Ethical behavior of supervisors: effects on supervisee experiences and behavior

by Crall, Jennifer, Ph.D., LEHIGH UNIVERSITY, 2011, 105 pages; 3456116


Supervisor ethical behaviors are linked to effective supervision and counseling practices. However, initial research suggests that half of counseling supervisors engage in non-ethical behaviors. These non-ethical behaviors are related to several undesirable consequences, including a weaker supervisory working alliance, and may contribute to supervisee anxiety or an increased likelihood that supervisees will engage in non-ethical behaviors. To date, there is little research to explore the effects of supervisor non-ethical behavior. Therefore, an examination of supervisor non-ethical behavior is necessary in order to gain a clearer understanding of the impact on supervisee experiences and behaviors. The current study sought to assess the nature and extent of supervisor adherence to ethical practices of supervision, and examined the relationships between supervisor non-ethical behaviors and the supervisory working alliance, supervisee anxiety, and supervisee ethical behaviors, and proposed a model of supervisor non-ethical behavior, supervisory working alliance, supervisee anxiety, and supervisee ethical behavior. One-hundred fifty-six supervisees completed measures of their supervisor's ethical behavior and related outcome measures. Multivariate regression analyses and Structural Equation Modeling was used to analyze hypotheses. Results suggest that approximately one third of supervisors do not adhere to all ethical guidelines. Analyses confirm that supervisor non-ethical behavior is negatively related to the supervisory working alliance, and positively related to supervisee anxiety and supervisee non-ethical behavior, as hypothesized. The proposed model of supervisor ethical behavior, supervisory working alliance, supervisee anxiety, and supervisee ethical behavior does not represent a fit to the empirical data in this study. The model was modified using modification indices. Implications for theory, research and practice, as well as potential limitations, are discussed.

AdvisersNicholas Ladany; Arpana Inman
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsEthics; Counseling psychology
Publication Number3456116

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