Abstract: (see Poster Gallery) An Exploratory Study of Effective Approaches in Counseling Adolescent School Violence Victims: Use of the Delphi Method (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

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624P (see Poster Gallery) An Exploratory Study of Effective Approaches in Counseling Adolescent School Violence Victims: Use of the Delphi Method

Sunday, January 15, 2023
Phoenix C, 3rd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
* noted as presenting author
Sooyoun Soh, Researcher, Korea Youth Counseling and Welfare Institute, Busan, Korea, Republic of (South)
Jeongwon Baik, Researcher, Korea Youth Counselling & Welfare Institute, Busan, Korea, Republic of (South)
Sujung Choi, Researcher, Korea Youth Counseling and Welfare Institute, Busan, Korea, Republic of (South)
Hyesun Joo, Director, Korea Trauma Research & Education Institute, Seoul, Korea, Republic of (South)
Young Ji Yoon, Assistant professor, Colorado State University – Pueblo, Pueblo, CO
Background and Purpose: The rate of school violence experience in South Korea has reached 1.1%, and this figure has been increasing in elementary schools while decreasing in middle and high schools (Ministry of Education, 2021). Previous studies have reported that adolescents who have experienced school violence suffer from lethargy, depression, decreased academic achievement, and exposure to suicide risk (Kim, 2013; Park, 2017; Seo et al, 2012), as well as longitudinal effects of re-experience, hyper-accented simple post-traumatic stress disorder, and complex post-traumatic stress disorder (Flannery et al., 2004; Pelcovitz et al., 1997). Therefore, it is urgent to develop interventions that would help adolescents who have experienced school violence recover from psychological pain. However, studies on interventions regarding adolescent school violence have mainly focused on prevention rather than psychological recovery. Grounded on the Trauma Theory, this study aims to explore the effective approaches in counseling interventions for the psychological recovery of adolescents who have experienced school violence. The findings will be utilized to develop counseling intervention plans that can be used for individuals, schools, and communities based on trauma psychotherapy.

Methods: A three-step design was carried out using the Delphi investigation procedure. In the first step, by conducting interviews with ten adolescent counselors and five individuals who experienced school violence, we determined the counseling components needed for school violence victims. The interview questions included the following: (a) What are the experiences faced by adolescent school violence victims? (b) What effective counseling intervention methods can be applied? and (c) What institutional/policy efforts are needed? In the second step, we interviewed adolescents who had counseling experiences associated with school violence, after which we revised and supplemented the components developed from the first step. Finally, the results of Delphi surveys and interviews were analyzed to draw the final components and develop manuals for counseling interventions for adolescent school violence victims.

Findings: The results indicate that it is necessary for adolescent school violence victims to be aware of their physical reactions and control their negative emotions in traumatic situations. In counseling services, approaches that apply grounding and physical techniques are useful in relieving emotional instability. In addition, the acquisition of interpersonal skills, such as self-understanding and self-expression, is beneficial in helping adolescent victims continue with their daily lives. It also decreases psychological and behavioral problems, such as anxiety, intermittent explosive disorder, and somatization. It was also found that family functions are particularly essential in the trauma treatment process, wherein caregivers’ support and crisis management in inevitable situations are crucial.

Conclusion and Implications: Counseling interventions should be developed based on the findings of this study. Notably, the counseling interventions should focus more on adolescents who have experienced complex traumas due to school violence. Interventions for the caregivers of adolescent school violence victims should also be enhanced to prevent secondary harm and avoid worsening the damage to the adolescent victims. The counselors’ active intervention as information providers in school violence cases is necessary for adolescents to overcome the psychological challenges stemming from their school violence experiences.