An investigation of the effects of client sex and presenting problem in referral from intake

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Examined the extent to which client sex and presenting problem were related to the sex of the counselor to whom the client was referred for individual counseling. Data were collected from the files of 142 counseling center clients seen initially by an intake counselor and then referred for individual counseling; the 25 intake counselors, 14 male and 11 female, were the center's professional staff and maintained regular client loads as well as sharing intake responsibilities with other staff members. Results indicate a predominance of same-sex referrals regardless of client sex, sex of the intake counselor, or the client's presenting problem. While intake counselors were more likely to keep clients of their own sex for continued individual counseling, the tendency to make same-sex referrals was most evident when clients were referred to other counselors. The results suggest that sex is a salient factor in the assignment of clients to counselors and that further study of the conditions under which same-sex vs opposite-sex counselor-client pairings lead to differentially effective counseling outcomes is needed. (9 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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