Motivational and equipping functions of interpretation in counseling

S. R. Strong, C. A. Wambach, F. G. Lopez, R. K. Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Tested the hypotheses that interpretations increase clients' motivation to change and that interpretations identifying causal factors clients can directly control lead to greater client change than interpretations identifying causes clients cannot directly control. 36 students who were experiencing problems with procrastination were assigned to 1 of 12 conditions defined by 3 interview conditions and 4 interviewers. Ss received 2 interviews 1 wk apart. In one interpretation condition the interviewers worked from a causal framework of procrastination as caused by a lack of effort, poor self-discipline, and ambiguous goals. In the other interpretation condition the interviewers saw procrastination as a symptom of underlying conflicts and resentments stemming from unresolved conflict with parents. In the 3rd condition the interviewers refrained from any statements of opinion but reflected the students' ideas about the nature and causes of their procrastination. The results generally support the hypotheses. (9 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-107
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Counseling Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 1979


  • interpretation identifying causal factors clients can vs cannot directly control, motivation to change & behavior change, male college students with procrastination problems


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