Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Telephone counseling and the resulting case records were investigated using a bogus call paradigm. Four pseudo-client confederates were trained to deliver 60 realistic calls differing in emotional content to 25 actual hotline workers. Calls were unobtrusively tape-recorded and the counselor-generated written summaries obtained. Four trained judges rated both the accuracy of the written summaries and the counseling process during the call using a 75-item, five instrument, rating packet. The ratings were factor analyzed by individual instrument and a second order factor analysis performed across the four instruments. Fifteen first order factors, two of which assessed the accuracy of the case records, evolved. Two second order or meta-factors (Expert Rogerian and Alternative Actions) resulted. The higher the emotional level or content of the call, the more accurate the case records. The educational level and the number of counseling courses taken by the counselors were significant predictors of accuracy. Using the remaining non-accuracy factors as indices of the counseling process, significant main effects for emotional content or level (i.e., call type) resulted for the following factors: Emotive, Probing, Action Plan and Alternative Actions. Accuracy results are discussed in terms of their usefulness for hotline researchers, hotline supervisors and the quality control of hotline services. Process results confirm that the counselors were appropriately flexible in being able to take on both the role of "information giver" and "crisis counselor" as the situation demanded. Limitations of the present study and possible directions for future research are discussed.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Donald Martin Kaesser



Proquest ID


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178 pages