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Title: Cross-cultural inter-personal space in assumed counselling relationships with same and opposite sex pairs, and counsellors' perspectives on proxemics
Author: Rudd, Betty
ISNI:       0000 0001 3539 2663
Awarding Body: City University London
Current Institution: City, University of London
Date of Award: 2000
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This research is double layered because it involves two studies. Each layer or study has various dimensions. One layers dimensions (study 1) investigated proxemics in relation to culture, gender and familiarity between individuals within a purported counselling dyad, from the assumed client's point of view. In three different countries, the experimenter asked a total of 72 male and 72 female participants whom she did not know, to assume that they were coming to her for a counselling session and to place their chairs then sit in them as if they were at a counselling session. This was to ascertain whether there was a relationship between the physical distance of individuals who were memberso f participant-experimentepr airs, the culture which each participant was embedded in, and if elements of familiarity between the members of the purported counselling dyads had an effect on distance, and to measure any difference there might be between the females versus males distances. It was hypothesised that individuals would sit at a significantly different distance, depending on culture, familiarity and gender. The following three questions were asked concerning the quantitative layer of this research. Question 1: Does the measurable distance between the individuals who make up the members of a counselling dyad vary depending on the level of familiarity between the purported client and counsellor? Question 2: Would men sit at a different distance to the assumed counsellor than women purported clients? Question 3: Do distances from the assumed counsellor, which purported clients choose to sit at, vary depending on their cultural environment? Results revealed that there were significant differences regarding familiarity [F (2,141) = 40.973, p < 0.001], significant distances concerning gender [F (1,142) = 10.924, p < 0.001] and significant differences in distance between participants from different cultures [F (2,141) = 66.445, p < 0.001]. The other layer of this work (study 2) investigated a sample of student and professional individuals' perceptions (who practise counselling), using in-depth interviews, to ascertain their awareness of proxemics and to identify other dimensions linked with proximity. These interviews were audio taped to transcribe later, and the researcher kept'a diary of the process she went through concerning each interview. Findings showed that there was a certain amount of awareness, the extent of which varied amongst the individuals. Findings from study 2 also showed that proxemicsw, as linked with aspects of culture, counsellingo rientation, affect, the balance of power and gender within a counselling relationship. Insights from the results of both layers (studies one and two) of this research are utilised for suggested improvements to the counsel lor-cl ie nt relationship. Implications of the findings are discussed, before spotlighting new paths for further research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology