Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2011

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Rehabilitation and Counselor Education

First Advisor

Portman, Tarrell Awe Agahe

Second Advisor

Wood, Susannah M.

First Committee Member

Colangelo, Nicholas

Second Committee Member

Duys, David

Third Committee Member

Ansley, Timothy


Current research suggests that gifted students possess a unique set of characteristics that require unique skills and knowledge to address properly. School counselors are in a position to address the unique needs of gifted students provided they have the knowledge required for effective interaction. School counselors are called to provide multiple services for all students in the school setting; among those services are to advocate for student needs as well as to maintain a level of knowledge that will facilitate effective advocacy. Although the current literature suggests that school counselors possess the unique skills to address the needs of gifted students, literature is limited in the area of school counselor advocacy for gifted students, and no studies have addressed school counselor self-efficacy for advocacy of gifted students.

The purpose of this study was to investigate how self-efficacy, knowledge of gifted issues, and understanding of professional advocacy competencies relate to school counselors' advocacy activities with gifted students. Quantitative methodology was used to answer the research questions. Professional school counselors completed a series of four instruments that comprised the survey for this study. Participants completed the survey either online or on paper between the months of January and June 2011. SPSS Version 19.0 for Windows was used to complete the statistical analyses for this study, which included descriptive statistics, factor analysis, and regression.The results of this study indicated that knowledge of giftedness, self-efficacy, and building level, significantly predicted school counselors' advocacy competency and activity with gifted students. However, training program and years of experience were not significant predictors of school counselors' advocacy activity with gifted students. Implications for school counselors are increased knowledge of gifted needs and increased advocacy activity for gifted students. In order for school counselors to provide appropriate services to gifted students, it is important to increase their knowledge of the population. This increased knowledge will help school counselors to be more inclusive of gifted students and their needs when developing comprehensive school counseling programs. In addition, this increased knowledge may assist school counselors with becoming active participants in services for gifted students within the school environment. Future research should further explore the level of advocacy activity of school counselors with gifted students and the importance of self-efficacy for school counselors.


Advocacy, Self-efficacy


viii, 90 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 83-90).


Copyright 2011 SaDohl Kisha Goldsmith