Date of Award

5-1-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Social Work

Degree Name

Ph.D.

First Advisor

Richard Lyle, Ph.D

Abstract

This study explores select barriers to grief counseling groups for adolescents by Georgia public school social workers. The purpose of this study is to determine if there are select barriers in place in school systems that prevent school social workers from conducting grief counseling groups within the school setting for adolescents. Seventy-five (75) survey participants were selected for this study utilizing non probability convenience sampling from among the participants of the selected Savannah site for the study. The survey participants were composed of school social workers who were members of the state chapter of School Social Workers Association of Georgia (SSWAG) organization, which is the state charter of the larger School Social Workers Association of America (SSWAA) national organization. This study employed a survey questionnaire entitled, A Study of Barriers to Grief Counseling Groups for Adolescents in School, and a four-point continuum Likert scale. The findings of the study indicate that there is no statistical significance between select barriers -- amount of time provided during a school day, administrative support, and social work caseloads — when compared to conducting grief counseling groups. The data indicate that there is no relationship between the select barriers and conducting grief counseling groups. However, responding school social workers agree that grief impacts adolescents and interferes with teaching and learning in school, and that a comfort level with the topic of grief is required in order to conduct grief counseling groups. The overall findings of this study revealed that grief counseling groups are underutilized interventions by Georgia public school social workers, who are members of the School Social Workers Association of Georgia organization. Although Georgia public school social workers recognize the importance of grief counseling groups as effective interventions for adolescents, grief counseling groups are not being conducted at higher percentages by school social workers for adolescents, based on the frequency distribution data.

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