Department of Educational Psychology


Date of this Version



Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity 8:4 (2021), pp. 472–486.

doi: 10.1037/sgd0000433


Copyright © 2020 American Psychological Association. Used by permission.


Research on counselor competence regarding bisexuality is scarce, despite the greater prevalence of negative attitudes about bisexuality as compared to other sexual minorities (Flanders & Hatfield, 2014) both within the general public and the LGBTQ+ community (Matsick & Rubin, 2018). Therapist attitudes and moral development are 2 constructs known to affect multicultural counseling competence; however, although some research has examined competence in working with lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals all together, bisexual individuals specifically are underrepresented or absent in examinations of the relationship between these 2 constructs. Therefore, this study examined whether postconventional moral reasoning has an indirect relationship with bisexual counseling competence through attitudes regarding bisexuality. Currently licensed therapists were surveyed using the Defining Issues Test 2, Attitudes Regarding Bisexuality Scale, Counseling Bisexual Clients Competence Scale, and a modified version of the Multicultural Case Conceptualization Ability Task. Results indicated an indirect relationship between levels of postconventional moral reasoning and self-report of bisexual counseling competence through attitudes regarding bisexuality. However, no such relationships were found when bisexual counseling competence was measured by ability to utilize cultural factors related to bisexuality in case conceptualization of etiology and treatment. Significance of these findings as well as implications for education and training, practice, and research, are discussed.

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