This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Therapeutic Alliance and Outcomes: The Moderating Role of Therapist Sex




Mauren, Elise

Type of Degree



Human Development and Family Studies


The purpose of the study was to explore the relationship between therapeutic alliance (between system and within system) and therapeutic outcomes (individual distress and relational satisfaction) for males and females. Interactions between outcome variables and alliance ratings for men and women were analyzed to assess moderation effects of therapist sex. Data were collected from 2002 to 2011 from clients presenting for couples therapy at a marriage and family therapist training clinic at a southeastern university. The therapeutic alliance was found to be a strong predictor of therapeutic outcomes, specifically relational satisfaction for males and females using a dyadic model to assess for actor and partner effects. One actor effect was detected with individual distress as the outcome. The within system alliance was a stronger predictor of relational satisfaction outcomes and produced two actor effects and one partner effect. Moderation effects for therapist sex were found for both actor and partner effects when relational satisfaction was the outcome.