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Relationship between a belief in a just world and social justice advocacy attitudes of school counselors.

The purpose of this study was to examine how belief in a just world (BJW), political ideology, religious ideology, socioeconomic status of origin, and race relate to social justice advocacy attitudes among school counseling professionals. A sequential multiple regression indicated that political ideology and BJW were statistically significant variables. The results have several implications regarding the training and development of school counselors. Additionally, recommendations for future research are explored.


According to the 2006-2008 American Community Survey, there are approximately 61 million children in schools nationwide (U.S. Census Bureau, n.d.). By 2020, children of color will be the majority who attend public schools (Holcomb-McCoy, 2001). In addition to racial diversity, students with disabilities, students who come from low socioeconomic backgrounds, students who speak English as a second language, and students who are foreign-born are other diverse groups of children in the schools. However, regardless of these differences in culture and experiences, all are expected to achieve academically and meet educational standards set by No Child Left Behind (2001) legislation (U.S. Department of Education, n.d.).

To meet these standards, school counselors work to help every student achieve academically, gain personal/social awareness, and understand career decision making (American School Counselor Association [ASCA], 2003). However, a growing challenge facing school counselors is the ability to address the needs of their diverse students (Lee, 2001). This notion is important given the academic achievement gap that continues to exist. Counselors' attitudes, cultural competence, knowledge, and ability to work with culturally diverse groups (Sue et al., 1998) are essential to best serve the growing diversity in student populations.

The counseling profession has embraced the importance of social advocacy. For example, the American Counseling Association (ACA; 2005) ethical guidelines state, "When appropriate, counselors advocate at individual, group, institutional, and societal levels to examine potential barriers and obstacles that inhibit access and / or the growth and development of clients" (Standard A.6.a.). Similarly, ASCA (2010) states in its preamble that "professional school counselors are advocates, leaders, collaborators and consultants who create opportunities for equity in access and success in educational opportunities" (p. 1). In fact, advocacy has become a prominent initiative for both ASCA and the Education Trust (ASCA, 2003; Education Trust, n.d.). They share the same mission to promote equity and access for all students to receive quality education. Finally, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP; 2009) affirms this position in its standard that preparation programs create an understanding of "counselors' roles in ... promoting cultural social justice, advocacy ... and other culturally supported behaviors that promote optimal wellness and growth of the human spirit, mind, or body" (p. 10).

For true social advocacy to take place, school counselors must begin with themselves and understand their own ethnic, racial, and political identities (Erford, 2007). Because the school counseling profession is primarily composed of White women from a middle-class background (Erford, 2007), many of the children with whom school counselors work are different from themselves. Ideally, school counselors should understand their own biases and work to stay open to changing their personal worldviews to best advocate for their students.

Unfortunately, there is a dearth of research in the school counseling literature focusing on factors related to social justice advocacy (SJA). Other fields of study, including social work, religion, political science, and sociology, have empirically examined the relationships between beliefs about justice, political ideology, religious ideology, and other personal characteristics and attitudes of social action (Chalfant & Heller, 1985; Hunt, 2000; Perkins, 1992; Perry, 2003; Rosenwald, 2006; Van Soest, 1994; Van Voorhis & Hostetter, 2006). In counseling-related literature, Daniels (2002) stated that a counselor's ability to be effective is not as incumbent on training, theory, and education as it is on individual personal characteristics.

A personal characteristic related to advocating for students may be the school counselor's beliefs about justice in the world. Lipkus and Siegler (1993) defined one's belief in a just world (BJW) as the idea that "people get what they deserve and deserve what they get" (p. 465). It is these authors' opinion that people experience injustice because they are deserving of it or have personal characteristics that cause them to experience unfavorable outcomes. According to Cohn and Modecki (2007), the underlying principle of this hypothesis is that people who strongly believe in a just world see the world as being fair. In contrast, people who have an average or low sense of a just world believe that the world is unfair or prejudiced. Van Soest (1996) reported research that individuals who come from a middle-class background are more likely to believe that poor people are to blame because they are not working hard enough to overcome to their situation. Given that the majority of school counselors come from middle-class backgrounds, this finding is relevant to school counselors' SJA.

Other personal factors that may relate to advocating for students are political and religious ideology. Previous research suggested that counselors' demographic characteristics (i.e., socioeconomic status of origin and ethnicity) and political and religious ideology should influence counselors' SJA attitudes (Bierbrauer & Klinger, 2002; Brown, 2004; Daniels, 2002; Hunt, 2000). Research in sociology has found political ideology to be a significant factor in predicting social justice attitudes. For example, Bierbrauer and Klinger (2002) reported research that found political affiliation was strongly related to how justice concerns were evaluated. The researchers also reported that whereas liberals were more likely to help others, conservatives were more likely to deny help to others because of their belief that individuals were, in part, responsible for themselves. Empirical research in the field of social work, religion, and political science has indicated that religious ideology is a variable that tends to have a positive relationship with social equality (Chalfant & Heller, 1985; Perkins, 1985, 1992). Another study found that individuals who considered themselves to be religious were more likely to volunteer and participate in political and social justice organizations (Mattis et al., 2004). Although other fields of study have examined the impact of religious views on SJA, this has not been done among school counselors; therefore, it is important to focus on self-perception of religious views, ranging from very liberal to very conservative, without regard to actual participation in religious activities or religious denomination.

Purpose of the Study

School counselors are in a position to advocate for students regarding equity and access to college preparatory course work, to help students and their families navigate systems of oppression and injustice, and to act as agents of change within their school settings. Thus, the purpose of this study is to examine how BJW, political ideology, religious ideology, socioeconomic status of origin, and race relate to SJA attitudes among school counseling professionals.



A total of 313 of the 2,000 randomly selected ASCA members participated in this survey research study. This participation resulted in a response rate of 15.7%. After respondents with missing or invalid data were eliminated (4.8%, n = 15), a total number of 298 participants were included in the analyses. The demographic characteristics of the sample are provided in Table 1. Most of the respondents were White (83.6%, n = 249) and female (84.2%, n = 251). More than 90% of the respondents' socioeconomic status of origin ranged between lower-middle to upper-middle class. The largest percentage of respondents had between 1 to 3 years of experience (35.9%, n = 107), followed by those respondents who had 4 to 8 years (23.5%, n = 70), 9 to 14 years (19.8%, n = 59), 15 to 20 years (12.1%, n = 36), and more than 21 years of experience (8.7%, 11 = 26). Respondents from four regions of the United States (Northeast, South, Midwest, West), school settings (i.e., rural, suburban, and urban), school sizes, and school levels were represented in the sample.


After permission was obtained from the university's institutional review board for human subjects, e-mail addresses were collected from the ASCA membership online directory. A randomized list of 2,000 e-mail addresses was created. Participants were sent an e-mail with a link to the surveyshare. com website. An informed consent form immediately appeared on the website stating that participation was voluntary, anonymous, and confidential. Participants completed the one-time online survey. The survey remained on the website for 2 weeks during the fall of 2007. After 1 week into the survey collection time period, a second reminder e-mail was sent to all participants who had not completed the survey.


The Social Justice Advocacy Scale (SJAS; Van Soest, 1996) is a self-report instrument that measures individuals' advocacy behaviors on behalf of oppressed populations. The instrument is composed of 82 items. The items report advocacy behaviors on behalf of women, gay men and lesbians, individuals with disabilities, Blacks, and other racial/ethnic minorities. Each of the items is responded to based on a 5-point Likert-type scale. The responses range from rarely or none of the time to most of the time. There are also seven vignettes in which an oppressed individual is described to be denigrated or harmed in some manner. Participants choose five actions they would take. The choices consist of actions causing harm, passive bystander behaviors, and advocacy actions (Van Soest, 1996; Van Voorhis & Hostetter, 2006). The total scores on the SJAS are computed based on an average of all items. Scores closer to 5 indicate a high commitment to SJA, whereas scores closer to 1 indicate a low commitment to SJA (Van Soest, 1996).

The SJAS was field tested with 90 social work faculty, practitioners, and students for reliability and validity (Van Soest, 1996). The original field test of the instrument resulted in a Cronbach's alpha of .92 for the pretest and .93 for the posttest (Van Soest, 1996). The SJAS has face validity, but there are no reports on construct or concurrent validity (Van Voorhis & Hostetter, 2006).

The Global Belief in a Just World Scale (GBJWS; Lipkus, 1991) is a standardized instrument that examines the extent to which individuals view the world as a just place. The survey assesses the belief that people get what they deserve and deserve what they get (Lipkus, 1991). The GBJWS is composed of seven items that are rated on a 6-point Likert-type scale. Each response ranges from strong agreement to strong disagreement. The scores range from 7 to 49. Higher scores reflect greater agreement with the belief that the world is a just place and people get what they deserve, whereas lower scores reflect strong disagreement that the world is a just place and that individuals do not always get what they deserve. The GBJWS has internal consistency, with a Kuder-Richardson reliability index of .82. The GBJWS also has convergent validity and discriminant validity (Lipkus, 1991).

A 13-item multiple choice demographic questionnaire (see Appendix) was created to gather information regarding gender, number of years in the profession, and type of setting in which the participant works. In addition, participants reported their political ideology, religious ideology, socioeconomic status of origin, and race. The political ideology and religious ideology variables were based on a 6-point Likert-type scale (1 = very conservative to 6 = very liberal).


A nonexperimental correlational research design was used to examine how the independent variables (BJW, political ideology, religious ideology, socioeconomic status of origin, and race) relate to the dependent variable, SJA attitudes. Sequential multiple regression was used to enter independent variables in a specific order in the regression model. Given that an individual's race and socioeconomic status of origin cannot be changed and political ideology and religious ideology are generally stable personal constructs, these variables were entered in the regression model first. Finally, BJW was entered in the regression model because this construct may be taught. This predetermined order of entry of independent variables provided an opportunity to examine the unique contributions BJW added above and beyond the other independent variables.


A sequential multiple regression was performed to determine whether the addition of BJW improved prediction of SJA after controlling for political ideology, religious ideology, socioeconomic status of origin, and race (non-White = 0 and White = 1). Analyses were performed using SPSS (Version 15.0) REGRESSION for estimating the regression parameters and SPSS EXPLORE for evaluating data quality and assumptions.

Before the analyses were conducted, all data were screened for accuracy of data entry, missing data, univariate outliers, normality, and linearity. Fifteen respondents either were missing too many responses from their survey results or provided values that were not within an acceptable range. These respondents were not included in any data analyses. No univariate outliers (i.e., greater than 3.5 standards deviations away from the means) were found. An examination of the distributions, kurtosis, and skewness values suggested that univariate normality was tenable for all variables except race. The majority of the respondents were White, and no attempt was made to transform this variable.

The reliability coefficient for the SJAS (coefficient alpha was .64) and the GBJWS (coefficient alpha was .89) were adequate for use in this exploratory research study. The correlation coefficients, means, and standard deviations for the dependent and independent variables are reported in Table 2. SJA attitudes was statistically significant and positively related to religious ideology (r = .23, p < .001) and political ideology (r = .31, p < .001) and inversely related to BJW (r = -.25, p < .001). The interrelationship among the independent variables tended to be very small except for the relationship between religious and political ideology (r = .80, p < .001).

A regression residuals scatter plot indicated no major departure from the assumptions of normality, linearity, or homoscedasticity. The variance inflation factor values for all independent variables were less than 3.0, indicating that the estimated betas are not problematic. No multivariate outliers were identified using Mahalanobis distance (p < .001).

The sequential multiple regression was conducted by first regressing SJA onto race, socioeconomic status of origin, religious ideology, and political ideology. Next, BJW was added to the regression model. The ordering allowed an estimation of how much variance BJW added above the previous variables entered into the regression equation.

In the first step, SJA was regressed onto race, socioeconomic status of origin, religious ideology, and political ideology. The variance accounted for was .11 (adjusted [R.sup.2] = .09), which was significantly different from zero, F(4, 293) = 9.06, p < .001. Only political ideology was statistically significant ([beta] = .36, p < .001). BJW was entered in Step 2. The [DELTA][R.sup.2] was .04, which was statistically significant, [DELTA]F(1, 292) = 15.02, p < .001. The total variance accounted for with all five independent variables in the regression model was .15, F(5, 292) = 10.58, p < .001. The standardized betas, t values, and partial correlations are reported in Table 3. Only two of the five independent variables were statistically significant (p < .001): BJW and political ideology. BJW had a negative beta and partial correlation, indicating an inverse relationship with SJA. This suggests that individuals with greater BJW tended to report lower levels of SJA. Political ideology had a positive beta and partial correlation, suggesting that individuals with more liberal ratings tended to report higher levels of SJA.


A sequential multiple regression was used to analyze the data. The steps allowed one to determine how much unique variance each variable contributed to the equation. Political ideology and BJW were found to be statistically significant variables.

Race, socioeconomic status of origin, religiosity, and political ideology were entered into the first step of the sequential multiple regression equation. The regression indicated that the model was statistically significant. Results indicated that political ideology was the only statistically significant variable. Although these findings suggest that neither race nor socioeconomic status of origin relate to SJA attitudes of practicing school counselors, it is important to note that there was a lack of variability within the sample. The majority of the participants were White and from a middle-class background. Therefore, this lack of diversity within the sample may have contributed to the findings not being statistically significant.

Although there is lack of variability in the sample, it is also important to note that the results do suggest that race and socioeconomic status of origin do not interfere with school counselors' advocacy attitudes. These findings are encouraging considering the diversity of students who are enrolled in schools today. School counselors, regardless of their race or socioeconomic status of origin, report a willingness to advocate for and support all their students, including minorities and students who come from poverty.

These findings add to the literature regarding BJW in that the outcome does not support Van Soest's (1996) previous research that individuals who come from a middle-class background are more likely to believe that poor people are to blame because they are not working hard enough to overcome their situation. Additionally, previous research has found that socioeconomic status related to attitudes toward BJW (Hunt, 2000) and attitudes toward affirmative action (Sax & Arredondo, 1999).

The political ideology variable accounted for 11% of the variance in the model. One caution in interpreting this outcome is that the religious ideology and political ideology variables were highly correlated (r = .80). An explanation for the high correlation and the religious ideology variable not resulting in statistical significance is that the two variables could have been measuring the same construct. For example, respondents may have been similar in their religious and political views regarding the extent to which they are liberal or conservative in their beliefs.

The results are not surprising given that previous research has found that political conservatism is linked to not taking action against social injustice (Bierbrauer & Klinger, 2002; Perry, 2003; Sax & Arredondo, 1999; Watson, Corrigan, & Angell, 2005) and religious ideology relates to volunteerism (Allison, Okun, & Dutridge, 2002), prosocial involvement (Mattis et al., 2004), and BJW (Lipkus & Siegler, 1993; Sorrentino & Hardy, 1974). Similar results were also discovered through the bivariate correlations, which found religious ideology and political ideology to have statistically significant relationships with SJA attitudes among practicing school counselors. Specifically, there were statistically significant and positive relationships between religious ideology, political ideology, and SJA attitudes.

However, it is important to note that political ideology was a statistically significant predictor of SJA attitudes among practicing school counselors. This finding supports the results of previous research indicating that political interest was the only significant variable in establishing predictors of school counselors' desire to engage in SJA (Nilsson & Schmidt, 2005). Additionally, the results in this study also support Sax and Arredondo's (1999) study, which found that college students who were more politically conservative were more likely to support the elimination of affirmative action, a construct that is related to social justice. The outcome of this research study further substantiates the findings that the more liberal religious and political views school counselors have, the more likely they are to have stronger and more positive attitudes toward SJA work.

BJW was entered into the final step of the sequential multiple regression. The analysis found that the model was statistically significant. Additionally, the BJW variable did have a statistically significant relationship ([beta] = -.21) to SJA attitudes among practicing school counselors. Overall, BJW accounted for 4% of the variance in the model.

Consequently, this finding suggests that BJW is related to school counselors' SJA attitudes, such that school counselors who have a lower BJW are more likely to have higher and more positive attitudes toward SJA. These findings support previous research that found that people with high levels of BJW blamed negative outcomes such as poverty (Appelbaum, Lennon, & Lawrence, 2006), oppression (Lipkus & Siegler, 1993), crime (Hunt, 2000), and AIDS (Connors & Heaven, 1990) on the individual. The results of the study also confirm Van Soest's (1996) research findings that students who had a greater BJW displayed fewer advocacy behaviors.

This research contributes to the field, because it is the first to examine how BJW relates to SJA attitudes of school counselors. As a result, this study adds empirical support to the idea that school counselors must examine how their personal beliefs influence their SJA attitudes (Brown, 2004; Daniels, 2002).

Implications of the Findings

The results of this study have important implications for the training and development of school counselors, multicultural competency in the school counseling profession, and school counselors and counselors-in-training to gain a deeper understanding of how their own personal values and beliefs influence their views regarding diversity issues. The counseling profession has worked diligently to infuse positive attitudes and skills to promote SJA. Consequently, these results have important implications for school counselors, counselor educators, and professional organizations in counseling.

The findings indicate a need for increasing multicultural competency among school counselors. Not only are the schools increasing in diversity, but this diversity will continue to broaden as the world and economy continue to become increasingly global. As indicated by the BJW construct, some school counselors believe that their students are not succeeding academically or do not have access to rigorous course work because they somehow have brought it on themselves. Clearly, school counselors should reflect on their attitudes and values as they work to understand and appreciate the cultures of their students, giving particular attention to racial/ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, sexual minorities, and students who come from poverty. With this awareness, school counselors can more effectively advocate for their students to have fair and equitable access to rigorous course work, scholarships, and career information.

There are a variety of ways school counselors can increase their awareness and knowledge and engage in advocacy. First, school counselors can actively seek supervision to provide a forum for focusing on these concerns. Small group supervision, even using a peer group structure, can help school counselors continue to develop in their multicultural attitudes and skills. In addition, school counselors can advocate with their administrators to attend workshops on these topics. Often, experiential workshops are powerful ways to help school counselors learn about themselves, in addition to informational workshops. School counselors can also create, in their schools, student advocacy groups that include parents who can help inform them about the needs of their children. Special attention needs to be directed to scheduling meetings at times when working parents are able to attend, and attention should be given to creating a welcoming attitude toward parents who often feel uncomfortable in school settings. Another strategy is for school counselors to take a leadership role in the school and provide professional development activities for teachers. Topics can include multicultural competency, equity and access, and using resources and support services within the school and community. Finally, school counselors need skills to conduct action research within their own schools to learn about the needs of marginalized students and their curricular choices to affirm that fairness and consistency are provided for all students in the school.

School counselors should be prepared in their training programs to incorporate SJA into their daily practice. A framework for this integration could be the use of the ACA Advocacy Competencies (Lewis, Arnold, House, & Toporek, 2002), which outline three levels of advocacy. These levels are client/ student advocacy, school/community advocacy, and the public arena level of advocacy (Lewis et al., 2002). At each of these levels, school counselors are positioned to engage in advocacy on behalf of their students. Lewis et al. (2002) discussed empowering students through the use of classroom guidance lessons, using data to create systemic change, engaging principals in the type of dialogue that encourages SJA within their systems, and electing school board officials who engage in advocacy themselves. Accordingly, counselor education programs must continue to strive to infuse issues of multiculturalism and social justice throughout the entire curriculum. Instead of relegating the discussion to one topic, programs can develop academic environments that enable genuine, open dialogue about SJA, multiculturalism, and even political ideology. To accomplish this goal, counselor educators can require more immersion experiences with various cultural groups and encourage students to reflect on their experiences. Clearly, it is time to go far beyond requiring one course in multicultural issues in counseling. Therefore, all faculty members are responsible for infusing multicultural awareness and knowledge in their courses. In addition to focusing on these issues in their instruction, there is an opportunity for counselor educators to conduct research to continue to learn about how political and religious attitudes influence SJA.

Both counselor educators and professional organizations, such as ACA and ASCA, should also provide training for both school counselors and counselor educators to understand and navigate systems of oppression that exist within and around their setting. In addition, CACREP can provide leadership in promoting SJA by focusing more strongly on how counselor education programs integrate issues of diversity throughout their curricula. Counselor education programs should also focus their efforts in recruiting diverse preservice counselors. Whereas the school population continues to grow in diversity, the school counseling profession remains largely homogeneous. To counteract this trend, counselor education programs can focus recruitment efforts that reach out to diverse undergraduate students, hold program information sessions that are in largely diverse communities, and advertise their programs in publications that are geared toward minority populations.


There are several notable limitations in this study. First, the sample was obtained from the ASCA online membership directory. This omitted participants who were not members of this association. Therefore, generalizability of the results is limited to ASCA members and those who have access to computers. Additionally, the response rate for this study was 15.7%. This low response rate suggests that there may be differences between participants who chose to take part in this research study and those who did not. For example, participants who took part in this study may be more aware of SJA-related issues in the school counseling profession and, therefore, may be more inclined to respond.

Second, although the participants were informed in advance that their answers would be kept anonymous and confidential, on self-report measures, participants can respond in socially desirable ways that are not indicative of their true feelings. As a result, the respondents may have responded to advocacy attitudes based on what they felt would be the most positive answer.

Third, another limitation was the low coefficient alpha for the SJAS. Although the low alpha may be explained due to this study being exploratory in nacre, the low alpha may have reduced the variances accounted for than originally expected.

Finally, a limitation in this study is that the political ideology and religious ideology variables were highly correlated. The two variables could have been measuring the same construct, and, therefore, the political ideology variable pulled all the variability and contribution to the final model. Furthermore, the relationship between the two variables requires that the estimated betas be interpreted with caution.

Recommendations for Future Research

This research study has offered contributions and implications to the school counseling literature base. This study found that BJW and political ideology are significantly related to SJA attitudes. Although this outcome is noteworthy, some important questions for future research emerge.

First, future research could examine the social advocacy behaviors of school counselors and the factors that influence these behaviors. Research could identify in what actual social justice behaviors do school counselors engage. In turn, these actual advocacy behaviors can be examined in relation to the personal constructs that were used in this study.

A second area for future research is to examine how school counselor training and development influence SJA attitudes. What values and belief systems do school counselors entering training programs have, and do these belief systems change when they leave? Does training in multicultural counseling influence personal beliefs and values, and if so, what about that training makes a difference? Finally, future research could explore how multicultural training and competency influence SJA attitudes.

Third, future research could examine which variables of the student influence essential advocacy behaviors of the school counselor. For example, does level of parent involvement influence whether a school counselor will advocate for a student? How do race, gender, socioeconomic status, and religious background of the student influence the school counselor's decision to advocate?

It is evident that the results of this study have created many more questions for future research studies. Clearly, there is a lack of empirical research related to this topic to date, and there are many more potential studies that can contribute to the body of literature. The continuation of research studies in the future will only further the understanding and practice of SJA work in the school counseling profession.


Since its creation, the profession of school counseling has been evolving to mirror the changes in society. School counselors have gone from working as vocational counselors, career counselors, and crisis interventionists to now acting as agents of change, leaders, and advocates (Erford, 2007). School counselors have moved from maintaining the status quo to challenging the system and removing barriers that impede student academic achievement. Although these changes have occurred, there is a lack of empirical research in the theoretical literature base that examines whether school counselors are engaging in advocacy behaviors that help all students achieve academically. Furthermore, prior to this study, research was lacking that examined what personal factors influenced school counselors' SJA attitudes.

The results of this research study indicated that personal belief systems and values of school counselors do, indeed, either promote or hinder SJA practice. Specifically, this study found that political ideology and the belief that individuals deserve what they get influence advocacy attitudes. These findings are significant considering that the professional school counselor has become a central and key member in narrowing the achievement gap for low-income and minority students.

Consequently, school counselor trainees and school counselors currently in practice must continually examine their personal belief systems in order to engage in advocacy work on behalf of their students and their families. Engaging in advocacy work is congruent with the ASCA National Model (ASCA, 2003). Accordingly, training programs and counselor educators must focus their efforts in preparing school counselors who are competent, sensitive, and dedicated to meeting the needs of their diverse students. Therefore, training programs are in a unique position to create systemic change regarding the recruitment, training, and development of school counselors who will advocate and take part in social just work on behalf of oppressed and marginalized students.

In closing, this research study found that schools counselors' beliefs about getting what one deserves and political ideology are related to SJA attitudes of school counselors. Continued research will better prepare school counselors to serve and meet the needs of their diverse students and families.


Demographic Questionnaire

Instructions: Please indicate your answer following demographic questions by typing an "X" on the appropriate line.

1. What is your gender?

1) Female--

2) Male--__

2. Which of the following best identifies your race?

1) Caucasian--

2) African American--

3) Asian/Pacific Islander--

4) Hispanic/Latino--

5) Native American--

6) Multiracial--

7) Other--

3. What was your parents' socioeconomic status when you were 5 years of age?

1) Lower class--

2) Lower-middle class--

3) Middle class--

4) Upper-middle class--

5) Upper class--

4. By your own definition, how would you consider your religious views?

1) Very conservative--

2) Conservative--

3) Somewhat conservative--

4) Somewhat liberal--

5) Liberal--

6) Very liberal--

5. By your own definition, how would you consider your political views?

1) Very conservative--

2) Conservative--

3) Somewhat conservative--

4) Somewhat liberal--

5) Liberal--

6) Very liberal--

6. How many years have you been a professional school counselor?

1) 1-3 years--

2) 4-8 years--

3) 9-14 years--

4) 15-20 years--

5) 21 plus--

7. Are you a licensed or certified school counselor?

1) No--

2) Yes--

8. What is the size of your school?

1) Less than 500 students--

2) 500-1,000 students--

3) 1,000 or more students--

9. Would you consider your school racially or ethnically diverse?

1) No--

2) Yes--

10. Do you have prior teaching experience?

1) No--

2) Yes--

11. At which level are you a school counselor?

1) Elementary school--

2) Middle/junior high--

3) High school--

12. What type of school setting do you work in?

1) Rural--

2) Suburban--

3) Urban--

13. In which region of the country do you work?

1) Northeast--

2) South--

3) Midwest--

4) West--


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Sejal B. Parikh, Department of Leadership, Counseling, and Instructional Technology, University of North Florida; Phyllis Post and Claudia Flowers, College of Education, University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Sejal B. Parikh is now at Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Counselor Education, North Carolina State University. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Sejal B. Parikh, Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Counselor Education, North Carolina State University, College of Education Program, Box 7801, 520 Poe Hall, Raleigh, NC 27695-7801 (e-mail:
Frequencies and Percentages for Demographic Variables

Variable                         Frequency    %

  Female                            251      84.2
  Male                               47      15.8
  Caucasian                         249      83.6
  African American                   21       7.0
  Asian/Pacific Islander              5       1.7
  Hispanic/Latino                    15       5.0
  Native American                     2       0.7
  Multiracial                         2       0.7
  Other                               4       1.3
Socioeconomic status of origin
  Lower class                        25       8.4
  Lower-middle class                 95      31.9
  Middle class                      139      46.6
  Upper-middle class                 36      12.1
  Upper class                         3       1.0
Years of experience
  1-3                               107      35.9
  4-8                                70      23.5
  9-14                               59      19.8
  15-20                              36      12.1
  21 plus                            26       8.7
School size
  Less than 500 students             80      26.8
  500-1,000 students                127      42.6
  1,000 or more students             91      30.5
School level
  Elementary school                  83      27.9
  Middle/junior high                119      39.9
  High school                        96      32.2
School setting
  Rural                              86      28.9
  Suburban                          138      46.3
  Urban                              74      24.8
  Northeast                          58      19.5
  South                              90      30.2
  Midwest                            89      29.9
  West                               61      20.5

Note. N = 298. Percentages may not total 100 ebecaus of rounding.

Correlation Coefficients, Means, and Standard Deviations for
Dependent and Independent Variables

Variable                                  1      2      3      4

1. Social justice advocacy attitudes      --
2. Race                                 -.04     --
3. Socioeconomic status of origin        .08    .01     --
4. Religious ideology                    .23    .06    .02     --
5. Political ideology                    .31   -.07    .02    .80
6. Belief in a just world               -.25   -.04    .02   -.16

M                                       3.63   0.84   2.67   3.76
SD                                      0.35   0.37   0.83   1.40

Variable                                   5      6

1. Social justice advocacy attitudes
2. Race
3. Socioeconomic status of origin
4. Religious ideology
5. Political ideology                     --
6. Belief in a just world               -.18      --

M                                       3.83   25.23
SD                                      1.22    5.92

Note. All correlations above an absolute value of .10 are
statistically significant at p < .001. Race was coded as
0 = non-White and 1 = White.

Results of Sequential Multiple Regression

Variable                          [beta]     t     Correlation

Race                              -.02    -0.39       -.02
Socioeconomic status of origin     .08     1.49        .08
Religious ideology                -.07    -0.77       -.04
Political ideology                 .36     3.69 *      .21
Belief in a just world            -.21    -3.88 *     -.22

* p < .001.
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Author:Parikh, Sejal B.; Post, Phyllis; Flowers, Claudia
Publication:Counseling and Values
Date:Oct 1, 2011
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