Date of Award

12-2007

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Psychology

Major Professor

Jacob Levy

Committee Members

Gary Klukken, John Lounsbury, Tricia McClam

Abstract

This study examined the effects of counselor level of training and gender on counseling outcome in a university counseling center environment. Data was collected from an archival database of approximately 4500 clients seen over a six-and-a-half year time period at a mid-sized Southeastern university counseling center. The Outcome Questionnaire 45.2 was used to measure client outcome, which consists of 45-items scored on a five-point Likert scale. The OQ produces three subscale scores (Symptom Distress, Interpersonal Relations, and Social Role) and a Total Score. The Social Role subscale was found to have low reliability in this study, and was omitted from further consideration. Data on client and counselor gender were also included in this study. Two analyses were performed on the archival data. In the first analysis, 338 clients who completed an OQ at intake and after their fourth session were assigned to groups based on the training level of their assigned counselor (Senior Staff, Pre-Doctoral Intern, and Master’s Extern). A series of repeated-measures and one-way ANOVAs were conducted. Total Scores and subscales decreased significantly for clients in all three groups between sessions. There were no significant differences on OQ scores between the groups at intake. However, Master’s level clients showed a significantly greater decrease than Senior Staff or Pre-Doctoral clients on the Interpersonal Relations subscale at fourth session. A significant difference was also found for client gender on the IR subscale at both intake and fourth session, with males scoring higher than females. There were no client/counselor gender matching effects observed. In the second analysis, 2772 clients were assigned to groups based on whether or not they returned to counseling after their intake session (Returnees and Non-Returnees). A one-way MANOVA showed a small, but significant difference between the groups at intake, with Returnees showing slightly higher OQ scores than Non-Returnees. Follow-up ANOVAs showed this was due to a significant difference on the IR subscale. Implications for counseling center outcome assessment and treatment and directions for future research were discussed.

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