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Ethnic and gender differences in psychological reactance: the importance of reactance in multicultural counselling

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Psychological reactance is the tendency of a person to act in a way to protect personal freedoms from actual or perceived threats. Psychological reactance has been shown to be a factor in the process and outcome of therapy and may be an important variable in multicultural counselling. It has been noted that multicultural counselling competencies are critical to the process of therapy when members of the counselling dyad are racially dissimilar. In the current study undergraduates completed the Therapeutic Reactance Scale and a demographic questionnaire. Results found significant effects for ethnicity and gender. Specifically, African Americans were likely to produce higher reactance scores than Caucasians and males produced higher reactance scores than females. There was not a significant interaction between ethnicity and gender. The implications of these findings are discussed in terms of multicultural counselling and the process of therapy.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: University of Alabama in Huntsville USA 2: Louisiana Tech University USA

Publication date: 2004-06-01

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