Erendira Lopez-garcia (Committee Member), Leon Vandecreek (Committee Member), Martyn Whittingham (Committee Chair)
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
While group therapy appears to be gaining popularity at University Counseling Centers, scant research has been done on Latino students' group therapy participation. The present study examined the barriers that Latino college students face in considering whether to join group therapy. Participants (N=81) completed three measures. The first measure was a demographic questionnaire. The second measure was a modified version of the Barriers Scale, originally developed by Harris (2012), a 44-item survey in which participants were assessed in terms of: their willingness to consider group therapy, group therapy modality preferences, expectations of group therapy, expectations of group members, expectations of group leaders, coping skills if in distress, and multicultural considerations. The final measure was the Short Acculturation Scale for Hispanics created by Marin, Otero-Sabogal, & Perez-Stable (1987). Data for this study were analyzed employing descriptive statistics, chi-square tests and Spearman rho correlations. Results found that coping strategies for Latino college students were mainly based around seeking help from family and friends, or facing their problems directly on their own. Group therapy was generally found to be one of the least desirable treatment modalities utilized as a coping method. However, results suggest that a barrier to group therapy for Latino college students may be that they do not know what are the purpose and benefits of group therapy. Moreover, when more information is given about types of groups, Latino college students' interest in group therapy increases. In addition, results indicated that other barriers to group therapy included: the expectation that group therapists should have knowledge about Latino culture, leader experience running groups with Latino members and a number of other important factors. Beyond the scope of this dissertation, further research should be done in the area of barriers to group therapy for this population in order to provide group facilitators with a deeper understanding of Latino college students' worries about group therapy and to identify additional effective ways to recruit and retain these clients.
Department or Program
School of Professional Psychology
Year Degree Awarded
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