Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Carol Dell'Oliver, PhD

Second Advisor

Rodger K. Bufford, PhD

Third Advisor

Kathleen Gathercoal, PhD


This study examined the effects of a 12-week holistic (mult1dimensional) group intervention for promoting health and wellness. A total of 42 young adults (21 males and 21 females) with an average of 18.63 (ill= 1.03) years of age participated in the study. Participants were from a private university in the Pacific Northwest and randomly assigned to: a health-wellness group, a self-help group, and a no-treatment control group. Participants in the self-help group were encouraged to monitor and improve their health in various life dimensions on their own, utilize existing health care resources if necessary, and to report to the researcher each week on their progress. Participants in the health and wellness group attended 12 weekly group sessions. Each session lasted approximately 11/z hours. During this time participants were encouraged to shape and modify their lifestyle as a whole, and provided with a menu of cognitive-behavioral exercises to improve their health in various life dimensions. Each week they were encouraged to practice at least Z different cognitive-behavioral exercises. All participants completed pre and post-test measures. The measures included: the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scales (combined version), the Symptom Checklist-90-Reviscd (SCL-90R), and a biopsychosocial wellness inventory. The results of the study indicated there were no significant differences in pre-test scores between groups on each measure. However, at the end of the study, post-test scores revealed that participants in the health-wellness group were far more successful at reducing overall illness-related symptomology, and modifying their lives toward wellness in comparison to participants from the control and self-help groups. At the end of the study, participants in the health-wellness group were also less likely to perceive chance factors (i.e., "fate" and "luck") as having Jess of an impact on their health in comparison to participants from the control group. Despite the conscious efforts of participants in the self-help group, their post-test scores were not significantly different from the participants in the control group. The findings of the study indicate that a holistic (multidimensional) strategy for promoting health is effective and may significantly enlarge, as well as enrich mental health interventions.