Date of Graduation

5-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders

Advisor

Kristin Higgins

Committee Member

Roy Farley

Second Committee Member

Ed Bengtson

Third Committee Member

Kristi Perryman

Abstract

School Counselors are vital to a healthy school system. However, due to the multifaceted nature of the work, the role of an elementary school counselor can be challenging to define. This increases the likelihood for role ambiguity in the workplace which can lead to a lowered sense of efficacy. Because not much research exists on the internalized process of efficacy with elementary school counselors, the purpose of this study was to explore how elementary school counselors manifest self-efficacy in the workplace. Findings suggest that the efficacy of the elementary school counselors interviewed was primarily based on the quality of the relationships between the counselor and stakeholders within the school system such as: teachers, children, administrators, and parents. Efficacy was also affected by the overall school climate, the level of perceived support and trust from administration, and the counselor’s sense of professional respect from the other school agents. Efficacy for those interviewed was also affected by negative mental health stigmas from outside and within the school system. It is the hope that such information can be used to inform the practice of school counselors as well as inform the training of future school counselors. Recommendations for further research are included.

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