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Counselor professional identity: Construction and validation of the counselor professional identity measure

Dissertation
Author: Carla Henderson Emerson
Abstract:
The purpose of this study was to create a reliable and valid measure of counselor professional identity (CPI) that could be used with all counseling specialties and across the career span. A comprehensive definition of counselor professional identity was derived from the literature and used as the framework for creating the measure. Confirmatory factor analysis revealed that the original six subscale structure of the instrument was too simplistic. To gain a better understanding of the factor structure of the measure, exploratory factor analysis, along was conducted. Findings from both the confirmatory and exploratory factor analysis, along with results from additional exploratory analyses are reported. Implications for the counseling profession are discussed in relation to the findings.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page CHAPTER

I. INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................1

Rationale for the Study ...............................................................................1 Professional Identity ..............................................................................3 Defining Counselor Professional Identity .............................................5 History ..............................................................................................8 Philosophy ........................................................................................9 Roles and functions ..........................................................................9 Professional pride ...........................................................................10 Professional engagement ...............................................................11 Ethics...............................................................................................11 Measuring Counselor Professional Identity .........................................12 Purpose of the Study .................................................................................14 Research Questions ...................................................................................15 Need for the Study ....................................................................................16 Definition of Terms ...................................................................................17 Brief Overview ..........................................................................................20

II. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ........................................................................22

Professional Status of Counseling ............................................................22 Origins of the Profession .....................................................................23 Establishing professional status ......................................................24 Assessment of counseling‟s professional status .............................27 Mixed conclusions regarding counseling‟s professional status .............................................................................................36 Assumptions of professional status .................................................49 Professional status conclusions .......................................................51 Professional Identity .................................................................................52 Importance of Counselor Professional Identity ...................................54 Barriers to Counselor Professional Identity .........................................57 Defining Counselor Professional Identity ............................................60 Professional identity and overall counselor development ..............61

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Inadequate definitions of counselor professional identity ..............65 Study Definition of Counselor Professional Identity ................................70 History ..................................................................................................71 Philosophical Foundations ....................................................................72 Developmental perspective .............................................................72 Wellness perspective .......................................................................73 Prevention .......................................................................................74 Empowerment .................................................................................74 Roles and Functions .............................................................................75 Professional Pride ................................................................................77 Professional Engagement .....................................................................78 Ethics ....................................................................................................79 Examinations of Counseling Professional Identity ...................................80 Examinations of CPI as a Part of Overall Counselor Development ....81 Narrowly Focused Examinations of Counselor Professional Identity ...............................................................................................86 Examinations of Counselor Professional Identity with Specific Populations .........................................................................................91 Measuring Counselor Professional Identity ..............................................97 The Counselor Identity Scale ...............................................................98 The Counseling Profession Scale .......................................................100 Professional Identity and Engagement Survey ..................................103 Counselor Professional Identity Measure (CPIM) ..................................109 Counselor Professional Identity Measure (CPIM) Validity ....................110 Counselor Self-Efficacy .....................................................................110 Summary .................................................................................................112

III. METHODOLOGY ...............................................................................................115

Research Questions and Hypotheses ......................................................115 Counselor Professional Identity Measure (CPIM): Instrument Development .........................................................................................117 Phase One: Use, Definition, Scale and Proportion Determination ....117 Phase Two: Item Construction ...........................................................120 Phase Three: Item Evaluation, Revision, and Pilot Study .................121 Expert review .................................................................................121 Pilot study .....................................................................................122 Sample ......................................................................................123 Procedures .................................................................................124 Data analysis .............................................................................124 Results .......................................................................................125 Phase Four: Validation, Field Testing, and Final Adjustment

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of Items .............................................................................................142

Participants ..............................................................................................143 Instrumentation .......................................................................................145 Counselor Professional Identity Measure (CPIM) .............................145 Counselor Self-Efficacy Scale (CSES) ..............................................146 Marlow-Crowne 1(10) .......................................................................147 Demographic Information Form ........................................................148 Procedures ...............................................................................................148 Data Analysis ..........................................................................................149

IV. RESULTS .............................................................................................................152

Resulting Sample Characteristics ...........................................................152 Data Analyses and Results ......................................................................158 Research Question 1 ...........................................................................159 Professional pride subscale ............................................................161 Philosophy subscale ......................................................................164 Roles and functions subscale ........................................................168 Ethics subscale ..............................................................................172 History subscale .............................................................................175 Professional engagement subscale .................................................177 Research Question 1 Summary ...........................................................180 Research Question 2 ...........................................................................184 Research Question 3 ..........................................................................184 Research Question 4 ...........................................................................184 Further Exploratory Analysis .............................................................186

V. DISCUSSION ......................................................................................................191

Definition of Counselor Professional Identity ........................................191 Summary of Findings ..............................................................................192 Factor Reliabilities ..............................................................................196 Further Explanation of Factors ...............................................................199 Social Desirability Correlations .........................................................199 Group Differences ..............................................................................199 Connecting Current Findings to the Literature .......................................204 Limitations of the Study ..........................................................................206 Implications for Counseling ....................................................................207 Suggestions for Future Research ............................................................209

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REFERENCES ...............................................................................................................211

APPENDIX A. INITIAL ITEM POOL ...........................................................................223

APPENDIX B. SAMPLE EXPERT REVIEWER FORM ..............................................234

APPENDIX C. ORIGINAL AND REVISED CPIM ITEMS BASED ON PILOT STUDY .......................................................................................................................235

APPENDIX D. RECRUITMENT EMAIL .....................................................................249

APPENDIX E. DEMOGRAPHICS QUESTIONS .........................................................250

APPENDIX F. COUNSELOR SELF EFFICACY SCALE ...........................................254

APPENDIX G. MARLOW-CROWNE 1(10) ................................................................256

APPENDIX H. CONSENT FORM .................................................................................257

APPENDIX I. CPIM SUBSCALE FACTORS AND INTERPRETATION WITH ITEM CORRELATIONS WITH SOCIAL DESIRABILITY .....................................260

APPENDIX J. SIGNIFICANT INDEPENDENT SAMPLES TEST RESULTS BY GROUP ................................................................................................................269

APPENDIX K. CORRELATION MATRIX FOR ALL SUBSCALE FACTORS USING ENTIRE SAMPLE .........................................................................................274

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CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION

Rationale for the Study Counseling is a young profession compared to other mental health professions (Remley & Herlihy, 2007). As a profession, there are many different roles and areas in which a person could specialize or train (http://www.cacrep.org). These various opportunities have, at times, caused rifts within the field (Gale & Austin, 2003; Myers, 1995). In order to strengthen the profession, influence training programs, and enhance advocacy efforts, professionals and counseling organizations have set a goal of developing a unified professional identity (Gale & Austin 2003; Goodyear, 1984; Ivey & Van Hesteren, 1990; Maples & Altekruse, 1993). The difficulty in developing a unified professional identity is that writers and scholars in this area tend to use only parts of a more comprehensive definition. Thus, definitions used and instruments created have examined only subsections of counselor professional identity (CPI) instead of a comprehensive understanding of all components of CPI. Related to this lack of a comprehensive definition and comprehensive measure is the lack of a psychometrically strong instrument to measure counselor professional identity. These deficits leave unanswered questions regarding how counselor professional identity develops, educational components that can influence or create strong professional identity, and post graduation factors that can strengthen or relate to counselor professional identity.

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Before beginning an examination of counselors‟ professional identity, it is important first to consider the term profession. The word itself is derived from Latin meaning “public declaration” and was first used in relation to an occupation in 1541 (The Oxford English Dictionary, 1989). Some of the first jobs publically declared as professions set a precedent regarding the criteria for achieving professionalization, which include the performance of a social service, requirement of specialized training, and a code of ethics which guides professional behaviors (McCully, 1962). In counseling, the term profession has not been defined specifically. Instead, comparisons between counseling and already established professions in American society have been made (Ponton & Duba, 2009). As an example, Harold McCully (1962) assessed school counseling as a profession by adapting criteria set by Lieberman (1956) for school teachers. McCully‟s criteria were found to fit well with other widely accepted definitions and criteria of a profession (VanZandt, 1990). Through this comparison his findings reflected the then newness of school counseling, as it did not meet all the criteria outlined. McCully‟s (1962) criteria were used once again by Feit and Lloyd (1990) and Ritchie (1990) to assess the counseling profession in general. The results of these two assessments were dissimilar, with Feit and Lloyd determining counseling was indeed a profession, while Ritchie stated it was not. Although counseling‟s professional status has not been reassessed formally since 1990, the counseling literature and organizations have supported the notion that counseling is indeed a profession (e.g., American Counseling Association [ACA], 2008a; CACREP, 2009; Feit & Lloyd, 1990; Hanna & Bemak,

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1997; Messina, 1999; Myers & Sweeney, 2001; Smith, 2001; Sweeney, 2001; Van Hesteren & Ivey, 1990). As counseling nears its 100 th year, few counselors would argue that counseling has not established itself as a profession. The majority of recent authors (e.g., Feit & Lloyd, 1990; Gale & Austin, 2003; Hanna & Bemak, 1997; Messina, 1999; Myers & Sweeney, 2001; Myers, Sweeney, & White, 2002; Ponton & Duba, 2009; Smith, 2001; Sweeney, 2001; Vacc & Loesh, 1987; Van Hesteren & Ivey, 1990; VanZandt, 1990) seem to agree, or at least imply, that counseling has obtained status as a profession; however, the path of professionalization has not ended simply because the minimum requisites for professional status have been met (Feit & Lloyd, 1990). Achievement of professional status leads to the necessary development of a professional identity, which serves as the foundation for who we are as professional counselors. At a basic level, professional identity includes who counselors are, what counselors do, and how counselors are different from other mental health professionals. A deeper understanding of what contributes to individual counselors‟ professional identities will ensure that the counseling profession maintains its status as a profession through its collective professional identity. Professional Identity Over the past 25 years, contributors to the counseling literature have reiterated the importance of and need for a collective professional identity (Gale & Austin 2003; Goodyear, 1984; Ivey & Van Hesteren, 1990; Maples & Altekruse 1993). Some contributors to the professional literature believe the very future and survival of the profession depends on the achievement of this single, concrete, and unique identity

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(Calley & Hawley, 2008; Ritchie, 1994; Smith, 2001). For example, Eriksen (1997) and Myers, Sweeney, and White (2002) identified development of a professional identity as the foundation of counselor advocacy. They believed advocacy efforts, conducted by counselors with strong professional identities, were necessary to continue to maintain the professional status of counseling, as well as propel the profession forward. O‟Bryant (1992) highlighted the importance of counselors‟ professional identity, and thereby the future of the profession, when she declared the counseling profession is only as strong “as its weakest links” (p. 2). Following this line of thinking, professional identity at the individual level directly impacts the collective professional identity and, likewise, the future of the profession. In line with the literature, many counseling organizations and accrediting bodies also have recognized the need to promote strong professional identities for both individual counselors and the counseling profession as a whole. For instance, the initiative titled “20/20: A Vision for the Future of Counseling,” jointly sponsored by the American Counseling Association (ACA) and the American Association of State Counseling Boards (AASCB), named “strengthening identity” as one of the top concerns and goals of the initiative (Kaplan, 2006; Rollins, 2007a, 2007b). Delegates to the initiative also concluded a strong professional identity not only is vital for unifying and strengthening the profession, but also for moving the profession forward (ACA, 2008a). Another professional organization, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), emphasized the important role of developing professional identity in every counselor-in-training, stating that its standards are written

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“to ensure that students develop a professional counselor identity…” (CACREP, 2009, p. 1). Regardless of the continued emphasis of the impact of counselor professional identity, an agreed upon and unified definition of counselor professional identity continues to be needed. Defining Counselor Professional Identity Professional identity in general has been defined as “the possession of a core set of values, beliefs, and assumptions about the unique characteristics of one‟s selected profession that differentiates it from other professions” (Weinrach, Thomas, & Chan, 2001, p. 168). Definitions of counselor professional identity rarely have been provided in the literature or by professional organizations, but, when they are, most are not comprehensive. A comprehensive definition of CPI however, can be derived from the work of Remley and Herlihy (2007). This definition is comprised of six components including knowledge and understanding of (a) counseling‟s history, (b) counseling‟s philosophy, (c) the roles and functions of counselors, and (d) professional ethics, as well as the components of (e) professional pride and (f) professional engagement. Although Remley and Herlihy did not compile these six components into a definition of CPI themselves, the current author has derived these components from the work of Remley and Herlihy in order to comprise a comprehensive definition counselor professional identity. What is more typically seen in the literature are counselor professional identity definitions that are incomplete and have been loosely defined or lumped together with overall counselor development (e.g., Bernard & Goodyear, 2004; Calley & Hawley, 2008; Mrdjenovich & Moore, 2004). For example, Moore-Pruitt (1994) defined

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counselor identity as “an integration of theoretical orientation and methodology that is consistent with the counselor‟s personal values and beliefs; the counselor is authentic” (p. 34). Although authenticity is important, it does not fully encompass professional identity as generally defined by Weinrach et al. or the comprehensive definition derived from the work of Remley and Herlihy. More in line with the general definition of professional identity provided by Weinrach et al. (2001), Gray (2001) defined counselor professional identity as “understanding and having a sense of pride in one‟s profession…[that] is essential both for one‟s own internal satisfaction with one‟s chosen career and for the continued societal recognition of the profession” (p. 12). Although pride is an important aspect of professional identity, Gray left out other critical components, such as a core set of values and beliefs or aspects that differentiate the field of counseling from other professions (Weinrach et al., 2001), such as ethical codes and counseling philosophy (Remley & Herlihy, 2007). Thus, Gray‟s definition is not comprehensive. Building another definition, Puglia (2008) defined counselor identity as being comprised of three parts, which included “agreement with the counseling philosophy, beliefs that the counseling profession includes activities such as becoming licensed and certified, and professional engagement” (p. 13). Puglia‟s definition is slightly more comprehensive than Gray‟s, but still neglects components such as knowledge of the profession‟s history, roles and functions, and professional ethics. In addition, her definition does not include an element of professional pride, which was the cornerstone of Gray‟s definition. As can be seen, each author has focused on similar criteria to define

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the same concept; however, very few have used a common, comprehensive definition of counselor professional identity. To make matters more complicated, the American Counseling Association (ACA) does not provide a definition of counselor professional identity (http://www.counseling.org). Neither does the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC, www.nbcc.org). CACREP, on the other hand, does give counselor professional identity a prominent place in their standards and attempts to provide a definition. CACREP provides a description of professional identity, which includes knowledge and understanding of (a) history and philosophy, (b) roles and functions, (c) advocacy, and (d) ethical standards of professional organizations and credentials (CACREP, Section II. G. 1., 2009). Although this definition is more comprehensive than most, it still lacks the components of professional pride and professional engagement. Puglia (2008) also found CACREP‟s definition to be incomplete because it does not include a definition of counseling philosophy. But CACREP also includes one aspect Puglia did not, ethics, which was listed as an original criteria for establishing a profession by McCully (1962). One could say the lack of a consistent comprehensive definition of counselor professional identity is the counseling profession‟s weakest link. This lack of a consistent definition can result in difficulty comparing results of studies on professional counselor identity, leading to less clear communication on the topic and, above all, it continues to leave the profession without a single definition that can be used in the literature, training of students, advocacy efforts, or research.

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As mentioned earlier, a definition that does seem to be comprehensive is one derived from Remley and Herlihy (2007), which includes the following six components: (a) knowledge and understanding of the profession‟s history, (b) knowledge and understanding of the philosophical foundations of the profession, (c) knowledge of the roles and functions of counselors and how they are similar and different from other mental health professions, (d) a sense of pride in the profession, (e) involvement in professional organizations and advocacy (i.e., professional engagement), and (f) knowledge and understanding of professional counselor ethics. This definition appears comprehensive because it includes the main components of the CACREP (2009) definition and adds the component of professional pride. It also has been used, at least in part, in various studies on counselor professional identity (e.g., Gray, 2001; Puglia, 2008). Although this derived definition of CPI has not previously been used in the literature, for the purposes of this study, it was deemed a comprehensive definition of counselor professional identity. A brief discussion of each of the five components of this definition follows. History. Counselors with a strong professional identity have knowledge of the history of the counseling profession and believe it is important for counselors to have the knowledge and understanding. Learning the history of the counseling profession, typically presented during professional orientation courses, is required of all students (CACREP, 2009). An example of important facts, moments, and people in the profession‟s history, and counselor beliefs about counseling‟s history include the following: (a) Russia‟s 1957 launch of Sputnik spurred Congress to pass the National

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Defense Act of 1958 (NDEA) which provided funds for more guidance and counseling programs in schools as well as training for guidance professionals (Bradley & Cox, 2001; Sweeney, 2001), and (b) agreement that understanding the counseling profession‟s history is important. Philosophy. Along with knowledge of counseling history, counselors with a strong professional identity should understand and agree with the counseling philosophy. There are four main tenets of the counseling profession‟s philosophy which are readily supported in the literature: (a) the wellness perspective (Myers 1991, 1992; Myers, Sweeney, & Witmer, 2001; Remley, 1991; Remley & Herlihy, 2007; Sweeney, 2001; Van Hesteren & Ivey, 1990); (b) a developmental orientation (ACA, 2007; Hanson, 2003; Ivey & Riggazio-DiGiglio, 1991; Ivey & Van Hersteren, 1990; Myers, 1992; Remley, 1991; Remley & Herlihy, 2007; Sweeney, 2001; Van Hersteren & Ivey, 1990); (c) a focus on prevention and preventive care (ACA, 2007; Herr & Niles, 2001; Myers, 1992; Remley, 1991; Remley & Herlihy, 2007; Smith, 2001); and (d) client empowerment (McWhirter, 1991; Remley & Herlihy, 2007). Most counselors would agree that these components combine to create a unique philosophy that underlies a distinct counselor professional identity, one which sets counseling apart from other mental health professions. Yet this philosophy has not always been included or clearly defined as a part of counselor professional identity in the literature or by counseling organizations. Roles and functions. Counselors with a strong professional identity have knowledge of the various roles and services counselors provide the public (e.g.,

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counselor, consultant, educator) and how these roles are similar to and different from other mental health professionals. Heck (1990) posited that “stability and distinctiveness” (i.e., knowing who we are and who we are not) is a central issue for professional identity. It is the counseling philosophy that distinguishes and guides professional counselors‟ attitudes and behavior and helps discriminate the functions of a professional counselor from those of other mental health professionals. “The goal of counseling is to help the person accomplish wellness rather than cure an illness” (Remley & Herlihy, 2007, p. 24). Therefore, something that sets counselors apart from other mental health professionals in the services they provide is the developmental perspective thought to be held by counselors and as well as the wellness perspective, which includes a focus on strengths and includes a holistic approach to working with clients. Another example of counselor function is empowerment of clients. Counselors do not encourage clients to become dependent on their services for life but to be as autonomous and self-reliant as possible for each client‟s individual circumstances (Remley & Herlihy). It is inevitable that there would be overlap between the counseling philosophy and the roles and functions of counselors. It is the philosophy underlying the profession that should be guiding our behaviors (i.e., functions) as counselors as well as differentiating counselors from other mental health professionals. Professional pride. Having a sense of pride in choosing counseling as a profession is a significant part of having a strong professional identity. The term professional pride is being used here to encompass the positive feelings a counselor has regarding choosing the profession; appreciating the philosophy, beliefs, and history of the

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profession; and communicating this sense of pride to others. Counselors with a strong professional identity are able to translate their knowledge and understanding of the profession into an appreciation of the profession. Professional pride has been suggested as a necessary ingredient for advocacy (Myers et al., 2002) and is a fundamental element of personal satisfaction in choosing counseling as a career, as well as a contributing factor for societal recognition of the profession (Gray, 2001). Professional engagement. Counselors with a strong professional identity act in a way that demonstrates they are professionals by becoming involved in professional organizations or engaging in advocacy for the counseling profession. Such activities include membership or leadership positions in professional organizations; attendance and presentations at conferences, workshops, and seminars; advocacy for clients and the profession; and participation in research (Puglia, 2008). Advocacy has been found to be important to the profession‟s future (Myers & Sweeney, 2004) and those who have a strong professional identity will be knowledgeable and motivated to participate in activities that promote the profession. Ethics. Not only is an explicit code of ethics one of the criteria necessary to establish a profession (McCully, 1962). It also is a fundamental aspect of counselor professional identity as it outlines many of the practices and procedures to which counselors are expected to adhere. Ponton and Duba (2009) asserted knowledge and understanding of the ACA Code of Ethics (ACA, 2005) to be both a “statement of counselor identity and an ethical covenant with society” (p. 117). At a minimum, counselors with a strong professional identity should be familiar with the ACA Code of

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Ethics, and subsequently are able to apply this knowledge to their daily professional activities (Remley & Herlihy, 2007). Measuring Counselor Professional Identity Due to the lack of a consistent comprehensive definition of counselor professional identity, empirical research on this topic has been difficult. Some researchers who have stated a focus on professional identity actually have measured professional counselors‟ overall growth and development (e.g., Auxier, Hughes, & Kline, 2003; Nelson & Jackson, 2003; Skovholt & Ronnestad, 1992; Woodside, Oberman, Cole, & Carruth, 2007). Of the empirical measures of counselor professional identity that exist, each has serious limitations. Specifically, these limitations include an inadequate or inappropriate definition, a narrow focus on specific subsets of the counseling profession (e.g., counselor educators, school counselors), and a lack of validity and reliability. The first problem is that multiple instruments exist, each based in a different definition of counselor professional identity (i.e., Gray & Remley, 2000; Moore-Pruitt, 1994; Puglia, 2008). The continued use of such divergent instruments will only serve to hinder the research on professional identity by making comparisons between studies impossible. Results from studies using these instruments not only have little meaning, but continue to add to the confusion regarding the definition of counselor professional identity. Even though some measures use similar definitions (i.e., Gray & Remley, 2000; Puglia, 2008) these definitions are still incomplete and fail to encompass counselor professional identity as a whole. A measure that uses a comprehensive complete definition of counselor professional identity is needed.

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A second limitation to current measures is that the populations used in developing the measures have been limited. Many of the studies, both qualitative and quantitative, have been based on counselors-in-training (Auxier, Hughs, & Kline, 2003; Moore-Pruitt, 1994; Nelson & Jackson, 2003; Puglia, 2008; Woodside, Oberman, Cole, & Carruth, 2007) or other specific subsets within the counseling profession (e.g., newly graduated counselors, Gray, 2001; counselor educators, Calley & Hawley, 2008; counselor education doctoral graduates in private practice, Swickert, 1997; and school counselors, Brott & Myers, 1999). Although the research on students and specific groups is informative, it is limited and may not be generalizable to professional identity of counselors in general. More research is needed on counselors across all specialties within the counseling profession and at various points in the span of their careers. Finally, problems with psychometrics exist among the current measures. More specifically, existing measures that assess at least some portion of the definition of CPI derived from the work of Remley and Herlihy (2007) have low validity, lack concurrent validity testing against other measures, and do not include examinations of reliability (e.g., Gray & Remley, 2000; Puglia, 2008). Several steps can be taken in order to achieve appropriate levels of validity and reliability of a measure (Crocker & Algina, 1986; DeVellis, 2003). These include achieving Cronbach alpha scores of .70 or higher and using independent expert reviewers to ascertain content validity. Factor analysis can provide evidence of construct validity, yet Moore-Pruitt (1994) is the only researcher to date who has conducted a factor analysis of a counselor professional identity measure. Correlations with other instruments

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measuring relevant constructs also will infer test validity. For example, Stoltenberg‟s (1981) counselor complexity model has indicated a connection between self-efficacy and counselor identity development as both being a part of the overall counselor development process. Several contributors to the literature have found both counselor self-efficacy and counselor identity to increase with training (Johnson et a., 1989; Melchert et al., 1996; Stoltenberg, 1981; Skovholt & Ronnestad, 1992). Thus, it may be argued that both constructs appear to be part of the developmental process which counselors undergo as a part of their growth and emergence as counseling professionals, and that continues throughout the career span. Following this line of thinking, it can be presumed that counselor professional identity and counselor self-efficacy are both a part of overall counselor development and therefore are potentially related constructs. However, Gray and Remley (2000), and Puglia (2008), neglected to examine the relationship between their measures and counselor self-efficacy or any other related factors. These comparisons to related factors would facilitate the creation of a solid measure of counselor professional identity. Thus, although a few measures of counselor professional identity have been created, they are not psychometrically sound. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study is to create a valid and reliable instrument based on a comprehensive definition of counselor professional identity. Contributors to the literature have emphasized the importance of counselor professional identity, but have yet to define or measure the construct consistently or comprehensively. Filling this gap in the literature is a necessary next step in understanding counselor professional identity. Developing and

Full document contains 287 pages
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to create a reliable and valid measure of counselor professional identity (CPI) that could be used with all counseling specialties and across the career span. A comprehensive definition of counselor professional identity was derived from the literature and used as the framework for creating the measure. Confirmatory factor analysis revealed that the original six subscale structure of the instrument was too simplistic. To gain a better understanding of the factor structure of the measure, exploratory factor analysis, along was conducted. Findings from both the confirmatory and exploratory factor analysis, along with results from additional exploratory analyses are reported. Implications for the counseling profession are discussed in relation to the findings.