Date of Conferral
Counselor Education and Supervision
This study was an investigation of the comfort levels of school counselors to address PK-12 students’ mental health and substance use concerns. While incidents of bullying and school shootings rise it is unclear how school counselors’ professional development has influenced their level of comfort identifying and addressing PK-12 students’ mental health and substance use concerns. Accordingly, this quantitative descriptive survey examined school counselors’ recognition of mental health and substance use symptoms, frequency of encounter, and whether their developmental stages influenced their comfort levels in addressing students’ mental health and substance use concerns. Rønnestad and Skovholt’s counselor development model was the theoretical lens used. An online survey was used to contact 3,309 school counselors, 550 responded and 390 completed the survey. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to analyze how school counselors’ stage of development influenced their level of comfort addressing PK-12 students mental health and substance use concerns. All 15 disorders identified in the survey met the assumptions of ANOVA. No significant differences were found in school counselors’ comfort levels as counselors progressed across the novice, experienced, and senior professional phases of development. The results identified school counselors in need of additional training to improve their level of comfort. This study promotes social change through supportive efforts in preparing school counselors to meet the mental health and substance use needs of PK-12 students.
Hines, Megan Lynne, "The Influences of School Counselors' Professional Development on Their Comfort Levels Addressing Mental Health and Substance Use" (2020). Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies. 8618.