A Cross-Cultural Study of the Self-Confidence of Counselors-in-Training

  • Suhyun Suh
  • C. Veronica Crawford
  • Karin K. Hansing
  • Sadi Fox
  • Minhee Cho
  • Eunbi Chang
  • Seongchan Lee
  • Sang Min LeeEmail author


In this era of globalization, cross-cultural comparison studies could help counselor training programs enhance educational opportunities that are informative, supportive, and culturally responsive to students. Counselors-in-training in both the United States and South Korea were sampled in this study assessing self-esteem (individual and collective) and counselor activity self-efficacy (CA self-efficacy). Results indicated that American students endorsed higher levels of collective self-esteem and CA self-efficacy compared to Korean students. Age was positively correlated with CA self-efficacy in both the American and Korean samples. Additionally, the variable of supervision hours and internship experience was positively correlated with CA self-efficacy for American students, but showed no relationship with CA self-efficacy for Korea students. Implications for understanding the cultural differences of counseling-trainees’ self-confidence and the need for conducting cross-cultural comparison studies to provide insights about the training and development of trainees in cross-cultural settings are discussed.


Counselors-in-training Counselor activity self-efficacy Self-esteem Cross cultural studies American and Korean students 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

The authors declared that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Bae, S., & Brekke, J. (2003). The measurement of self-esteem among Korean Americans: A cross-ethnic study. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 9(1), 16–33. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  3. Bandura, A. (1999). Social cognitive theory: An agentic perspective. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 2, 21–41. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brown, J., & Cai, H. (2010). Self-esteem and trait importance moderate cultural differences in self-evaluations. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 41(1), 116–123. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Butler, S. K., & Constantine, M. G. (2005). Collective self-esteem and burnout in professional school counselors. Professional School Counseling, 9, 55–62. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chiu, L. (1989). Self-esteem of American and Chinese children: a cross cultural comparison. Conference Paper. New Orleans: American Psychological Association. Retrieved from Eric database. (ED313633).Google Scholar
  7. Clark, M. A., Lee, S. M., Son, S., Yacco, S., & Rant, J. (2011). Gender differences in educational achievement in public education: Parental perspectives in the U.S. and Korea. Journal of Asian Pacific Counseling, 1, 29–42. Scholar
  8. Crocker, J., Luhtanen, R., Blaine, B., & Broadnax, S. (1994). Collective self-esteem and psychological well-being among white, black, and Asian college students. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 20, 502–513. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Daniels, J. A., & Larson, L. M. (2001). The impact of performance on counseling self-efficacy and counselor anxiety. Feedback. Counselor Education & Supervision, 41(2), 120–130. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Friedlander, M. L., & Snyder, J. (1983). Trainees' expectations for the supervisory process: Testing a developmental model. Counselor Education and Supervision, 22, 342–348. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Heppner, E., Sedikides, C., & Cai, H. (2013). Self-enhancement and self-protection strategies in China: Cultural expressions of a fundamental human motive. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 44(1), 5–23. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hwang, I. H. (2005). The effect of counselor’s self-efficacy, countertransference behavior and working alliance on the satisfaction of counseling. The Korean Journal of Counseling and Psychotherapy, 17(3), 547–563.Google Scholar
  13. Hwang, S., Kim, G., Yang, J., & Yang, E. (2015). The moderating effects of age on the relationships of self-compassion, self-esteem, and mental health. Japanese Psychological Research, 58(2), 194–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Institute of International Education. (2013). Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange. Retrieved from
  15. Jeon, B. J. (1974). Self-esteem: A test of its measurability. Yonsei Nonchong, 11(1), 107–130.Google Scholar
  16. Jon, J. (2012). Power dynamics with international students: From the perspective of domestic students in Korean higher education. Higher Education, 64, 441–454. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Katz, J., Swindell, S., & Farrow, S. (2004). Effects of participation in a first women’s studies course on collective self-esteem, gender-related attitudes, and emotional well-being. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 34(10), 2179–2199. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kim, H. (1994). Korean collective self-esteem scale. Korean Journal of Social Psychology, 8(1), 103–116.Google Scholar
  19. Larson, L. M., & Daniels, J. A. (1998). Review of the counseling self-efficacy literature. The Counseling Psychologist, 26(2), 179–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lee, S. H., Seo, Y. S., & Kim, D. M. (2007). Validation of the counselor activity self-efficacy scales. The Korean Journal of Counseling Psychotherapy, 19(3), 655–673.Google Scholar
  21. Lee, S., Suh, S., Yang, E., & Jang, Y. (2012). History, current status, and future prospects of counseling in South Korea. Journal of Counseling and Development, 90(4), 494–499. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lee, A., Park, E., Byeon, E., & Lee, S. M. (2016). Development and initial psychometrics of counseling Supervisor’s behavior questionnaire. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 49(3), 183–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lent, R. W., Hackett, G., & Brown, S. D. (1998). Extending social cognitive theory to counselor training: Problems and prospects. The Counseling Psychologist, 26, 295–306. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Luhtanen, R., & Crocker, J. (1992). A collective self-esteem scale: Self-evaluation of one’s social identity. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 18(3), 302–318. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Martin, W. E., Easton, C., Wilson, S., Takemoto, M., & Sullivan, S. (2004). Salience of emotional intelligence as a core characteristic of being a counselor. Counselor Education and Supervision, 44, 17–30. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Neill, J. (2005). Definitions of various self-constructs: Self-esteem, self-efficacy, self-confidence and self-concept. Retrieved 7/09/14 from
  27. OECD. (2010). Highlights from education at a glance 2010: How many students study abroad. Paris: Author.Google Scholar
  28. Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and adolescent self-image. Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sherer, M., Maddux, J., Mercandante, B., Dunn, S., Jacobs, B., & Rogers, R. (1982). The self-efficacy scale: Construction and validation. Psychological Reports, 51, 663–671. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sipps, G. J., Sugden, G. J., & Favier, C. M. (1988). Counselor training level and verbal response type: Their relationship to efficacy and outcome expectations. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 35, 397–401. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sung, K., & Kim, H. S. (2003). Elder respect among young adults: Exploration of behavioral forms in Korea. Ageing International, 28, 279–294. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. UNESCO-UIS. (2009). Global education digest 2009: Comparing education statistics across the world. Montreal: UNESCO Institute for Statistics.Google Scholar
  33. Urbani, S., Smith, M. R., Maddux, C. D., Smaby, M. H., Torres-Rivera, E., & Crews, J. (2002). Skill-based training and counseling self-efficacy. Counselor Education and Supervision, 42, 92–106. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Wu, C. (2008). An examination of the wording effect in the Rosenberg self-esteem scale among culturally Chinese people. The Journal of Social Psychology, 148(5), 535–551. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Yu, K., Lee, S. M., & Nesbit, E. A. (2008). Development of a culturally valid counselor burnout inventory for Korean counselors. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 41(3), 152–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Yuki, M., Sato, K., Takemura, K., & Oishi, S. (2013). Social ecology moderates the association between self-esteem and happiness. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49(4), 741–746. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation, & CounselingAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA
  2. 2.Department of Education, College of EducationKorea UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

Personalised recommendations