Using Mediators and Moderators to Test Assumptions Underlying Culturally Sensitive Therapies

An Exploratory Example

Published in: Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, v. 13, no. 2, Apr. 2007, p. 169-177

Posted on on January 01, 2007

by Eunice C. Wong, Larry E. Beutler, Nolan W. Zane

Read More

Access further information on this document at

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

Factors hypothesized to impact Asian American responses to counseling were tested as mediators and moderators of perceived counselor credibility and working alliance. Asian and European American college students (N = 182) were assigned randomly to view simulated directive or nondirective therapy approaches. Mediation analyses examined whether ethnic group differences in initial perceptions were accounted for by therapist understandability and previous therapy experiences. Moderation analyses examined whether expectations for directive therapy, ambiguity tolerance, and resistance influenced initial perceptions across directive and nondirective counseling. Asian Americans rated the counseling approaches significantly less favorably than Europeans Americans. A significant mediation effect was found for therapist understandability, whereas a significant moderation effect was found for expectation for directive therapy on initial perceptions of counselor credibility.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.