An Examination of Parents' Preferred School Counselor Professional Activities

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The purpose of this study was to examine parent preferences for school counselor professional activities. The primary focus of research was to determine if any relationship exists between (1) parents' demographic factors - gender, age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity - and their preferences for school counselors' professional activities; (2) educational factors - parents' level of education and grade level of their student (9-12) - and parents' preferences for professional activities; and (3) parents' experience parenting high school students and their preferences for school counselors' professional activities. I utilized a 7-item demographic questionnaire and an adapted version of the School Counselor Activity ... continued below

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vii, 102 p. : ill.

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Wilder, Christopher December 2010.

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  • Wilder, Christopher

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Description

The purpose of this study was to examine parent preferences for school counselor professional activities. The primary focus of research was to determine if any relationship exists between (1) parents' demographic factors - gender, age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity - and their preferences for school counselors' professional activities; (2) educational factors - parents' level of education and grade level of their student (9-12) - and parents' preferences for professional activities; and (3) parents' experience parenting high school students and their preferences for school counselors' professional activities. I utilized a 7-item demographic questionnaire and an adapted version of the School Counselor Activity Rating Scale (SCARS; Scarborough, 2005). The SCARS is a 48-item standardized instrument that measures how school counselors actually spend their time engaged in professional activities compared to how they would prefer to spend that time. The format was adapted from a verbal frequency scale to a 5-point Likert-type scale. In the current study, parents indicated their preference for school counselors to enact certain tasks, with higher scores indicating greater endorsement of the task. Cronbach's alpha for each of the SCARS subscales indicated good internal consistency: Counseling .879; Consultation .831; Curriculum .933; Coordination .867; and "other" .828. The sample was composed of 250 parents from a school district in the southwestern United States. The study population consisted of 198 female and 52 male participants ranging in age from 31 to 66 years old and included 6.4% African American, 1.6% Asian/Pacific Islander, 8.0% Hispanic, 4% Native American, and 83.6% White. Results indicated that parents overall preferred counselors to engage, from most to least, in Coordination, Counseling, "other," Curriculum, and Consultation activities and that they most strongly endorsed counselors providing students with academic advising and counseling for school related behavior. Regarding the primary focus of this study, the Pearson product moment correlation coefficient was utilized to ascertain potential relationship between variables. Results indicated a small statistically significant correlation between gender and the Counseling subscale score, r = .178, p < .01. Compared to male parents, female parents' scored higher on the Counseling subscale. Results also indicated a small statistically significant negative correlation between parents' eligibility for their children to receive free or reduced-price lunch and Coordination subscale scores, r = -.126, p < .05. Parents eligible to participate in the government's free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch and Child Nutrition Program were more likely than non-eligible parents to indicate a preference for counselors to coordinate student referral to school-related programs and services. Respondents' reports of their age, ethnicity, parents' educational attainment, student grade level, and parents' experience parenting high school students did not correlate significantly with their SCARS scores. Parents' preferences based on responses to the SCARS are discussed, as are implications for school counselors, directors of guidance, and counselor education faculties.

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vii, 102 p. : ill.

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  • December 2010

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  • May 4, 2011, 1:11 p.m.

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  • June 24, 2011, 5:20 p.m.

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Wilder, Christopher. An Examination of Parents' Preferred School Counselor Professional Activities, dissertation, December 2010; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33211/: accessed December 11, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .