Gender and Professional Experience as Predictors of Consultants' Likelihood of Use of Social Power Bases

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Title: Gender and Professional Experience as Predictors of Consultants' Likelihood of Use of Social Power Bases
Author: Getty, Kimberly Chapman
Advisors: Helen Lupton-Smith, Committee Member
Mary Haskett, Committee Member
Ann Schulte, Committee Member
William P. Erchul, Committee Chair
Abstract: The social power typology originally identified by French and Raven (1959) and later modified by Raven (1965, 1992) was used to examine factors related to school psychological consultation. Specifically, this dissertation investigated whether the gender and amount of relevant professional experience of psychologists (i.e., consultants) and teachers (i.e., consultees) influenced how likely psychologists were to use soft power bases when consulting with teachers. In addition, this study examined whether consultants' use of soft power bases was related to their self-evaluations of effectiveness during consultation. Two instruments were employed: the Interpersonal Power Inventory (IPI), which was modified to examine school consultants' likelihood of use of social power bases when consulting with teachers; and the Consultant Evaluation Form (CEF), which was modified to assess psychologists' self-evaluations of effectiveness during teacher consultation. The IPI and CEF were mailed together to 1,000 Nationally Certified School Psychologists, and a total of 352 usable protocols were returned. Results indicated that when consulting with female teachers, female consultants were not more likely to use positive referent power than the other four soft power bases combined; however, male psychologists were more likely to use positive expert power than the other four soft power bases combined. Additional results indicated that consultants' likelihood of use of soft power bases was not related to their years of professional experience, although results of a secondary set of analyses using a slightly different constellation of soft power bases did yield a significant relationship between the two variables. Findings also revealed a significant relationship between consultees' years of experience and consultants' use of soft power bases, in that school consultants were less likely to use soft power with more experienced teachers. Finally, results indicated a significant, positive relationship between consultants' likelihood of use of soft power bases and their self-evaluations of effectiveness during consultation. Findings of this study suggest that the experience level of teachers plays a significant role in determining the influence strategies used by psychologists during consultation. Results also imply that consultants' use of soft power is related to perceptions of more effective school consultation.
Date: 2006-05-04
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Psychology
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/3168


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