Title

Examining School Counselor Advocacy for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Students: An Assessment of Factors Toward Action

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Education

Major

Counselor Education

Date of Defense

5-10-2015

Graduate Advisor

Brian Hutchison, PhD

Committee

Dr. Kathleen Sullivan Brown

Susan Kashubeck-West, Ph.D.

Mark Pope, Ed.D.

Abstract

Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) students have been historically marginalized and at-risk for school dropout (Pope, Bunch, Szymanski, & Rankins, 2004), and school counselors advocate for them (ASCA, 2013a). For this survey study, empirical and conceptual literature pertaining to factors that were hypothesized to relate to school counselor advocacy for LGB students were reviewed. In particular, there has been limited empirical data that have addressed this issue. The underlying theoretical framework applied was the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) (Ajzen, 1985). The TPB has been used to predict a variety of behaviors such as teaching students with special needs (Casebolt & Hodge, 2010), participation in physical activity (Tsorbatzoudis, 2005), and knowledge sharing (Kuo & Young, 2008; Shipp, 2010). Data from a non-random sample of 398 middle and high school counselors located throughout the United States were analyzed. The school counselors completed the survey comprised of a demographic form and five subscales, three of which were either modified or developed for this study. Middle and high school counselors completed items from the Sexual Orientation Counselor Competency Scale (SOCCS), the School Counselor Self-Efficacy Scale (SCSE), the Subjective Norm Scale (SNS), the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Advocacy Intentions Scale (LGBAIS), and the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Advocacy Activity Scale (LGBAAS). School counselors’ attitudes toward lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons; advocacy self-efficacy; and LGB advocacy intention were found to significantly predict LGB advocacy activity. LGB advocacy intention significantly mediated the effects of attitudes and advocacy self-efficacy on LGB advocacy activity. Significant differences with regard to each of the TPB factors except subjective norm were found. Implications for the assessment and training of pre-service and practicing school counselors were identified.

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