Publication Date

Spring 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Counselor Education


The intent of this study was to ascertain if group counseling would be an effective intervention in raising the self-esteem levels of middle school students in Individualized Education Programs. A literature review is presented, which discusses the definition of disability as well as the accommodations and programs available to students diagnosed as having a disability. Further, the definition of self-esteem and self-concept are discussed and various self-concept domains are examined and evaluated. Relatedly, this study explores methods that have been utilized within the school environment to increase a student’s self-esteem, including the employment of group counseling. Within this study, 14 students diagnosed as having a disability, volunteered to participate in a 12 week long counseling program. Group members were chosen as they were all Individualized Education Program (IEP) students participating in an existing counseling group that taught an existing group counseling curriculum as the primary intervention. The participants completed The Piers-Harris Children’s Self-Concept Scale as a pre-test and post-test, which was used to quantify changes in their self-esteem levels as a result of intervention. Results are discussed, as well as the implications that this study may have on forthcoming school counselors and potential studies related to students in Individualized Education Programs and their self-esteem.