Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Robert L. Betz

Second Advisor

Dr. Thelma Urbick

Third Advisor

Dr. Frederick Gault

Fourth Advisor

Dr. William Carlson


This investigation of Native Americans determined to what extent counselor expertness, effectiveness and trustworthiness affect their perception of the counseling interview. The study was specifically designed to assess Native American attitudes as they relate to situational counselor characteristics and behavior. The attitudinal preferences investigated were: (a) racial characteristics of counselor, (b) personal attractiveness of counselor, (c) expertness of counselor, and (d) trustworthiness of counselor.

The sample for the study was composed of 60 Native American students randomly selected through Project M.A.I.S.S. (Making American Indians Self-Sufficient), an academic remedial program for American Indian students from the area around Kalamazoo, Michigan. The students ranged in ages from 15 to 18 and were between the grades 9 and 12.

Instruments used to assess the differential effects of each of the independent variables included two instruments, (1) the Counselor Rating Form (CRF), designed to measure attitudinal preferences for specific counselor characteristics, and (2) the Counselor Effectiveness Rating Scale (CERS), designed to evaluate specific attitudes as responses to counselor behavior. Earlier research indicated interaction effects among non-Indian samples; therefore, the present study utilized both Indian and non-Indian role persons in the interview situation.

Relationships between variables were described using mean scores and standard deviations, and analyzed using a two-way analysis of variance, as well as multiple step-wise correlations to explore the relationships between variables.

Analysis of the results indicated that Native American students rated the simulated interviews more positively when the counselors enacted trustworthiness. It was evident too, that counselor ethnicity (Indian, non-Indian) was not significant when the non-Indian counselor was trained in, or was knowledgeable in culturally appropriate behaviors and appropriate communication methods.

Inspection of the results emanating from the investigation led to a conclusion that certain counselor attitudes and behaviors are important to counseling interviews with Native Americans. Another important conclusion was also reached indicating that trustworthiness, expertness, and attractiveness are relevant counselor characteristics for Native American clients, regardless of counselor ethnicity. Further studies, however, are required before generalizations can be made to include numerous other Native American cultures.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Counseling Commons