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

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.

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.