Date of Award

10-2-2009

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Counseling and Psychological Services

First Advisor

Greg Brack, Ph.D. - Chair

Second Advisor

Julie Ancis, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Catherine Y. Chang, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Michele B. Hill, Ph.D.

Abstract

Social justice advocacy has been a force throughout the history of Counseling Psychology and has been described as more critical to the field than any other time in its long history (Toporek & McNally, 2006). Accordingly, in 2002, the American Counseling Association endorsed the Advocacy Competencies in an effort to advance the status of social advocacy by defining competency for counselors engaged in social advocacy (Lewis, Arnold, House, & Toporek, 2002). However, at the writing of this article, these competencies had not yet been operationalized. Therefore, a comprehensive review of the multidisciplinary literature was conducted and seventy- three skills consistent with these competencies were identified and used to further describe what it means to be a competent social justice advocate. These skills were then used to create a measure of social justice advocacy. Content validity of the items was addressed through the use of expert ratings. One hundred participants were recruited to take this measure. Exploratory factor analysis yielded a four-factor model of social justice advocacy skills: Collaborative Action, Social/Political Advocacy, Client Empowerment, and Client/Community Advocacy. Evidence for construct validity was found in the expected positive correlations between the social advocacy survey and the Multicultural Knowledge and Awareness Scale (Ponterotto et al., 2002) and the Miville-Guzman Universal-Diverse Orientation Scale- Short Form (Fuertes et al., 2000). The resulting 43- item survey serves as a starting point for operationalizing and assessing counselors’ competence in social justice advocacy.

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