Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Adolescent psychotherapy-Outcome assessment, Parents-Attitudes, Parent and teenager, Therapeutic alliance, Self-discourse in adolescence, Quantitative research, Parental perceptions, Parent-therapist alliance, Treatment efficacy, Parental warmth, Parental closeness, Adolescent disclosures, Parent-adolescent communication


This quantitative study explored the impact of parental perceptions of adolescent therapy disclosures on parental perceptions of therapy and therapist. Questions examined were (1) whether parental perceptions of their adolescent's therapy disclosures, parent-reported closeness, and parent-reported warmth differ as a function of adolescent age and parent gender and (2) if parent-therapist alliance ratings, parent-reported closeness, and parent-reported warmth were associated with parental perceptions of treatment efficacy, and if perceived disclosures moderated this association. Participants were 42 parents who had adolescents (ages 12 to 18) who attended outpatient psychotherapy for a minimum of 6 weeks. Demographic information and perceptions of adolescent therapy disclosures, treatment efficacy, therapeutic alliance, closeness, and warmth were reported in an anonymous online survey. Fathers perceived more closeness with older adolescents than younger adolescents. Therapeutic alliance was significantly associated with treatment efficacy for parents of both genders; disclosure moderated this association when therapeutic alliance was low. Findings indicate gender differences in parental perceptions of parent-adolescent relationships, and suggest adolescent disclosures moderate how parents form perceptions of therapy. Findings have implications for how social workers working with adolescents can balance the facilitation of a client's autonomy with the parental involvement that is so crucial to the therapeutic process.




iv, 114 pages. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2015. Includes bibliographical references (pages 82-93)