Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2014

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Rehabilitation and Counselor Education

First Advisor

Tarvydas, Vilia M

Second Advisor

Estrada-Hernandez, Noel

First Committee Member

Maki, Dennis

Second Committee Member

Wadsworth, John

Third Committee Member

Liu, William


Hispanic/Latino immigrants represent a significant and rapidly increasing population in the United States. Immigrants may suffer from numerous disadvantages in comparison to the predominant culture. Hispanic/Latino immigrant injured workers are being stigmatized for their lack of education and low social-economic status that they have in the U.S. The Hispanic/ Latino populations are willing to undertake the most risky, menial, and strenuous jobs, thereby increasing the possibility of workplace injury. Commonly, they receive vocational rehabilitation through private-sector insurance rehabilitation that most often is within Workers' Compensation systems.

Vaughn, Taylor, and Russell (1998) stated that it is unclear what specific issues confront rehabilitation practitioners employed in the private sector, and whether their training needs can address the unique conflicts encountered within the case management role. Moreover, Shaw et al. (2006) noted that there is an absence of convincing research demonstrating the effectiveness of rehabilitation service in this setting. Although research in counselor competencies for those who work in different settings was conducted over the years, studies on rehabilitation counselor competencies when working with Hispanic/Latino immigrant injured workers have not been conducted. The purpose of this Delphi study was to explore and identify what attitudes, knowledge, and skills rehabilitation counselors in the private sector need when working with Hispanic/Latino immigrant injured workers.

A Delphi methodology was implemented to conduct this research. In Round One, experts' responses that emerged from five open-ended questions were considered. Fifty items remained at the conclusion of the Delphi process as the resultant rankings in Rounds Two and Three of various competencies were evaluated.

The results of the current study showed that for practitioners who work with Hispanic/Latino immigrants injured workers, it is crucial to become competent in multiculturalism and ethics. However, the literature noted that counselors who work in the private sector have a critical need of training in multicultural and ethical decision- making

Information obtained for this study can be used to construct guidelines that determine the importance of certain attitudes, knowledge, and skills when developing training, in addition to updating the scope of practice for the professional organization.


viii, 166 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 155-166).


Copyright 2014 Leslie Marie Santos Roman