Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Psychology

First Committee Member

Paul Jones

Second Committee Member

Randall Astramovich

Number of Pages



Counseling as a profession has been criticized for disregarding the social and political issues facing clients and students (Bemak & Chung, 2005). Many students in urban environments are faced with difficulties such as poverty, racism, and oppression that impact their emotional, social, and academic growth (Bemak & Siroskey-Sabdo, 2005). Further, students in urban schools feel they have little power in a school culture dominated by the majority group in which differences in culture, class and language are often perceived as deficits (Bryan, 2005); The No Child Left Behind Act calls for increasing achievement rates for all students and bridging the gap between minority/low socioeconomic students and their peers (U.S. Department of Education, 2003). In fact, over the last eight years, the Education Trust has had a significant role in transforming the role of school counselors in closing the academic achievement gap (Colbert, Vernon-Jones, & Pransky, 2006). School counselors have traditionally focused on the mental well being of students, however, the current emphasis on high test scores and academic success of minority students calls for school counselors to change their focus and find effective academically driven approaches to ensure the long term personal/social and academic success of all students; Little attention has been given to the concept of self-advocacy in school counseling and its potential to empower marginalized youth in school settings. Furthermore, there has been little research in the area of self-advocacy among minority students in school counseling to promote closing the academic achievement gap. As a result, there is a substantial need for a research study to explore the development of a tool that will help school counselors assess students' readiness to self-advocate; The purpose of this study was to develop and conduct an empirical analysis of a self-advocacy instrument and to determine if differences exist in response patterns between minority students and non-minority students on the Self-Advocacy Readiness Scale; The findings of the analyses indicate that the Self-Advocacy Readiness Scale and its subscales produced adequate estimates of internal consistency reliability. Further, exploratory factor analysis revealed the possibility of a self-advocacy construct; Analysis of minority students and non-minority students' total scores on the Self-Advocacy Readiness Scale indicated they were not statistically different. Analysis of the five self-advocacy subscales (autonomy, control, experience, knowledge, and motivation) revealed that minority and non-minority students' subscales scores were not statistically different with the exception of the control subscale; The information gleaned from this study will contribute to additional avenues of research in Counselor Education.


Accountability; Advocacy; Analysis; Development; Empirical; Minority; Personality Traits; Readiness; Sample; Scale; School Counseling; Self-advocacy; Social Justice; School Counseling; University

Controlled Subject

Educational psychology; Educational counseling

File Format


File Size

1310.72 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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