Date of Award

2003

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Counseling Psychology, Ph.D.

First Advisor

Frederick A. Kosinski, Jr.

Second Advisor

Jimmy Kijai

Third Advisor

Larry Burton

Abstract

Purpose of the Study. This study sought: (a) to identify stakeholders' perceptions of the existing guidance program in Jamaican schools and (b) to identify aspects of the Comprehensive Guidance Counseling Program (CGCP) that are desired by stakeholders in order to observe if there were any significant gaps between the perceived current and desired status of guidance in Jamaican schools.

Method. This was a self-report, descriptive survey study that involved 420 subjects (151 students, 130 teachers, 44 counselors, 37 principals, and 58 parents) from 54 schools (18 primary, 18 All-Age/Junior High, and 18 Secondary) across the three counties of Jamaica.

Results. Results indicated that Jamaican school-age children are faced with real challenges that are impacting their academic, career, and personal/social development. The major issues identified by stakeholders as having the greatest negative impact on students' success included: death of someone close, fear of contracting STIs, HIV/AIDS, thoughts, of problems at home, fear of failing at school, and thoughts of being raped or sexually abused. Additionally, the Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test results showed significant differences between the perceived current and the desired status of guidance in Jamaican schools, and that stakeholders desire to have all essential elements of aCGCP implemented in Jamaican schools.

Conclusion. Results of this study led to the following conclusions. Jamaican school-age children are faced with real challenges that are impacting their academic, career, and personal/social development. Stakeholders perceived the existing guidance program in Jamaican schools as lacking essential elements of a CGCP. There are significant gaps between the perceived current and desired status for all essential elements of a CGCP, therefore stakeholders desire to have a CGCP implemented in Jamaican schools. Consequently, stakeholders and policy makers need to clearly understand that school counselors will be better able to help solve current problems that plague our schools if they are given roles that permit them to deliver comprehensive counseling and guidance program services effectively.

Subject Area

Educational counseling--Jamaica, Student counselors--Jamaica

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