Exploring the effectiveness of dialogical relationship e-learning modules with individuals of low SES

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Angiemil Pérez Peña (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Craig Cashwell

Abstract: Aliveness is the experience of living fully engaged within the world from a relational stance of our Thou (I-Thou). Martin Buber (1958) spoke of aliveness as the experience of being completely present. Buber inferred that when we are present, we are relationally present from our Thou to another’s Thou. Aliveness, however, does not remove the individual from the world in which they live, it is not an ultimate state of consciousness, instead it is a sustained full-lived experience. Yet, for many people there are barriers in the pursuit of aliveness, one being social class and socioeconomic status (SES) – complicated constructs to define. Researchers have long linked social class and socioeconomic status with health problems, including mental illness (McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, 2019, May 20). Although some research exists around SES, a gap remains in understanding the implications to clinical treatment. Further information on culturally appropriate interventions for individuals of low SES is limited (Cook & Lawson, 2016; Clark, Cook, Nair, & Wojick 2018). SES is essential to an individual’s worldview and culture, making it compulsory for counselors to include SES into their approach to treatment. With the gap between SES groups only continuing to grow, developing culturally appropriate interventions for individuals of low SES is needed (Rodriguez, Baumman, & Scwhartz, 2010). Further, as highlighted by Bernal (2006), the development of a culture-specific intervention or adaptation is implemented through a phased process. This study aimed to complete the first phase of testing the intervention within a small population—in order to best understand the nuances of this specific population. The purpose of this study was to explore the effectiveness of the dialogical relationship e-learning modules in a sample of individuals of low SES. This study focused on the dialogical relationship as one way to enhance aliveness among individuals of low SES (Friedman, 1988). The researcher used Single Case Research Design in order to examine the effectiveness of the intervention for individuals of low SES. The study aimed to enhance relationship quality through a culturally sensitive approach. Results suggested impact in some domains such as the effectiveness of the dialogical relationship e-learning modules in teaching dialogical skills, based on participants’ self-reported confidence to use these skills. One other over-arching finding of interest was a trend of relationship satisfaction decreasing as the study progressed. Somewhat surprisingly, for several of the participants for whom relationship satisfaction decreased or did not improve, Quality of Life (QoL) demonstrated an upward trend. The results of this study provided direction for future intervention development, adaptation, and implications for counselors working with individuals from low SES.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2020
Counseling Intervention, Culture-Specific, Dialogical Relationship, E-learning, Low SES, Multicultural
People with social disabilities $a Mental health
Socioeconomic status $x Psychological aspects
Cross-cultural counseling

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