Derya Suzen

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling Psychology & Community Services


The working relationship is important in all models of supervision. Bordin’s (1983) description of the working alliance in supervision suggests one important way of looking at the supervisory relationship. The purpose of the study was to investigate the extent to which the supervisor’s and supervisee’s perception of the supervisory working alliance is related to their multicultural characteristics (age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic background, religion, relationship status, and physical disability) during the supervisees’ pre-doctoral internship year.

Individual participants were psychology interns and their individual supervisors recruited from APA-accredited university counseling centers through out the United States. Forty-nine intern-supervisor pairs responded during the data collection process in the Springs of 1999 and 2000. The participants filled out Demographic Questionnaire and Working Alliance Inventory (Horvath & Greenberg, 1989).

The data analysis indicated that supervisory pairs have similar total supervisory working alliance scores. The closer look of the components of the supervisory working alliance revealed that supervisees’ have higher task scores than their supervisors. Moreover, differences in gender, sexual orientation, ethnic background, religion, and relationship status did not have an effect on the disparity between supervisee and the supervisor ratings. A correlation was computed between age differences and supervisory working alliance score differences. Age was negatively correlated with perceptions of the supervisory bond. Specifically, as supervisors grew increasingly older than supervisees, the supervisees were more likely to rate the bond lower, relative to their supervisors. Implications and limitations of the study are discussed.