ERIC Number: ED332121
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
School Counselor Attitudes and Referral Practices When Working with Suicidal Adolescents.
Siehl, Peterann M.; Moomaw, Robert C.
This study examined the attitudes, knowledge, comfort, and referral levels of school counselors in relation to working with suicidal adolescents. Subjects were 213 school counselors divided among elementary, junior high, and high school settings. Most of the counselors (92%) were found to be more comfortable assessing suicidal risk if a team approach was used, and most (97%) were comfortable referring suicidal clients to other professionals and outside agencies. A significant difference was also indicated when counselors had a high education level and had experienced a suicide sometime in their lives. Sixty-six percent of the sample responded that their skills were not strong enough to help a suicidal client, while 42% stated that they felt they might make a mistake in working with a suicidal client. Sixty-eight percent of the population surveyed felt it was best to refer any client at the mere mention of suicide. Assessment knowledge, determined by case study analysis revealed that females assessed correctly at a higher rate than males on a high risk client, while males assessed low risk clients at a higher level. Assessment improved as counselors became more experienced. It was concluded that school counselors refer suicidal adolescents at an extremely high rate due to their own discomfort in working with suicidal adolescents even when training, experience, and knowledge levels are high. (LLL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Association for Counseling and Development (Reno, NV, April 21-24, 1991).