Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling & Human Services


Counselor Education and Supervision

Committee Director

Christopher Sink

Committee Member

Alan Schwitzer

Committee Member

Narketta Sparkman-Key


Engaging master’s counseling students in the research literature and facilitating an environment that strengthens their research identity development are necessities for counselor educators. This need is juxtaposed with over 20 years of research, which found that counseling students appeared to lack confidence and have low interest in this topic (Gelso, Baumann, Chui, & Savela, 2013; Phillips & Russell, 1994). Low research self-efficacy was presented as an important explanatory factor. Thus, this experimental study deployed a pedagogical intervention based on the work of Albert Bandura and his social learning theory. Two sections of the required research course in a southeastern university CACREP counseling program was taught at the same time and day by two instructors. One instructor facilitated the course curriculum to the intervention group based on an experimenter-created self-efficacy pedagogy. The other instructor taught the content to the comparison group using standard pedagogical methods. Students were assessed using two measures: a well-known research self-efficacy scale (RSE; Holden, Barker, Meenaghan, & Rosenberg, 1999) and a researcher-developed knowledge questionnaire. The researcher hypothesized that from pre- to post-test, the intervention would contribute to significantly increasing the research self-efficacy and knowledge scores of the experimental group over and above the scores of the comparison group. Group differences were tested using ANOVAs with repeated measures. Salient findings were: RSE was shown to be a reliable tool to measure research self-efficacy, a significant relationship existed between students’ research knowledge and self-efficacy, pedagogical techniques seemed to aid the process of students’ knowledge acquisition and increased self-efficacy, research experiences outside of the classroom influenced research self-efficacy scores, and when in matriculation students take a research course appeared to influence research self-efficacy. The results offer counseling departments suggestions of how to prepare professional counselors that are skilled to act ethically (ACA, 2014), and enact the 20/20 vision (Kaplan & Gladding, 2011), as they relate to research. Implications for theory and practice are discussed in Chapter 5.