Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Psychology

First Advisor

Richard Balkin

Second Advisor

Joshua Magruder


University of Mississippi

Relational Format



For this research study a cross-sectional correlational survey research design was utilized. Counselors in training both master and doctoral level currently receiving clinical supervision in counselor education programs (n=123) participated in this study. Participants were administered (a) tolerance of ambiguity scale (b) individual power distance scale (c) feedback-seeking frequency scale (d) feedback-seeking source scale and (e) feedback-seeking style scale. Six research questions were the subject of data analyses in this study. Analyses included conducting multivariate multiple regression and simple regression analyses to understand whether tolerance of ambiguity and status identity predict graduate counselors’ feedback-seeking (a) style (b) source and (c) frequency. The purpose of the study is to assess the influence of intra-cultural factors of tolerance of ambiguity and status identity on graduate counselors’ feedback-seeking (a) style (b) source and (c) frequency. The investigation of intra-cultural dimensions is expected to provide a salient beginning to research in the area of within cultural information seeking activity of counselors in training in the counselor education field. The information gained will help clinical supervisors provide information to supervisees that meet their needs and thus improve clinical outcomes. The results of the analyses indicated that tolerance of ambiguity as a cultural variable has a statistically significant difference on the (a) frequency (b) source and (c) type of feedback seeking than status identity. Findings from the current study indicate that counselors in training have a moderate tolerance for ambiguity. Additionally counselors in training prefer monitoring or observational strategies to seek feedback from supervisors and inquiry methods to seek feedback from peers. Further counselors in training have a moderate frequency of seeking feedback. These results indicate that the culture within the counselor education program is characterized as having a low to moderate tolerance for ambiguity. Implications for this study include the importance of developing effective feedback systems that address obstacles and promote effective information processing. Counselor educators should focus on developing strategies that assist their students to embrace and enhance their tolerance of ambiguity which will help them better implement the different counseling concepts and thus influence client outcomes.


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