Date

2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Counseling Psychology

First Adviser

Inman, Arpana G.

Other advisers/committee members

Liang, Christopher T. H.; Dever, Bridget V.; Miller, Matthew J.

Abstract

Although some efforts have been made to understand counseling trainees’ characteristics and environmental factors that are associated with trainees’ social justice advocacy beliefs and behaviors, little research has explored the combined effect of counseling trainees’ demographic characteristics, their beliefs, experiences of oppression, and their participation in diversity activities on their advocacy behaviors. Applying the Resource Model of Political Participation (Brady, Verba, & Schlozman, 1995), the present study aimed to extend the emerging research on counselor trainees’ advocacy by examining trainees’ race and gender differences in advocacy among 281 graduate counselor trainees. Although no racial and gender differences were found in regard to trainees’ social justice advocacy, the study found significant race and gender differences in trainees’ levels of awareness of modern racism and sexism. Moreover, Structural Equation Modeling revealed that trainees’ exposure to racist and sexist events, as well as participation in formal diversity experiences had significant links to trainees’ social justice advocacy behaviors. Additionally, trainees’ experiences and witnessing of racist events, their participation in formal diversity experiences, and having close interracial friendship were found to have negative association with trainees’ color-blind racial attitudes. Trainees’ experiences and witnessing of sexist events were negatively linked to trainees’ modern sexist beliefs. Implications for theory, training programs, and research are addressed.

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