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ERIC Number: EJ945301
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 269
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0167
Racial/Ethnic Matching of Clients and Therapists in Mental Health Services: A Meta-Analytic Review of Preferences, Perceptions, and Outcomes
Cabral, Raquel R.; Smith, Timothy B.
Journal of Counseling Psychology, v58 n4 p537-554 Oct 2011
Across several decades the effects of matching clients with therapists of the same race/ethnicity have been explored using a variety of approaches. We conducted a meta-analysis of 3 variables frequently used in research on racial/ethnic matching: individuals' preferences for a therapist of their own race/ethnicity, clients' perceptions of therapists across racial/ethnic match, and therapeutic outcomes across racial/ethnic match. Across 52 studies of preferences, the average effect size (Cohen's "d") was 0.63, indicating a moderately strong preference for a therapist of one's own race/ethnicity. Across 81 studies of individuals' perceptions of therapists, the average effect size was 0.32, indicating a tendency to perceive therapists of one's own race/ethnicity somewhat more positively than other therapists. Across 53 studies of client outcomes in mental health treatment, the average effect size was 0.09, indicating almost no benefit to treatment outcomes from racial/ethnic matching of clients with therapists. These 3 averaged effect sizes were characterized by substantial heterogeneity: The effects of racial/ethnic matching are highly variable. Studies involving African American participants demonstrated the highest effect sizes across all 3 types of evaluations: preferences, perceptions, and outcomes. (Contains 3 tables.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A