Date of Award

Summer 1999

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Committee Director

Michelle L. Kelley

Committee Member

Monica L. Crawford

Committee Member

Barbara A. Winstead

Committee Member

John D. Ball

Committee Member

Perry M. Duncan


The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a six-session group counseling intervention for children who had a parent experiencing military-induced deployment. Participants were 65 children (30 boys, 35 girls) of enlisted military personnel attending elementary schools near the Norfolk Naval Base. Elementary school counselors facilitated the counseling groups.

An experimental/control group pretest-posttest design was employed. Independent variables were the child's participation in the Children of Deployed Parents-Group/control group, child gender and age. Dependent variables were self-esteem, anxiety, and behavior as measured by the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory (SEI), the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children (STAIC), the Child Behavior Checklist for Parents (CBCL), and the Child Behavior Checklist - Teacher's Report Form (TRF).

Children were administered the SEI and the STAIC by their elementary school counselors before and after the CDP-Group (and at similar intervals for the control group). Mothers and teachers of participating children completed the CBCL or the TRF, respectively, before and after the counseling program (and at similar intervals for children in the control group). Mothers completed the Beck Depression Inventory and a background information questionnaire at midpoint.

Analyses of variance (ANOVAs) determined that children's functioning did not differ by gender or by age. Additionally, group (treatment/control) by time (pretest/posttest) interactions were not significant. That is, the functioning of children who attended the counseling sessions did not differ from the control group over time.

Although group counseling did not appear to effect children's functioning over time, children's externalizing behavior was predicted by mother's current participation in counseling, the father's level of education, the number of years the child's parents had been married, father's pay grade, and the number of years the father had been in the military. The child's self-esteem was predicted by the child's level of trait anxiety; state anxiety was predicted by the mother's self-reported level of depressive affect. Teacher's reports of the child's level of internalizing behavior was predicted by the mother's current participation in counseling, maternal depression, state anxiety, and trait anxiety.


A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculties of The College of William and Mary, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk State University, and Old Dominion University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology through the Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology.


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