The prediction of White mental health professionals' ambivalence toward Black female clients

Lisa Godar Borodovsky, Fordham University

Abstract

This predictive study investigated whether White mental health professionals' ambivalence toward Black female clients could be predicted from: (a) the level of a White participant's racial identity development; (b) level of awareness of racially-ascribed advantages (e.g., differential treatment in housing, education, and business, etc.) in U.S. society; (c) level of training (being either masters level or doctoral); and (d) race of a fictitious female client presented in vignette form.^ One hundred forty-four volunteer subjects were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Group A participants received a stimulus vignette written in the form of a clinical intake at a college counseling center. The client therein was identified as an African-American female. Group B participants received the same stimulus vignette but with the female client being identified as White. Both groups were then administered a battery of survey instruments which included, the Attitude Component Model, the White Racial Identity Attitude Scale, and the Awareness of Differential Treatment Scale.^ The stepwise multiple regression results revealed no significant predictors of ambivalence toward Black female clients. However, further statistical analysis of the data revealed a reverse bias phenomenon in Group A data. This finding suggested that only the positive emotional element of the ambivalence formula was being measured in relation to Black female clients. The results are discussed in relation to the empirical data documenting the existence of a reverse bias effect in extant counseling, clinical, and social psychology research. Implications and recommendations for future research are offered. ^

Subject Area

Social psychology|School counseling|Psychology|Ethnic studies

Recommended Citation

Borodovsky, Lisa Godar, "The prediction of White mental health professionals' ambivalence toward Black female clients" (1994). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9511217.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9511217

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