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Moving towards a comprehensive understanding of multicultural counseling competence: the role of diversity cognitive complexity

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This study explored several training variables that may contribute to counseling trainees' multicultural counseling self-efficacy and multicultural case conceptualization ability. Specifically, this study aimed to examine the cognitive processes that contribute to multicultural counseling competence (MCC) outcome variables. Clinical experience,

This study explored several training variables that may contribute to counseling trainees' multicultural counseling self-efficacy and multicultural case conceptualization ability. Specifically, this study aimed to examine the cognitive processes that contribute to multicultural counseling competence (MCC) outcome variables. Clinical experience, multicultural knowledge, and multicultural awareness are assumed to provide the foundation for the development of these outcome variables. The role of how a counselor trainee utilizes this knowledge and awareness in working with diverse populations has not been explored. Diversity cognitive complexity (DCC) quantifies the process by which a counselor thinks about different elements of diversity in a multidimensional manner. The current study examined the role of DCC on the relationship between training variables of direct clinical experience with diverse populations, multicultural knowledge, and multicultural awareness and the two training outcomes (multicultural counseling self-efficacy and multicultural case conceptualization ability). A total of one hundred and sixty-one graduate trainees participated in the study. A series of hypotheses were tested to examine the impact of DCC on the relationship between MCC predictors (multicultural knowledge, multicultural awareness, and direct contact hours with diverse clinical populations) and two MCC outcomes: multicultural counseling self-efficacy and multicultural case conceptualization ability. Hierarchical regression analyses were utilized to test whether DCC mediated or moderated the relationship between the predictors and the outcome variables. Multicultural knowledge and clinical hours with diverse populations were significant predictors of multicultural counseling self-efficacy. Multicultural awareness was a significant predictor of multicultural case conceptualization ability. Diversity cognitive complexity was not a significantly related to any predictor or outcome variable, thus all hypotheses tested were rejected. The results of the current study support graduate programs emphasizing counselor trainees gaining multicultural knowledge and awareness as well as direct clinical experience with diverse clinical populations in an effort to foster MCC. Although diversity cognitive complexity was not significantly related to the predictor or outcome variables in this study, further research is warranted to determine the validity of the measure used to assess DCC. The findings in this study support the need for further research exploring training variables that contribute to multicultural counseling outcomes.

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2013

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Ethics and online behaviors: challenges among counseling and psychology graduate students

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Technology is rapidly evolving, and mental health professionals are increasingly using technology in their clinical work. In reaction to this shift, it is important that research examines the ethical implications of online behaviors. The current study examined the online practices

Technology is rapidly evolving, and mental health professionals are increasingly using technology in their clinical work. In reaction to this shift, it is important that research examines the ethical implications of online behaviors. The current study examined the online practices of graduate students in the mental health field and generated prediction models for online client searches and best practices in informed consent and online disclosure. The sample consisted of 316 graduate students in counseling, clinical, and school programs. Of those with clinical experience, a third had utilized the Internet to find information about their client. Progress in the participants' program, as measured by credits completed or in progress, and years of social networking experience were positively related to online client searches. The vast majority (over 80%) of individuals who conducted an online search did not obtain informed consent prior to the search. Curiosity was the most frequent reason given for conducting a client search. Previous professional discussions and belief that information online is private were not significant predictors of obtaining informed consent. The final analysis examined disclosure of client information and found that lower scores on ethical decision-making and years of social networking experience predicted online disclosure. This study is an important step in understanding the implications of the intersection of technology use, ethics, and clinical practice of graduate mental health professionals.

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2012

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Background and non-cognitive factors influencing academic persistence decisions in college freshmen

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As the retention rate of college freshmen increases, Tinto's (1993) model of academic persistence conceptualizes several dimensions of students' voluntary dropout. This study examined both personal and parental factors that may impact the academic persistence decisions of freshmen college students:

As the retention rate of college freshmen increases, Tinto's (1993) model of academic persistence conceptualizes several dimensions of students' voluntary dropout. This study examined both personal and parental factors that may impact the academic persistence decisions of freshmen college students: 1) parental educational attainment; 2) parental valuing of education; 3) high school grade point average (GPA); 4) residential status (on- versus off-campus); 5) educational self-efficacy; 6) self-esteem; 7) personal valuing of education; 8) perceived academic preparation; and 9) academic expectations. The study sample consisted of 378 freshmen college students at a large southwestern university who were recruited from 23 sections of a 100-level class intended to promote academic success. The participants in this cross-sectional study were restricted to freshman level students and 18 and 19 years old in accordance with Erikson's (1968) Identity stage of psychosocial development. A hierarchical regression analysis revealed that academic persistence decisions were predicted by residential status and self-beliefs, which consisted of: educational self-efficacy, self-esteem, personal valuing of education, perceived academic preparation, and academic expectations. Parental valuing of education was a significant predictor of academic persistence decisions until self-beliefs were added to construct the full model. Although self-beliefs were collectively the most powerful predictors of persistence decisions, accounting for 22.8% of the variance, examination of the beta weights revealed that self-esteem, educational self-efficacy, and personal valuing of education were the most powerful predictors, while academic expectations approached significance. Residential status was also a significant predictor and accounted for a small but significant variance (1.6%) in academic persistence decisions. A significant multivariate difference was found between students living on campus and those living off campus. Follow-up ANOVAs revealed differences in mother's education and in parental valuing of education. These findings suggest that researchers, counselors, and college policy-makers consider on-campus living variables as well as students' self-beliefs when considering academic persistence decisions in college freshmen.

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2013

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Counselors-in-training's perceptions of clients: the influences of client weight and job status

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It is crucial for counselors to be aware of their own attitudes and beliefs and to prevent them from influencing the counseling process. The prevalence of obesity is growing and biases against obese people are becoming more apparent. Counselors must

It is crucial for counselors to be aware of their own attitudes and beliefs and to prevent them from influencing the counseling process. The prevalence of obesity is growing and biases against obese people are becoming more apparent. Counselors must become aware of the potential weight bias and what factors influence it. The purpose of the current study was to examine whether counselors- in-training hold negative attitudes toward obese clients and whether the career status of the client affects these perceptions. Seventy-six students in graduate level counseling programs at Arizona State University were randomly assigned one of four vignettes describing either an obese bookkeeper, a normal weight bookkeeper, an obese executive, or a normal weight executive. Negative attitudes were measured using two scales; one evaluating perceived personal characteristics of the client and one evaluating the perceived work efficacy. Results indicated that counselors-in-training perceived the client with more negative characteristics when the client was described as obese rather than normal weight, and also when she was described as having a low status job compared to a high status job. The perceived work efficacy of the presented client was not affected by the client’s weight or job status. It is important for students in counseling programs to receive training regarding weight biases and job status biases.

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Date Created
2011

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Childhood sexual abuse history: attachment, mattering, and coping among young adults

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The present study examined whether a history of childhood sexual abuse would be related to attachment to mother, to father, and to friends, mattering to parents and to friends, and coping behaviors. In addition, whether use of force, duration

The present study examined whether a history of childhood sexual abuse would be related to attachment to mother, to father, and to friends, mattering to parents and to friends, and coping behaviors. In addition, whether use of force, duration of abuse, and severity of abuse were related to perceived negative impact of childhood sexual abuse was examined. Gender differences among survivors were also investigated. Specifically, from the initial sample of 258 young adults, 186 who met the age requirement were included in the tests of the hypotheses. All participants were between the ages of 18 and 25. Compared to those with no history of childhood sexual abuse (n = 109), survivors (n = 77) reported lower attachment to father and less mattering to parents. There were no differences in attachment and mattering to friends or in emotion-focused and problem-focused coping. When gender differences were examined among survivors, females reported greater use of problem-focused coping and perceiving their childhood sexual abuse experiences as more negative than did the male survivors. There were no differences among male and female survivors of childhood sexual abuse on emotion-focused coping. Force and severity, but not duration, were linked to more negative perceptions of the childhood sexual abuse. Attachment to mother emerged as a key variable in that attachment to mother was positively related to attachment to friends, mattering to friends, and the use of problem-focused coping. Stronger attachment to mother and attachment to father, but not a history of childhood sexual abuse, were related to more perceived mattering to parents. These results highlight the importance of attachment to caregivers in developing peer attachment and a sense of mattering to friends, problem-focused coping skills, and perceiving childhood sexual abuse as having a less negative impact on their lives. Clinical and research implications and suggestions for future directions are discussed.

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Date Created
2011

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Postpartum adaptation and competence of mothers who use hypnosis to birth

Description

This qualitative study investigated the postpartum experiences of mothers who used hypnosis to birth. This research project was based on a constructivist version of Grounded Theory. Qualitative inquiry and analysis were conducted on 15 semi-structured interviews; two pilot interviews were

This qualitative study investigated the postpartum experiences of mothers who used hypnosis to birth. This research project was based on a constructivist version of Grounded Theory. Qualitative inquiry and analysis were conducted on 15 semi-structured interviews; two pilot interviews were also conducted. Phone and in-person interviews were completed with Caucasian, Hispanic, and multiracial mothers who were between one month and 15 months postpartum. The following 12 major themes emerged: bonded with child, development of self-efficacy, breastfeeding success, family criticism, online support, impact on family, practice effect, amazement to misevaluation, induction overwhelm, holistic benefits, minimal post partum depression, and birth stories. Mothers of two or more children appreciated birth more, reported an increased sense of calm and closeness within their nuclear and extended family, believed that the benefits of hypnosis for birthing assisted in the areas of bonding with their newborn, self-efficacy, breastfeeding and overall postpartum success. First-time mothers appreciated the physical aspect of recovery after delivery. They emphasized the birth narrative despite cultural differences in sharing their stories. Although they attributed much success to the use of hypnosis for birthing, they tended to make more indirect attributions to the bond with their child, self-efficacy, breastfeeding, and overall postpartum success. Mothers who required a c-section, epidural, or induction during birth experienced feelings of guilt and viewed hypnosis as an isolated tool for birth and a tool to reduce guilt and stress postpartum. Mothers who birthed naturally used hypnosis postpartum in more ways. Hispanic mothers expressed greater difficulty with balancing their roles as a career woman and mother. They had different expectations around the participation of their partner during birth preparation and postpartum. Breastfeeding was most important to this group and reflected communal values. Hypnosis for birthing was described as being helpful for mothers who had a psychological history with depression, anxiety, or trauma. Participants reported overall effectiveness of hypnosis for birthing methods despite mixed reactions from birthing professionals, family, and friends. The importance of these findings for counseling psychology is discussed.

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Date Created
2015

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Female Microaggressions Scale (FeMS): A Comprehensive Sexism Scale

Description

Overt forms of sexism have become less frequent (Swim Hyers, Cohen & Ferguson, 2001; Sue & Capodilupo, 2008). Nonetheless, scholars contend that sexism is still pervasive but often manifests as female microaggressions, which have been defined as often subtle, covert

Overt forms of sexism have become less frequent (Swim Hyers, Cohen & Ferguson, 2001; Sue & Capodilupo, 2008). Nonetheless, scholars contend that sexism is still pervasive but often manifests as female microaggressions, which have been defined as often subtle, covert forms of gender discrimination (Capodilupo et al., 2010). Extant sexism scales fail to capture female microaggresions, limiting understanding of the correlates and consequences of women’s experiences of gender discrimination. Thus, the purpose of the current study was to develop the Female Microaggressions Scale (FeMS) based on an existing theoretical taxonomy and content analysis of social media data, which identifies diverse forms of sexism. Two separate studies were conducted for exploratory factor analysis (N = 582) and confirmatory factor analysis (N = 325). Exploratory factor analyses supported an eight-factor, correlated structure and confirmatory factor analyses supported a bifactor model, with eight specific factors and one general FeMS factor. Overall, reliability and validity of the FeMS (general FeMS and subscales) were mostly supported in the two present samples of diverse women. The FeMS’ subscales and body surveillance were significantly positively correlated. Results regarding correlations between the FeMS subscales and anxiety, depression, and life satisfaction were mixed. The FeMS (general FeMS) was significantly positively correlated with anxiety, body surveillance, and another measure of sexism but not depression or life satisfaction. Furthermore, the FeMS (general FeMS) explained variance in anxiety and body surveillance (but not depression, self-esteem, or life satisfaction) above and beyond that explained by an existing sexism measure and explained variance in anxiety and depression (but not self-esteem) above and beyond that explained by neuroticism. Implications for future research are discussed.

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2018

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Career interests and volunteerism: : factors related to satisfaction and commitment among late-midlife and older volunteers

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Problems with recruiting and retaining older volunteers have resulted in less than one-quarter of older adults participating in volunteer activities (BLS, 2016). Much emphasis on volunteer motivations have been placed to enhance volunteer engagement among late-midlife and older adults

Problems with recruiting and retaining older volunteers have resulted in less than one-quarter of older adults participating in volunteer activities (BLS, 2016). Much emphasis on volunteer motivations have been placed to enhance volunteer engagement among late-midlife and older adults (e.g., Davis et al., 2003). Although career motivations have not been shown to predict late-midlife and older adults’ volunteer participation (Planalp & Trost, 2009), there is some empirical evidence supporting the relevance of career domains in later life (Greller, 2006). By reframing volunteering as a compensatory strategy, the purpose of the current study was to evaluate factors, including career-related interests, that affect volunteer satisfaction and commitment among late-midlife and older volunteers.

A series of hypotheses were posited to examine contributions to volunteer satisfaction and to future volunteer commitment, including volunteer motivation and congruence between career interests of volunteers and characteristics of the volunteer activities (volunteer-activity congruence). The online survey contained measures for study variables, including the Volunteer Functional Inventory (volunteer motivations) and Personal Globe Inventory (career interests). Participants (N = 167) were recruited from community and government volunteer programs with the average age of volunteers being 68.65 years old (SD = 9.36; range 50 to 90 years). The majority of volunteers were female (54.5%), White or Caucasian (90.4%), married (58.2%), reported some college experience (96.5%) and were retired (68.9%).

Results from the current study indicated that time volunteering, volunteer motivations, and volunteer-activity congruence did not significantly predict volunteer satisfaction, accounting for 9.2% of the variance. In contrast, the final model did significantly predict volunteer commitment and accounted for 13.1% of the model variance, with altruistic values remaining a significant contributor to volunteer commitment. Findings from the current study highlight inconsistencies noted in previous research regarding volunteer motivations, satisfaction, and commitment. Possible generational influences on altruistic values and volunteerism were also noted. Although volunteer-activity congruence alone was not predictive of volunteer satisfaction or of commitment, results from the study warrant additional investigations in career interests and volunteering among late-midlife and older adults. Limitations of the current study and implications for volunteer recruitment and retention were also discussed.

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2016

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The relationship between clinical experience, emotional intelligence and counselor self-efficacy with resilience as a moderator

Description

Emotions are essential ingredients to the human experience. How one feels influences how one thinks and behaves. The processing capacity for emotion-related information can be thought of as emotional intelligence (Salovey & Mayer, 1997). Regulating emotions and coping

Emotions are essential ingredients to the human experience. How one feels influences how one thinks and behaves. The processing capacity for emotion-related information can be thought of as emotional intelligence (Salovey & Mayer, 1997). Regulating emotions and coping with emotional experiences are among the most common reasons individuals seek counseling. Counselors must be uniquely equipped in processing and managing emotional content. Counselor’s skills and abilities related to emotional intelligence are vital to effective counseling. There is indication that confidence in one’s counseling skills may be equally as important as competence in these skills. Counselor self-efficacy, one’s belief in one’s ability to perform counseling activities, has been shown to relate to counselor performance and ability and increased clinical experience has been associated with higher levels of counselor self-efficacy (Larson & Daniels, 1998). One’s emotion-related information processing abilities and one’s clinical experiences may contribute to one’s perception of one’s competencies and abilities as a counselor.

However, this relationship may not be a simple cause-and-effect association. Individuals may possess a certain aptitude (emotional intelligence) and not perceive themselves as competent as counselors. Resilience, one’s ability to “bounce-back” and persevere through adversity may moderate the relation between emotional intelligence and counselor self-efficacy (Wagnild, 1990).

The current study explored the relations among clinical experience, emotional intelligence and resilience in predicting self-efficacy. In addition, whether resilience would moderate the relationship between emotional intelligence and counselor self-efficacy was examined. Eighty counselor trainees enrolled in CACREP-accredited master’s programs participated in this study online. They completed a demographics form, the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT; Mayer, et al., 2002), the Counselor Activities Self-Efficacy Scales (CASES; Lent et al., 2003), and The Resilience Scale (RS; Wagnild & Young, 1993). Multiple hierarchical regressions revealed clinical experience (specifically a completed practicum), emotional intelligence, and resilience predicted counselor self-efficacy. The moderation was not significant. These findings support the value of the exploration of clinical experience, emotional intelligence and resilience in developing counselor self-efficacy. A more comprehensive discussion of the findings, limitations, and implications of the current study as well as suggested direction for future research are discussed herein.

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Date Created
2017

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Student Veterans’ Career Decision-Making and College Stress: College Environment, Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms, and Sense of Coherence

Description

Given the post 9/11 influx of veteran students in higher education and the importance of early career decision-making for establishment of a post-graduation careers, understanding factors that help and hinder the college success and career decision-making of student veterans is

Given the post 9/11 influx of veteran students in higher education and the importance of early career decision-making for establishment of a post-graduation careers, understanding factors that help and hinder the college success and career decision-making of student veterans is needed. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of veterans in higher education in relation to career decision-making difficulties. Thus, the influence of variables related to campus environment (mentoring and cultural congruity), experiences of post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and college stress, and resilience as evidenced by sense of coherence (SOC) was investigated.

A sample of 239 United States Armed Forces veterans (171 male, 67 female, 1 nonbinary) enrolled in institutions of higher education across the United States was recruited through an online program. In addition to a demographic sheet, participants completed self-report measures assessing cultural congruity, sense of coherence, post-traumatic stress symptoms, mentoring, college stress, and career decision-making difficulties.

Hierarchical multiple regressions revealed that of the two constructs comprising campus environment, only cultural congruity was a significant and negative predictor of college stress. Mentoring was not a significant predictor. Post-traumatic stress symptoms predicted college stress above and beyond the variance predicted by college environment. The greater student veterans’ post-traumatic stress symptoms, the more college stress they reported experiencing. A moderated hierarchical regression revealed that college environment did not moderate the relation between post-traumatic stress symptoms and college stress. College stress was found to be a positive predictor of career decision-making difficulties. Sense of coherence did not moderate the relation between college stress and career decision-making difficulties.

Findings are discussed in the context of Schlossberg’s transition model, which posits that individuals will navigate the transition process based on their perceptions of the transition and their personal assets and liabilities, factors that influence coping ability. Limitations and clinical implications for working with student veterans are presented. The importance of early intervention to enhance cultural congruity and address post-traumatic stress symptoms and career decision-making difficulties among student veterans is discussed.

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2020