Predictors of Working Alliance Efficacy Among State VR Counselors as a Function of Ex-offender Status

Open Access
Bates, Julie Kristi
Graduate Program:
Counselor Education
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
June 13, 2012
Committee Members:
  • Deirdre Elizabeth Mary O'sullivan, Dissertation Advisor
  • Deirdre Elizabeth Mary O'sullivan, Committee Chair
  • James Taylor Herbert, Committee Member
  • Margaret Ann Lorah, Committee Member
  • Edgar Paul Yoder, Committee Member
  • Stigma
  • Offenders
  • Flourishing
  • Working Alliance
  • Counselors
  • Counseling
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors
  • Burnout
  • Efficacy
  • Self-estimates
  • Double Stigma
The purpose of this study was to determine if statistically significant relationships existed between burnout, stigma, flourishing, caseload size, experience, and working alliance self-efficacy and to assess the predictive power of these variables on levels of working alliance self-efficacy with clients with disabilities alone and clients with disabilities with criminal histories in state VR providers. A non-experimental survey research design was used in this study. Participants completed instruments related to stigma (Attitudes towards Mental Illness Questionnaire), burnout (Counselor Burnout Inventory), flourishing (Flourishing Scale), and working alliance self-efficacy (Working Alliance Self-Efficacy Estimates Scale). Using a two-tailed Pearson correlation analysis and multiple regression, this study showed that counselors with higher levels of working alliance self-efficacy tended to have higher levels of well-being, contentment, satisfaction, hope, and happiness (flourishing) and had lower levels of burnout and stigma. Post-hoc t-tests also showed that providers who worked with a greater proportion of clients with disabilities and criminal histories had higher levels of working alliance efficacy compared to those working with lower proportions. The effect of double stigma, in addition to burnout and flourishing, explained nearly one third of the variance in provider working alliance efficacy with clients who had two stigmatizing identities (disability plus criminal history) compared to a disability alone (6% of the variance explained).