Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Robert L. Betz

Second Advisor

Dr. Alan Hovestadt

Third Advisor

Dr. Rich Oxhandler


Traditional counselor training incorporates a combination of didactic and experiential learning. Through this process of learning, counseling students have the opportunity to develop principles of self-learning and self-awareness leading them to counseling self-efficacy. Through this self-development, students may make choices pertaining to their health. By examining the health locus of control in beginning counselors, not only were the student counselors’ historical view of health-related issues examined, but their current perceptions of external and internal coping devices were also investigated. The Health Locus of Control Scale (HLCS) was developed to provide more sensitive predictions of the relationship between internality and health behaviors (Wallston & Wallston, 1978).

A sample of 30 beginning counseling students and 28 advanced counseling students was purposely selected in order to ascertain if there was a significant difference between the two training groups with regards to their health locus of control. Four symptom classifications—anxiety, depression, interpersonal sensitivity, and somatization—were selected from the Symptom Checklist-90-R (SCL-90-R®; Derogatis, 1994) to determine if there were correlations between symptom classifications and the two training groups’ total health locus of control score.

t tests between the four symptom classification scores indicated a significant mean difference in anxiety and depression with beginning students exhibiting significantly higher anxiety and depression scores. There were no significant correlations between the HLCS and the four symptom classifications, and there were no significant relationships found between a linear combination of the four symptom classification variables and the total health locus of control scores. Results of the t test between the means of the training groups and total HLCS also indicated no statistical significance.

Results of this study suggest that the counselor training process does not have a significant influence on health locus of control beliefs. Recommendations for further research are contained in the document.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access