Date of Award

1-1-2009

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Brown, Beverly

Second Advisor

White, Lyle

Abstract

Oppression is often mentioned in multicultural literature as a cognate to Racial Identity Development and Multicultural Competence. However, to this point, no studies have empirically examined the oppression construct in terms of relevant characteristics, processes, or relationships to other multicultural constructs. This study presents a conceptual model of oppression and explores psychometric properties of a scale designed to assess oppression attitudes of Master's level counselor-trainees enrolled in CACREP accredited programs. Expert panel review of the original 78-item instrument produced strong content validity evidence for the Oppression Attitudes construct. A pilot study (N = 83) was conducted for which an Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) of the Oppression Attitudes Scale resulted in a 3-Factor solution representative of Personal Oppression Attitudes, Program-Related Oppression Attitudes, and Professional Identity-Related Oppression Attitudes of Master's level counselor-trainees. Construct validity evidence was supported during the field study (N = 248) via convergent and discriminant analyses, and Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA). Correlations between OAS scores (i.e., higher scores indicate anti-oppressive attitude) and Multicultural Competency scores (r = .59, p < .01) on the Multicultural Counseling Knowledge and Awareness Scale (MCKAS), and between OAS scores and Phase-2 Racial Identity Development Scores (r = .23 to .65, p < .01) on the White Racial Identity Attitudes Scale (WRIAS) provided evidence of convergent validity amongst the theoretically related constructs. Correlations between OAS scores and the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale-Form C (r = .14, p < .05), along with correlations between the OAS and Phase 1 White Racial Identity Attitudes (r = -.22 and -.64, p < .01) indicated adequate discriminant validity between the OAS and unrelated constructs. Internal consistency reliability for OAS subscales was examined during the pilot study (α = .91, .88, and .90) and the field study (α = .89, .87, and .80) indicating high subscale item homogeneity. Racial Identity Development scores and Multicultural Competency Scores were found to be predictors of Oppression Attitudes, adding support for the conceptual model. Additionally, beginning counseling students were shown to have significantly lower OAS scores than more experienced students, suggesting benefits to CACREP training.

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