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Development and evaluation of the Student -Counselor Social Capital Instrument

James Harrity, University of Massachusetts Amherst


The ASCA National Model for School Counseling Programs and the Education Trust's Transforming School Counseling Initiative indicate the importance of school counselors being heavily involved in eliminating disparities in achievement. Social Capital theory presents a rich framework for understanding how school personnel can reduce the achievement gap by serving as a source of resources for disadvantaged students. By providing resources that are not available in challenged families or communities, school counselors can empower students and help them succeed. Application of social capital theoretical constructs to school counseling practice and research is hampered by a lack of exact definitions and measurement instruments. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to develop and evaluate a theory based instrument. The School Counselor Social Capital Instrument applies five constructs from Coleman's social capital model to school counseling. Four hundred and twelve high school students took the survey. The scales proved to have high reliability, are related yet discriminable, and a three factor solution proved to be interpretable. Social Capital theory and the School Counselor Social Capital Instrument can help counselors become leaders, change agents, and advocates for the elimination of systemic barriers that impede academic success for all students.

Subject Area

Academic guidance counseling

Recommended Citation

Harrity, James, "Development and evaluation of the Student -Counselor Social Capital Instrument" (2006). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3212732.