The dimensionality of the Discrimination Model within a school counseling supervisory context: Supervisors' perceptions of supervision

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling and Human Services


Dimensionality, Discrimination Model, School counseling, Supervisors

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Psychology | Medicine and Health Sciences | Mental and Social Health


Using a quasi-experimental, 2 group research design analyzed by a confirmatory multidimensional scaling analysis, this investigation partially replicated and extended Ellis and Dell's (1986) examination of the Discrimination Model (Bernard, 1979, 1997). The current study identified the underlying structure (dimensions) which 38 school counseling supervisors relied upon when making judgments about the supervision of school counselor trainees and mapped this to the archival data from Ellis and Dells' sample of supervisors working in a university counseling center context. Findings suggested a mixed fit between the school counselor supervisors' judgments of supervision and the conceptual map of university counseling center supervisors. Similarities between these supervisor groups were found in the number of dimensions used to explain supervision. Differences were found in the importance they gave to the 3 dimensions and in the criteria they used to make judgments about these dimensions. To further investigate the Discrimination Model within a school counseling context, school counselor supervisors were distinguished by education and training: those having formal coursework or equivalent training in supervision and those who did not. Findings suggested that the judgments of school counselor supervisors educated or trained in supervision were more similar to the conceptual map of university counseling center supervisors than were the judgments of supervisors not educated or trained. However, supervisors not educated or trained in supervision used the same number of dimensions and attributed similar importance to the dimensions as did supervisors educated or trained in supervision. Neither group of school counselor supervisors used the criteria from Ellis and Dell to judge their supervision. Implications of the results are discussed. Future direction for school counselor supervision training and research are outlined.


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