Date Awarded

Spring 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




M. Ann Shillingford

Committee Member

Thomas J. Ward

Committee Member

Julia A. Bryan


School-family partnerships facilitate the academic and personal success of all students. Whereas forming these partnerships are a component of school counselor identity, school counselors are commonly unprepared to form and maintain such relationships. Additionally, shifting racial demographics within K-12 schools call for culturally responsive partnership-building, as the majority of school counselors continue to belong to the dominant culture. The purpose of this study was to explore the characteristics of school counselors as it relates to involvement in partnerships with families of color. Using a social cognitive theoretical framework, this study solicited a national sample of 155 practicing school counselors to examine self-efficacy, multicultural competence, and environment with regards to forming these diverse partnerships. The School Counselor Self-Efficacy (SCSE) scale, the Multicultural Counseling Competence and Training Survey-Revised (MCCTS-R), and a modified version of the School Counselor Involvement in Partnerships Survey (SCIPS) were used to examine these characteristics. The results of this study indicated significantly positive relationships between self-efficacy, multicultural competence, and involvement in partnerships with families of color. However, only self-efficacy as it relates specifically to partnerships and multicultural knowledge served as significant predictors of involvement in these partnerships. Further, receiving previous coursework in multicultural counseling or family-related content did not make any significant differences in involvement. The outcomes suggest that school counselors may benefit from more practical experiences in diverse settings to encourage involvement in partnerships with families of color. Findings also support the integration of the social cognitive theoretical concept of triadic reciprocal determinism into training curricula.




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