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Hellenic Journal of Psychology 
 Psychological Society of Northern Greece


VOLUME 11, ISSUE 3 INFORMATION



HELLENIC JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY
SSN 1790-1391


Edited three times a year by the Psychological Society of Northern Greece (PSNG)
Volume 11, Issue 3, 2014

Legally responsible:
Panayota Metallidou, President of the Psychological Society of Northern Greece
Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece. Phone: +30-2310-992177; E-mail: ggrouios@phed.auth.gr


Editors
Editor-in-Chief:  Anastasia Efklides Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Associate Editors: Andreas Brouzos
Maria Dikaiou
Angeliki Leondari
Georgios D. Sideridis
University of Ioannina, Greece
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece
University of Crete, Rethymno, Greece
Assistant Editors: Panayiota Stavroussi
Irini Dermitzaki
Mary H. Kosmidis
Filippos Vlachos
Plousia Misailidi
Pagona Roussi
University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece
University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece
University of Ioannina, Greece
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Guest Editors of Issue 11(3): Stefanos Vassilopoulos
Andreas Brouzos
University of Patras, Patras, Greece
University of Patras, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece



Editorial Board

Anastasia Efklides
George Grouios
Shulamith Kreitler
Robert Neimeyer
Markku Niemivirta
Wolfgang Schnotz 
Yannis Theodorakis
Maria Tzouriadou
Marja Vauras
Marcel Veenman
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Tel-Aviv University, Israel
University of Memphis, USA
University of Helsinki, Finland
University of Koblenz-Landau, Landau, Germany
University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
University of Turku, Finland
University of Leiden, The Netherlands


Publisher:
ALPHABET S.A., Vrilissou 80, Poligono, 114 76 Athens, Greece.
el: +30-210-646686

Copyright 2014: Psychological Society of Northern Greece (PSNG)
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) for commercial purposes without the written permission of the copyright owners. Manuscripts submitted to the journal in no case are returned back



Volume 11, Issue 3, 2014 
   


HELLENIC JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY
Founded 2004








 

SPECIAL ISSUE:
PSYCHOEDUCATIONAL GROUPS FOR CHILDREN
AND ADOLESCENTS

Guest Editors:
Stephanos P. Vassilopoulos & Andreas Brouzos

 

 

 

 

 

Psychological Society of Northern Greece


 

CONTENTS

Prologue
      Stephanos P. Vassilopoulos & Andreas Brouzos 
...................................................................V

Group counseling in the school
       Zipora Shechtman.....................................................................................................169

Psychoeducational group intervention for juvenile sex offenders:
Outcomes and associated factors
       Anne-Marie Tougas, Marc Tourigny, Annie Lemieux, Denis Lafortune, & Jean Proulx ...............184

Evaluation of a universal social information processing group program aimed
at preventing anger and aggressive behaviour in primary school children
       Stephanos P. Vassilopoulos, Andreas Brouzos, & Christos Rentzios.......................................208

An evaluation of the success skills program on student learning, behavior,
and wellness outcomes
       Melissa Mariani, Elizabeth Villares, Jacqueline Wirth, & Greg Brigman ...................................223

CBT parent training program for the management of young children
with behavior problems: A pilot study
       Ioanna G. Giannopoulou, Sophia Lardoutsou, & Alexandra Kerasioti.......................................241
      


PROLOGUE


As Zipora Shechtman argues in the first paper of this special issue, much of what
we know about group work with children is based on adult groups Indeed, this is
the first time in its history that Child and Adolescent Group Counseling has begun to
receive the attention it deserves from practitioners and researchers worldwide. As a
result, research on the effectiveness of psychoeducational or counseling/
psychotherapy groups for youth has become systematic and rigorous and there are
currently many established (i.e., evidence-based) psychoeducational group programs
targeting various behavioural, developmental, and emotional problems of children
and adolescents. What's more important, the theory and practice of group work with
children is systematically taught in various institutions all over the world - both at an
undergraduate and postgraduate level - and there are currently several accredited
academic programs specializing in preparing professionals to deliver individual and
group counseling services at all levels of K-12 schools. Undoubtedly, the advent of the
21st century has marked the beginning of a promising new era for the advancement of
theory and practice regarding children's and adolescents' group and individual
counseling.
     According to the accepted typology (Association for Specialists in Group Work
[ASGW], 2000), there are four types of groups: task groups, psychoeducational
groups, counseling groups, and psychotherapy groups. Psychoeducational groups is
probably the most common type among the group interventions currently
conducted in schools (Gerrity & DeLucia-Waack, 2007). They are usually short in
session length and overall time, and they employ well-designed skill-building
activities to prevent certain issues or educate participants about coping skills
(Brown, 2011; DeLucia-Waack, 2006). A growing body of evidence indicates that
psychoeducational groups could be an effective method for addressing the social,

_____________________________________________________________
Note: We would like to thank Professor Anastasia Efklides, Editor-in-Chief of the Hellenic
Journal of Psychology, for her invitation to guest edit this special issue. We would also like to
express our gratitude to the authors and the anonymous referees for their contribution. Finally,
we wish to dedicate this issue to the memory of our friend, colleague and mentor, Alexandros
Kosmopoulos.
Address: Stephanos P. Vassilopoulos, Department of Primary Education, University of Patras,
261 10 Patras, Greece. Phone: +30 2610 969742. E-mail: stephanosv@upatras.gr.
Address: Andreas Brouzos, Department of Primary Education, University of Ioannina, 451 10
Ioannina, Greece. Phone: +30 26510 05695. E-mail:abrouzos@uoi.gr


emotional, and academic needs of children and adolescents in the school
environment (Bore, Hendricks, & Womack, 2013).
     To the best of our knowledge, this special issue is the third to appear in the new
millennium on this thematic area. There have been two earlier issues of the Journal for
Specialists in Group Work
(2007) devoted entirely to innovative school group work.
Many new studies appeared since 2007, and a range of topics have been explored and
addressed, for example the therapeutic factors and potential mechanisms underlying
group work effects on children (Brouzos, Vassilopoulos, & Baourda, in press;
Shechtman & Katz, 2007) and the variables mediating or moderating the
psychoeducational group outcomes (Shechtman & Leichtentritt, 2009; Tol, Komproe,
Jordans, Gross, Suzanty, et al., 2010; Tol, Komproe, Jordans, Ndayisaba, Ntamutuba,
et al. 2014; Tol, Komproe, Jordans, Vallipuram, Sipsma, et al., 2012). Moreover, work
on many innovative psychoeducational group programs has been published, that
addresses various issues, including sexual abuse prevention, social anxiety, traumarelated
symptoms, disruptive behaviour, anger management in children with
Asperger, peer pressure and so forth (Hall, Rushing, & Khurshid, 2011; Kenny, 2009;
Ruttledge & Petrides, 2012; Shechtman & Mor, 2010; Sofronoff, Attwood, Hinton, &
Levin, 2007; Vassilopoulos, Brouzos, Damer, Mellou, & Mitropoulou, 2013). Finally,
there have also been a few studies examining the effects of a particular type of group
work with children in conjunction with, or in comparison to, other types of groups (e.g.,
humanistic vs. cognitive behavioural group therapy; Shechtman & Pastor, 2005).
     The first paper of this special issue by Zipora Shechtman is entitled Group
counseling in the schools
. In this paper the author reviews counseling groups
conducted in school settings with a particular focus on the theory and practice of the
so called 'Expressive-Supportive' groups (i.e., groups that focus on emotions and selfexpressiveness).
She puts a case for this type of groups being helpful in the current
context of school staff accountability, evidence-based school counselor-led
interventions and growing multicultural awareness.
     In the second paper, Psychoeducational group intervention for juvenile sex offenders:
Outcomes and associated factors
, Anne-Marie Tougas, Marc Tourigny, Annie
Lemieux, Denis Lafortune, and Jean Proulx examine the efficacy of a
psychoeducational group that was designed to meet the needs of adolescent juvenile
sex offenders (JSO). Another important question under investigation was whether
the presence of childhood maltreatment and the quality of parent-adolescent
relationship influence the effectiveness of the intervention program. Their study
showed that participation in a psychoeducational group helps JSO to improve on
different aspects of development targeted by the program. Crucially, although the
quality of parent-adolescent relationship at the beginning of the intervention did not
VI S. P. Vassilopoulos & A. Brouzos
influence outcomes, nevertheless, physically and/or sexually abused JSO appeared to
benefit more from the group program than their non-abused counterparts.
     The following paper Evaluation of a universal social information-processing group
program aimed at preventing anger and aggression in primary school children
by
Stephanos Vassilopoulos, Andreas Brouzos, and Christos Rentzios examines the
possibility of integrating cognitive bias modification procedures in a universal
psychoeducational group for anger and aggression. A 5-session social information
group program with a focus on helping children develop a more positive attributional
style was designed and implemented in primary school children. Results showed that,
compared to a no-intervention control group, children receiving group intervention
were less likely to endorse hostile attributions in response to a set of ambiguous
hypothetical social situations and evidenced fewer peer-directed aggressive
behaviours. Interestingly, reductions in aggressive behaviour were associated with
reductions in hostile attributional style, which is in line with social information
processing theories.
     The fourth paper by Melissa Mariani, Elizabeth Villares, Jacqueline Wirth, and
Greg Brigman is entitled An evaluation of the Student Success Skills program on student
learning, behaviour, and wellness outcomes
. Here the authors review studies that
evaluated the Student Success Skills Program (SSS), a program aiming to increase
student achievement by teaching students cognitive, social, and self-management
skills. Drawing mainly on group outcome research, these authors discuss a growing
body of evidence supporting the effectiveness of SSS curriculum in improving
academic and behavioral outcomes.
     Finally, as Shechtman correctly notes in this issue, another outstanding question
is whether to work with children or with their parents. Therefore, the last paper CBT
parent training program for the management of young children with behavior problems -
a pilot study by Ioanna Giannopoulou, Sophia Lardoutsou, and Alexandra Kerasioti
presents data supporting the efficacy of a parent-training group for parents of
children with behaviour problems. An 8-session group program, tailored to the
specific needs of its Greek parent participants, was developed and implemented and
its effectiveness was compared to that of an extended 10-session group program. Both
group versions were found to be equally effective and led to significant reductions in
parent reported child behaviour problems as well as to significant improvements in
child psychosocial functioning, although better results were observed in the extended
10-session group.
      Perhaps one conclusion that can be drawn is that psychoeducational groups for
children and adolescents are not only a time-saving and cost-effective way of reaching
and serving multiple students simultaneously, but also therapeutic to students
Prologue VII
themselves. This is why it should be embraced as a powerful intervention in schools.
Future research will continue to expand their applicability by tailoring them to
address a wide variety of topics as well as investigate which psychoeducational group
interventions work, for whom, and under what circumstances.
      Taken together, this special issue provides an overview of group work with
children and adolescents including: (a) studies that review the available evidence
regarding counseling groups conducted in the school setting, (b) studies that advance
our understanding of group outcomes and associated factors or variables moderating
the group effects, (c) new research findings following the integration of well
established CBT techniques and procedures into psychoeducational group work, and
(d) preliminary findings regarding the effects of a CBT parent-training program on
parent reported child behaviour problems. We hope that this special issue will
advance our present understanding of the efficacy issues and processing variables that
affect outcomes from both a fundamental and an applied perspective and that the
work presented in it will be interesting to both (research-minded) group workers and
applied researchers.


REFERENCES


Association for Specialists in Group Work (ASGW). (2000). Professional standards for the training of group workers. Available from http://www.asgw.org/pdf/training_standards.pdf

Bore, S., Hendricks, L., & Womack, A. (2013). Psycho-Educational Groups in Schools: The Intervention of Choice. National Forum Journal of Counseling and Addiction, 2(1). Retrieved from http://www.nationalforum.com/Electronic%20Journal%20Volumes/Bore,%20Samuel%20K%
20Psycho -Educational %20Groups%20in%20Schools%20NFJCA%20V2%20N1%202013.pdf


Brouzos, A., Vassilopoulos, S. P., & Baourda, V. C. (in press). Members' perceptions of personcentered
facilitative conditions and their role in outcome in a psychoeducational group for
childhood social anxiety. Person-Centered & Experiential Psychotherapies.

Brouzos, A., Vassilopoulos, S. P., & Baourda, V. C. (in press). Therapeutic factors and members'
perception of co-leaders' attitudes in a psychoeducational group for Greek children with
social anxiety. Journal for Specialists in Group Work.

Brown, N. (2011). Psychoeducational groups: Process and practice (3rd eds.). New York: Routledge.

DeLucia-Waack, J. L. (2006). Leading psychoeducational groups for children and adolescents.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Gerrity, D. A., & DeLucia-Waack, J. L. (2007). Effectiveness of groups in the schools. Journal for
Specialists in Group Work
, 32, 97-106.

Hall, K. R., Rushing, J. L., & Khurshid, A. (2011). Using the Solving Problems Together
psychoeducational group counseling model as an intervention for negative peer pressure.
Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 36, 97-110.

Kenny, M. C. (2009). Child sexual abuse prevention: psychoeducational groups for preschoolers
and their parents. Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 34, 24-42.

Ruttledge, R. A., & Petrides, K. V. (2012). A cognitive behavioural group approach for
adolescents with disruptive behavior in schools. School Psychology International, 33, 223-239.

Shechtman, Z., & Katz, E. (2007). Bonding and outcomes in groups with adolescents with LD.
Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 11, 117-128.

Shechtman, Z., & Leichtentritt, J. (2009). The association of process with outcomes in group
counselling with children and adolescents. Psychotherapy Research, 20, 8-21.

Shechtman, Z., & Mor, M. (2007). Groups for children and adolescents with trauma-related
symptoms: Outcomes and processes. The International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 60,
221-244.

Shechtman, Z., & Pastor, R. (2005). Cognitive-behavioral and humanistic group treatment for
children with LD: A comparison of outcomes and processes. Journal of Counseling
Psychology, 52
, 322-336.

Sofronoff, K., Attwood, T., Hinton, S., & Levin, I. (2007). A randomized controlled trial of a
cognitive behavioural intervention for anger management in children diagnosed with
Asperger syndrome. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37, 1203-1214.

Tol, W. A., Komproe, I. H., Jordans, M. J. D., Gross, A. L., Suzanty, D., Macy, R.D., & de Jong,
J.T. (2010). Mediators and moderators of a psychosocial intervention for children affected by
political violence. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78, 818-828.

Tol, W. A., Komproe, I. H., Jordans, M. J. D., Ndayisaba, A., Ntamutuba, P., Simpsa H., et al.
(2014). School-based mental health intervention for children in war-affected Burundi: a
cluster randomized trial. BMC Medicine, 12:56.

Tol, W. A., Komproe, I. H., Jordans, M. J. D., Vallipuram, A., Sipsma, H., Sivayokan, S., et al.
(2012). Outcomes and moderators of preventive school-based mental health intervention for
children affected by war in Sri Lanka: A cluster randomized study. World Psychiatry, 11, 114-122.

Vassilopoulos, S. P., Brouzos, A., Damer, D. E., Mellou, A., & Mitropoulou, A. (2013). A
psychoeducational school-based group intervention for socially anxious children. The Journal
for Specialists in Group Work, 38
, 307-329.