The self-efficacy of Irish Guidance Counsellors of Identifying and Assessing Students At Risk for Suicide Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/cz30pv98m

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  • Suicide is the primary cause of death of adolescents in Ireland. While much attention has been given this phenomenon, no research has specifically examined the role of guidance counsellors in secondary schools in Ireland in addressing this phenomenon. The purpose of this research was to examine the self-efficacy of guidance counsellors in Ireland for identifying and assessing students at risk for suicide, including four hypothesized predictors for such self-efficacy. These predictors were gender, institution of training, membership of the Irish Institute of Guidance and Counselling, and exposure to a suicidal student. The participants were 405 members of the Irish Institute of Guidance Counselling, a professional organization whose membership was inclusive of all guidance counsellors in secondary schools in Ireland. The instrument utilized was entitled Adolescent Suicide, and included fourteen questions measuring the three components of self-efficacy (i.e., efficacy expectations, outcome expectations and outcome values). The results were analyzed using measures of central tendency and logistic regression. Analyses using measures of central tendency indicated that Irish guidance counsellors as a whole had high global self-efficacy when it comes to intervening with suicide. Logistic regression analyses supported two of the four hypothesized predictors. In terms of the gender predictor variable, males were almost three times more likely than females to have high suicide intervention self-efficacy. In terms of the exposure to suicidal ideation variable, Irish guidance counsellors who were exposed to suicide in their work were more than three times more likely to have high suicide intervention self-efficacy than those guidance counsellors who had no such exposure. While the global suicide intervention self-efficacy score was high for the majority of Irish guidance counsellors, individual item level analyses of the Adolescent Suicide instrument revealed areas of low suicide intervention self-efficacy in the efficacy expectation and outcome expectation components. In particular, Irish guidance counsellors questioned their ability to recognize a student at risk for suicide. The limitations of the present study were presented. Also, the research and professional practice implications of the findings of this study were discussed.
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