Date of Award

3-16-2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Counseling and Psychological Services

First Advisor

Catherine Y. Chang - Committee Chair

Second Advisor

Brian J. Dew - Committee Member

Third Advisor

Catherine J. Brack - Committee Member

Fourth Advisor

Kenneth B. Matheny - Committee Member

Abstract

Counselor trainees’ stress and coping resources have the potential to influence the relationships formed with supervisors and clients. Two hundred thirty two (N = 232) Master-level counselor trainees completed surveys designed to measure perceived stress, coping resources, the working alliance, and the supervisory working alliance. Participants completed a demographic questionnaire, the Working Alliance Inventory – Short Form Therapist Version (WAI-S; Tracey & Kokotovic, 1989), the Supervisory Working Alliance Inventory – Trainee Version (SWAI-T; Efstation, Patton, & Kardash, 1990), the Perceived Stress Scale – Short Form (PSS; Cohen, Kamarck, & Mermelstein, 1983), and the Coping Resources Inventory for Stress – Short Form (CRIS; Curlette & Matheny, 2008). The working alliance was negatively correlated with Perceived Stress (r = -.25, p < .01) and positively correlated with the coping resources Situational Control, (r = .23, p < .01), Emotional Control (r = .18, p = .01), Social Support From Family (r = .19, p < .01), Mental Tension Control (r = .18, p < .01), and Making Plans (r = .15, p < .05). The supervisory working alliance was negatively correlated with Perceived Stress (r = -.23, p < .01) and positively correlated with the coping resources Situational Control (r = .17, p < .01), Emotional Control (r = .18, p < .01), Social Support From Friends (r = .14, p < .05), Mental Tension Control (r = .22, p < .01), Asserting One’s Rights (r = .13, p < .05), and Trusting Oneself (r = .14, p < .05). After controlling for the primary internship setting, Stress (∆R2 = .055, â = -.21, p < .001) and Social Support from Family (∆R2 = .021, â = -.21, p < .025) explained 7.6% of the variance in the working alliance, F (10, 221) = 3.71, p < .001. After controlling for the number of counseling sessions and total number of weekly individual counseling hours, Perceived Stress (∆R2 = .047, â = -.14, p < .10) and Situational Control (∆R2 = .026, â = .18, p < .025) explained 7.3% of the variance in the supervisory working alliance, F (4, 170) = 7.73, p < .001. Implications for counselor training and implications for research are discussed.

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