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Journal of Counseling Psychology - Vol 64, Iss 6

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Journal of Counseling Psychology The Journal of Counseling Psychology publishes empirical research in the areas of (a) counseling activities (including assessment, interventions, consultation, supervision, training, prevention, and psychological education), (b) career development and vocational psychology, (c) diversity and underrepresented populations in relation to counseling activities, (d) the development of new measures to be used in counseling activities, and (e) professional issues in counseling psychology.
Copyright 2018 American Psychological Association
  • Introduction to special section on advanced methodology: Counseling the dog to wag its methodological tail.
    In this article, we introduce a special section focused on the application of advanced methodologies to specific research questions in counseling psychology. The articles include applications of natural language processing, dynamic systems, mediation analyses in single studies and meta-analysis, and synthesis of qualitative research. We provide a brief overview of each article. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Topics in the Journal of Counseling Psychology, 1963–2015.
    Historical trends in a scientific field should be apparent in the changing content of journal articles over time. Using a topic modeling approach, a statistical method for quantifying the thematic content of text, 70 topics were extracted from the abstracts of 3,603 articles published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology from 1963 to 2015. After examining interpretability of 70 topics derived from the model, 64 meaningful topics and their trends were named. In addition, the authors also classified some of the related topics into 4 categories—counseling process and outcome, multiculturalism, research methodology, and vocational psychology. Counseling process and outcome related topics have decreased recently, while topics relating to multiculturalism and diversity have shown increasing trends. The authors also discussed trends that were observed and tried to account for the changing frequencies of some important research topics within these categories. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • A multivariate dynamic systems model for psychotherapy with more than one client.
    The dynamics of the give and take between therapist and client(s) is frequently of interest to therapy process researchers. Characterizing the ways that therapists respond to clients and clients respond to therapists can be challenging in therapeutic encounters involving a single therapist and a single client. The complexity of this challenge increases as the number of people involved in a therapeutic encounter increases not only because there are more people responding to one another but also because the patterns of responding can become more complex. This manuscript demonstrates how dyadic cross-lagged panel models can be extended to psychotherapeutic encounters involving 3 people and used to test processes that exist between dyadic subsets of the larger group as well as the group as one cohesive unit. Three hundred seventy-nine talk turns of fundamental frequency from a couple therapy session were modeled using 3 dyadic cross-lagged panel models, and each individual’s respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) was treated as a moderator. Although the regression coefficients for each dyadic subset (e.g., therapist–husband) were nonsignificant, an eigenvalue/eigenvector decomposition of the regression coefficients from the 3 dyadic cross-lagged panel models suggests that interdependence exists at the level of the whole group (i.e., therapist–husband–wife) rather than between pairs of individuals within the group (e.g., husband–wife). Further, an interaction involving husband’s RSA suggested that interdependence involving the husband ceased when the husband displayed greater regulatory effort. This combination of statistical methods allows for clearly distinguishing between dyadic therapeutic processes and group-level therapeutic processes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Metamethod study of qualitative psychotherapy research on clients’ experiences: Review and recommendations.
    A metamethod study is a qualitative meta-analysis focused upon the methods and procedures used in a given research domain. These studies are rare in psychological research. They permit both the documentation of the informal standards within a field of research and recommendations for future work in that area. This paper presents a metamethod analysis of a substantial body of qualitative research that focused on clients’ experiences in psychotherapy (109 studies). This review examined the ways that methodological integrity has been established across qualitative research methods. It identified the numbers of participants recruited and the form of data collection used (e.g., semistructured interviews, diaries). As well, it examined the types of checks employed to increase methodological integrity, such as participant counts, saturation, reflexivity techniques, participant feedback, or consensus and auditing processes. Central findings indicated that the researchers quite flexibly integrated procedures associated with one method into studies using other methods in order to strengthen their rigor. It appeared normative to adjust procedures to advance methodological integrity. These findings encourage manuscript reviewers to assess the function of procedures within a study rather than to require researchers to adhere to the set of procedures associated with a method. In addition, when epistemological approaches were mentioned they were overwhelmingly constructivist in nature, despite the increasing use of procedures traditionally associated with objectivist perspectives. It is recommended that future researchers do more to explicitly describe the functions of their procedures so that they are coherently situated within the epistemological approaches in use. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Unique effects and moderators of effects of sources on self-efficacy: A model-based meta-analysis.
    Self-efficacy beliefs are strong predictors of academic pursuits, performance, and persistence, and in theory are developed and maintained by 4 classes of experiences Bandura (1986) referred to as sources: performance accomplishments (PA), vicarious learning (VL), social persuasion (SP), and affective arousal (AA). The effects of sources on self-efficacy vary by performance domain and individual difference factors. In this meta-analysis (k = 61 studies of academic self-efficacy; N = 8,965), we employed B. J. Becker’s (2009) model-based approach to examine cumulative effects of the sources as a set and unique effects of each source, controlling for the others. Following Becker’s recommendations, we used available data to create a correlation matrix for the 4 sources and self-efficacy, then used these meta-analytically derived correlations to test our path model. We further examined moderation of these associations by subject area (STEM vs. non-STEM), grade, sex, and ethnicity. PA showed by far the strongest unique association with self-efficacy beliefs. Subject area was a significant moderator, with sources collectively predicting self-efficacy more strongly in non-STEM (k = 14) compared with STEM (k = 47) subjects (R2 = .37 and .22, respectively). Within studies of STEM subjects, grade level was a significant moderator of the coefficients in our path model, as were 2 continuous study characteristics (percent non-White and percent female). Practical implications of the findings and future research directions are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Confounding in statistical mediation analysis: What it is and how to address it.
    Psychology researchers are often interested in mechanisms underlying how randomized interventions affect outcomes such as substance use and mental health. Mediation analysis is a common statistical method for investigating psychological mechanisms that has benefited from exciting new methodological improvements over the last 2 decades. One of the most important new developments is methodology for estimating causal mediated effects using the potential outcomes framework for causal inference. Potential outcomes-based methods developed in epidemiology and statistics have important implications for understanding psychological mechanisms. We aim to provide a concise introduction to and illustration of these new methods and emphasize the importance of confounder adjustment. First, we review the traditional regression approach for estimating mediated effects. Second, we describe the potential outcomes framework. Third, we define what a confounder is and how the presence of a confounder can provide misleading evidence regarding mechanisms of interventions. Fourth, we describe experimental designs that can help rule out confounder bias. Fifth, we describe new statistical approaches to adjust for measured confounders of the mediator—outcome relation and sensitivity analyses to probe effects of unmeasured confounders on the mediated effect. All approaches are illustrated with application to a real counseling intervention dataset. Counseling psychologists interested in understanding the causal mechanisms of their interventions can benefit from incorporating the most up-to-date techniques into their mediation analyses. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Sexual victimization, childhood emotional abuse, and distress: Daily coping and perceived control as mediators.
    The primary aim of the present study was to assess 2 potential mediators (daily avoidant coping and perceived control) of the relations between past sexual victimization and childhood emotional abuse and current distress. Participants (N = 268) were undergraduate students in psychology courses at a large Midwestern university who completed measures of sexual victimization, childhood emotional abuse, neuroticism, and distress at baseline; daily measures of avoidant coping and perceived control over stressors for 14 days (Time 2); and measures of avoidant coping, perceived control, and distress at Time 3. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to test the mediation model. The indirect path between childhood emotional abuse and T3 distress through daily avoidant coping was significant and remained significant in an alternate model that controlled for baseline neuroticism. The indirect effect of childhood emotional abuse on T3 distress through perceived control was not significant. Sexual victimization was not associated with greater use of avoidant coping or perceived control in the SEM models. The present study added to the literature by assessing multiple traumas and multiple mediators using longitudinal, daily diary methods. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Emotional Benefits and Barriers of Psychological Services Scale: Initial construction and validation among African American women.
    The current study used the Health Belief Model to develop a measure that assessed the emotional benefits and barriers of professional psychological services in an African American women sample. Data from 251 African American women recruited from online organizations from across the United States (n = 164) and a Midwestern university psychology subject pool (n = 87) were used for exploratory factor analysis. Results revealed a 2-factor structure of the Emotional Benefits and Barriers of Psychological Services (EBBPS) Scale: Life Enhancement and Concerns about Distress, respectively. Confirmatory factor analysis was performed with data from 208 African American women who were recruited from a Midwestern university psychology subject pool (n = 81), Mturk (n = 104), and online organizations across the United States (n = 23). Results confirmed the EFA 2-factor model and demonstrated superior fit compared with a unidimensional model as well as a 3 factor model. Both factors exhibited excellent internal consistency. Construct validity was supported given that EBBPS factors were correlated with theoretically related constructs, like psychological help-seeking attitudes, intentions to seek counseling, and cultural identity, as well as uncorrelated with theoretically unrelated constructs, like psychological distress. These findings support the utility and cultural relevance of the EBBPS with African American women. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Two is more valid than one: Examining the factor structure of the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS).
    The Self-Compassion Scale (SCS; Neff, 2003a) is the most widely used measure of self-compassion. Self-compassion, as measured by the SCS, is robustly linked to psychological health (Macbeth & Gumley, 2012; Zessin, Dickhaüser, & Garbade, 2015). The SCS is currently understood as exhibiting a higher-order structure comprised of 6 first-order factors and 1 second-order general self-compassion factor. Recently, some researchers have questioned the internal validity of this 1-factor conceptualization, and posit that the SCS may instead be comprised of 2 general factors—self-compassion and self-coldness. The current paper provides an in-depth examination of the internal structure of the SCS using oblique, higher-order, and bifactor structural models in a sample of 1,115 college students. The bifactor model comprised of 2 general factors—self-compassion and self-coldness—and 6 specific factors demonstrated the best fit to the data. Results also indicated the Self-Coldness factor accounted for unique variance in depression, anxiety, and stress, whereas the Self-Compassion factor only accounted for unique variance in its association with depression, providing further evidence for the presence of 2 distinct factors. Results did not provide support for the 1-factor composition of self-compassion currently used in research. Implications for using, scoring, and interpreting the SCS are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Variance composition, measurement invariance by gender, and construct validity of the Femininity Ideology Scale-Short Form.
    The current study extended prior work on the Femininity Ideology Scale (FIS), a multidimensional measure of traditional femininity ideology (TFI), in several ways. First, we conducted exploratory factor and bifactor analyses, which revealed a general TFI factor and 3 specific factors: dependence/deference, purity, and emotionality/traditional roles. Second, based on these results we developed the 12-item FIS-Short Form (FIS-SF). Third, we assessed the FIS-SF using confirmatory factor analysis on a separate sample, finding that the items loaded on the general factor and 3 specific factors as hypothesized, and that the bifactor model fit better than common factors and unidimensional models. Fourth, model-based reliability estimates tentatively support the use of raw scores to represent the general TFI factor and the emotionality/traditional roles specific factor, but the other 2 specific factors are best measured using SEM or by ipsatizing their scores. Fifth, we assessed measurement invariance across 2 gender groups, finding evidence for configural invariance for all factors, and for partial metric invariance for the specific factors. Sixth, we found evidence for the convergent construct validity of the FIS-SF general factor and the emotionality/traditional roles specific factors by examining relationships with the latent variables of several constructs in the nomological network. The results are discussed in relationship to prior literature, future research directions, applications to counseling practice, and limitations. Data (N = 1,472, 907 women, 565 men, 530 people of color) were from community and college participants who responded to an online survey. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Further examination of the factor structure of the Male Role Norms Inventory-Short Form (MRNI-SF): Measurement considerations for women, men of color, and gay men.
    Using multigroup structural equation modeling in a large sample of online-survey respondents (N = 6,744), the present study examined the reliability and dimensionality of the Male Role Norms Inventory-Short Form (MRNI-SF), a popular measurement of traditional masculinity ideology (TMI), and also tested measurement invariance between individuals that do and do not fit the White heterosexual male TMI reference group. Results indicated that (a) it is appropriate to model the MRNI-SF using either a bifactor or unidimensional model but not a second-order model, (b) the raw MRNI-SF total score is a suitable measure of the general TMI construct, (c) the raw self-reliance through mechanical skills and negativity toward sexual minorities subscale scores may be appropriate measures of their respective specific factors (akin to subscale factors), and (d) SEM or ipsatizing procedures should be used to model the 5 other specific factors, given the insufficient model-based reliability of their raw subscale scores. When comparing men to women, White men to Black and Asian men, and gay men to heterosexual men, the MRNI-SF demonstrated configural invariance and at least partial metric invariance (i.e., measured similar constructs). However, scalar and residuals invariance were only supported for Asian men compared to White men. Taken together, these findings suggest that a general TMI factor of the MRNI-SF is best represented by a bifactor model, even in individuals that do not fit the White heterosexual male TMI reference group, but the instrument may be tapping somewhat different constructs in women, Black men, and gay men. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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