Date of Award

Spring 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Saunders, Stephen

Second Advisor

Wierzbicki, Michael

Third Advisor

Oswald, Debra


In recent decades, there has been an increase in the number of students seeking services at university counseling centers with severe presenting problems. This has created a demand for an increase in resources at the counseling centers. One tool that can be used to increase efficiency is a presenting problems checklist (PPC). An individual's level of distress and impairment associated with the presenting problem is often indicative of course of treatment and therapy outcome. The present study conducted an exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis on a PPC that was presented to 5,926 clients from the Johns Hopkins University Counseling Center between the years of 2002 and 2008. Next, a multiple regression was conducted in order to determine which factors predicted distress and impairment. In the EFA, six factors were extracted and the CFA revealed that it was a poor model fit. The multiple regression analyses revealed that five out of the six factors were good predictors of an individual's level of distress and four of the six variables were good predictors of an individual's level of impairment. Implications include the limited utility of PPCs and the need to develop better resources for counseling centers to run more efficiently.