Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Dr. Robert A. Apostal
Problem: The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between the selected variables of student-counselee -- sex, grade level, and self-esteem -- and the preference for a male or a female counselor by types of presenting concerns.
Procedure: The subjects of this study consisted of 375 students, 189 males and 186 females, enrolled in a junior-senior high school in a rural community in north central Minnesota The subjects were all adolescents in grades seven through twelve, inclusive. The sample size for each grade level ranged from a minimum of sixty to a maximum of sixty-nine.
The instruments used in this study were a personal data questionnaire and the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory. The statistical tests employed included multiple regression analysis, chi square and canonical correlation. The .05 level of confidence was used, where applicable, to evaluate the significance of the obtained results
Findings: The major findings of this study were as follows:
1. There was a significant difference in the preference for a male or a female counselor by type of presenting concern and the sex of the student-counselee. A preference existed for a female counselor by both sexes for the concern areas of health-physical, homeschool, boy-girl, moral-religious, and personal-social, while a preference existed for a male counselor for the school and vocational educational concern areas Significant proportional differences of males and females in counselor choice existed in all concern areas except for the school concern area, where no significant difference was found.
2. There was no significant relationship between the preference for a male or a female counselor by type of presenting concern and the grade level of the student-counselee.
3. There was no significant relationship between the preference for a male or a female counselor when type of presenting concern and the self-esteem of the student-counselee were considered.
4. There were significant relationships between the first set of variables measuring student-counselee presenting concerns and the second set of variables of student-counselee sex, grade level, .age and self-esteem Health-physical concerns from the first set and sex of the student-counselee from the second set contributed most to the canonical correlation.
Conclusions: Female counselors were preferred for all personal-social concern areas and male counselors were preferred for school and vocational educational concerns with that preference increasing with each succeeding grade.· In addition, self-esteem was not found to be an important variable in determining counselor preference. An additional conclusion was that student-counselee sex and the health-physical concern made the most important contribution to the canonical correlation
Finally, it was suggested that rising social consciousness may have altered stereotypic perceptions of women's roles as evidenced by the preference for a female counselor for all personal and social concern areas.
Recommendations: Several recommendations were offered for further research to promote a better understanding of preferences for male or female counselors.
1. A replication of the study was recommended using other populations to determine if the results of this study may be generalized.
2. It was recommended that the self-esteem variable be explored in conjunction with the preference for a male or a female counselor where students have actually made a counselor choice.
3. It was further recommended that school boards hire female counselors, in appropriate numbers, in order to allow for choice by student-counselees.
Sullivan, Mary Jane, "Preferences for Male or Female Counselors as Related to Student-Counselee Sex, Grade Level, Type of Presenting Concern and Self-Esteem" (1978). Theses and Dissertations. 688.