Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Edward L. Trembley

Second Advisor

Dr. Thelma Urbick

Third Advisor

Dr. Francis Gross


In this study, a children's board game, The Clubhouse Game, was developed, described and evaluated. Created by the author, The Clubhouse Game addresses locus of control and was designed for use in psychotherapy with 7 through 11 year old children. A review of selected writings of Piaget, Erikson and Winnicott yielded four concepts which were incorporated into the game. The Clubhouse Game was evaluated in terms of its effectiveness in modifying belief in locus of control in children who played the game, and its ability to serve as a stimulus or point of reference for discussions of situations which contain issues relevant to locus of control. Subjects for the study were 43 normal children, i.e., not psychotherapy clients, attending a Kalamazoo YMCA daycamp. Subjects ranged in age from 7 through 11.

The Children's Nowicki-Strickland Internal-External Locus of Control scale was used to assess subjects' locus of control orientation before and after exposure to the game. Analysis of covariance, with the pretest as the covariate, showed a significant difference between adjusted mean posttest scores for the treatment and control groups, with treatment children moving toward internal control.

A questionnaire developed by the researcher was used to measure treatment group subjects' abilities to use two specified key concepts from the game when discussing situations which contain locus of control issues as a primary focus. All subjects who responded to the questionnaire were able to meet or exceed the criterion levels for their respective age groups.

It was concluded that The Clubhouse Game was a useful tool for helping daycamp children learn and apply concepts which might be expected to assist them in problem-solving. Implications of the study for child psychotherapy and suggestions for further research were given.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Counseling Commons