Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Counseling and Human Development

Degree Program

Counseling and Personnel Services, PhD

Committee Chair

Owen, Jesse

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Hardesty, Patrick

Committee Member

Budge, Stephanie

Committee Member

Van Treuren, Ron

Author's Keywords

psychotherapy outcome; dropout; attrition; stigma; ethnicity


Although clients continue to drop out of psychotherapy, researchers have made few inroads into understanding the dropout phenomenon. Clinical studies have reported client dropout rates based on demographic factors (e.g., race, socioeconomic status, educational status). However, few studies have investigated the cultural correlates that may underlie these demographic factors and affect client termination. Furthermore, none have provided an empirically driven explanation as to why some clients drop out more often than others. In two studies, I explore dropout in two settings: a community mental health center and a university counseling center. Guided by current theory and research, I will examine the association between clients’ ethnic identity, the stigma they experience, and their decision to terminate therapy. Through logistic regression, I will seek to explore these cultural influences on the dropout process. It is expected that the study will contribute to current research and assist practitioners in preventing dropout.