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Cognitive mediators between patients' social class and therapists' evaluations

Cognitive mediators between patients' social class and therapists' evaluations

Archives of General Psychiatry 34(8): 917-920

Previous research has shown that therapists are more likely to accept middle-class than lower-class persons for psychotherapy and to rate middle-class patients more favorably than lower-class patients. One explanation that has been offered is that lower-class patients may not conceptualize their experiences in a manner compatible with traditional kinds of therapy. This study investigated several cognitive variables that could theoretically serve as mediators between patients' social class and therapists' differential evaluations--specifically, verbal intelligence, psychological differentiation, and locus of control. Therapists evaluated patients after the initial therapy session. Results indicated that psychological differentiation was a mediator for therapists' judgments of both patients' desire for structure and their suitability for psychotherapy. Similarly, a locus of control orientation emphasizing the role of chance functioned as a mediator of therapists' judgments of suitability.

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Accession: 039597859

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PMID: 889414

DOI: 10.1001/archpsyc.1977.01770200055004

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