Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Rehabilitation Counseling

First Advisor

Dr. Jerome Fischer

Second Advisor

Dr. Ralph Carlson

Third Advisor

Dr. Veronica Umeasiegbu


Despite the dominance of modernistic ethics in counseling there has been a growing development of postmodern thought. There has been a growing understanding the limitations of ethical codes and purely rational thinking in ethical decision-making. Part of this new paradigm is an appreciation for the role of affect and context in the decision-making process. A post-modern approach to counseling ethics seems to be increasingly accepted among persons working in the social service field but little research has been attempted to evaluate the implications of such a change in training and practice. This study attempted to explore possible relationships between individual personality traits, habituated coping strategies, and emotional intensity when assessing ethical dilemmas or situations. Participants (N = 74) of this survey research were asked to complete an online survey to determine personality traits, positive and negative problem-solving strategies, level of emotional intensity, and other demographic information.

Two regression analysis and a Pearson product-moment correlation procedure were used to analyze the collected data. No significant relationships were identified. The study concludes with an analysis of limitations and a discussion and important considerations for future research.


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