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Journal of Mental Health Counseling
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Volume 25, Number 1, January 2003

1. RESEARCH: Examining Individualism, Collectivism, and Self-Differentiation in African American College Women (Pages 1-15)

George V. Gushue; Madonna G. Constantine

This study examined aspects of individualism, collectivism, and self-differentiation in 123 African American women attending a predominantly White university. Specifically, the study explored the relationship between Triandis’s (1995) model of horizontal and vertical individualism and collectivism, and four self-differentiation constructs (i.e., emotional reactivity, I-position, emotional cutoff, and fusion with others) proposed by Skowron and Friedlander (1998). Results revealed that aspects of individualism and collectivism were differentially related to self-differentiation in African American college women. Implications of the findings are discussed. Full Article

2. Hope, Laughter, and Humor in Residents and Staff at an Assisted Living Facility (Pages 16-32)

Nancy G. Westburg

Possessing hope and utilizing laughter and humor to cope with life’s stressors and losses are especially important to elderly people as they experience a decline in their independence. In this study, hope levels and laughter and humor experiences of 24 elderly residents (ages 69 to 96 years) and 21 staff at an assisted living facility were assessed and compared. Hope was defined as a two-factor cognitive construct that involves (a) Pathways, an individual’s ability to set goals and devise multiple plans to reach them, and (b) Agency, an individual’s inner determination to implement these plans and overcome obstacles to the goals. Both residents and staff had high total Hope and Pathways scores, but residents’ Agency scores were significantly higher than staff’s. Residents and staff reported numerous benefits from humor and laughing, but differences arose between the two groups about the sources and frequency of humor and laughter. Differences were found between more-hopeful and less-hopeful respondents in regards to sources of laughter, benefits of laughing and playing more, and the last time they laughed. Implications for mental health counselors are discussed. Full Article

3. Theory: The Decision to Remain Single: Implications for Women Across Cultures (Pages 33-44)

Phyllis A. Gordon

Greater numbers of heterosexual women are choosing to never marry. The decision to remain single or indefinitely postpone marriage seeking may be perceived as different from many within the individual’s family or social group. The purpose of this discussion is to highlight some of the societal problems and pressures women experience when choosing to not marry. Negative and positive consequences of this marital choice across cultures are examined, and counseling implications are provided. Full Article

4. Exercise as a Counseling Intervention (Pages 45-56)

Verna O. Okonski

The focus of wellness counseling is to guide individuals to live a healthy life in which body, mind, and spirit are integrated in order to experience fulfillment and happiness.Exercise undoubtedly has physical and psychological benefits in the human body and spirit. However, adherence to exercise has proven to be the greatest obstacle in getting individuals to experience the benefits of exercise. In addition, there is little research that gives counselors guidelines on how to use exercise as a therapeutic tool. The purpose of this article is to provide counselors steps to follow when using exercise as a counseling intervention and to provide techniques that will encourage exercise adherence. Full Article

5. A Different Approach: Applying a Wellness Paradigm to Adolescent Female Delinquents and Offenders (Pages 57-75)

Holly J. Hartwig; Jane E. Myers

Recent epidemiological and survey research indicates that the incidence of delinquency among adolescent females is increasing. Existing treatment programs, based primarily in research on males, fail to consider the unique developmental needs of females. These programs focus on punishment rather than treatment, often reinforcing the behaviors they seek to reduce or eliminate. Programs that incorporate a focus on gender issues, prevention, early intervention, and positive mental health are needed. A wellness paradigm is presented and explored as a promising approach to preventing as well as treating delinquent behaviors among adolescent females. This approach is demonstrated using a case example from an inpatient adolescent treatment program. Full Article

6. Practice: In-Home Treatment of Reactive Attachment Disorder in a Therapeutic Foster Care System: A Case Example (Pages 76-88)

Carl J. Sherperis; Edina L. Renfro-Michel; R. Anthony Doggett

When trauma precedes a child’s placement in the foster care system, it can lead to lasting mental health difficulties. Often, children who experience extreme, chronic trauma prior to age 5 develop Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). However, the diagnosis of RAD is often overlooked. This article discusses the characteristics of RAD as well as diagnostic criteria and possible etiology.We present the case example of an adolescent diagnosed with RAD as an example of treatment from an in-home perspective. Full Article

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