First Advisor

Laurie A. Skokan

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology






Child welfare workers -- Attitudes, Child welfare workers -- Professional ethics, Legal assistance to children



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 66 p.)


Ajzen's Theory of Planned Behavior with the addition of Perceived Moral Obligation was used to investigate the behavioral intentions of 65 caseworkers of the Children's Services Division (CSD) to cooperate with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) on cases involving abused or neglected children. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that the subjective norms and perceived moral obligation constructs were significant predictors of the three behavioral intention categories and of all three categories combined. The two constructs, however, seem to have a considerable amount of overlap, suggesting that they may be measuring what is broadly called "social pressure to perform/not to perform 11 the target behavior. Perceived Behavioral Control was not significant in any categories and the attitude measure was marginally predictive. Possible reasons for the nonsignificant contributions of the two constructs include low inter-item correlations, questionnaire format, missing data concentrated in the two constructs, and finally, the notion that the caseworkers' attitudes and perceptions of control were of little consequence in their decisions to cooperate with CASAs. Of the three behavioral intention categories, all models performed best for the second category, 11voluntarily sharing pertinent Information about the cases with CASAs." The attitude construct performed best for this category, especially in the first and second models. Unlike the other two, this asked about the caseworkers' 11voluntary" cooperation. This finding seems to confinn the argument that Ajzen's models work better for a behavior for which one perceives greater volitional control. Prior, direct working experience with CASAs turned out to be an essential part of the attitude construct. The tested models performed better with the 54 caseworkers who had had direct working experience with CASAs in the last .. 24 months. This finding seems to indicate that the data from the 11 "no-experience" workers should not be combined with that of the 54 workers. Future studies of the theory of planned behavior with this sample are discussed.


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