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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An evaluation of a course on social and cultural issues in counselling Brooks, Geraldine Susan


This experimental research study investigated how effectively a Master's level course on social and cultural issues in counselling influenced students' levels of ethnic awareness, sex role behaviours and behavioural intentions, and attitudes toward women. Professional psychological and counselling associations have strongly advocated that counsellor education programs incorporate courses focusing on social and cultural issues into their curricula. The study was based on the following general research question. It is hypothesized that a positive relationship exists between (on the one hand) counselling students' participation in a training course on social and cultural issues in counselling and (on the other hand) their levels of ethnic awareness, non-sexist attitudes toward women, and non-traditional sex role behaviours and behavioural intentions. The impact of the course was assessed through the use of the Wayne Ethnic Awareness Measure, the Robinson Behavioral Inventory, and the Therapists' Attitudes Toward Women Scale. These instruments were administered in a pre- and post-test format to 16 students who were enrolled in the experimental course and 15 students who were enrolled in a comparable level course on counselling theories and interventions. Six months after the post-test, brief follow-up interviews were conducted with seven volunteers from the experimental group. Statistical analyses of the data indicated that there were no significant differences in levels of cultural awareness, sex role behaviours or behavioural intentions, or attitudes toward women, between the experimental and the comparison groups at the time of the post-test. The results also revealed that, overall, participants had relatively low levels of cultural awareness and relatively high levels of feminist consciousness based on previously reported results for the instruments used. These findings imply that the experimental course should be modified to more effectively address its training objectives, particularly as they pertain to cross-cultural issues.

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