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The Effect Of Client Age and Ethnicity On Client and Clinician Working Alliance Inventory Scores

13 July 2007


When conducting therapy, the most important aspect is maintaining a good relationship between client and clinician. This relationship can assist the client in feeling secure in therapy, and more compliant to treatment. The Working Alliance Inventory (WAI) is one of the most well know measures of therapeutic alliance between client and clinician. Previous research examining the W AI ratings of individuals varying in age and ethnicity, has not found consistent results. Some studies show that individuals of different ethnicities have lower W AI scores, whereas other studies indicate that ethnicity has no role in ratings of alliance. The same mixed results occurred with younger and older clients concerning W AI ratings; however, few studies examined these factors with a large clinical sample. This current study examined the relationship between client ethnicity and age W AI scores. The sample group consisted of 399 individuals who were seen at the Psychological Service Center (PSC) at Pacific University. All clinicians were doctoral , level students being supervised by licensed psychologists. A comparison was done between clients of Caucasian descent and those of minority descent in order to examine differences in ethnicity. Results showed that there was no correlation between age and WAI rating forms. Additionally age did not predict difference scores between client and clinician. There were no significant differences across ethnicity groups for W AI ratings and difference scores of client and clinician.


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