Evaluating the Effects of Initial Participation in the Group Therapy Process

Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

William Kurtines

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Thomas Reio

Third Advisor's Name

Mary Levitt

Fourth Advisor's Name

Dionne Stephens


group therapy, initial effects of therapy, identity development, session-by-session measure

Date of Defense



Although the effectiveness of group therapy has been highlighted, the underlying mechanisms involved in the group process have been under studied. The purpose of this study is twofold. First, the current study utilized an outcome mediation model to examine whether initial level of participation in the intervention (Control/No intervention, non-participatory, participatory) predicted change in Identity Conflict Resolution (IDCR), Personal Expressiveness (PE) and Informational Identity Style (INFO) at posttest, and Internalizing (INT) and Externalizing (EXT) behaviors at post and follow-up assessment. Secondly, the current study examined whether relationships between variables varied as a result of group differences in initial participation. The study utilized an archival sample of 234 high school students, ages 14 to 18, who participated in the Changing Lives Program of the Youth Development Project (YDP) since 2003. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to examine differences in direct effects as a result of initial participation on an outcome meditational model. To further analyze this model, SEM was utilized to conduct a multi-group solution to examine whether group differences based on level of initial participation in the variables



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