THE EFFECTS OF A SEXUAL ISSUES DISCUSSION GROUP ON THE SEXUAL ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIORS OF PHYSICALLY DISABLED COLLEGE STUDENTS
AuthorMitchell, Connie Gail
KeywordsPeople with disabilities -- Sexual behavior.
Attitude (Psychology) -- Testing.
College students -- Sexual behavior.
AdvisorYost, Elizabeth B.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of the current study was to measure the effects of a sexual issues discussion group on the sexual attitudes and behaviors of physically disabled college students. A review of the literature on sexual rehabilitation counseling shows that many programs have been designed to help the disabled. However, it was discovered that most of these programs were developed for the traumatically disabled and did not include the congenitally disabled or those afflicted with debilitating diseases. Furthermore, few reports described the sexual adjustment counseling programs and even fewer reported data on the effectiveness of these programs. Research indicated that the disabled have more difficulty adjusting to college than do able-bodied students. Since sexual adjustment is an important component of total adjustment, it was hypothesized that this might be an important function of a college counselor working with disabled students. The lack of reviews of sexual adjustment programs, the scarcity of reports on the effectiveness of these programs and the rarity of information on sexual adjustment counseling with disabled college students were the impetus for this study. The specific questions which this study was designed to answer were: (1) Does participation in a sexual issues discussion group affect the sexual attitudes of physically disabled college students? (2) Does participation in a sexual issues discussion group affect the sexual activity of physically disabled college students? and (3) Does participation in a sexual issues discussion group help physically disabled college students reach specific attitudinal and behavioral goals which they have identified prior to beginning the group? The population included all the physically handicapped students at Arizona State University identified as disabled by the Disabled Students Office. The population was contacted by mail. From the resulting volunteers, individuals were randomly selected, placed in two categories (congenital and acquired disablements), and then randomly assigned to two groups of six, creating a stratified random sample. Each group had four members who had congenital defects and two members with acquired disabilities. The experimental treatment consisted of an eight-week program, conducted in the University Counseling Center, of two-hour sessions which focused on sexual issues. A waiting list control group took the pre and post tests as did the experimental group. The experimental group also drew up individual contracts which they hoped to accomplish as a result of participating in the treatment. Analysis of Variance was used to test the hypotheses related to Questions 1 and 2. Results indicated that there was no statistically significant difference between the experimental and control groups which could be attributed to the treatment. Evaluation of the individual contracts indicated, however, that experimental subjects did move toward the goals which they had set for themselves. Analysis of graphs of the data suggested that change was made in the experimental group toward more liberal sexual attitudes and behaviors. From the evidence gathered in the study, it was concluded that the treatment did not have a statistically significant effect on the sexual attitudes and behaviors of physically disabled college students as measured by the test instruments. However, the self-ratings suggested that participants in the experimental group did move toward goals which they had set for themselves prior to treatment. The major conclusion was that the size of the N (12) was a contributing factor in the failure to denote a statistically significant difference between the two groups. Recommendations included further investigation of the experimental treatment procedures, separation of the congenitally disabled from those with acquired disabilities, revision of the test instruments and offering similar treatment as a credit course.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Counseling and Guidance