The relationship of career calling and social justice advocacy
Wheelus, Christopher Lee
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Social justice advocacy is a major aspect of the work of professional counselors and counselor educators (ACA, 2014; ASCA, 2010; CACREP, 2016; CAS, 2011). Research has demonstrated that certain demographic variables (i.e., completion of a graduate level social justice course, political ideology, religion and spirituality, and membership in marginalized groups) may be significant factors in counselors’ social justice advocacy engagement. Research has also shown that many counselors choose a counseling career out of a sense of career calling and interest in social justice advocacy (Duffy, Foley et al., 2012). This study explored the relationship between career calling and social justice advocacy. The participants in this study consisted of 90 counselors who are employed in P-16 educational settings, have a graduate degree in counseling or related field, and are members of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) and/or the American College Counseling Association (ACCA). Participants completed a demographics questionnaire and three instruments: the Brief Calling Scale (BCS; Dik, Eldridge et al., 2012), the Calling and Vocation Questionnaire (CVQ; Dik, Eldridge et al., 2012), and the Social Justice Advocacy Scale (SJAS; Dean, 2009). The results of t-tests comparing this population’s career calling scores to others in literature indicated that P-16 counselors strongly identify as having the presence of a career calling to the profession. Results of a multiple regression analysis indicated that career calling predicts engagement in social justice advocacy. Finally, results of a multiple regression analysis indicated that the P-16 counselor who is most likely to engage in social justice advocacy is one who; (a) has completed a graduate course(s) with all of these words in the title(s); advocacy, multicultural, and social justice, (b) identifies as moderate or liberal in political ideology, and (c) ascribes to having a calling to a counseling career. Implications of this study and suggestions for future research are discussed.