Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology


This study investigated the reliability and validity of the Attitudes Toward Sex Offenders Scale (ATS) measurement by assessing attitudes of counselors in training towards juvenile sex offenders. The specific aims of this study were to determine (a) internal consistency of the ATS, (b) construct validity of the ATS based on exploratory factor analysis, and (c) the degree to which this instrument has convergent and discriminate validity. The intellectual merit of this study was to provide appropriate scale validation of the ATS so that it might be used to assess attitudes of mental health professionals who work with juvenile sex offenders. The latter is important because the attitudes held by a counseling psychologist may determine his or her willingness and effectiveness in working with this population, as attitudes cause behavior (Johnson, Hughes, & Ireland, 2007). Subjects in this study were 298 master's level counselors in training who attended universities in the Midwestern and Southern United States. The findings of this study were very promising and suggest that the ATS is a psychometrically sound instrument. Thus, this instrument may be used for practical purposes (e.g., training and assessment) by mental health professionals.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access