Student Risk-Taking Behaviors: When Do School Counselors Break Confidentiality?(Report)

A total of 204 middle and high school counselors from across the United States responded to a survey in which they were asked to determine whether they view specific adolescent risk-taking behaviors of varying intensity, frequency, and duration as warranting parental notification. Results suggest that counselors’ perceptions that it is ethical to break confidentiality and report the risk-taking behaviors increased when the behaviors were more intense, more frequent, and of longer duration. Further, although there was less ambiguity regarding the perceived dangerousness of some behaviors (e.g., suicidal ideation), all behaviors showed some variance or disagreement among respondents with regard to their willingness to break confidentiality. Implications and suggestions for school counselors are considered. **********

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