Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Counselor Education

First Advisor

John J. Pietrofesa

Abstract

The principal aim of this study was to explore the relationships between preservice school counselors' academic training and their self-reported levels of multicultural competence as predictors of attitudes toward inclusion. Variances in demographic data also were examined as predictors of attitudes regarding inclusion. A nonexperimental, correlational research design was used. Pearson product moment correlations were used to test the relationships between preservice school counselors' level of academic training and their attitudes toward inclusions. No statistically significant correlations were obtained on these analyses, indicating that academic training does not predict attitudes toward inclusion. . Pearson product moment correlations were used to test the relationships between preservice school counselors' perceived level of multicultural competence and their attitudes toward inclusions. The results of these analyses were not statistically significant, Preservice school counselors self-reported level of multicultural competence could not be used to predict their attitudes toward inclusion. Selected demographic variables (age, gender, ethnicity, having a disability, having a family member with a disability, higher degree, counseling major, type of credential or endorsement, and consider students with disabilities as a distinct culture) were used as the independent variables in these analyses. None of the independent variables entered the stepwise multiple linear regression equations, indicating they were not statistically significant predictors of the four subscales (physical, academic, behavioral, social) or the total score for attitudes toward inclusion. In addition to the research questions, Pearson product moment correlations were used to determine the strength and direction of the relationships between practical experiences with students with disabilities and their attitudes toward inclusion and multicultural competencies. Three statistically significant correlations were obtained on these analyses. Students who reported they felt better prepared to provide services to students with disabilities were more likely to have higher scores for the academic subscale measuring attitudes toward inclusion. In addition, the knowledge subscale on multicultural competence was significantly related to having a greater number of practical experiences with students with disabilities and practical experiences with students from diverse cultures. The remaining correlations were not statistically significant. Recommendations for future research were offered.