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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Counselor Education

First Advisor

Coven, Arnold


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of group counseling employing a reality therapy or a mutual support group model on the self-determination of adults with developmental disabilities. Specific outcome variables for the study were autonomy, self-regulation, psychological empowerment, and self-realization. The design of the study consisted of two groups with a pretest and a posttest. Participants (n = 30) for the study volunteered from a vocational training program in a large urban area and were randomly assigned to one of the two treatment conditions. Pretesting occurred one week before the group counseling began using the Arc's Self-Determination Scale - Adult Version (Wehmeyer, 1995). Posttesting occurred one week following counseling using the same measure. The group counseling was conducted in six, weekly, one-hour sessions using methodologies developed for the study. Results of an ANCOVA indicated a statistically significant difference for the reality therapy on the self-regulation variable when compared to the support group at posttest. Using t-tests, statistically significant increases were observed on the self-regulation and self-realization variables with the reality therapy group from pretest and posttest. Unpredicted significant increases were observed on subdomains of the autonomy variable and total self-determination from pretest to posttest with the reality therapy group. This study provides partial evidence that group counseling using a reality therapy methodology can be helpful in increasing some factors associated with self-determination for persons with developmental disabilities.

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