Publication Date

Fall 2018

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Pamela Petty (Director), Jacqueline Hansen, and Antony D. Norman

Degree Program

Educational Leadership Doctoral Program

Degree Type

Doctor of Education


The purpose of this study is to identify techniques that could be developed into a resource for counselors and other professionals who assist college students in dealing effectively with adversity. In a series of four surveys, 200 people were asked to participate. These included professional counselors and ministers both on and off campus, as well as directors in Student Affairs, such as those in student support services and student life. To accomplish this, questionnaires were developed to identify and allow for tabulation of the counseling techniques most commonly used for students dealing with adversity by those working with college students.

To develop that instrument, this study was divided into four phases: Phase I consisted of identification of the technique pool by reaching out to the professionals for a list of techniques they regularly used to help college students effectively deal with adversity. Twenty-three were returned out of 41 surveys sent. Phase II dealt with technique validity evaluation by taking the top techniques from Phase I and rating them in regard to relevance. This was achieved from a group of college professors who regularly train counselors. This list consisted of four categories: 1) transition, 2) academics, 3) social life, and 4) finances. Eight of the 15 surveys that were sent were returned completed. Phase III was a test/retest submitted to a group from Phase I who had not been previously contacted. This technique of reliability evaluation measured whether

they chose the same answers over a period of time. Twenty of the 35 surveys sent were returned. Finally, in Phase IV classified as survey administration and data collection, the updated survey was sent to the remaining members of the group in Phase I who had not been previously contacted. Fifty-three of the 109 surveys that were sent were returned. Phases I-III were devoted to developing the survey instrument. Validity and reliability measures were established, and the final version of the instrument was administered to practicing professionals. Data from Phase IV were tabulated to identify (1) the most commonly and frequently used counseling techniques for college students dealing with adversity, (2) techniques seen as most effective for students dealing with each of the adversity categories, (3) techniques seen as turning points within each adversity category, and (4) whether or not techniques were recommended the same or differently based on the respondents’ years of experience.


Counseling | Other Mental and Social Health | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Psychology and Interaction | Student Counseling and Personnel Services