Date of Award:

1985

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Elwin C. Nielsen

Abstract

The objective of this research was to constructively replicate the research of Brabham and Thoreson (1973) and Mitchell and Frederickson (1975) that led to the conclusion that handicapped counselors are preferred.

Subjects were 337 male and female volunteers enrolled in psychology 101 which was taught during the Fall Quarter, 1984, at Utah State University. All subjects were asked to indicate their preference when considering 20 hypothetical problem situations for one counselor from among six photographs of handicapped and non-handicapped counselors. The 20 situations consisted of three types (personal, vocational, and educational). Each subject's score was the total number of times that the subject selected a handicapped counselor.

T-tests for independent means were conducted to determined whether or not the group had a statistically significant preference for either handicapped or non-handicapped counselor when the subjects were considering all problems together and when subjects were considering specific problem types. Results indicate that subjects have no significant preference for either handicapped or non-handicapped counselor when all problems were considered. For Personal problems subjects preferred handicapped counselors. For vocational problems subjects preferred non-handicapped counselors. For educational problems subjects had no statistical significant preference.

Interpretation of the results suggested preference for a handicapped or non-handicapped counselor is differentially affected by the problem type. It was recommended that much research remains to measure the magnitude of these preferences and the influence of these preferences on the process and outcome of therapy.

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