Priorities of Academic Research among Counseling Psychology Researchers in Palestinian Universities in Gaza Strip
AbstractThe present study aimed to identify the reality of academic research in the field of psychological counseling carried out by professional researchers in psychological counseling departments in faculties of education, Gaza universities in Palestine in terms of: Community sections as subjects of research, and manifestations of personality development addressed by such research. It also endeavors to determine the priorities of academic research in the field of psychological counseling as perceived by a random sample of counselors working in the field in addition to the extent of conformity between the reality of the distribution of psychological research carried out by professional researchers and the priorities set by the psychological counselors. Besides, the research attempts to put forth a proposal of priorities for future academic research in this realm. The study sample included all academic research in the field of psychological counseling published in refereed electronic journals of Al-Aqsa university ,Al-Azhar university, and the Islamic University whose total number is (64 ) selected as a purposive sample. The findings of the study reveal that there are societal segments which are more researched by psychological counseling professional researchers such as : samples of children, adolescents and people with special needs, widows, whereas there are societal segments which are under-researched like politicians, clergy, criminals, the elderly, spinsters, people below the poverty line. Additionally, there are societal segments focused on by professional researchers a lot. These are presented in a descending order as follows: The children, adolescents, and those with special needs. However, in terms of developmental aspects of , it has been reported that there are under-researched topics by professional researchers such as sexual and language development, whereas there are themes abundantly addressed by researchers like, those related to psychological development, and emotional growth, and mental and cognitive development. The results show that there is a big match between the priorities of counselors and the research done by professional researchers with respect to samples of children and adolescents and criminals in the society and that are research samples, which received too little attention as those of young people, prisoners and decision-makers and working women. Notwithstanding, other research samples did not receive due care from researchers as those of teenagers, widows, politicians and clerics, and the elderly. Additionally, the results indicated that there were aspects of personal growth, which gained less interest than they deserve such as the topics related to the ethical and moral growth, which received priority No. 1 in academic research in the field of psychological counseling as perceived by counselors. Key words: the priorities of academic research - psychological counseling professional researchers.