Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Robert L. Betz

Second Advisor

Dr. Mary Z. Anderson

Third Advisor

Dr. Christine M. Bahr


Bandura’s (1977, 1982) Self-Efficacy Theory and later Social Cognitive Theory (1986) provided the theoretical framework for understanding counselor self-efficacy (CSE). Bandura’s theory has been utilized in many different areas; however, in this study the focus was counselor self-efficacy (CSE) and its importance to counselor training. Variables within the CSE literature such as anxiety, trainee developmental level, amount of training, counseling experience, and counselor performance were identified. The first purpose of this study was to use the first five variables to predict their influences on counselor performance. The second purpose was to examine two variables, CSE and developmental level, at three levels of training. Finally, developmental level was explored as a possible moderator variable between training level and CSE.

Data were collected from 117 master’s student counselors at three levels of training, pre-practicum, counseling practicum, and field practicum. The student counselors completed the Counseling Self-Estimate Inventory (COSE), State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and Supervisee Levels Questionnaire - Revised (SLQ-R) and their 82 supervisors completed the Counselor Evaluation Rating Scale (CERS).

CSE, anxiety, developmental level, number of courses, and amount of counseling experience together significantly predicted (R2 = .21) counselor performance. Both CSE and developmental level were significantly different at the three levels of training and developmental level was not found to be a moderator variable.

These findings have implications for supervisors and instructors of counselors in training. Training appears to be effective in improving trainees' performance. All variables, CSE, anxiety, developmental level, number of courses, and amount of counseling experience together were significant predictors of counselor performance. Instructors and supervisors should develop these constructs to improve performance. CSE was higher at advanced levels of training; therefore, it appears to be enhanced with training. CSE was an important variable in the prediction of counselor performance, predicting variability above and beyond the other variables. Finally, developmental level of the counselor had a strongly positive and significant (r = .82) correlation with CSE indicating a possible measurement issue. The findings for developmental level as a moderator variable were not significant contradicting previous research; thus, developmental level should be further investigated.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access