Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




This study focused on secondary school counselors employed in public schools in the state of Virginia. It investigated the direction and strength of the relationship of level of moral development, locus of control, HIV knowledge and HIV attitudes.;Locus of control was measured by Rotter's Internal-External Locus of Control Scale (I-E Scale). The Defining Issues Test (DIT) was used to assess counselor level of moral development. An HIV questionnaire examined counselor attitudes and knowledge. Kohlbery's theory of moral development provided the basis for the study.;It was hypothesized that the level of moral development would show a significant positive relationship with the counselors' HIV knowledge and a significant negative relationship with the counselors' HIV attitudes. Additional hypotheses suggested that the locus of control would relate positively to counselors' HIV attitudes and negatively with HIV knowledge. A significant negative correlation was predicted between counselors' moral level of development and locus of control.;of the 286 secondary schools contacted, 118 counselors elected to participate. They completed an HIV questionnaire, the I-E Scale, and the DIT. All assessments were conducted during the spring of 1995.;Data from the study were submitted to product-moment correlations to test the hypotheses. In addition, step-wise multiple regressions were used to analyze the survey variables: HIV attitude and HIV knowledge.;The data did not support a negative relationship between HIV knowledge and level of moral development. There was, however, a significant negative relationship between HIV attitude and level of moral development. There was statistical support for the existence of a negative correlation between locus of control and counselors' HIV knowledge. The positive relationship between locus of control and attitude was not supported. The study data supported the relationship between counselors' moral level of development and their locus of control. The higher the level of moral development, the lower (internal) the level of locus of control. Additional significant relationships were found and recorded. An analysis of responders versus non-responders on the DIT instrument was performed because of the large number of incomplete or unreturned test forms.;The study's data combined with the results of previous research suggested several areas of application: HIV education for counselors, college curriculum, counselor support groups, school systems, state departments, and professional organizations. While the results of the study apply specifically to secondary school counselors employed in the state of Virginia, there is no reason to believe that the specific location would affect the relationships between variables or limit the applicability to counselors in other states.;Suggestions for further study included expanding the survey to include middle school counselors or to include secondary school counselors in other states. Similar studies might be undertaken to assess counselors' attitudes and knowledge regarding gay adolescents or to determine the absence or presence of counselor homophobia. An additional area for exploration includes a survey of counselor education programs' inclusion or exclusion of HIV/AIDS training.



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