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Date of Award


Degree Type

Dissertation (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Sandra Jenkins, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Paul G. Michael, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Michel Hersen, Ph.D., ABBP


This study examined if topics involving ethnicity and gender are discussed in therapy . between therapists and clients of various backgrounds. Client responses to a survey were examined that queried if discussions occurred and how important clients viewed these topics. A critique of the literature suggests discussions of this kind are sparsely written about or investigated, The results suggest that differences may occur in how important diverse clients (M = 3.5, SD = .674) ,rate race discussions compared to white clients (M= 2.70, SD = 1.059), t(20) = -2.150,p = .044 (two-tailed), 112 = .188. No significant differences were found between white and diverse clients regarding frequency of discussions of race or gender in treatment. An unexpected and significant result was found between clients and therapists that were paired by similar gender X2 (1, N= 42) = 8.979,p = .003 and ethnic background X2 (1, N=.. 42) = 17.8376, P = .0001. Implications of the findings and suggestions for future studies are discussed.


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