Date of Award

July 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling and Human Services


Nicole R. Hill


Cognitive Complexity, Disability, School Counseling

Subject Categories



Students with disabilities are at risk for a myriad of academic and personal/social challenges. School counselors are in a unique position to act as advocates for students with disabilities and their families to ensure that they have the educational and community supports they need for healthy academic, career, and personal/social development. Unfortunately, the professional school counseling literature highlights that school counselors are not adequately trained to effectively engage with students with disabilities. This study explored the predictive factors that may play an influential role in the engagement of school counselors in school counseling activities with students with disabilities. Variables explored included number of students with disabilities on current school counselor caseload, quality of contact with individuals with disabilities, graduate education in disability, attitudes towards individuals with disabilities, feelings of preparedness to engage students with disabilities, and school counselor cognitive complexity. Path analysis and exploratory factor analysis were used to examine the influence of these variables on school counselor engagement with students with disabilities. Implications for school counselor educators, and future avenues of research are discussed.


Open Access

Included in

Education Commons