Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Thelma Urbick

Second Advisor

Dr. Joseph Morris

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Brashear


Three different attitude surveys, developed by the researcher, were administered to counselor trainees (N =200) at Western Michigan University: The Attitudes of Counselor Trainees (A.C.T.) Survey, Multicultural Beliefs Inhibiting Appropriate Support (M-B.I.A.S.) Survey, and Career Beliefs Inhibiting Appropriate Support (CB. LA.S.) Survey. A 24-item demographics questionnaire was administered to trainees (n =124) who completed the A.C.T. Survey. A six-items Likert scale produced significant effect (p < .05) on counselor trainees' ratings of clients' potential for career success: (1) Awareness of Personal Strengths and Weaknesses, (2) Goal Orientation, (3) Self-esteem, (4) Energy Level, (5) Participation in Extracurricular Activities, and (6) Level of Honesty.

Five client demographic oppression variables, which the review of literature documented to evince negative bias from counselors, were included in 16 hypothetical client scenarios: physical handicaps (viz., hearing impairment and paraplegia), female sex, African-Americans, low social-class, and low career motivation. These five stigmatized client variables were incorporated into multidimensional hypothetical career counseling intake scenarios so as to reflect the realistic multiple-dimensions o f clients and to reduce faking responses by the participants.

The surveys proved their ability to elicit negative bias by counselor trainees toward hypothetical clients with varying combinations of multiple oppressions. They revealed significant and predictable patterns of bias against populations who represent low social-class and physical disabilities. However, a trend toward patterns of overcompensation (i.e., reverse discrimination), favoring African-American and women clients over Caucasian and male clients indicates an ability to fake responses toward gender and race.

The demographic survey revealed the value of experiential contact and undergraduate "pseudo-experiential" learning about multicultural and physically disabled populations. A statement of high career motivation by clients with multiple oppressions reversed the primary negative bias ratings of the counselor trainees.

The results of all three surveys indicate that they are relatively non-transparent instruments which provide reasonably valid information on ability and social-class stereotyping patterns of counselor trainees. The M-B.I.A.S. and C-B.I.A.S. Surveys proved to be effective inservice training tools for initiating attitudes awareness among graduate students in the helping-professions.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Counseling Commons