Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Robert Wait

Second Advisor

Dr. Suzanne Hedstrom

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Betz


Previous research in client-counselor value similarity and outcome studies has produced contradictory results. In the present study, an expanded model of Vervaeke, Vertommen, and Storms’ (1997) value similarity construct was used to measure the degree of similarity and dissimilarity of values within the counseling dyad. The first purpose of the present study was to investigate the interrelationships among the client-counselor value similarity and dissimilarity, the working alliance and counseling outcome. The second purpose was to determine if the working alliance was a mediating factor between value (dis)similarity and counseling outcome, thus, providing insight into the previous contradictory results within the literature.

A sample of 42 counseling dyads at a counselor-training facility at Western Michigan University completed the Rokeach Value Survey, the Working Alliance Inventory, and the Counselor Effectiveness Rating Scale. The scores were analyzed using general linear model of regression and hierarchical multiple regression. Interpretation of the results demonstrated that value (dis)similarity predicted client rated working alliance (dissimilarity R2 = .10, similarity R2 = .14), value dissimilarity predicted counselor-rated working alliance scores (R2 = .19), and client rated working alliance predicted counseling outcome (R2 = .61). However, there was no statistically significant relationship between value (dis)similarity (dissimilarity R2 = .04, similarity R2 = .01) and counseling outcome, and the working alliance was not a meditating effect between value (dis)similarity and counseling outcome (dissimilarity R2 = .04, similarity R2= .01).

The results suggest that value (dis)similarity influences the working alliance, but has no relationship counseling outcome, and that the counseling relationship has a primary role in positive counseling outcome. In addition, it appears that clients use a combination of value dissimilarity and similarity in determining the working alliance, while counselors use only value similarity. The present study demonstrated the utility of the revised version of the Rokeach Value Survey for measurement of values salient to the counseling setting.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access