Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Amanda Evans

Lennis Echterling

Jeanne Horst


The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which counseling professionals identify and address undue police violence (UPV) in their professional roles. This study investigated circumstances associated with experiencing types of force that counselors identify as undue, the extent of advocacy efforts made by counselors related to UPV, and training received related to UPV. Lastly, this study investigated the relationships between counselors’ attitudes towards officer legitimacy, perceived racism, and beliefs related to UPV and addressing it. An exploratory research design that used descriptive analysis, simple linear regression, and thematic analysis was used to analyze data collected for the study. Participants of this study included 112 counseling professionals in the United States. Data from this study indicated that participants identified frisking and the use of a canine less frequently as undue compared to other forms for officer force. Furthermore, data from this study indicated that most participants have not received training to identify UPV, received training in advocating related to UPV, and have not engaged in advocacy associated to UPV. The data from the study also indicated a predictive relationship between attitudes towards officer legitimacy and the degree to which participants believe that UPV is an issue. The findings from this study support existing literature that indicates a need for training in identifying and treating instance of race-based trauma and the need for greater involvement from professional counselors in addressing UPV (Hemmings & Evans, 2018; Washington & Henfield, 2019).



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