Firearms in clients’ homes
Role of clinical mental health counselors’ political beliefs and treatment objectives
A large body of research has pointed to the potential impact of clinical mental health counselors’ (CMHCs) personal, social, and religious beliefs on their treatment objectives, but no research has examined the role of CMHCs’ political beliefs on their treatment objectives, especially with politicized issues such as firearms in homes with young children. In the present study, we examined the treatment objectives for clients with firearms at home in relation to American CMHCs’ political beliefs (operationalized as political ideologies and political party affiliations), perceived level of seriousness of firearm storage in a home with small children, and general assessment of biopsychosocial status of new clients. Survey data were collected with Qualtrics from 147 licensed CMHCs who were members of the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA). Perceived seriousness of firearms at home and treatment objectives related to firearms at home (e.g., discouraging firearm storage at home) were assessed using a vignette depicting a 38-year-old male client with two small children at home. General assessment of biopsychosocial status of new clients was measured with the frequency that the CMHC would inquire about 10 topics (e.g., substance use) during the initial appointment with new clients. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that perceived seriousness of firearms at home and general assessment of biopsychosocial assessment were the most robust and expected predictors of the American CMHCs’ treatment objectives. However, the CMHCs’ political ideologies and political party affiliations were not significant, suggesting that CMHCs’ clinical interactions with the client were guided by professional training/experiences, not by political beliefs.
Copyright (c) 2022 Aaron L. Norton, Archer Ziyi Chen, Tony Xing Tan
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