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Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Charmeka Whitehead
Doctor of Philosophy
Department: Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology
Title: Validation of the Attitude toward Sex Offender Scale
Dr. Lonnie E. Duncan, Chair
Dr. Joseph Morris
Dr. Delores Walcott
Date: Tuesday, July 14, 2009 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
3210 Sangren Hall
This study investigates the reliability and validity of the Attitudes Towards Sex Offender Scale (ATS) measurement by assessing attitudes of counselors in training towards juvenile sex offenders. The specific aims of this study are to determine (a) internal consistency of the ATS, (b) construct validity of the ATS based on exploratory factor analysis, and (c) the degree to which this instrument has convergent and discriminate validity. The intellectual merit of this study is to provide appropriate scale validation of the ATS so that it might be used to assess attitudes of mental health professionals who work with juvenile sex offenders. The latter is important because the attitudes held by counseling psychologists may determine their willingness and effectiveness in working with this population, as attitudes cause behavior (Johnson, Hughes, & Ireland, 2007). Subjects in this study are 298 master’s level counselors in-training who attended universities in the Midwestern and Southern United States. The findings of this study are very promising and suggest that the ATS is a psychometrically sound instrument. Thus, this instrument may be used for practical purposes (e.g., training and assessment) by mental health professionals.