ERIC Number: ED326756
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Psychotherapists' Gender Stereotypes: Perceiver Characteristics, Target Age, and Target Sex.
Turner, Barbara F.; And Others
The literature on social cognition and intergroup relations suggests that gender and age are social concepts which, because they are at the same level of abstraction, may produce interactive effects on person perception judgments. The purpose of this study was to explore gender stereotypes that therapists hold about people who differ in age; examine the differences that therapist characteristics such as sex and age make in therapist perceptions of others; and investigate the clinical sex bias hypothesis that psychotherapists subscribe to one standard of mental health for healthy men and adults but hold another, more stereotypically feminine standard for healthy women. The sample used in these analyses comprises 322 clinical members of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and 311 psychologists listed in the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology. Subjects completed Broverman's Sex-Role Stereotype Questionnaire and therapists were asked to rate a mature, healthy, socially competent target. The four gender stereotype scales produced three substantial main effects for age of target and only one main effect for sex of target. Although the predominantly middle-aged respondents certainly viewed middle-aged targets positively, age of therapists was unrelated to their perceptions of others. The findings provided no support to the interpretation that clinicians' standards of mental health display a bias against women when judgments of "adult" mental health are used as the ideal standard of mental health. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (98th, Boston, MA, August 10-14, 1990).