Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

William G. Kirk


Theoretical and data based research has suggested that clients' expectation of counselor and counseling approaches are important variables affecting the counseling procedures. Clients' preferences for different theoretically derived approach were also found to be important determinants of counseling outcome. However, little research has been done on the cross-cultural aspect of client's expectation and preferences regarding counseling. The present study examined and compared the differences of expectations and preferences of directive vs. nondirective approach between Chinese and American college students. It was hypothesized that the authoritarian upbringing of Chinese students would influence their preference and expectations of counseling in favor of a directive approach.

Thirty-three Chinese college students and thirty-three American college students participated in the current study. A film of Carl Rogers and Albert Ellis from the film series "Three approaches to psychotherapy" was shown and used as a model of a nondirective and directive technique respectively. This film shows both Rogers and Ellis using their approaches with the same client. The Counseling Expectation Questionnaire (CEQ) which measures students' expectation of directiveness in counseling situation was administered immediately prior to the film showing and the Counseling Preference Questionnaire (CPQ) which measures preferences for a directive vs. nondirective counseling approach was administered immediately after the film showing.

Data analysis indicated that significant differences existed (p<.01) between groups on the expectation of directiveness in counseling with Chinese students indicating a greater expectation for directiveness in counseling. However, no significant differences were found between group on preferences as measured by the variable of perceived helpfulness of counselor; preferences for directiveness on the general problem solving dimension and for the specific problem solving dimension. There were differences on preferences for directiveness along the specific problem solving dimension within each group which suggests that preferences for directiveness in counseling might be a function of specific problem orientation rather than nationality. Implications of the findings were discussed along with recommendations for future related research.