The influence of therapist experience upon evaluative perceptions of family members

Thomas Gaines, James M. Stedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This study investigated the influence of experience in family therapy on therapists’ evaluative perceptions of family members. Beginning students in family therapy, advanced students, and experienced staff rated members of 100 families according to the Semantic Differential technique. Contrary to expectations, beginning students did not evaluate identified patients more favorably than parents. Staff and advanced students, however, rated parents more favorably than identified patients. Beginning students were also found to evaluate all family members more favorably than staff and advanced students. These results were discussed in terms of experienced therapists initially taking the side of the parents and the effects this potential source of bias may have on the course of family therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-48
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Family Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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