Date of Conferral







Matthew Fearrington


Deaf individuals typically have access to 2 types of therapeutic services: interpretive (with an interpreter) and noninterpretive (with a sign-fluent therapist). Previous research indicates that the presence of an interpreter may hinder development of working alliance and attachment. There is a lack of empirical evidence assessing the effect of working alliance and attachment based on whether or not therapy incorporates an interpreter. The working alliance theory and the attachment theory were the theoretical foundations for this study. This study examined the difference between the strength of working alliance and attachment to the therapist given the presence or absence of an interpreter in therapy for Deaf individuals (N = 39) utilizing the Working Alliance Inventory and the Client Attachment to Therapist Scale. A multivariate analysis of variance was utilized to examine the differences between interpretive and noninterpretive services. The results indicated that individuals who received noninterpretive services had stronger working alliance and attachment with their therapist, which suggests that the type of therapy services Deaf individuals receive should strongly be considered. Accordingly, an increase of sign-fluent therapists would promote social change by providing more appropriate services that would remove barriers that hinder working alliance and attachment to the therapist.