The influence of existential group counselling on the purpose in life, self-esteem and alcohol outcome expectancies of under-graduate students

Van Vuuren, Casper Hendrik (2006-03)

Thesis (MA (Psychology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2006.

Thesis

The main ail of this intervention study was to investigate and measure quantitatively the influence of existential group counselling on undergraduate students’ level of meaning and purpose in life, self-esteem and alcohol outcome expectancies. A quantitative research approach was adopted using a pre-test post-test design with an equivalent control group in order to ascertain whether there were any significant differences between the experimental group (n = 21) and the control group (n = 21). The independent variable was existential group counseling and the dependent variables were the undergraduate students’ subjective level of meaning and purpose in life, self-esteem and alcohol outcome expectancies. Forty-two subjects were randomly assigned to either an experimental or control group. Quantitative data was collected using: Purpose in Life test (Crumbaugh & Maholick, 1964), the Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965) and the Alcohol Outcome Expectancy Scale (Leigh and Stacy, 1993). The methods of data analysis were the application of both independent and dependent sample t-tests. The dependent sample t-test results indicated a significant improvement of meaning and purpose in life (t = 3.85, p < 0.01) and alcohol outcome expectancies (t = 4.11, p < 0.01). The subjective level of self-esteem also shows an increase, though not significantly (t = 4.65, p > 0.05). Independent samples t-test results also indicated a significant improvement of meaning and purpose in life (t = 12.82, p < 0.01) as well as alcohol outcome expectancies (t = 9.57, p < 0.01). The study concluded that existential group counselling had a significant effect on undergraduate students’ level of meaning and purpose in life, as well as on alcohol outcome expectancies.

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