Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 5-7-2021


One-year Embargo

Submission Type


Degree Name



Counselor Education and Supervision (ExCES)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Jered Kolbert

Committee Member

Debra Hyatt-Burkhart

Committee Member

Matthew Joseph

Committee Member

Grafton Eliason


School counseling, School counselor, Social justice, Social justice advocacy, Social justice advocacy competence, Social justice self-efficacy, Empowerment, Quantitative, Moderation analysis


The current nature of oppression that exists in the United States can be seen in the structure and process of American schools, impacting students’ social/emotional, academic, and career development. The defined role of school counselors along with their educational background; strategic position within schools to make meaningful change; access to critical student, teacher, family, and community data; and their professional dispositions and experience make them the most logical choice to help remove systemic barriers and to create equitable opportunities for the marginalized students. School counselors must work as social justice advocates to lead these diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts; however, there is a gap between what is expected and actual practice. Research has identified social justice advocacy competence, structural empowerment, psychological empowerment, and social justice self-efficacy as potential predictors of social justice advocacy practice. Yet, empirical research has not examined how these constructs work together. The purpose of this quantitative study was to explore whether relationships existed and the nature of the relationships among self-perceived levels of social justice advocacy competence, social justice self-efficacy, structural empowerment, and psychological empowerment of practicing K-12 licensed or certified school counselors with at least one year of experience. Data were collected via online self-report surveys from 209 practicing K-12 licensed or certified school counselors. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses showed school counselors’ social justice advocacy competence had a statistically significant positive relationship with their social justice self-efficacy. Additionally, structural empowerment had moderating effects on the relationship between social justice advocacy competence and social justice self-efficacy. Finally, psychological empowerment was not a moderator in the relationship between social justice advocacy competence and social justice self-efficacy. Also discussed are the results compared to related research and theory, implications of results applied to school counselor practice and training, limitations of the study, and recommendations for future research.



Available for download on Saturday, May 07, 2022