Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Counselor Education


Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Herlihy, Barbara

Second Advisor

Watson, Zarus

Third Advisor

Paradise, Louis V.

Fourth Advisor

Ballard, Mary


All bona fide professions have affiliated professional organizations, ethical standards or a code of ethics, and an accrediting and sanctioning body that deals with preparation, credentialing, and licensure, and pride in one's profession (Gale & Austin, 2003; Remley & Herlihy, 2010). As school counseling continues to evolve, school counselors have struggled to define and maintain their role. This may be due, in part, to the social desirability an individual has to belong to dominant group in the school setting (Tajfel, 1986). School counselors may draw esteem from their professional membership. This concept, called collective self-esteem, denotes those aspects of identity that are related to membership in social groups and the respective value that one places on one's membership (Luhtanen & Crocker, 1992). The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between collective self-esteem and professional identity. The findings of this study indicated that collective self-esteem was relatively stable and remained moderately high across several demographic variables related to professional identity. Collective self-esteem remained relatively consistent across level of practice, professional background, years of total experience and years of experience at the current school, and area of practice. Further, collective self-esteem remained moderately high for those who were affiliated with a counseling organization and those who were not. Results also suggested that collective self-esteem is constant regardless of variations in credentialing, chosen code of ethics, role definition (educator first or counselor first), and professional pride. Results indicated that collective self-esteem remained moderately high across several demographic areas and variables related to professional identity. Further, a significant positive correlation was found between pride in the profession and collective self-esteem was shown. Additionally, a small, significant negative correlation was garnered between those participants who viewed themselves as a counselor first and held an LPC or equivalent. Further, a significant relationship was found between those participants who defined their role as a counselor first and chose the NBCC Code of Ethics as their primary code of ethics and those participants who held the counselor first position and chose the ASCA Ethical Code as their primary code of ethics.


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