Date of Award

Winter 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling & Human Services


Counselor Education and Supervision

Committee Director

Nina Brown

Committee Member

Lenora Thomson

Committee Member

Alan Schwitzer


Swift and Greenberg (2012) observed that variables influencing the decision to drop out fluctuate according to the primary presenting problem, the amount of structure in therapy, the length of treatment, and the clinical setting. Due to these reports, researchers may focus on predictors of premature termination (PT) in treatment settings where the unique situational characteristics may have an idiosyncratic influence on the decision to withdraw from services (Phillips, 1985; Swift & Greenberg, 2012). The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine client characteristics that impact dropout in University Based Clinics (UBC). Results from the logistic regression analysis indicated higher levels of social anxiety and lower levels of pretherapy functional impairment reduced the probability of PT. Findings from the Classification and Regression Tree (CART) analysis suggested higher levels of hostility and generalized anxiety may predict an increase the dropout rate even when accounting for the protective influence of social anxiety and higher levels of pretherapy functioning. Lastly, results from the Survival Analysis suggested the risk of PT was lowest during the early stages of counseling and steadily increased for clients who remained in services. These findings indicate that higher levels of social anxiety and lower levels of pretherapy functioning may partially attenuate the risk of PT as clients progress along the episode of care. Results from this analysis were triangulated against the existing PT literature and implications for teaching, practice, and future research are discussed.


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