s t  were i n t e r e s t e d  of  were p a r t i c i p a n t s  at the  the  16  ranged  i n age  fifties, o f 22  w i t h a m e d i a n o f 35-39 y e a r s  graduate  female,  from b e i n g i n t h e i r  and  students  6 male.  o f E d u c a t i o n c a n d i d a t e s and  participated  Seven were  15 were M a s t e r  of  i  28 Arts candidates. year,  S e v e n were e n r o l e d i n t h e i r  w h i l e 15 w e r e i n t h e i r  students separated  were m a r r i e d ,  second year.  first  Eleven  s e v e n were s i n g l e , t h r e e  a n d o r d i v o r c e d , a n d one was  were  widowed.  A v e r a g e number o f d e p e n d e n t s w e r e 2.25. In terms of academic s p e c i a l t i e s w i t h i n t h e department of C o u n s e l l i n g Psychology,  f o u r were  r e g i s t e r e d i n a d u l t c o u n s e l l i n g , f i v e were i n f a m i l y counselling,  two w e r e i n h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n c o u n s e l l i n g ,  s e v e n were i n a d o l e s c e n c e  c o u n s e l l i n g , one was i n  g e n d e r - f a i r c o u n s e l l i n g , one was i n e l e m e n t a r y counselling, counselling. 1989,  school  a n d two w e r e i n c r o s s - c u l t u r a l Thirteen students  entered the program i n  t w o i n 1988, a n d s e v e n i n 1990. T h i s s a m p l e was q u i t e b r o a d i n t h a t s t u d e n t s  from v a r i o u s b a c k g r o u n d s and e n t e r e d specialties;  not a l l s p e c i a l t i e s ,  came  various  however, were e q u a l l y  represented.  Critical  Incidents  Interview  Twenty-two f u l l - t i m e g r a d u a t e s t u d e n t s enroled i n the C o u n s e l l i n g Psychology  who  were  program at t h e  U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a were i n t e r v i e w e d .  These  i n t e r v i e w s took place at t h e u n i v e r s i t y .  The  i n t e r v i e w s w e r e a u d i o - t a p e d s o t h a t t h e i n t e r v i e w e r was more f o c u s e d on t h e p a r t i c i p a n t ' s r e s p o n s e s ,  rather  t h a n on " t a k i n g n o t e s " w h i l e t h e p a r t i c i p a n t  was  speaking.  A l l i d e n t i f y i n g i n f o r m a t i o n was d e l e t e d  from t h e tapes t o f a c i l i t a t e  confidentiality.  At t h e time of t h e i n t e r v i e w , t h e purpose  of the  r e s e a r c h s t u d y was s u m m a r i z e d ; s t u d e n t s w e r e t h e n  told  t h a t t h e y d i d n o t have t o s h a r e any i n f o r m a t i o n o r answer any q u e s t i o n t h a t t h e y f e l t u n c o m f o r t a b l e Consent  f o r m a n d b i o g r a p h i c a l s h e e t were t h e n  by t h e p a r t i c i p a n t . were e x p l a i n e d . The  I s s u e s t o do w i t h  about.  completed  confidentiality  The i n t e r v i e w t h e n b e g a n :  f o l l o w i n g q u e s t i o n s were t h e n a s k e d t o t h e  participants: " T h i n k b a c k t o a t i m e , s i n c e c o m i n g t o UBC, when something facilitate The  happened t h a t s i g n i f i c a n t l y h e l p e d t o your adjustment  t o graduate  school".  q u e s t i o n was c l a r i f i e d b y a s k i n g t h e f o l l o w i n g : "What was an e v e n t t h a t h e l p e d y o u t o f e e l adequate  o r a t ease w h i l e a t graduate s c h o o l ? "  Once t h e p a r t i c i p a n t h a d a p a r t i c u l a r e v e n t t h e f o l l o w i n g q u e s t i o n s were  asked:  i n mind,  1.  What were t h e g e n e r a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s a r o u n d t h e event?  2.  What e x a c t l y  facilitated  3.  Why  event  was t h i s  your  asked "Can  so h e l p f u l  incident  has been f u l l y  you t h i n k o f another your  event  adjustment  T h i s p r o c e s s was c o n t i n u e d , u n t i l e v e n t s were e x p l o r e d .  I then  "Think back t o a time, something  The  in facilitating  explored, I  the following:  facilitate  to  adjustment?  adjustment?  Once t h e f i r s t then  your  happened t h a t  helped to  t o graduate  school?"  a l l facilitating  asked  since  that  the following:  c o m i n g t o UBC,  h i n d e r e d your  when  adjustment  graduate s c h o o l . "  above q u e s t i o n was c l a r i f i e d  by a s k i n g t h e  following: "What was an e v e n t  that  adequate o r a t ease Once t h e p a r t i c i p a n t the  following 1.  while at graduate  had a p a r t i c u l a r  q u e s t i o n s were  event  school?" i n mind,  around  event?  What e x a c t l y  feeling  asked:  What were t h e g e n e r a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s this  2.  h i n d e r e d you from  h i n d e r e d your  adjustment?  31 3.  Why  was t h i s  event  so h i n d e r i n g t o y o u r  adjustment? Once t h e f i r s t explored,  t h e f o l l o w i n g was  "Can  This process  was  event  that hindered  your  school?" until  a l l hindering  events  explored. The  participant  anything else discussed,  ensured,  was  i f he o r she h a d  t o add o r c l a r i f y .  over.  Once t h i s  were t h e n  Confidentiality,  and p a r t i c i p a n t s  w o u l d be e r a s e d ,  Follow-up  asked  the participants  i n t e r v i e w was  tapes  t o graduate continued,  had been  asked:  you t h i n k o f a n o t h e r  adjustment  were  hindering incident  told was  were g u a r a n t e e d  upon c o m p l e t i o n  was that the  again that  audio-  of the study.  Interviews  Approximately  s i x months a f t e r  sample o f t e n p a r t i c i p a n t s verification  check.  c h e c k was t o v e r i f y  that events  (as r e c o r d e d  to the i n d i v i d u a l .  were c o n t a c t e d  The p u r p o s e o f t h i s  as t o m e a n i n g and c o n t e x t . experiences  the interview, a  The  for a verification  were c o r r e c t l y  recorded  participant's  on i n d e x  c a r d s ) , were r e a d o u t  Each o f t h e t e n p a r t i c i p a n t s  32 c o n f i r m e d t h a t t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e s were  correctly  recorded. *  Analysis Once t h e i n t e r v i e w s w e r e c o m p l e t e d , i n c i d e n t s from t h e audio-tapes  were t h e n r e c o r d e d  coloured index cards; d i f f e r e n t facilitating  events  the events/ on  colours f o r  and f o r h i n d e r i n g ones.  i n c i d e n t was r e c o r d e d on e a c h c a r d .  One  To e n s u r e f o r  c o m p r e h e n s i v e r e c o r d i n g , e a c h i n c i d e n t was r e c o r d e d i n the f o l l o w i n g  manner:  1.  "Agent"  (who p e r f o r m e d  2.  "Event"  ( b r i e f d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e event)  3.  "Outcome"  (what h a p p e n e d a s a r e s u l t  particular The p a r t i c i p a n t ' s  t h e event)  event).  initials  were t h e n r e c o r d e d a t t h e  c o r n e r on t h e b a c k o f e a c h c a r d . was a l s o r e c o r d e d ; particular  of the  The i n c i d e n t  number  f o r e x a m p l e , "LM-2", m e a n i n g t h e  i n c i d e n t was t h e s e c o n d  one m e n t i o n e d b y  LM.  Once a l l o f t h e i n c i d e n t s were r e c o r d e d a n d c o d e d f o r each p a r t i c i p a n t , ensure  the audio-tape  was r e v i e w e d  t h e i n c i d e n t s were c o r r e c t l y r e c o r d e d .  again, to This  33 process  continued, u n t i l  recorded,  and  a l l i n c i d e n t s were coded,  checked.  C a r d s were t h e n t e n t a t i v e l y thought as  t o h a v e common m e a n i n g s .  "Reassurance ', 1  tentatively clarity, initially  "Connective  assigned.  facilitating  sorted into Category  Support",  To e n s u r e  piles  names  such  e t c . were  f o r c o n c i s e n e s s and  and h i n d e r i n g i n c i d e n t s  were  s e p a r a t e d i n t o t h e i r own c a t e g o r i e s .  For  e x a m p l e , " r e a s s u r a n c e " was a d i f f e r e n t p i l e  from i t ' s  polar opposite, "invalidation".  twenty-two  At f i r s t ,  c a t e g o r i e s emerged, most h a v i n g b i - p o l a r p a r t n e r s . C a t e g o r i e s were t h e n e x a m i n e d t o e n s u r e c a t e g o r y was " u n i q u e "  t h a t each  enough t o s t a n d a l o n e .  A few  c a t e g o r i e s w e r e c o m b i n e d t o g e t h e r , due t o s i m i l a r m e a n i n g s , s o t h e number o f c a t e g o r i e s w e r e s h o r t e n e d t o 17,  s i x t e e n b i p o l a r a n d one u n i p o l a r . Category  names were t h e n  "sharpened"  worded, f o r c o n c i s e n e s s o f meaning. checked,  t o ensure  and r e -  I n c i d e n t s were r e -  t h e y were i n t h e c o r r e c t c a t e g o r y .  E a c h b i p o l a r c a t e g o r y was a m a l g a m a t e d w i t h i t s p a r t n e r ; thus  9 c a t e g o r i e s emerged, 8 b i p o l a r a n d 1 u n i p o l a r .  I n c i d e n t s were t h e n c h e c k e d in the right  category.  again, t o ensure  they  were  34 A list "critical D).  of d e f i n i t i o n s  requirements"  Participation  were t h e n  calculated  Reliability was  then  checked  for  inter-rater  was  then created,  of each  rates  category  (see  listing appendix  ( i n terms of a p e r c e n t a g e ) ,  f o r each  category.  f o r the conciseness of the c a t e g o r i e s by  a separate rater  reliability  and  calculated.  percentages  35 CHAPTER I V  RESULTS  In t h i s facilitates  critical  i n c i d e n t s t u d y on what  or h i n d e r s adjustment  f o r graduate students  i n c o u n s e l l i n g p s y c h o l o g y , t h e 22 p a r t i c i p a n t s a total  o f 227  hindering reported  i n c i d e n t s - 120  incidents.  The  p e r p e r s o n was  reported  f a c i l i t a t i n g and  a v e r a g e number o f  107  incidents  10.31.  Reliability One  r a t e r , a female graduate student e n r o l e d  Counselling Columbia,  Psychology at the U n i v e r s i t y of  was  categories. hindering  A s a m p l e o f 27 f a c i l i t a t i n g a n d  randomly s e l e c t e d  f r o m t h e 227  incidents  f o r the  graduate student achieved a r e l i a b i l i t y  list  p r o v i d e d so  i n m e a n i n g c o u l d be r e a c h e d .  reliability.  27  A definition  (as t o t h e m e a n i n g o f e a c h c a t e g o r y ) was  indicates strong  of the  were  from a c r o s s the c a t e g o r i e s  graduate student r a t e r to c l a s s i f y .  "consistency"  British  used t o determine the r e l i a b i l i t y  incidents  in  The  o f 94.4%,  which  36 Basic  Categories The  227  i n c i d e n t s w e r e s o r t e d and  groups w i t h s i m i l a r meaning u n t i l formed.  Each category  i n c i d e n t s t h a t had categories  contains  categorized  into  basic categories  were  a number o f  s i m i l a r meanings.  events/  Nine  basic  a p p e a r e d , e i g h t o f w h i c h were b i - p o l a r i n  nature. 1.  Connective  support  2.  Reassurance of  3.  Practical  4.  Flexibility  5.  Safe Environment/Atmosphere  6.  Information  7.  U n i v e r s i t y or department  8.  S e l f planned  9.  Crisis-like  Ability  Assistance  being  defined  services  activities events  D e f i n i t i o n s of Basic The  provided  Categories  c a t e g o r i e s were b i p o l a r .  Each category  i n a p o s i t i v e manner; t h e n e g a t i v e ,  was  i m p l i e d as  i t s opposite.  and  hindrances are given  Examples of  f o r each  was  however, facilitators  category.  37 1.  Connective  There  a r e 22  within this  Support  facilitating category.  Facilitating sense  and 10 h i n d e r i n g e v e n t s  events  range  from  experiencing a  o f comradery o r " c o n n e c t i o n " w i t h  s t u d e n t s t o e x p e r i e n c i n g a sense  o f empathy  professors,  friends,  and o r f a m i l y  "Comradery"  i s often  e x p r e s s e d as b e i n g  o t h e r s who "misery  a r e i n t h e same b o a t ,  from  members. with  almost  like  l o v e s company".  Hindering events alone,  fellow  range  from  t o b e i n g unconnected,  adjusting  to being  and t o a d j u s t i n g t o  a move t o a t t e n d u n i v e r s i t y .  The c r i t i c a l a sense  meaning  of f e e l i n g  of t h i s  c a t e g o r y seems t o  "connected"  and o r " b e i n g  involve  supported"  by o t h e r s .  The common m e a n i n g "understood",  i s a sense  "supported",  of connective support  of f e e l i n g  " i n tune",  o r "one o f t h e team".  i s often  associated with  Lack  feelings  38 of  loneliness,  disconnection,  Affiliation and  inadequacy, a sense  with  experiences,  a sense  t h a t one  was  a sense  t h e r e f o r e , appears  of comfortableness  and  and  of  an " o u t s i d e r " .  others experiencing s i m i l a r  Below a r e p o s i t i v e this  isolation,  t o be  feelings  important  to  well-being.  n e g a t i v e examples t y p i c a l  of  category. "At t h e  orientation,  also  d i d not  they  were d o i n g . . . . I  "Being  having  able to t a l k  I was the  with  other  foggiest  wasn't  students  who  i d e a o f what  alone."  t o the department  head  whenever I n e e d t o ; h i s p o s i t i v e manner, h i s open-door  "Having  policy."  someone t o t a l k  certain profs, was  "I  t o go  g o o d . . . . h e l p s me  don't  other  t h i n k my  out  to, t o complain with,  to feel  background  s t u d e n t s . . . I don't  feel  having  a  about support,  connected."  is like  those  of  comfortable...I  39 don't f e e l  I f i t in."  "I'm from a c i t y up north...when felt  unconnected, f r u s t r a t e d , I d i d n ' t know  anyone...it was  2.  I got here, I  lonely."  Reassurance o f A b i l i t y  There are 25 f a c i l i t a t i n g and 19 h i n d e r i n g i n c i d e n t s i n t h i s category. Facilitating  events range from being encouraged  t h a t one had the s k i l l s  to become a good  c o u n s e l l o r t o a c t u a l l y being evaluated to t h i s effect. framed  More s p e c i f i c a l l y ,  getting  feedback  i n a c o n s t r u c t i v e p o s i t i v e manner that  v a l i d a t e s the person, helps one to keep going, to keep plugging away, t o be i n s p i r e d t o l e a r n i n g more.  H i n d e r i n g events range from being d i s c o u r a g e d and undermined capabilities effect.  r e g a r d i n g one's s k i l l s and or t o a c t u a l l y being evaluated t o t h i s  40 The c r i t i c a l  m e a n i n g o f t h i s c a t e g o r y seems t o i n v o l v e  b e i n g a s s u r e d t h a t one h a d t h e s k i l l s counsellor.  In addition,  t o be a g o o d  i t appears t h a t b e i n g  e v a l u a t e d was a n x i e t y - p r o v o k i n g f o r many s t u d e n t s ; t h u s , any v e r b a l o r w r i t t e n e v a l u a t i o n r e g a r d i n g o n e ' s counselling, written s k i l l s  o r i d e a s , were t a k e n  very  seriously.  The common m e a n i n g o f t h i s c a t e g o r y i n c l u d e s a s e n s e o f n e e d i n g t o be r e a s s u r e d t h a t one i n d e e d , d i d h a v e t h e skills  t o n o t j u s t be a g o o d c o u n s e l l o r , b u t a g o o d  graduate  s t u d e n t as w e l l .  A l lof the students  i n t e r v i e w e d r e p o r t i n some way o r a n o t h e r , t h a t t h e y v a l u e and need a s s u r a n c e effective, is  from p r o f e s s o r s t h a t t h e y a r e  and t h a t t h e y b e l o n g  i n t h e program.  e v i d e n c e d by what o c c u r s i f " d i s c o u r a g e m e n t  invalidation"  o f one's a b i l i t i e s  often report saying things like,  occurs.  This or  Students  " I t must h a v e b e e n a  fluke...maybe I f o o l e d m y s e l f and o t h e r s t h r o u g h t h e c o u r s e s so f a r . . . "  This negative s e l f - t a l k occurs  when s t u d e n t s f e e l u n d e r m i n e d by p r o f e s s o r s a n d o r peers.  N i n e t e e n h i n d e r i n g e v e n t s were r e p o r t e d .  41 Below a r e of t h i s  p o s i t i v e and  negative  examples  typical  category.  "I  was  reassured  succeed  i n grad  that  I belonged.... that  be  a good  "My  supervisor  put  my  that  "In  pat  on  clinic  the  my  got  I felt  that  me  that  counsellor."  I'm  on  she the  validates  me  to  me;  right track...I  need  back."  supervisor told  me  poor comments  u n d e r m i n e d me  I did  not  as  *a  belong."  in clinic;  he  degraded  that  i n t o the  me;  attacked."  "When I was I was  assured  i s supportive.... in helping  that  p e r s o n ' , and  "I  professor  t h e s i s together;  a s s u r e s me  could  school."  "Through feedback, the I could  I  so the  notified  happy, t h e n a only  reason  I got  fellow student  I got  i n t o the  program,  told  me  graduate  42 p r o g r a m was b e c a u s e o f my d e p a r t m e n t was l o o k i n g that  3.  really  Practical  p o p p e d my  that the  forvisible  minorities...  bubble."  Assistance  T h e r e a r e 16 f a c i l i t a t i n g this  'race';  and 15 h i n d e r i n g  incidents i n  category. Facilitating obtain  assistance  advising, It  e v e n t s range from b e i n g  f o r academic p a p e r s and c o u r s e  t o being  i s important  "help"  that  report  feeling  able  obtain  is critical  being  t o not being  "help"  i n various  Students  often  able  report  a  i s offered.  able t o  s i t u a t i o n s , s u c h as  getting a practicum  to obtain  S t u d e n t s who assistance  i t ' s the actual  e v e n t s range from n o t b e i n g  assistance  able  here.  financial aid.  g r a t e f u l a n d more a t e a s e ,  course advising, etc.  to obtain  t o note that  sense o f comfort t h a t  Hindering  able t o  t o get c h i l d  placement, care  or not  financial aid.  not being  when n e e d e d o f t e n  able  to obtain  express  f e e l i n g s of  43 discouragement and f r u s t r a t i o n , cares"  e t c . An e v e n t r e p o r t e d  reported  as d i s c o u r a g i n g  to obtain  It  being  able  i s commonly  one i s n o t a b l e  i t i s not the  i t ' s the "assistance" or  i s often described  meaning o f t h i s  t o obtain  that  pro-tern.  t h a t c a n be s u p p l i e d t h a t i s  here, rather,  that  The c r i t i c a l  "nobody  a d v i s i n g from one's a s s i g n e d  "information"  help  that  i s that  i s important t o note again,  critical  that  actual  as l a c k i n g .  c a t e g o r y seems t o i n v o l v e "assistance"  o f some k i n d ,  be i t f o r t e r m p a p e r s , h o u s i n g , c h i l d c a r e  o r money  problems.  The common m e a n i n g o f t h i s  category i s that being  t o g e t some s o r t o f " h e l p "  greatly increases  able  a sense o f  ease and adequacy.  Below a r e p o s i t i v e and n e g a t i v e this  examples t y p i c a l o f  category. "Obtaining  expert  help  with  framing a t o p i c  f o r my m a j o r p a p e r ; i t was g i v e n  in a  very  "I  r e l a x e d and  was  able t o get  f r o m my  "I  was  a b l e t o get  4.  from the  wanted t o meet my an  appointment with  at  me."  "My  husband i s u n s u p p o r t i v e the  a great  and  kids, help."  research  university."  pro-tern, and  get  her...she  tried  to  snarled  at times....I  need  kids."  Flexibility  There are this  a bursary  position  help with  way."  b a b y s i t t i n g f o r my  n e i g h b o u r s . . . t h a t was  assistant  "I  non-threatening  10  facilitating  and  6 hindering incidents i  category. Facilitating allowing own  events  students  range  the  counselling style  extensions  due  from  professors  freedom t o develop to  instructors  to c r i s i s  situations.  their  providing  45 Hindering events  range from b e i n g f o r c e d t o  f o l l o w a c e r t a i n philosophy of c o u n s e l l i n g to b e i n g p e n a l i z e d f o r h a v i n g o n e ' s own  The  critical  meaning of t h i s  c a t e g o r y seems t o i n v o l v e  t h a t a sense t h a t " f l e x i b i l i t y " various situations.  The  ideas.  i s allowed f o r , i n  common m e a n i n g o f  this  c a t e g o r y seems t o i n v o l v e a s e n s e o f s a t i s f a c t i o n o c c u r s when p r o f e s s o r s e x p r e s s flexibility.  On  " c o n c e r n " by  t h e o t h e r hand, however,  o f t e n r e p o r t f e e l i n g angry  and  develop  o n e ' s own  offering  students  f r u s t r a t e d when  p r o f e s s o r s do n o t a l l o w f o r f l e x i b i l i t y , to  or the  freedom  ideas.  B e l o w a r e p o s i t i v e and n e g a t i v e e x a m p l e s t y p i c a l this  that  of  category. "I  t o l d t h e d e p a r t m e n t h e a d t h a t I was  through  a medical c r i s i s . . . I  needed  going  cancer  s u r g e r y . . . e x t e n s i o n s were g i v e n . "  "In  clinic,  my  p r o f a l l o w e d me  t o grow and  d e v e l o p . . . t o l d us a l l t o a l l o w o u r to  shine through  in counselling."  to  personalities  46 " I was f o r c e d t o f o l l o w t h e c l i n i c c o u n s e l l i n g s t y l e a n d was s h o t  supervisor's  down f o r my  style."  5.  Safe Environment/Atmosphere  T h e r e a r e 9 f a c i l i t a t i n g a n d 12 h i n d e r i n g i n c i d e n t s i n this  category. Facilitating supportive  events range from b e i n g  l e a r n i n g e n v i r o n m e n t w h e r e one was  e n c o u r a g e d t o " b e l i e v e i n one's being  for is  abilities" to  i n an e n v i r o n m e n t where i t was o k a y t o make  mistakes. this  A sense o f b e i n g  category. example,  safe i s important i n  Freedom t o d i s c l o s e r e : s e l f ,  without  i t being  commonly e x p e r i e n c e d .  held against  feel  ( o r s p o u s e o r f r i e n d ) c o u l d h e l p one t o  s a f e a n d o u t o f harm's way, o u t o f a d a n g e r  zone.  D a n g e r z o n e s a r e p l a c e s where one c o u l d  d i s c l o s e without  fear of penalty,  was n o t t r e a t e d a s an e q u a l , not  but rather,  " p s y c h o l o g i c a l environment", f e e l i n g t h a t t h e  professor  not  them,  I t i s not n e c e s s a r i l y  the p h y s i c a l place that i s important, the  i n a safe  express  one's  own i d e a s .  w h e r e one  o r where one c o u l d  Hindering events  range from b e i n g  ina  unsafe  l e a r n i n g e n v i r o n m e n t w h e r e d i s c l o s u r e was to  being  i n s i t u a t i o n s where  experiences  The  took  violating  place.  c r i t i c a l meaning o f t h i s  category  a f e e l i n g o f s a f e t y , w h e r e one f e l t ideas and not f e e l  seems t o i n v o l v e  free t o express  " p u t down"; w h e r e one f e l t  about making m i s t a k e s ,  harmful  w h e r e one c o u l d f e e l  okay  f r e e t o be  oneself.  The  common m e a n i n g o f t h i s  category  f e e l i n g s a f e and c o m f o r t a b l e ,  while expressing  Below a r e p o s i t i v e and n e g a t i v e this  seems t o i n v o l v e oneself.  examples t y p i c a l o f  category. " P r o f e s s o r made t h e p l a c e f e e l  s a f e . . . I was  encouraged t o ' b e l i e v e i n m y s e l f , be  that I could  a good c o u n s e l l o r . "  "Being  a b l e t o b e a t a s a f e p l a c e , a t home w i t h  my w i f e , who h e l p s me w i t h i d e a s r e g a r d i n g my term  papers."  48 " O r i e n t a t i o n s e s s i o n was environment... i t  was  so names c o u l d be  it  great  attached to  h a u n t m e . . . i n t e r m s o f how  t o be  evaluated  I had  to  me."  careful  t o t i p t o e around her,  as t o what I  t h o u g h t my  educated  classmates  the experience,  but  w o u l d be  a and  said."  class....I  felt  the opposite  occurred;  I  abused."  I n f o r m a t i o n Being P r o v i d e d  There are 7 f a c i l i t a t i n g this  he  i t came b a c k  "I volunteered to r o l e - p l a y i n  by  6.  and  d i s c r i m i n a t e d a g a i n s t b e c a u s e I was  man....I f e l t had  faces;  ice-breaker."  " I s e l f - d i s c l o s e d t o him,  "Being  non-threatening  an o p p o r t u n i t y t o meet  people was  a  and  5 hindering incidents in  category. F a c i l i t a t i n g events t h a t one  was  range from b e i n g  accepted  notified  i n t o graduate school  o b t a i n i n g i n f o r m a t i o n about the p r o f e s s o r s .  to  Being able t o obtain  information  empowering and o f t e n r e l i e v e s stress.  r e : being  o f some k i n d , being  one o f a n x i e t y a n d  Even e v e n t s l i k e w a i t i n g f o r t h e m a i l  f o r t h a t one l e t t e r , call  i s often  o r a w a i t i n g t h a t one p h o n e  able t o obtain v i t a l  information  a p p e a r s t o be c r u c i a l t o t h e w e l l -  o f many s t u d e n t s .  who r e p o r t b e i n g  In p a r t i c u l a r ,  able t o obtain  students  information re:  who t h e p r o f e s s o r s  " r e a l l y " are, enabled  students  students  to relax;  report  these  feeling  a n x i o u s b e c a u s e t h e y do n o t r e a l l y know who t h e y are  r e g i s t e r i n g w i t h , t h a t a name was o n l y  name; one w a n t e d i n f o r m a t i o n his/her  about t h e p e r s o n ;  l i k e s or d i s l i k e s , personality etc.  information it  a  was deemed c r u c i a l , e s p e c i a l l y  came t o r e g i s t e r i n g  Hindering  forclinical  events range from not b e i n g  obtain admissions information  This when  courses.  able t o  t o not being  given  p r i o r warning about t h e s t r e s s e s o f graduate school.  The c r i t i c a l being  able  meaning o f t h i s  to obtain  deemed i m p o r t a n t  crucial  that  regarding  "information  information  o f some k i n d ,  category  i s power";  seems t o i n v o l v e a that with  c e r t a i n issues or c e r t a i n people,  be a b l e t o f e e l  less  knowledge  one w o u l d  intimidated.  Below a r e p o s i t i v e a n d n e g a t i v e this  seems t o i n v o l v e  t o the student.  The common m e a n i n g o f t h i s belief  category  examples t y p i c a l o f  category. "Being  informed  graduate  "At  that  I was a c c e p t e d  into  school."  t h e o r i e n t a t i o n , I was a b l e t o g e t t o know  who t h e p r o f e s s o r s were,  "First  so t h a t  time  were,  I knew who  a n d what  their interests  I was r e g i s t e r i n g  with."  I a p p l i e d t o get i n t o graduate  school  I was r e j e ' c t e d , b u t t h e t h i n g i s , I wasn't notified  "Prior  by m a i l . . . I  to being  h a d t o phone t o f i n d o u t . "  admitted,  I a t t e m p t e d t o g e t an  51 in-person  interview to discuss  information;  admissions  I d i s c o v e r e d t h a t nobody wanted t o  t a l k t o me..."  " I was  not  informed  as t o how  going t o b e . . . l o t s of reading, etc.;  7.  on my  were  analyzing  h u s b a n d and  kids  too...."  University/Department S e r v i c e s  There are this  i t ' s hard  heavy c o u r s e s  13  f a c i l i t a t i n g and  23 h i n d e r i n g i n c i d e n t s i n  category. Facilitating with the  events  range from b e i n g  satisfied  s e r v i c e s o f f e r e d by t h e d e p a r t m e n t  u n i v e r s i t y t o b e i n g happy w i t h t h e c o n t e n t expectations  of c e r t a i n courses.  This  or and  or  category  encompasses a wide v a r i e t y of i n c i d e n c e s r e : general  f e e l i n g s about the courses  services provided,  and  environment of the  university.  H i n d e r i n g events the content  offered,  the p s y c h o l o g i c a l  range from b e i n g d i s a p p o i n t e d i n  or m a t e r i a l s presented  to  being  52 required t o take s t a t i s t i c s  a n d o r h a v i n g t o do a  thesis.  The c r i t i c a l  m e a n i n g o f t h i s c a t e g o r y seems t o i n v o l v e  s a t i s f a c t i o n or lack of s a t i s f a c t i o n with the d e p a r t m e n t and o r s e r v i c e s o f f e r e d by t h e u n i v e r s i t y .  The common m e a n i n g o f t h i s c a t e g o r y seems t o i n v o l v e t h a t b e i n g t r e a t e d " w e l l " by v a r i o u s p e r s o n n e l h e l p s t o increase  satisfaction.  Below a r e p o s i t i v e and n e g a t i v e examples t y p i c a l o f this  category. "I'm i m p r e s s e d b y t h e s e r v i c e s t h a t a r e o f f e r e d by t h e l i b r a r y . . . "  " I t ' s g r e a t . . . b e i n g a b l e t o s e l e c t when y o u c a n take courses, mornings, afternoons or e v e n i n g s . . . a l s o i t ' s good t h a t t h e y a r e 3 h o u r s l o n g a n d o n l y once a week."  " I t ' s g o o d . . . n o t h a v i n g t o t a k e exams."  53 "The  office  efficient believe all  and  she  friendly  i s very  too...I  i s "watching  over  organized,  trust us'  her,  ensuring  and we  are  okay."  "Being M.A;  administrator  r e q u i r e d t o do  i t has  no  " H a v i n g t o buy  a thesis  relevance  as  p a r t of  to being  ugly textbooks  the  a counsellor."  of no  use  whatsoever."  "Staff cow  8.  in a  18  was  rude;  I felt  like  a  cattleiine...".  S e l f Planned  There are this  member a t l i b r a r y  Activities  facilitating  and  3 hindering incidents in  category. Facilitating hobbies, obtaining are  events  range  e x e r c i s e , time personal  from being  management e t c . t o  counselling.  obviously reported  involved in  Different  by d i f f e r e n t  events  students,  54 because d i f f e r e n t  s t u d e n t s have d i f f e r e n t  h e l p " i d e a s t h a t h e l p them t o g e t t h r o u g h  "self each  day.  H i n d e r i n g events range  from  relatives/friends  i n f r i n g i n g on s t u d e n t s c h e d u l e s t o h a v i n g t o make w e d d i n g p l a n s a t t h e same t i m e one i s a t t e m p t i n g to  complete  assignments.  N e g a t i v e i m p a c t s on o n e ' s p r e - p l a n n e d therefore, their  affects  their feelings  activities,  of control  situations.  The c r i t i c a l  m e a n i n g o f t h i s c a t e g o r y seems t o  the student being involved i n c e r t a i n enhance a sense  of control  over t h e i r  involve  activities to environment.  The common m e a n i n g o f t h i s c a t e g o r y seems t o i n v o l v e sense  o f " w e l l - b e i n g " a n d s a t i s f a c t i o n when  activities  over  are undertaken.  these  a  55  Below a r e p o s i t i v e and n e g a t i v e examples t y p i c a l this  of  category. " I g o t my t h e s i s s u p e r v i s o r ' e a r l y ' . . . . y o u know, ...before  somebody e l s e g r a b b e d h e r . "  " H a v i n g an a t t i t u d e t h a t I am t h e e x p e r t . . . n o t to  s e c o n d g u e s s m y s e l f . . . . n o t t o h a v e any  negative  s e l f - t a l k . . . helps a l o t . "  " G e t t i n g up a t 4:00 a.m.  e v e r y d a y t o do homework,  so I c a n f i t i n o t h e r p a r e n t a l d u t i e s t h e r e s t of t h e day..."  "Seeking c o u n s e l l i n g r e a l l y  h e l p s me t o c o p e . "  " S t a y i n g i n s h a p e b y e x e r c i s i n g . . . h e l p s me t o r e l a x and d e a l w i t h  stress."  " I h a v e t o make w e d d i n g p l a n s a n d work on my m a j o r p a p e r a n d p r a c t i c u m a t t h e same hard."  time...it's  9.  C r i s i s - l i k e Events  T h e r e a r e 12 h i n d e r i n g a n d 0 f a c i l i t a t i n g this  incidents i n  category. Hindering events  r a n g e f r o m l o s i n g a l o v e d one,  g e t t i n g diagnosed to  with a life-threatening  disease  e x p e r i e n c i n g e x t r e m e exam a n x i e t y .  T h e r e a r e no f a c i l i t a t i n g  events  i n this  category.  The c r i t i c a l m e a n i n g o f t h i s c a t e g o r y  seems t o i n v o l v e  a sense o f f e a r , a n x i e t y and sometimes that students  experience  when c r i s e s  The common m e a n i n g g e n e r a t e d overall  by t h i s  occur.  category  i s an  sense o f b e w i l d e r m e n t , f e a r , and l o s s o f  control experienced  by t h o s e  in crisis.  Below a r e p o s i t i v e and n e g a t i v e this  helplessness  examples t y p i c a l o f  category. " M o t h e r d i e d s u d d e n l y . . . . h a d t o f l y home..."  "I  f o u n d o u t I h a d c a n c e r . . . a n d h a d t o be p u t  on a w a i t l i s t  "I  f o r treatment...."  f r o z e d u r i n g t h e exam...I p a n i c k e d ,  the  s c r a t c h i n g o f o t h e r s t u d e n t s ' p e n s made i t worse; I couldn't understand paper...they  q u e s t i o n s on t h e  d i d n ' t l o o k l i k e t h e y were i n  english!"  P a r t i c i p a t i o n Rate of the Categories The p a r t i c i p a t i o n participants  rate f o r the percentage of  i n each category  i s shown i n T a b l e  1.  P a r t i c i p a t i o n rate i n d i c a t e s the strength of a p a r t i c u l a r category,  i n t e r m s o f how o f t e n  incident are reported.  F o r example, 91% o f t h e  students mention i n c i d e n t s r e l a t i n g t o ability",  an i m p o r t a n t  "connective  support"  need.  "reassurance  Participation rates fo  and " p r a c t i c a l a s s i s t a n c e "  c a t e g o r i e s were s u b s t a n t i a l a s w e l l , respectively.  particula  a t 86% a n d 7 3 % ,  58 Table 1 Percentage  of P a r t i c i p a t o r s Represented  i n Each  Category.  Cateqories  N(%)  F(%)  H(%)  91  68  64  86  82  36  P r a c t i c a l Assistance  73  55  50  S e l f Planned  64  55  9  University/Department S e r v i c e s  55  27  55  Flexibility  50  45  23  41  0  41  Safe Environment/Atmosphere  41  32  23  Information Being Provided  36  32  14  Reassurance Connective  of A b i l i t y Support-  Crisis-like  Activities  Events  KEY: N = Percentage event  of t o t a l p a r t i c i p a n t s t h a t r e p o r t e d an  i n a category  F = Percentage  of t o t a l p a r t i c i p a n t s that r e p o r t e d a  f a c i l i t a t i n g event to do with that c a t e g o r y H = Percentage  of t o t a l p a r t i c i p a n t s that r e p o r t e d an  h i n d e r i n g event to do with that c a t e g o r y  CHAPTER V DISCUSSION . Summary o f F i n d i n g s This  research  conditions  that  facilitate  graduate school. "Critical  s t u d y was done t o d e t e r m i n e t h e or hinder  adjustment t o  Through t h e use o f Flanagan's  Incident  T e c h n i q u e " , 22 c o u n s e l l i n g  p s y c h o l o g y g r a d u a t e s t u d e n t s were i n t e r v i e w e d the  (1954)  answer t o t h i s  to obtain  question.  Two h u n d r e d a n d t w e n t y - s e v e n i n c i d e n t s w e r e obtained  and c l a s s i f i e d  Participation  rates  t o 36 p e r c e n t  (Table  category.  into  9 categories.  f o rthe categories  r a n g e d f r o m 91  1 ) , d e p e n d i n g on t h e n a t u r e o f t h e  Highest rate f o rp a r t i c i p a t i o n  "Reassurance of A b i l i t y " ,  a t 9 1 % , t o be  c l o s e l y b y " C o n n e c t i v e S u p p o r t " , a t 86%. was " P r a c t i c a l A s s i s t a n c e " , lowest p a r t i c i p a t i o n Provided"  a t 73%.  was f o r followed Third i n line  A t t h e o t h e r end,  r a t e s were " I n f o r m a t i o n  Being  a t 36%, " C r i s i s - l i k e e v e n t s " , a t 41%, and  Safe Environment, a t 41%.  Although these - p a r t i c i p a t i o n  r a t e s were l e s s t h a n 50%, t h e i n c i d e n t s r e p o r t e d u n i q u e e n o u g h t o be c l a s s i f i e d categories.  into  individual  were  60 L i m i t a t i o n s of Research Since graduate were u t i l i z e d ,  students i n counselling  psychology  t h e sample i s t h e r e f o r e , n o t  r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of other graduate  students at t h i s  university. In  addition,  critical  events t h a t people  incidents are limited t o the  a r e a b l e t o remember d u r i n g t h e  interview.  Many e x p e r i e n c e s may n o t h a v e b e e n  mentioned.  Furthermore,  due t o p o o r  memory.  c e r t a i n d e t a i l s may b e  A l s o , most o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s  lost  i n the study  were  f e m a l e ; t h e r e f o r e , r e s u l t s o b t a i n e d may n o t a d e q u a t e l y r e p r e s e n t males, this  s i n c e t h e r a t i o o f women t o men i n  s t u d y was 15 t o 6.  O b t a i n i n g a sample  r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f both genders, difficult,  h o w e v e r , may b e  s i n c e t h e department's  student p o p u l a t i o n  c o n s i s t s mostly of females. In  addition,  graduate  students i n t h i s  study  were  probably o l d e r than other graduate  students i n other  departments,  psychology  since the counselling  department r e q u i r e s a t l e a s t  3 y e a r s work e x p e r i e n c e a s  one o f t h e p r e - r e q u i s i t e s t o e n t e r t h e p r o g r a m .  The  s t u d e n t s , t h e r e f o r e , were n o t r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f o t h e r  61 graduate students  who  entered  d i r e c t l y to  departments from t h e i r undergraduate Furthermore, the volunteers. not  students  Volunteers  volunteer,  participate  may  be  degrees.  interviewed  differ  i n t h a t t h o s e who  may  do n o t  too busy w i t h s c h o o l to "adjust" to t h e i r  As  students  the  22  r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of other  a n x i e t i e s about b e i n g had  given.  be  i n the  by  w o u l d be  deleted  from the  ensure c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y This  study  perspective,  was  that  and  the  Professors' perceptions  The  "identifying  in  not  may  the  be  have they  students, information"  i n c i d e n t s they shared,  to  anonymity.  students'  of v a r i o u s  one  p o i n t of  view.  situations  were  not  study  was  to explore  the  conditions that f a c i l i t a t e  adjustment to graduate school, the utilized.  are  responses  However, s i n c e t h e p u r p o s e o f t h e  was  to  program.  explored.  perspective  do  environment.  a l s o i n v e s t i g a t e d from  i s , the  who  h a v e t h u s a f f e c t e d what  they s u b s e q u e n t l y chose t o share. that  and  that students  recognized  T h e s e a n x i e t i e s may  however, were a s s u r e d  choose  i n t e r v i e w e d may  students  A n o t h e r l i m i t a t i o n may  were  from students  midst of attempting a result,  other  and  students'  hinder  62 I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r Theory and Research Much o f t h e r e s e a r c h s u p p o r t s t h e v i e w graduate fear,  students often experience  and a n x i e t y  McLaughlin,  (Berg & F e r b e r ,  had t h e a b i l i t y  graduate  1987).  study, being "reassured" t h a t  s t u d e n t was deemed t o b e an i s s u e o f c o n c e r n .  were as f o l l o w i n g :  to  1983; C o r c o r a n , 1984;  t o be a g o o d c o u n s e l l o r a n d a g o o d  Examples o f statements  that  feelings of stress,  1 9 8 5 ; Munson, 1 9 8 3 ; R e n n i e & B r e w e r ,  For example, i n t h i s one  that  made i n r e l a t i o n t o t h i s  "Professor X really  issue  r e a s s u r e d me  I c o u l d b e a g o o d c o u n s e l l o r . . . he r e a l l y h e l p e d  b e l i e v e i n myself....as  more".  a result,  me  I wanted t o l e a r n  The n e e d t o be r e a s s u r e d o r " b e l i e v e d i n " , was  a common theme. Students  a l s o r e p o r t e d b e i n g i n v a l i d a t e d and o r  u n f a i r l y e v a l u a t e d by c e r t a i n p r o f e s s o r s w h i c h  they  d e s c r i b e d as b e i n g a major h i n d r a n c e t o t h e i r adjustment  t o graduate  school.  Many s t u d e n t s  felt  undermined and p e r s o n a l l y a t t a c k e d by t h e i r p r o f e s s o r s ; in  fact,  64% o f t h e s t u d e n t s i n t e r v i e w e d r e p o r t e d a t  l e a s t one i n c i d e n t .  As a r e s u l t ,  many s t u d e n t s  seriously questioned t h e i r a b i l i t i e s .  Furthermore,  s t u d e n t s who w e r e d i s c o u r a g e d b y a p r o f e s s o r , o f t e n  felt  i t was  a fluke that  c o u r s e s , and  that the  probably correct!  t h e y got  professor  "A's"  who  in  other  u n d e r m i n e d them  Students, therefore,  took t h e i r  "negative feedback" s e r i o u s l y , e s p e c i a l l y i n c o u r s e s where c o u n s e l l i n g Students f e l t  t h a t not  skills  being evaluated,  well.  Yet,  is  so  could  be  only but  skills  self".  skill,  but  a t t r i b u t e i s part  the  o t h e r h a n d , how  "safely" offer constructive misinterpretation?  dilemma. 1983;  further, to help As  i f this  is  "put  could  feedback  a  of  down", "core  professor  without  in clinic  resolve  M c L a u g h l i n , 1985;  and  the  criticized,  of h i s or her  this  c i t e d i n previous studies  professor-student  will  P e r h a p s an u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f  dynamics of b e i n g e v a l u a t e d explored  personality  also a part  student would n a t u r a l l y f e e l  On  as  B e i n g "encouraging", f o r example,  a counselling  because t h i s  and  of these s k i l l s  p e r s o n ' s make-up o r p e r s o n a l i t y ; then the  counselling  their personalities  evaluation  difficult.  clinic  were o b s e r v e d .  were t h e i r  because c o u n s e l l i n g  intertwined,  a l w a y s be  skills  was  needs t o  the be  continuing (Berg & F e r b e r ,  Munson, 1 9 8 3 ) ,  adequate  i n t e r a c t i o n i s c r u c i a l t o not  just  64 f e e l i n g s o f adjustment,  but also p s y c h o l o g i c a l w e l l -  being. I t was a l s o d i s c o v e r e d t h a t s t u d e n t s n e e d e d t o f e e l connected professors.  and o r s u p p o r t e d by f e l l o w s t u d e n t s and  Affiliation  w i t h o t h e r s who  "understood"  s t r e s s o r s t h e y were g o i n g t h r o u g h h e l p e d them t o adjust.  F o r example, s t u d e n t s s t a t e d t h a t t h e  o r i e n t a t i o n s e s s i o n helped because " i t f e l t  g o o d t o be  w i t h o t h e r s who a l s o d i d n o t h a v e t h e f o g g i e s t  idea of  what t h e y w e r e d o i n g " . Many s t u d e n t s e n t e r g r a d u a t e emotions, and  such as e x c i t e m e n t  anxiety.  school w i t h mixed  and j o y m i n g l e d w i t h  Many a l s o f e a r t h a t t h e y a r e t h e o n l y  ones e x p e r i e n c i n g t h e s e e m o t i o n s .  Having  a chance t o  e x p r e s s t h e m t o o t h e r s who w e r e i n t h e same e a s e d t h e a n x i e t y somewhat.  belongingness  al.,  Gonzalez,  et a l . ,  sense  (de R o s e n r o l l e t  1986; Quevedo-Garcia,  &  1985).  Practical students,  f r i e n d s h i p s and a  and c o n n e c t i v e n e s s  1987; P h i l l i p s  situation  Being with others i nthe  "same b o a t " a l s o h e l p s t o b u i l d of  fear  a s s i s t a n c e was a l s o m e n t i o n e d  a s an i s s u e o f c o n c e r n .  b y many  Being able t o obtain  65 assistance with major papers,  1) c o u r s e  advising,  2) w r i t i n g  3) f i n a n c i a l  a i d , and  4) c h i l d  theses/  care,  h e l p e d students t o f e e l a t ease. Firstly,  many s t u d e n t s r e p o r t e d b e i n g u p s e t  not b e i n g a b l e t o o b t a i n course pro-tern a d v i s o r .  In fact,  a d v i s i n g from  o n l y one p e r s o n  having a p o s i t i v e experience.  about  their  reported  Leong and S e d l a c e k ' s  (1989) s t u d y c o n f i r m s t h i s n e e d b y d i s c o v e r i n g t h a t " h e l p w i t h s e l e c t i n g c o u r s e s " was r a n k e d need by c e r t a i n Secondly,  and  f o r a t h e s i s o r m a j o r p a p e r was a l s o  i n t h a t many s t u d e n t s r e p o r t e d f e e l i n g  confused  Corcoran  students. being able t o obtain assistance with  framing a t o p i c important  a s t h e "no. 1"  when u n d e r t a k i n g t h i s t a s k .  (1984) a n d R e n n i e a n d B r e w e r  S t u d i e s by  (1987)  support  t h i s notion with t h e i r discovery that students performed their  w e l l experienced support  supervisors.  However, t h e y a l s o f o u n d t h a t  about t h e l a c k o f a v a i l a b i l i t y  these  feedback.  students also reported f e e l i n g  because o f t h e l a c k o f f i n a n c e s .  scholarships,  who  and a s s i s t a n c e from  s t u d e n t s w e r e a l s o open t o s u p e r v i s o r y Thirdly,  lost  Complaints  anxious w e r e made  of fellowships,  and b u r s a r i e s f o r c o u n s e l l i n g p s y c h o l o g y  students.  Previous  and  (1988),  Mingie  Cravey, and Heath financial  s t u d i e s by Malaney  (1987),  and Weissberg, Berentsen, (1982) c o n f i r m  O'Neil Cote,  these r e s u l t s ,  that  a s s i s t a n c e was o f t e n m e n t i o n e d a s a m a j o r  need, and t h a t once t h e f i n a n c i a l  p r o b l e m was s o l v e d ,  t h e p e r s o n c o u l d t h e n be f r e e d up t o f o c u s  on  academics. Fourthly, being c h i l d care  able t o obtain assistance  was deemed t o be i m p o r t a n t  were p a r e n t s .  In fact,  responsibilities  many r e p o r t e d  i n combination with  with  t o students that  parental  student  responsibilities,  were b u r d e n s o m e .  fatigue,  a n d f e a r t h a t one c o u l d n o t do  anxiety,  "everything". who r e p o r t e d likely their  This  They c o m p l a i n e d o f  i s s u p p o r t e d by M c L a u g h l i n  that parents,  t o experience  The  a feeling  a n d "be e v e r y t h i n g  category  of divided loyalties i n a n d "do  t o everybody".  of " f l e x i b i l i t y "  involved  f r e e t o d e v e l o p o n e ' s own c o u n s e l l i n g s t y l e , oneself.  Descutner and Thelen's  previously discussed,  (1985),  e s p e c i a l l y women, w e r e more  a t t e m p t s t o be a " s u p e r p a r e n t "  everything"  who  feeling a n d t o be  (1989) r e s e a r c h ,  p a r t i a l l y addressed t h i s  as  need i n  67 that they  d i s c o v e r e d t h a t s t u d e n t s , who  successful  felt  disliked.  T h i s was a l s o t h e c a s e  particular  student  successful  i n graduate  flow'....you  w a n t e d t o be  t h e y had t o comply w i t h r u l e s  commented:  i n this  w i l l be  h a v e t o a s k t h e p r o f e s s o r s what  they  i f you don't  ^asking f o r i t ' . " Adjustment, f o r t h i s  Many s t u d e n t s , t h e n ,  compliance. d i d not f e e l a sense of  c o n t r o l over t h e i r academic environments, f r u s t r a t i o n occurred.  person  One  s c h o o l t h e y h a v e t o *go w i t h t h e  s t u d e n t , t h e r e f o r e , meant  Lazarus's  study.  " i f a n y o n e w a n t s t o be  w a n t . . . t h e n g i v e i t t o them.... o t h e r w i s e , you  they  This i s aptly portrayed i n  (1976) d e f i n i t i o n  of stress,  f e e l s h e l p l e s s or powerless  outcome o f a p a r t i c u l a r  and  situation,  where a  to control the o r where  one  " p e r c e i v e s " t h a t one h a s no c o n t r o l o v e r t h e p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n a t hand. In  allowing f o r the f l e x i b i l i t y of developing  o n e ' s own student better.  counselling style,  t o not just  professors helped the  f e e l a t ease,  but t o a l s o  On t h e o t h e r h a n d , s t u d e n t s who  perform  were f o r c e d t o  conform t o l e a r n i n g a s p e c i f i c c o u n s e l l i n g s t y l e  felt  68 angry and f r u s t r a t e d and g a i n e d l i t t l e  from t h e  particular class. Flexibility flexibility occurred.  also referred to professors  f o rdeadlines  allowing  f o r t e r m p a p e r s when c r i s e s  S t u d e n t s were a p p r e c i a t i v e t h a t  allowances  were o f f e r e d , and hence, a t t e m p t e d t o p e r f o r m better  f o rthese p a r t i c u l a r professors.  t h e n , t h a t when f l e x i b i l i t y  I t appears,  was o f f e r e d , a f e e l i n g o f  adequacy and ease r e s u l t s , which i n t u r n , to a desire f o rbetter The feeling  safe t o express oneself  h e / s h e w o u l d n o t be p e n a l i z e d safe  discovered  that  involved  i n an e n v i r o n m e n t w h e r e  f o r making e r r o r s .  i n a "flexible"  environment, whereas o t h e r s t r u c t u r e d one.  contributes  performance.  category of "safe environment"  students f e l t  students f e l t  Kagan a n d F a s a n  (1988),  safe  students i n t h i s anxiety  ones.  In contrast  s t u d y who r e p o r t e d  to explore  Further  this  area.  research,  structured students  to this finding,  f e e l i n g some  a l s o w e r e t h e o n e s who p r e f e r r e d a  environment.  i n a more  however,  anxious students p r e f e r r e d  flexible  Some  variable  c o n t r o l l e d e n v i r o n m e n t s , whereas c o n f i d e n t preferred  even  therefore,  flexible i s necessary  R e g a r d l e s s o f w h e t h e r an  environment i s s t r u c t u r e d o r unstructured, w a n t e d an e n v i r o n m e n t t h a t a l l o w e d expression" Students,  f o r "freedom o f  a n d " f r e e d o m t o grow a n d  who r e p o r t e d  students  develop".  f e e l i n g s a f e w e r e more l i k e l y t o  r i s k t r y i n g o u t new c o u n s e l l i n g t e c h n i q u e s . s t u d i e s by Berg and F e r b e r (1989),  (1985),  McLaughlin  (1983), Descutner and Thelen Munson ( 1 9 8 3 ) ,  (1988) , c o n f i r m t h e need t o have academic that f a c i l i t a t e The students.  Other  and W i d n a l l environments  learning.  n e e d t o h a v e i n f o r m a t i o n was a l s o i m p o r t a n t A s an e x a m p l e , some s t u d e n t s  complained t h a t t h e course  i n this  and  confusing".  t o students  registration,  According  and  (1989)  not a f t e r .  being provided  tension.  sheet  "skimpy  They a l s o s t a t e d t h a t t h e i n f o r m a t i o n  s h o u l d have been p r o v i d e d  study,  study  sequencing information  t h a t was d i s t r i b u t e d d u r i n g t h e o r i e n t a t i o n was  to  This  before  t o students  with information reduced  i s supported  i n v e s t i g a t i o n of student  by Leong and  i n this anxiety  Sedlacek's  n e e d s , where i t was  d i s c o v e r e d t h a t t h e most " a s k e d f o r " i n f o r m a t i o n was i n reference The  t o course category  planning.  of "university/department  services"  involved satisfaction or dissatisfaction with  services  70 t h a t were o f f e r e d .  More h i n d e r i n g t h a n  facilitating  e v e n t s were r e p o r t e d , as s t u d e n t s were o f t e n disenchanted with u n i v e r s i t y bureaucracy.  Such  events  as d e a l i n g w i t h r u d e l i b r a r y p e r s o n n e l , o r b e i n g f o r c e d t o buy t e x t b o o k s  ( j u d g e d t o be o f l i t t l e  use) were  other examples.  T h i s i s supported by W i d n a l l ' s  (1988)  s t u d y w h e r e some s t u d e n t s commented t h a t a r e d u c t i o n i n bureaucracy The  was n e e d e d .  category of " s e l f planned  activities",  d e s c r i b e d s t u d e n t s who i n v o l v e d t h e m s e l v e s i n a c t i v i t i e s t h a t f a c i l i t a t e d t h e i r adjustment t o graduate and  school.  Many s t u d e n t s r e p o r t e d t h a t  hobbies  r e c r e a t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s h e l p e d them t o r e l a x .  Other " s e l f h e l p " ideas i n c l u d e d having a p o s i t i v e attitude,  or u t i l i z i n g various  "thought-stopping"  techniques t o eliminate negative self-statements. T h e s e i d e a s on s t r e s s r e d u c t i o n h a v e b e e n s u p p o r t e d b y Archer (1985),  (1986),  and M a l l i n c k r o d t ,  who i n t h e i r  Leong, and F r e t z  investigations,  discovered that  m u l t i - d i m e n s i o n a l a p p r o a c h e s were t h e most a p p r o p r i a t e i n managing s t r e s s . developed  Archer  a "whole p e r s o n "  management.  (1986),  f o r example,  approach t o s t r e s s  Exercise, relaxation,  diet, positive  self-  71 statements,  c h a l l e n g i n g i r r a t i o n a l b e l i e f s e t c . were  j u s t some o f t h e i d e a s p o s e d t o h e l p s t u d e n t s a d j u s t . The  category of c r i s i s - l i k e  being diagnosed All  ranged  was  According  (1985) t h e most s t r e s s f u l t i m e o f t h e  at the beginning  occurred)  and  (when p s y c h i a t r i c  a t t h e end,  the g r e a t e s t .  o c c u r a t any semester  crises  emergencies  s u c h as d e a t h s  i n the  times of  term  t h e ones t h a t were i n " c r i s i s " .  i n v e s t i g a t i o n s by H e i n s and O ' N e i l and M i n g i e  of  the  Previous  ( 1 9 8 4 ) , Ganz and Ganz  (1988),  (1988) s u p p o r t t h e n e e d f o r  s t r e s s management p r o g r a m s and  counselling,  students deal with fear,  helplessness.  were  The  o f academic p r e s s u r e s n e a r t h e end  a l s o added t o e x i s t i n g s t r e s s e s .  graduate  the  seek  c o u n s e l l i n g e i t h e r e a r l y or l a t e i n the semester  intensity  can  p l a c e s t u d e n t s u n d e r t h e most p r e s s u r e .  (1985) a l s o d i s c o v e r e d t h a t t h o s e who  more l i k e l y  were  with a serious disease etc.  t i m e , t h e b e g i n n i n g and end  still  to  semester  when a c a d e m i c p r e s s u r e s  Although  family, being diagnosed  Grayson  from  w i t h a s e r i o u s d i s e a s e t o exam a n x i e t y .  w e r e d e s c r i b e d as e m o t i o n a l l y t a x i n g .  Grayson  at  events  anxiety,  to and  help  Maslow's utilized  (1970) h i e r a r c h y  to help  emerged i n t h i s  o f n e e d s c a n a l s o be  anchor the nine study.  i n d i c a t e needs f o r food  categories  Most s t u d e n t s ,  f o r instance,  and s h e l t e r ( p h y s i o l o g i c a l  needs), s t r u c t u r e , order,  a n d p r o t e c t i o n f r o m harm  (safety needs), support through a f f i l i a t i o n affection professors knowledge  that  (belongingness  and  and l o v e n e e d s ) , r e s p e c t  and f e l l o w s t u d e n t s  (esteem n e e d s ) ,  ( a e s t h e t i c and c o g n i t i v e n e e d s ) , and  n e e d s t o meet o n e ' s p o t e n t i a l i n l i f e a c t u a l i z a t i o n needs).  from  finally,  (self-  The h i e r a r c h i c a l o r d e r ,  however,  was d i f f e r e n t f o r e v e r y o n e , b e c a u s e o f t h e u n i q u e n e s s o f e a c h p e r s o n t h a t was i n t e r v i e w e d . differences,  however, s t u d e n t s  a c t u a l i z e ; t o be t h e b e s t  Despite  these  i n d i c a t e d needs t o  self-  c o u n s e l l o r s t h a t t h e y can be.  Implications for Practice Results  from t h i s  study  can s e n s i t i z e c o u n s e l l o r s  to f a c t o r s involved i n helping students graduate school.  Since  adjust to  graduate students  make up a  substantial part of the u n i v e r s i t y population, knowledge o f t h e s e t r e a t m e n t i s s u e s w i l l h e l p t h e  c o u n s e l l o r t o b e t t e r meet t h e n e e d s o f g r a d u a t e students. Many o f t h e f a c t o r s r e p o r t e d as  facilitating  of a b i l i t y ,  t h e i r adjustment  connective  assistance")  by g r a d u a t e (such  as " r e a s s u r a n c e  support, and p r a c t i c a l  are also relevant  f o r undergraduate  s t u d e n t s as w e l l , e s p e c i a l l y t h o s e a t t e n d i n g year.  Results  counsellors  students  from t h i s  who c o u n s e l  first  s t u d y may a l s o a s s i s t students i n t h e i r  undergraduate  years. Results  from t h i s  at u n i v e r s i t i e s , levels. and  study can a l s o b e n e f i t f a c u l t y  b o t h a t t h e graduate and undergraduate  Knowledge o f t h e c o n d i t i o n s  or hinder  adjustment w i l l  intervention strategies. no. 1 f a c i l i t a t o r  help  that  faculty t o create  F o r example, i f t h e  i s "reassurance of a b i l i t y " ,  no. 1 h i n d r a n c e i s " i n v a l i d a t i o n o f o n e ' s then, perhaps a key t o h e l p i n g be t o e x p l o r e way t h a t  how one c o u l d  i s reassuring,  On t h e o t h e r  and t h e  ability",  students t o adjust  may  o f f e r feedback i n such a  yet constructive.  h a n d , when c o n f r o n t e d  criticism/feedback, reassuring  facilitate  with  no m a t t e r how c o n s t r u c t i v e a n d  i t i s , our n a t u r a l defensive  mechanisms a r e  called to action. t o how t o h e l p  Perhaps ideas  students deal with these s i t u a t i o n s .  A t t i t u d e s toward "negative need t o change. university  feedback", t h e r e f o r e ,  Feedback and e v a l u a t i o n  system and w i l l always e x i s t .  into the handling  of c o n f l i c t  if  i s needed.  In other  exercises,  but since  handle c o n f l i c t  Exploration  i n t e r a c t i o n s always  i t d o e s n o t , e x p l o r a t i o n i n t o how t o a n d o r s t r e s s may be i n o r d e r , and a n x i e t y .  s t r e s s management  programs s u g g e s t e d by A r c h e r  to  Multi-dimensional (1986),  ( 1 9 8 8 ) , a n d M a l l i n c k r o d t e t a l . (1985)  c o u l d be i m p l e m e n t e d f o r t h i s  purpose.  In a d d i t i o n , s i n c e connective seen as c r u c i a l ,  s u p p o r t was  o r i e n t a t i o n sessions  g r o u p s c a n be d e v e l o p e d t o f a c i l i t a t e Knowledge o f t h e c o n d i t i o n s hinder  perhaps  relaxation  alleviate tension  Ganz a n d Ganz  of the  w o r d s , i t w o u l d be e x c e l l e n t  adequate p r o f e s s o r - s t u d e n t  occur,  may  i s part  and d i s a g r e e m e n t ,  t h r o u g h t h e use o f r e - f r a m i n g etc.  c o u l d be g e n e r a t e d a s  that  also  and s u p p o r t "belongingness". facilitate  adjustment f o r students i n graduate school  also help  and may  incoming students t o b e t t e r prepare f o r t h e i r  l i v e s as g r a d u a t e s t u d e n t s .  In addition,  knowledge  75 t h a t o t h e r s h a v e gone t h r o u g h p r o v i d e them w i t h a s s u r a n c e  Implications f o rFurther  s i m i l a r experiences  t h a t t h e y were n o t a l o n e .  Research  F u r t h e r r e s e a r c h i s n e e d e d i n many a r e a s . example, s e l f - e s t e e m to roller-coaster, make s t a t e m e n t s  will  For  l e v e l s of graduate students  d e p e n d i n g on what o c c u r s .  like  appear  Students  " I knew I w a s n ' t s u i t a b l e f o r  g r a d u a t e s c h o o l . . . maybe i t was a f l u k e t h a t I g o t "A's"  i n t h e o t h e r c o u r s e s . . I must h a v e f o o l e d t h e  p r o f e s s o r s . . . I g u e s s I am a p r e t t y b a d s t u d e n t a n d counsellor...". therefore, students  One i n v a l i d a t i n g comment c a n  send students  over-generalize?  b r i n g i n w i t h them?  into distress.  Why do  I s i t something t h a t  they  Or i s s o m e t h i n g e l s e i n t h e  environment that i s a f f e c t i n g t h e i r a r e o n l y some o f t h e q u e s t i o n s  judgement?  These  t h a t c a n be e x p l o r e d .  G e n d e r i s s u e s c a n a l s o be e x p l o r e d i n f u t u r e research.  Does b e i n g  in the quality it  f e m a l e r e a l l y make a d i f f e r e n c e  of student-professor  interactions?  Does  d e p e n d on t h e d e p a r t m e n t i n v o l v e d , s u c h a s s c i e n c e  versus  counselling  Finally,  psychology?  do g r a d u a t e s t u d e n t s  from  other  76 departments s u f f e r s i m i l a r  f e e l i n g s o f a n x i e t y and  s t r e s s o r do c o u n s e l l i n g p s y c h o l o g y have unique  issues?  graduate  Future studies u t i l i z i n g  t e c h n i q u e t h e n , c o u l d be done i n o t h e r  students this  same  departments.  Summary a n d C o n c l u s i o n T h i s e x p l o r a t o r y s t u d y was done t o d e t e r m i n e t h e conditions that f a c i l i t a t e graduate  school.  and h i n d e r adjustment  Flanagan's  t e c h n i q u e was u t i l i z e d .  Nine  t h e 227 i n c i d e n t s t h a t w e r e The f i r s t  (1954) c r i t i c a l  category,  to  incident  c a t e g o r i e s emerged  from  collected.  "reassurance  of a b i l i t y " ,  m e n t i o n e d a s a c o n c e r n b y many s t u d e n t s .  Students  were i n v a l i d a t e d by a p r o f e s s o r o r f e l l o w  student  r e p o r t e d f e e l i n g s o f discouragement  was who  and f a i l u r e .  "Connective  support", t h e second  category,  helped  students t o f e e l  " p a r t o f t h e crowd".  Students  who d i d  not  feel  connected  felt  lonely,  alienated,  and " o u t s i d e  of t h e c l i q u e " . The t h i r d c a t e g o r y ,  "practical assistance",  involved being able t o obtain assistance with of theses/major  papers,  financial  The f o u r t h c a t e g o r y ,  writing  a i d , and c h i l d  "flexibility",  involved  care.  77 professors allowing f l e x i b i l i t y  f o r students i n  d e v e l o p i n g t h e i r own c o u n s e l l i n g s t y l e . The  fifth  category,  "safe environment", i n v o l v e d  b e i n g i n p l a c e s where s t u d e n t s ease,  felt  " r e l a x e d " and a t  where t h e y d i d n o t f e a r b e i n g p e n a l i z e d f o r  making The  mistakes. s i x t h category,  "information being  provided",  involved the receiving of information relating to professors,  course  sequencing  requirements,  and t h e  like. The  seventh  services",  category,  "university/department  involved being s a t i s f i e d or d i s s a t i s f i e d  w i t h v a r i o u s s e r v i c e s o f f e r e d by t h e u n i v e r s i t y . The  eighth category,  " s e l f planned  involved s e l f - h e l p ideas that students u t i l i z e d t o adjust t o graduate The  n i n t h category,  activities", themselves  school.  "crisis-like  events",  a wide range o f s t r e s s e s and c r i s e s t h a t range being diagnosed  covered from  w i t h a s e r i o u s d i s e a s e t o exam a n x i e t y .  P r e v i o u s i n v e s t i g a t o r s have o u t l i n e d programs, peer support  groups,  orientation  a n d s t r e s s management  programs t o h e l p students t o a d j u s t t o graduate  school  78 (Archer,  1986, G r a y s o n ,  Quevedo-Garcia,  1985; P h i l l i p s  & Gonzalez,  et a l . ,  1986;  1985).  S t u d i e s by o t h e r r e s e a r c h e r s such as B e r g and Ferber  (1983), Corcoran,  (1989),  1984; D e s c u t n e r  and Thelen  F r i e d l a n d e r e t a l . ( 1 9 8 6 ) , Ganz a n d Ganz  (1988), Heins e t a l . (1984), M a l l i n c k r o d t e t a l . (1985), Leong and S e d l a c e k  (1989), M c L a u g h l i n  Munson  (1984), O ' N e i l and M i n g i e  Brewer  (1987), and W i d n a l l  obtained i n t h i s  (1988) R e n n i e  (1985), and  (1988) s u p p o r t t h e d a t a  study.  U t i l i z i n g Maslow's  (1970) t h e o r y o f n e e d s , i t was  d i s c o v e r e d t h a t s t u d e n t s n e e d t o h a v e t h e i r n e e d s met, such as:  f o o d and s h e l t e r ,  safety, belongingness  l o v e , esteem, knowledge, and t o r e a c h t h e i r in life,  one o f w h i c h  i s , t o become b e t t e r  and  potential counsellors.  This study i s only g e n e r a l i z a b l e t o other c o u n s e l l i n g psychology  s t u d e n t s who a t t e n d  graduate  s c h o o l i n t h e department o f C o u n s e l l i n g Psychology at the U n i v e r s i t y therefore, this  study.  of B r i t i s h Columbia.  Further research,  i s needed t o c o n f i r m t h e r e s u l t s  found i n  It  i s hoped, however, t h a t d e s p i t e  limitation,  results  u t i l i z e d to help school  from t h i s  students  as w e l l as g r a d u a t e  study  this  can s t i l l  be  adjust t o undergraduate school.  80 References A n d e r s s o n , B.K., & N i l s s o n , S.G. ( 1 9 6 4 ) . Studies i n t h e r e l i a b i l i t y and v a l i d i t y o f t h e C r i t i c a l I n c i d e n t Technique. Journal of Applied P s y c h o l o g y , 48, 3 9 8 - 4 0 3 . A r c h e r , J . (1986). S t r e s s management: E v a l u a t i n g a p r e v e n t i v e approach f o r c o l l e g e s t u d e n t s . J o u r n a l o f A m e r i c a n C o l l e g e H e a l t h , 34, 1 5 7 - 1 6 0 . A r k o f f , A. York:  (1968). Adjustment McGraw-Hill.  and M e n t a l H e a l t h .  New  B e r g , H.M., & F e r b e r , M.A. ( 1 9 8 3 ) . 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S t r e s s among g r a d u a t e s o c i a l students: An e m p i r i c a l s t u d y . Journal of E d u c a t i o n f o r S o c i a l Work, 20, 2 0 - 2 9 .  work  O ' N e i l , M.K., & M i n g i e , P. ( 1 9 8 8 ) . L i f e s t r e s s and depression i n university students: Clinical i l l u s t r a t i o n s of recent research. Journal of A m e r i c a n C o l l e g e H e a l t h , 36, 2 3 5 - 2 4 0 . P h i l l i p s , M.S., Daubman, K.A., & W i l m o t h , D. ( 1 9 8 6 ) . A graduate student o r i e n t a t i o n program. Journal of C o l l e g e S t u d e n t P e r s o n n e l , 27, 2 8 0 - 2 8 1 . Q u e v e d o - G a r c i a , E.L. & G o n z a l e z , J . E . (1985). The welcome p r o g r a m : A d u a l - f o c u s s e d r e t e n t i o n effort. J o u r n a l o f C o l l e g e S t u d e n t P e r s o n n e l , 26, 355-356. R e n n i e , D.L., & B r e w e r , L. ( 1 9 8 7 ) . A grounded t h e o r y o f t h e s i s b l o c k i n g . T e a c h i n g o f P s y c h o l o g y , ±, 1 0 15. S c h n e i d e r s , A.A. ( 1 9 6 5 ) . P e r s o n a l i t y Dynamics and M e n t a l H e a l t h . New Y o r k : Holt, Rinehart & Winston. S o l s o , R.L. ( 1 9 8 8 ) . Massachusetts:  Cognitive Psychology A l l y n and Bacon.  (2nd e d . ) .  W e i s s b e r g , M.; B e r e n t s e n , M.; C o t e , A.; C r a v e y , B.; H e a l t h , K. ( 1 9 8 2 ) . An a s s e s s m e n t o f t h e p e r s o n a l c a r e e r , and academic needs o f undergraduate students. J o u r n a l o f C o l l e g e Student P e r s o n n e l , 23, 1 1 5 - 1 2 2 . W i d n a l l , S.E. ( 1 9 8 8 ) . AAAS p r e s i d e n t i a l l e c t u r e : V o i c e s from t h e p i p e l i n e . S c i e n c e , 241, 17251868.  84 Appendix A Initial  Recruitment  Letter  Department o f C o u n s e l l i n g P s y c h o l o g y U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia 5 7 8 0 T o r o n t o Road V a n c o u v e r , B.C. January 2 1 , 1991 Dear My name i s Deveda Mah. I am c u r r e n t l y c o n d u c t i n g a s t u d y on a d j u s t m e n t f o r my m a s t e r s t h e s i s i n t h e D e p a r t m e n t o f C o u n s e l l i n g P s y c h o l o g y a t UBC. My s u p e r v i s o r i s D r . L a r r y C o c h r a n a n d h i s t e l e p h o n e number i s XXX-XXXX. I wish t o d i s c o v e r t h e c o n d i t i o n s t h a t f a c i l i t a t e or h i n d e r adjustment f o r graduate students i n C o u n s e l l i n g Psychology. I p l a n t o c o l l e c t t h e i n f o r m a t i o n by c o n d u c t i n g p e r s o n a l interviews. I n e e d 20 p e o p l e t o be v o l u n t e e r s f o r t h i s s t u d y a n d I hope t h a t - y o u a r e a b l e t o p a r t i c i p a t e . Your p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s v o l u n t a r y and you can withdraw from t h e s t u d y a t any t i m e . The i n t e r v i e w w i l l t a k e a p p r o x i m a t e l y 30 - 60 m i n u t e s . It w i l l be a u d i o - t a p e d ; however, a l l i d e n t i f y i n g i n f o r m a t i o n w i l l be d e l e t e d t o e n s u r e c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y . The a u d i o - t a p e s w i l l be e r a s e d once t h e s t u d y i s c o m p l e t e d . You h a v e t h e r i g h t t o r e f u s e t o answer any q u e s t i o n . I t i s hoped t h a t i n f o r m a t i o n g a i n e d from t h i s s t u d y w i l l p r o v i d e some i n s i g h t and i d e a s i n t o h e l p i n g s t u d e n t s t o a d j u s t t o g r a d u a t e s c h o o l . The r e s u l t s o f t h i s s t u d y w i l l be a v a i l a b l e t o a l l who p a r t i c i p a t e . I w i l l c o n t a c t y o u b y t e l e p h o n e o v e r t h e n e x t two weeks, t o d i s c u s s t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f s e t t i n g up an i n t e r v i e w t i m e . Your p a r t i c i p a t i o n w i l l be h e l p f u l a n d v a l u a b l e t o my research. P l e a s e f e e l f r e e t o c a l l me a t XXX-XXXX i f y o u h a v e any q u e s t i o n s . Thank y o u v e r y much. Yours  sincerely,  Deveda Mah Graduate Student Department o f C o u n s e l l i n g P s y c h o l o g y U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia  85 Appendix B Consent I  Form  consent t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h i s s t u d y t h a t  i n v e s t i g a t e s t h e C o n d i t i o n s That F a c i l i t a t e And H i n d e r Adjustment F o r Graduate S t u d e n t s i n C o u n s e l l i n g P s y c h o l o g y .  T h i s s t u d y i s conducted by  Deveda Mah, a master's degree s t u d e n t i n C o u n s e l l i n g P s y c h o l o g y a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia and s u p e r v i s e d by Dr. L a r r y Professor.  Cochran,  T h i s s t u d y w i l l examine what c o n d i t i o n s f a c i l i t a t e and what  c o n d i t i o n s h i n d e r adjustment f o r s t u d e n t s a t t e n d i n g g r a d u a t e s c h o o l i n t h e department  of C o u n s e l l i n g Psychology.  I n f o r m a t i o n w i l l be a u d i o - t a p e d d u r i n g an i n t e r v i e w .  Some o f t h e  i n f o r m a t i o n w i l l be t r a n s c r i b e d from t h e t a p e s and p l a c e d i n t o i n d e x c a r d s at  a l a t e r date.  I d e n t i f y i n g i n f o r m a t i o n w i l l be d e l e t e d from a l l  t r a n s c r i p t s t o ensure c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y . confidential.  The person's i d e n t i t y w i l l  remain  The t a p e s w i l l be e r a s e d upon c o m p l e t i o n o f t h e s t u d y .  The  amount o f t i m e r e q u i r e d by you i s between 30 t o 60 m i n u t e s .  You have t h e r i g h t t o r e f u s e t o answer any q u e s t i o n and may a l s o  withdraw  from t h e s t u d y a t any time w i t h o u t consequences o f any k i n d . P a r t i c i p a t i o n i s voluntary. I HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD THE ABOVE AND HEREBY CONSENT TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS STUDY. I ACKNOWLEDGE RECEIPT OF THE CONSENT FORM AND ALL ATTACHMENTS. Signature of P a r t i c i p a t o r : Researcher:  86 Appendix C Biographic  Data  PLEASE CIRCLE THE APPROPRIATE ANSWERS: 1.  Gender:  2.  Age:  3.  M  F  20 - 24  25 - 29  40 - 44  45 - 49  Marital  Status:  Single  Married  Number o f D e p e n d e n t s :  5.  Title  35 - 39  50 - 54  Common-law  4.  55 - 59  Separated  Divorced  o f degree you a r e p u r s u i n g :  Master o f A r t s 6.  30 - 34  Master o f Education  Area o f focus i n your  degree:  - Elementary School Counselling - Secondary  School/Adolescence Counselling  - Community a n d A g e n c y :  Adult  - Community a n d A g e n c y :  Family  - Community a n d A g e n c y :  Gender  - Community a n d A g e n c y :  Cross-Cultural  Fair  - Higher Education 7.  Student Status:  Full-time  8.  Is this  your:  - first  year of graduate  - second year o f graduate 9.  school school  Year o f e n t r y i n t o Graduate 1988  1989  1990  studies  Part-time  Widowed  87 Appendix D Definition List 1.  Connective Support  - A sense o f comradery w i t h f e l l o w s t u d e n t s - Sense o f s u p p o r t and u n d e r s t a n d i n g from p r o f e s s o r s f r i e n d s and o r f a m i l y members. - B e i n g w i t h o t h e r s who a r e i n t h e same b o a t a s t h e y a r e , l i k e " m i s e r y l o v e s company". - Lack o f comradery - H a v i n g t o a d j u s t t o a move t o V a n c o u v e r t o a t t e n d UBC C r i t i c a l meaning: a sense "supported" by o t h e r s .  o f f e e l i n g connected  Common m e a n i n g : a sense o f f e e l i n g " s u p p o r t e d " , o r "one o f t h e t e a m " .  " i n tune",  and o r b e i n g "understood",  Lack o f c o n n e c t i v e support i s o f t e n a s s o c i a t e d w i t h of l o n e l i n e s s , inadequacy, i s o l a t i o n , a sense o f d i s c o n n e c t i o n , a s e n s e t h a t one i s an " o u t s i d e r " .  feelings  A f f i l i a t i o n w i t h others e x p e r i e n c i n g s i m i l a r f e e l i n g s and e x p e r i e n c e s , t h e r e f o r e , a p p e a r s t o be i m p o r t a n t t o a s e n s e of c o m f o r t a b l e n e s s and w e l l - b e i n g . 2.  Reassurance o f A b i l i t y  - B e i n g e n c o u r a g e d t h a t one h a d t h e s k i l l s t o b e a g o o d counsellor - B e i n g e v a l u a t e d i n s u c h a way t h a t one h a d t h e s k i l l s t o be a g o o d c o u n s e l l o r . - G e t t i n g f e e d b a c k f r a m e d i n a c o n s t r u c t i v e p o s i t i v e manner that v a l i d a t e s t h e person. - B e i n g d i s c o u r a g e d , o r undermined r e g a r d i n g one's s k i l l s and o r c a p a b i l i t i e s - Being u n f a i r l y evaluated C r i t i c a l m e a n i n g : B e i n g a s s u r e d t h a t one h a d t h e s k i l l s t o be a g o o d c o u n s e l l o r . Common m e a n i n g : n e e d i n g t o b e r e a s s u r e d t h a t one d i d n o t j u s t h a d t h e s k i l l s t o be a good c o u n s e l l o r , b u t t o be a good graduate s t u d e n t as w e l l . I f discouragement o r i n v a l i d a t i o n o f one's a b i l i t i e s o c c u r s , n e g a t i v e s e l f - t a l k o f t e n s e t s i n , when s t u d e n t s f e e l undermined by p r o f e s s o r s and o r p e e r s .  88 3. -  Practical Obtaining Assistance Assistance Assistance Assistance  Assistance " a c t u a l a s s i s t a n c e " f o r academic papers w i t h course a d v i s i n g with finances (bursary, s c h o l a r s h i pe t c . ) with c h i l d care w i t h l o o k i n g f o r a practicum placement  C r i t i c a l Meaning: being able t o o b t a i n " a c t u a l " a s s i s t a n c e o f some k i n d , be i t f o r t e r m p a p e r s , h o u s i n g , c h i l d c a r e o r money p r o b l e m s . Common M e a n i n g : b e i n g a b l e t o g e t h e l p g r e a t l y i n c r e a s e s a sense o f ease and adequacy. 4.  Flexibility  - p r o f e s s o r s a l l o w i n g s t u d e n t s f r e e d o m t o d e v e l o p o n e ' s own counselling style - p r o f e s s o r s p r o v i d i n g e x t e n s i o n s due t o c r i s i s s i t u a t i o n s - being forced t o follow a c e r t a i n philosophy of counselling (narrow focus) - b e i n g p e n a l i z e d f o r h a v i n g o n e ' s own i d e a s C r i t i c a l meaning: situations.  f l e x i b i l i t y i s allowed  Common m e a n i n g : s a t i s f a c t i o n occurs "concern" by o f f e r i n g f l e x i b i l i t y . 5. -  for, i n various  when p r o f e s s o r s  express  Safe Environment safe supportive l e a r n i n g environment e n v i r o n m e n t where i t was s a f e t o make m i s t a k e s freedom t o d i s c l o s e r e : s e l f not n e c e s s a r i l y " p h y s i c a l " environment, but " p s y c h o l o g i c a l " environment, generated by a person (prof o r f a m i l y member) where one c o u l d f e e l s a f e a n d o u t o f harm's way, o u t o f a d a n g e r z o n e .  C r i t i c a l meaning: a f e e l i n g o f s a f e t y , where one f e l t t o e x p r e s s o n e ' s i d e a s a n d where t h e y f e l t f r e e t o b e "oneself". Common m e a n i n g : f e e l i n g s a f e and c o m f o r t a b l e , expressing oneself. 6.  while  Information being provided  - b e i n g n o t i f i e d t h a t one was a c c e p t e d i n t o g r a d s c h o o l - o b t a i n i n g i n f o about p r o f e s s o r s - b e i n g a b l e t o o b t a i n v i t a l i n f o r m a t i o n o f some k i n d ,  free  89 a p p e a r s t o be c r u c i a l t o t h e w e l l - b e i n g  o f many  students.  C r i t i c a l meaning: b e i n g a b l e t o o b t a i n c r u c i a l "needed" i n f o o f some k i n d , t h a t i s deemed i m p o r t a n t t o t h e s t u d e n t . Common m e a n i n g : t h a t i n f o i s power; t h a t w i t h knowledge about c e r t a i n i s s u e s o r c e r t a i n people, t h e person tends t o feel less intimidated. 7.  University/department  services  - b e i n g s a t i s f i e d w i t h s e r v i c e s o f f e r e d by e i t h e r t h e department o r u n i v e r s i t y - being s a t i s f i e d with timing of courses - b e i n g s a t i s f i e d w i t h requirements o f courses, such as w r i t i n g p a p e r s i n s t e a d o f h a v i n g t o w r i t e exams. C r i t i c a l meaning: s a t i s f a c t i o n or lack of s a t i s f a c t i o n with the department and o r s e r v i c e s o f f e r e d by t h e u n i v e r s i t y . Common m e a n i n g : b e i n g t r e a t e d w e l l b y v a r i o u s helps t o increase s a t i s f a c t i o n . 8.  S e l f pre-planned  personnel  activities  - b e i n g i n v o l v e d i n h o b b i e s , e x e r c i s e , t i m e management - p l a n n i n g o n e ' s own i d e a s r e : a d j u s t i n g t o u n i v e r s i t y a n d academic pressures C r i t i c a l meaning: self-planned a c t i v i t i e s of c o n t r o l over t h e i r environment.  enhances a sense  Common m e a n i n g : helps students t o f e e l better, p h y s i c a l l y and p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y - s a t i s f a c t i o n i n c r e a s e s when t h e s e a c t i v i t i e s are undertaken. H e l p s one t o d e a l w i t h t h e stresses of school. 9.  Crisis-like  events  - l o s i n g a l o v e d one - being diagnosed with a l i f e - t h r e a t e n i n g disease - e x p e r i e n c i n g exam a n x i e t y C r i t i c a l meaning: i n v o l v e s a sense o f f e a r , a n x i e t y , and h e l p l e s s n e s s t h a t s t u d e n t s e x p e r i e n c e when c r i s e s o c c u r . Common m e a n i n g : o v e r a l l sense o f bewilderment, f e a r and loss of control.  

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