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Title:The Impact of Context of Counselor Touch on Subject Perceptions of Counselor Attractiveness, Expertness, and Trustworthiness and Relationship Positive Regard, Empathy, and Congruence: An Analogue Study
Author(s):Harker, Howard Eugene
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kaczkowski, Henry
Department / Program:Education
Discipline:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Education, Guidance and Counseling
Abstract:An analogue study was developed to investigate the thesis that the effects of counselor initiated touch are mediated by the nature of the counseling interaction (i.e., context) at the point in the session when the touch occurs. It was hypothesized that touch in a context where touch was congruent with the nature of the counseling interaction would lead to more favorable perceptions of counselor attractiveness, expertness, and trustworthiness as well as relationship positive regard, empathy, and congruence than touch in a context where touch was discordant with the nature of the counseling interaction.
In order to investigate this thesis and hypothesis, four brief videotapes of counseling interactions were developed using a male actor as the counselor and a female actress as the client. The tapes depicted touch when the client was seeking (a) affirmation, (b) support, (c) a dependent relationship, and (d) a sexual relationship. Touch when the client was seeking affirmation or support were hypothesized to be contexts where touch was congruent with the nature of the counseling interaction, and touch when the client was seeking a dependent or a sexual relationship were hypothesized to be contexts where touch was discordant with the nature of the counseling interaction. Therefore, touch when the client was seeking affirmation or support were predicted to generate more favorable perceptions than touch when the client was seeking a dependent relationship or a sexual relationship.
The tapes were shown to 96 female undergraduates who were taken from a subject pool at a major midwestern university in the United States. Each of the subjects was exposed to two of the four videotapes. The data were analyzed using a balanced incomplete block design and a split-plot factorial design. The results of these analyses strongly supported the thesis that the effects of touch were mediated by the context. In particular, subjects who viewed counselor initiated touch when the client was seeking affirmation or support perceived the counselor and the relationship significantly more favorably than subjects who viewed counselor initiated touch when the client was seeking a dependent or sexual relationship.
Issue Date:1987
Type:Text
Description:196 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/69147
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8803059
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1987


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