Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Hall, Kimberly Renee

Committee Member

Reisener, Carmen D.

Committee Member

Elder, Anastasia D.

Committee Member

McKinney, Cliff

Committee Member

McCleon, Tawny E.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Educational Psychology

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Foundations


The current study followed the methodology used by Erchul and colleagues (eg., Erchul, Raven, & Ray, 2001, Getty & Erchul, 2008) to assess and compare the likelihood of use of social power bases reported by school psychologists and school counselors. Furthermore, because the Interpersonal Power Inventory (consultant usage form; IPI-Form CT-U) was used for the first time with the school counselors, the factor structure of the instrument was also examined using Principal Component Analysis. 2 components, harsh and soft power, were identified which were similar to the harsh and soft power sources identified in the previous studies using IPI. Similar to previous research with school psychologists, the results of the current study also demonstrated that IPI-Form CT-U is an internally consistent measure that can be used to assess the likelihood of use of soft and harsh power bases in school counselors. The current study emphasized the similarities and underscored the differences between the likelihood of use of social power bases among school counselors and school psychologists. Overall, both school psychologists and school counselors rated soft power bases higher than harsh power bases. Informational power, expert power, and legitimate power of dependence were the three highest rated power bases by school psychologists and school counselors. In comparison to school psychologists, school counselors reported a higher likelihood of using soft power when consulting with a teacher. A comparison between the individual social power ratings by school psychologists and counselors revealed that school counselors rated expert power, legitimate power of dependence, and impersonal coercion higher in terms of their likelihood of use, as compared to the school psychologists. The differences in the ratings by school counselors and school psychologists may be explained in the light of the differences in their training, the nature of their role and their placement in school settings.