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The relationships between gender, gender matching, and working alliance

13 July 2007


Because working alliance has been correlated with many positive therapy outcomes, it is important to examine how client and clinician characteristics, such as gender, influence ratings of alliance. In the current study, the researchers used data from 368 clients seeking services at a doctoral-level training facility in Portland, Oregon to examine gender differences in client's ratings of working alliance as measured by the Working Alliance Inventory (WAI). Results showed that female clients reported significantly higher WAI scores than male clients. No significant differences in WAI scores were found between clients who worked with female clinicians and clients who worked with male clinicians. Female clients paired with female clinicians reported significantly higher levels of working alliance than male clients paired with male clinicians. Implications of these results and suggestions for future research are discussed.


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