Effects of counselor sex and sex role and client sex on clients' perceptions and self-disclosure in a counseling analogue study

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Abstract

Studied the effects of client sex and counselor sex and sex role on the counseling relationship, using an analogue format in which 35 male and 39 female undergraduate students participated in simulated counseling interviews. Ss were stratified by sex and randomly assigned to 1 of 4 treatment conditions: (a) masculine male counselor, (b) feminine male counselor, (c) masculine female counselor, and (d) feminine female counselor. At the conclusion of the interview, the S completed the Barrett-Lennard Relationship Inventory (Form OS-M-64) and a questionnaire assessing the S's satisfaction with the counseling session. The audiotapes of the sessions were rated by trained judges for (a) positive affective self-references, (b) negative affective self-references, and (c) total non-affective self-references of the Ss. Male Ss were more satisfied with the counseling process than female Ss. Male Ss indicated greater satisfaction and a higher level of counselor regard with feminine counselors than with masculine counselors, regardless of counselor sex, but female Ss indicated greater satisfaction and a higher level of counselor regard with masculine counselors than with feminine counselors, regardless of counselor sex. Male Ss talked most about themselves with feminine female counselors and least about themselves with masculine female counselors, while female Ss talked most about themselves with feminine male counselors and least about themselves with masculine male counselors. These findings are related to the feminist pleas for same-sex pairing in the counseling relationship. (34 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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