Date of Graduation

5-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders

Advisor

Kristin K. Higgins

Committee Member

Roy C. Farley

Second Committee Member

Michael T. Miller

Third Committee Member

Jacquelyn D. Wiersma

Keywords

Social sciences; Psychology; Assessment; Gender identity; Glbt; Lgbt; Multidimensional gender; Transgender

Abstract

Gender identity is often thought of only as a binary construct, masculine and feminine, despite the fact that there are many people who do not see themselves as fitting this dichotomy (Rochman, 2006). Within the counseling field, it is likely that every counselor will eventually see someone who will be struggling with issues of gender identity (Ehrensaft, 2011). The introduction of the Arkansas Multidimensional Gender Scale (AMGS) will show there is a much broader scope of gender identity, more in line with the idea that all gender identities are normal and that there are as many gender identities as there are people that exist (Nucciteli, n.d., Phillips & Stewart, 2008). The AMGS will show which of the 8 major categories a person falls into with room to move among those varying gender categories, thereby expanding the binary system to a multidimensional construct that takes into account genetics, biology, emotional, and mental aspects of gender identity (Calhoun, 2001).

Two hundred and thirty-seven complete assessments were received as part of the validation of this tool. Data analysis of the AMGS shows that this instrument has moderate internal consistency with sufficient variability to find overall cutoff scores for the assessment. Three factors were found as hypothesized by the writer but they did not break into the three scales surmised by the researcher. The AMGS does not display convergent validity with the Bem Sex-Roles Inventory (BSRI) as hypothesized by the author but does show discriminant validity with the Functions of Identity Scale (FIS).

Discussion of each of the specific research questions provides details of the positives and negatives of each data analysis. Limitations of the research design are presented as well as implications for counselors, Social workers, psychologists, and other helping professionals.

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