Chinese (N = 152) and White (N = 160) students reviewed a counseling interview transcript and provided perceptions on counselor credibility, counselor behaviors, and utilization intent. Utilization intent was defined as perceived willingness to use counseling after an initial hypothetical interview. In the proximal-distal model S. Sue and Zane (1987) proposed that achieving counselor credibility is more directly related to utilization intent than to culture-specific techniques, such as directiveness, when counselors are working with ethnic minority clients. For both ethnic samples, counselor credibility was the strongest predictor of utilization intent, and empathic involvement was the sole predictor of counselor credibility. Whereas the proximal-distal model was supported by the results obtained with the Chinese sample, a variant of this model best described the results for the White sample for which empathic involvement, as well as counselor credibility, was found to be directly related to utilization intent.
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