Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Educational Leadership


Havice, Pamela A

Committee Member

Cawthon , Tony W

Committee Member

Griffin , Barbara L

Committee Member

Sharp , Julia L


University mental health clinics have experienced a marked increase in demand for services without an increase in resources to meet the rising demand. Consequently, university mental health centers need strategies to determine the best allocation of their limited resources. Transtheoretical Model, based on client motivation, may offer valuable insight into whether a university student is likely to benefit from campus mental health counseling.
The subjects included 331 university students at a liberal arts, public university in the Southeastern part of the United States. The subjects consisted of all students over age 18 who visited the research site campus mental health clinic 3 - 7 times during academic years 2007/2008 and 2008/2009. The majority of subjects were female (n = 229, 69.2%). Caucasians comprised 79.5% of subjects (n = 263). The next largest group was Asian Americans (n = 24, 7.3%), followed by African American students (n = 14, 4.2%), and Hispanic Americans (n = 5, 1.5%). The greatest percentage of subjects (55.6%) received counseling from a supervised graduate intern (n = 184), while 44.4% received counseling from professional staff (n = 147).
The investigator conducted a quantitative study that employed a five-group, pre-test-post-test design. The study included data from intake questionnaires gathered in the course of treatment at the research site. The study had one independent variable, client motivation as measured by a yet unstudied 'five-item stages of change scale'. The investigator measured the primary dependent variable, counseling outcome, by determining the difference in scores from pre- and post-test administrations of the Outcome Questionnaire 45.2 (OQ45.2).
As assigned by the 'five-item stages of change scale', the five motivation groups differed significantly (p = .004.) for counseling outcome. The groups also differed significantly (p <001) for incidences of students attending compulsory counseling. The groups did not differ for percentage of appointments attended or having received treatment by a supervised intern.
The 'five-item stages of change scale' may be a useful indicator of initial client motivation. With further study, the instrument may prove to be a useful strategy for allocating limited counseling sessions.