Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name



Counselor Education

First Advisor

Arnold B. Coven


This study specifically investigated the effects of two group counseling interventions on Arab-American high school students' perceptions of the strength of their primary relationships (parent, teachers, and peers). It was designed to help high school students increase their acceptance of the culture of their host society and develop a sense of comfort so they can retain some of their own culture and Arab identity without feeling they will totally lose them. One approach was Choice group theory grounded in the reality of making choices concerning thoughts and behaviors. Choice Theory is described as the idea that people have mental images of their needs and behave accordingly; thus individuals are ultimately self-determining (i.e., their life choices). The Psychoeducational approach's primary purpose is to educate or instruct participants in regards to certain relationships or areas pertinent to their lives (e.g., child education group). Arab American high school students were recruited from two high schools in a large urban metropolitan school district in the Midwest. Initially, there were a total of 54 high school students who volunteered to participate in this study. However, four participants failed to complete the study. Therefore, data was analyzed for 50 participants. The participants were randomly assigned to one of the two treatment conditions. There were a total of six counseling groups of approximately 8-12 high school students in each group. The Parent, Teacher and Peers subscale scores on the Clinical Assessments of Interpersonal Relationships were used to determine the pre-and-post levels in Arab American high school students' perceptions of the strength of their relationships in three primary contexts. The results indicated there was no statistically significant level of difference in any of the three primary contexts. Based on the statistically non-significant findings on the differential group changes in perceptions Arab-American high school students have of their primary relationships pre-to-post, the null hypotheses were retained. A summary and discussion of the results pertinent to each research hypothesis and recommendations for future research are presented.