Wellness, helping professionals, scale development, counseling


Wellness is an integral component of the helping professions (Myers & Sweeney, 2005; Witmer, 1985). Specifically, wellness is included in ethical codes, suggestions for practice, and codes of conduct throughout counseling, psychology, and social work fields (see American Counseling Association Code of Ethics, 2014; American Psychological Association Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, 2010; National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics, 1996). Even so, wellness in helping professionals is a difficult construct to measure. Thus, the purpose of the research investigation was to develop the Helping Professional Wellness Discrepancy Scale (HPWDS) and examine the psychometric features of the HPWDS in a sample of helping professionals and helping professionals-in-training. A correlational research design was employed for this investigation (Gall, Gall, & Borg, 2007). Specifically, the researcher examined: (a) the factor structure of the HPWDS with a sample of helping professionals; (b) the internal consistency reliability of the HPWDS; (c) the relationship between HPWDS scores and Counseling Burnout Inventory (CBI) scores; (d) the relationships between helping professionals' HPWDS scores and their reported demographic data; and (e) the relationship between HPWDS factor scores and the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale-X1 (MCSDS-X1). The research questions were examined using: (a) Factor Analysis (FA), (b) Cronbach's alpha, (c) Spearman Rho correlation, (d) Multiple Linear Regression (MLR) and (e) internal replication analysis. A review of the literature is provided, discussing theoretical and empirical support for all the items on the initial model of the HPWDS (n = 92) as well as for all the items included on the final HPWDS exploratory model (n = 22). The researcher investigated helping professionals' perceived levels of wellness, aspirational levels of wellness, and the discrepancy between perceived and aspirational levels of wellness. The data was collected via online, mail out, and face-to-face administration to increase methodological rigor. The sample size for the investigation was 657, with 88 coming from Face-to-Face sampling, 87 from mail out sampling, and 484 from online/email sampling. Data analysis resulted in a five-factor exploratory HPWDS model that accounted for 69.169% of the total variance. Model communalities were considered acceptable with only three communalities below the recommended .5 value. Factor 1 represented Professional & Personal Development Activities and accounted for 32.605% of the variance, Factor 2 represented Religion/Spirituality and accounts for 13.151% of the variance, Factor 3 represented Leisure Activities and accounted for 9.443% of the variance, Factor 4 represented Burnout and accounted for 7.198% of the variance, and Factor 5 represented Helping Professional Optimism and accounted for 6.773% of the variance. In addition to a literature review, the research methodology and research results are provided. Results of the research investigation are discussed and areas for future research, limitations of the study, and implications for the helping professions are presented. Some implications of the findings include: (a) a theoretically and methodologically sound instrument for assessing wellness discrepancies in helping professionals is important; (b) helping professionals should be aware of both the personal and professional activities they are engaging in to increase their knowledge and self-efficacy, as well as their leisure activity engagement; (c) it is advantageous for researchers to use the scale development procedures, rigorous sampling methodologies, and FA guidelines outlined throughout Chapters 3 and 4 when developing new assessments for evaluating helping professionals; and (d) a five factor wellness assessment allowing helping professionals to evaluate themselves in Professional & Personal Development Activities, Religion/Spirituality, Helping Professional Optimism, Leisure Activities, and Burnout arenas is integral in assessing wellness discrepancies in helping professionals.


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Graduation Date





Lambie, Glenn


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Education and Human Performance

Degree Program

Education; Counselor Education








Release Date

November 2016

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Education and Human Performance; Education and Human Performance -- Dissertations, Academic