The relationship between two ethical decision-making models and counselor trainees' responses to an ethical discrimination task and their perceptions of ethical therapeutic behavior



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Texas Tech University


Ethics education is considered vital in preparing counselor trainees to be responsible cHnicians. However, the effectiveness of ethics education is debatable. Ethical decision-making models are recommended to counselor educators as effective means to assist trainees and professionals in maintaining ethically defensible behavior. Yet, no published empirical research on the effectiveness of ethical decision-making models exists.

The purpose of the present study was to examine two ethical decision-making models, the A-B-C-D-E Worksheet (Sileo & Kopala, 1993) and the Ethical Justification model (Kitchener, 1984) on 52 counselor trainees' responses to the Ethical Discrimination Inventory (EDI, Baldick, 1980; Lipsitz, 1985) and to Borys' (1988) Therapeutic Practices Survey (TPS). In addition, trainees' responses to the EDI and the TPS were evaluated on the basis of 3 individual variables and 2 training variables. The individual variables were idealism, relativism and analytical ability. Idealism and relativism were assessed by the Ethics Position Questionnaire (EPQ, Forsyth, 1980) and analytical ability by the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). The training variables were graduate courses in ethics and practicum. The data were analyzed using a multiple analysis of covariance for a randomized block design at an alpha level of .0167.



Psychotherapy, Decision making, Counselors