Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Underwood, Joe

Committee Member

Hermann, Mary

Committee Member

Young, J. Scott

Other Advisors or Committee Members

Underwood, Joe Ray||Davis, Ed||McGrath, Vincent||

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Counselor Education

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Education


Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education


This study is an examination of the predictor variables, as measured by a Demographics Questionnaire (DQ) and the Professional School Counselor Perception of Preparedness/Frequency of Specific Crisis Situations Survey (PSCPPFSCSS). The researcher determined the combination of predictor variables that accounted for the greatest amount of variance in professional school counselors’ overall perceptions of preparedness in stabilizing a student in specific crisis situations. Members of the American School Counseling Association were contacted through e-mail and encouraged to access a Web site to complete the DQ and PSCPPFSCSS. A total of 210 participants responded (response rate 23.5%). A stepwise regression analysis was used. The outcome variable was the counselors’ ratings of their preparedness for crisis counseling in specific crisis situations. The researcher entered 9 predictor variables and discovered that seven predictors met the criterion for entry set at F = .05. The 7 predictors were: (a) student/counselor ratio, (b) level of education, (c) years of school counseling experience, (d) pre-service hours spent in crisis intervention, (e) in-service hours spent in crisis intervention, (f) graduate coursework hours in crisis counseling, and (g) total number of times crisis situations were encountered. Counselor/student ratio and pre-service hours of preparation were not significantly related to perception of preparedness in dealing with specific crisis situations. The findings indicated that more experience resulted in greater perceptions of preparedness. Counselors with first-hand experience with crisis situations, more years of counseling experience, graduate course work, in-service hours of preparation, hours spent in formal or in-service, and higher degrees expressed higher levels of preparedness. The full model on the seventh step of the regression indicated that a sizable portion of the variance (approximately 41%) in counselors’ reported perceptions of preparedness is significantly explained by the predictors (p < .001). Recommendations included: (a) replication of the study with a greater sample size, (b) integration of crisis intervention skills in counselor preparation coursework, (c) extended internships with crisis response for graduate students in counselor education programs, and (d) supervision provided by counselors who have greater experience in crisis response.



school crises||crisis counseling||school crisis