Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling & Human Services


Counselor Education and Supervision

Committee Director

Jeffry Moe

Committee Member

Emily Goodman-Scott

Committee Member

Danica G. Hays


The relationship between increased levels of poverty and decreased levels of psychological wellbeing and overall wellness is well documented. Although poverty clearly impacts mental health and wellness, little research in counseling has been conducted exploring the poverty attitudes of counselors. This study explored the relationship between professional counselors’ multicultural counseling competence (MCC), poverty beliefs, and select demographic factors (i.e. counseling specialty, gender, age, ethnocultural identity, poverty counseling experience, and personal poverty experience). Data were collected using survey-based methods from professional counselors of all specialties. Results of a hierarchical linear regression indicate that increased MCC, adjusted for select demographic factors, is predictive of increased counselor structural poverty beliefs and decreased counselor individualistic poverty beliefs. Further, select counselor demographic factors were found to not be significantly linked to individualistic and structural poverty beliefs. Analyses of these results were insignificant. Implications for counseling practice, education, and supervision, along with future research, directions are included.


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