Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

School Counselors and Ethical Decision Making
by West, Dana R., Ph.D., University of Wyoming, 2016, 261; 10240313
Abstract (Summary)

Students and their parents/guardians rely on school counselors to provide counseling services based on ethically sound principles. However, there is a lack of empirical evidence about what influences a school counselor’s ethical decision making. Ethical decision making for this study was defined as the degree to which decisions pertaining to confidentiality, parents’ rights, and diversity and values align with professional codes of ethics and fundamental ethical principles. This study investigated the relationships between the dependent variable, school counselor ethical decision making, and the independent variables of (a) personality traits, (b) level of professional association membership, (c) level of involvement in professional associations, and (d) years of experience.

Data were collected through a mixed-mode (online and paper-and-pencil) self-report survey distributed to school counselors in three states. A total of 167 school counselors, both with or without professional membership affiliation, participated in the study. Respondents provided data relative to demographics, the Keirsey Temperament Sorter II (Keirsey, 1998), and ethical scenarios developed by the principle researcher. Ethical scenario topics common in school counseling—confidentiality, parents’ rights, and diversity and values—were utilized and specifically developed to be compatible with differing legal statues and school policies across the three states in the study. Correlation and ANOVA statistical analyses were used to determine relationships between the factors and school counselor ethical decision making. Results indicated differences in ethical decision making regarding confidentiality and parents’ rights based on years of school counselor experience. Late career counselors showed ethical decision making more closely aligned with ethics codes on issues of parents’ rights, however, less aligned on issues of confidentiality.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bruce, Mary A.
Commitee: McKim, Courtney A., Morgan, Michael M., Shim, Jenna M., Warren, Jane A.
School: University of Wyoming
Department: Counselor Education
School Location: United States -- Wyoming
Source: DAI-A 78/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mental health, Ethics, School counseling
Keywords: Diversity and values, Ethical decision making model, Ethics assessment, Parents' rights, School counseling, School counselor confidentiality
Publication Number: 10240313
ISBN: 9780355133868
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