Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Robert Brashear

Second Advisor

Dr. Thelma Urbick

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Oswald


This study was designed to investigate the effectiveness of a psychoeducational curriculum in psychological health skills, entitled Psychological Health and Self-Esteem (PHSE). The study evaluated PHSE which is a 10-week class offered through the Psychology Department at Michigan State University, East Lansing, and is part of the Health Promotion Program, partially funded by a Kellogg Foundation grant.

Two hundred students participated in the study, and complete data were obtained from 117, 56 of them enrolled in PHSE and 61 enrolled in a different class designated as a control group. The design of the study was a pretest-posttest quasi-experiment with a control group selected for similar demographic attributes.

The variables of interest in the study were: (a) self-esteem as measured by the Cheek and Buss (1981) Self-Esteem Scale and a shortened form of the Rosenberg (1965) Self-Esteem Scale (Cook, 1987); (b) depression as measured by the short form of the Beck Depression Inventory (Beck & Beck, 1972); (c) anxiety as measured by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (Spielberger, 1983); and (d) awareness of shame as measured by the Internalized Shame Scale (Cook, 1987). Additionally, a qualitative questionnaire was administered to the experimental group which evaluated frequency of use and perceived effectiveness of the tools in building psychological health and positive self-esteem, as measured by the Evaluation Questionnaire.

The results of the analyses performed, using analysis of covariance with pretest as the covariate, showed that participants in PHSE did not demonstrate a significant difference in enhancing self-esteem or decreasing depression. However, as predicted, participants in the treatment group demonstrated significant decrease in anxiety and also a significant increase in their awareness of and ability to differentiate the affect of shame.

The depression and self-esteem instruments were judged as lacking sensitivity to reflect changes in a 10-week period of time. The positive results on the anxiety and shame measures support the effectiveness of PHSE in promoting psychological health. Further research is needed to follow up with more sensitive measures and over a longer period of time.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Counseling Commons