Date of Award

Spring 2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counselor Education and Supervision

Committee Director

Theodore P. Remley, Jr.

Committee Member

Danica G. Hays

Committee Member

Edward E. Raspiller


This study assessed counselor perceptions of uninsured clients. The professional literature suggests that counselor bias exists against persons with low socioeconomic status. According to United States Census Bureau, a greater percentage of individuals with income at or below the poverty level are uninsured compared to individuals with higher incomes. The professional literature also suggests that financial concerns and multicultural comfort may serve as sources of bias against individuals with low socioeconomic status. In this study, counseling professionals were surveyed to determine the relationship between counselor perceptions of type of client (insured or uninsured), and the contributing variables of work setting, counselor's income type, years of practice, and multicultural comfort. No statistically significant relationship was found between client type (insured or uninsured) and counselor perceptions. In addition, no statistically significant relationship was found among the variables of work setting, counselor's income type, years of experience, and multicultural comfort and counselor perceptions. The findings indicate that counselors perceive clients positively regardless of these external factors. The participants in this study rated the client favorably in both categories (insured and uninsured), indicating that counselors possess positive orientations toward clients regardless of insurance status. Implications for future research and considerations for other possible influences on counselor perceptions are discussed.