ERIC Number: ED330931
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Reference Count: N/A
The Effects of Membership-Group Similarity on Counseling Process and Outcome.
Richards-Govere, Kimberly A. M.
Recent studies suggest that membership-group similarity may be a strong motivator in initiating a counseling relationship, but that similarities in attitudes, experiences, and cognition affect the counseling process and outcome. In addition, within group differences between members of the same ethnic group affect the counseling process and outcome. The theories discussed in this paper can be categorized into two basic groups. The first group (Congruity Theory, Balance Theory, and Theory of Identificatory Process) proposes that membership-group similarity gives credibility to the communicator, if the receiver and the communicator belong to the same membership group. The second group of theories (Dissonance Theory, Instrumental Value Theory, and the Theory of Racial Consciousness) propose that membership-group similarity has no effect on the counseling process and outcome unless it is perceived as having an instrumental value by the client. A recent study found that similarities in attitudes, values, and personality traits may be important variables in the counseling process and outcome, and that it is not appropriate to assign clients to counselors based solely on membership-group similarity. The historical misconception that membership-group similarity has in itself an effect on the counseling process and outcome has been exposed, and the variables which do have an effect on the counseling process and outcome are being defined. What is now lacking in the literature is the degree to which each variable contributes to the effectiveness of the counseling process and outcome and whether those variables are significant to all the prevalent ethnic groups. (LLL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A