Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The contributions of professional school counselors' values and leadership practices to their programmatic service delivery
by Shillingford, Margaret Ann, Ph.D., University of Central Florida, 2009, 252; 3357883
Abstract (Summary)

Professional School Counselors (PSCs) have been called to be leaders for educational reform to support the academic, career, and personal/social development of all students through the coordination and facilitation of their comprehensive, developmental school counseling program (American School Counselor Association [ASCA], 2005; National Model©). The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the contributions of PSCs' values and leadership practices to their programmatic service delivery (counseling, coordinating, consulting, and curriculum). The three constructs and instruments investigated in this study were: (a) Schwartz Value Theory (the Schwartz Value Survey [SVS]; Schwartz, 1992), (b) the Leadership Challenge Theory (the Leadership Practices Inventory [LPI]; Posner & Kouzes, 1988), and (c) school counselors' programmatic service delivery (the School Counselors Activity Rating Scale [SCARS]; Scarborough, 2005). The findings of this study contribute to the school counseling, counselor education, and leadership literature.

The sample size for this study was 249 certified, practicing school counselors (elementary school, n = 83; middle school, n = 76; high school, n = 74; multi-level, n = 8) in the state of Florida (35% response rate). The participants completed an on-line surveys including a general demographic questionnaire, the SVS (Schwartz, 1992), the LPI (Posner & Kouzes, 1988), and the SCARS (Scarborough, 2005). The statistical procedures used to analyze the data included (a) structural equation modeling (path Analysis), (b) confirmatory factor analysis, (c) simultaneous multiple regression, (d) Pearson product-moment (2-tailed), and (e) Analysis of variance (ANOVA).

The primary research hypothesis for the study was that practicing school counselors' values and leadership practice scores would contribute to their levels of programmatic service delivery. The statistical analyses of these data identified several significant findings. The path analysis models testing the contribution of school counselors' values and leadership practices on their service delivery did fit for these data. Specifically, the results indicated that values contributed minimally to the model fit (less than 1%); however, leadership practices made a significant contribution (39%) to the school counselors' service delivery. Additionally, 31% of the participants reported that their current school counseling program was consistent with how they perceive a successful school counseling program should be implemented, yet only 29% of the school counselors reported feeling comfortable in challenging their involvement in non-counseling related duties. Further, although these data indicated that the majority of the school counselors valued self-transcendence (accepting of rules and appreciating others); structural equation modification re-specification procedures revealed that the model fit supported the value type, self-enhancement (self-direction and personal success) as a more significant contributor in promoting leadership practices and effective service delivery. Implications for professional school counseling and counselor education are presented, along with areas for future investigation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lambie, Glenn W.
School: University of Central Florida
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 70/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: School counseling
Keywords: Leadership, School counseling, School counselors, Service delivery, Values
Publication Number: 3357883
ISBN: 978-1-109-16179-3
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