Educational counseling, Ego (Psychology), Locus of control, Social cognitive theory, Student counselors -- Legal status, laws, etc, Student counselors -- Professional ethics


Professional School Counselors (PSCs) are to serve as advocates for all students and promote systemic change (American School Counselor Association, 2008) while navigating complex work environments. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the contribution of PSCs‟ social-cognitive development to their levels of ethical and legal knowledge and locus of control orientation. The three constructs and instruments investigated in this study were: (a) social-cognitive development (ego development; the Washington University Sentence Completion Test [WUSCT]; Hy & Loevinger 1996), (b) Ethical and Legal Knowledge (the Ethical and Legal Knowledge in Counseling Questionnaire-Revised [ELICQ-R]; Lambie, Ieva, Gill, & Hagedorn, 2010), and (c) Locus of Control (the Adult Nowicki-Strickland Internal External Scale- College [ANSIE-C]; Nowicki & Duke, 1974; the Work Locus of Control Scale [WLCS]; Spector, 1988). The findings from this investigation contribute to the school counseling and counselor education literature. The sample size for this study was 301 certified, practicing school counselors (elementary school, middle school, high school, and multi-level) in five states (Colorado, Florida, Maine, Maryland, and New Mexico) across the country. The participants completed data collection packets including a general demographic questionnaire, the WUSCT (Hy & Loevinger 1996), the ANSIE-C (Nowicki & Duke, 1974), the WLCS (Spector, 1988), and the ELICQ-R (Lambie, et al., 2010). The statistical procedures used to analyze the data included (a) structural equation modeling (path Analysis), (b) simultaneous multiple regression, (c) Pearson productmoment (2-tailed), and (d) Analysis of variance (ANOVA). The primary research hypothesis was that practicing school counselors‟ social-cognitive development scores would contribute to their locus of control orientation and their levels of iv ethical and legal knowledge. The statistical analyses identified several significant findings. First, the path analysis model testing the contribution of school counselors‟ social-cognitive development to locus of control and ethical and legal knowledge did fit for these data. Specifically, the results indicated that school counselors‟ social-cognitive development contributed to their ethical and legal knowledge (less than 1% of the variance explained) and to locus of control (14% of the variance explained) in the model fit for these data. In addition, locus of control contributed to school counselors‟ ethical and legal knowledge (2% of the variance explained). Implications for professional school counseling and counselor education are presented, along with areas for future investigation.


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Graduation Date





Lambie, Glenn


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Education








Release Date

May 2010

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Education, Education -- Dissertations, Academic

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