This study explored the relationships between demographic variables, self-efficacy and attachment style with a range of performed and preferred school counseling activities in a national sample of elementary school counselors (N = 515). Demographic variables, such as school counselor experience and American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model training and use, were positively related to performing intervention activities that align with the ASCA National Model. Results of hierarchical regression analyses supported that self-efficacy beliefs also predicted levels of both actual and preferred service delivery of
intervention activities. Interestingly, self-efficacy beliefs also predicted higher levels of performing “other” non-counseling activities that are considered to be outside of the school counselor role. An insecure attachment style characterized by high anxiety predicted a lower preference for intervention activities and also predicted the discrepancy between actual and preferred “other” non-counseling activities, revealing a higher preference for performing them.
The burnout and stress experienced by school counselors is likely to have a negative influence on the services they provide to students, but there is little research exploring the relationship among these variables. Therefore, we report findings from our study that examined the relationship between practicing school counselors’ (N = 926) reported levels of burnout, perceived stress and their facilitation of direct student services. The findings indicated that school counselor participants’ burnout had a negative contribution to the direct student services they facilitated. In addition, school counselors’ perceived stress demonstrated a statistically significant correlation with burnout but did not contribute to their facilitation of direct student services. We believe these findings bring attention to school counselors’ need to assess and manage their stress and burnout that if left unchecked may lead to fewer services for students. We recommend that future research further explore the relationship between stress, burnout and programmatic service delivery to support and expand upon the findings in this investigation.