SOCIAL INTERDEPENDENCE EXAMINATION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE ATTITUDE, TRAINING PROGRAM NORMS, AND ADVOCACY INTENTIONS AMONG COUNSELING PSYCHOLOGY GRADUATE STUDENTS
Keum, Tae Hyuk
Miller, Matthew J
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Counseling psychologists have voiced the importance of fostering social justice principles among psychology professionals in order to better meet diverse people’s psychological and social needs. However, much of the current empirical understanding has been limited to individual factors (e.g., personal experiences of racism, spirituality) and little is known about external facilitative and supportive roles in the training program. Thus, the goal of this study was to employ a group actor-partner interdependence model (GAPIM) to test the significance of actor (individual student) and partner (other students’ aggregate scores in the program) effects in examining the links between social justice attitudes and perceived training program social justice norms on students’ advocacy intentions. Group cohesiveness was also tested as a moderator of the partner effects. Structural equation modeling was used to specify series of GAPIMs on data from 178 doctoral students across 16 American Psychological Association accredited counseling psychology Ph.D. programs. Results suggest that other students’ overall attitudes and collective perceptions of the training environment was a stronger indicator of individual students’ willingness to engage in social justice related activities than actor effects (individual level variables). Greater perceived social justice norms among student body and faculty members were associated with individual student’s higher intentions to engage in social justice activities. Cohesiveness was a significant moderator with respect to group-level predictors; in programs with closer relationships among students, the promotive effects of social justice norms (among student body and faculty) on students’ intentions to engage in social justice activities was further augmented. Implications of research and training are discussed.