Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name





Psychology, Industrial.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Human service delivery systems provide recommendations and treatment for a wide gamut of personal problems. Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), sponsored by employers to assist their employees with a variety of personal problems, are among the most rapidly growing of such systems. One integral component of program effectiveness is compliance, that is, whether the recommended actions are accepted and implemented. Little research has been done on compliance within formal support systems, that is, within work settings in business and industrial organizations. EAP counselors kept records on 456 employees regarding their progress in different stages of the helping process. The employees were from 29 national organizations throughout the U.S. Data were collected on employee characteristics, problem type, the media used in different stages by the program administrators, and treatment recommendations. Two measures of referral compliance were obtained: overall compliance and first appointment compliance. The EAP counselors, themselves, were rated in terms of genuineness, trust, expertise and empathy. A higher rate of compliance in keeping first appointments was found for males than for females; the more severe the problem; for divorced than for married; and the greater the openness of the client. A higher rate of overall compliance was found the higher the job level; and the greater the complexity of the solution to the problem. Accessibility to the EAP office was negatively associated with compliance. No significant differences in compliance were found by problem type; counselor characteristics; or income. An unexpected finding was that the rate of compliance did not differ for self-referred as compared to management-referred clients. Compliance was not found to differ with media usage, but subgroup analysis by media significantly increased the level of prediction. A higher level of prediction was obtained for the clients involved in face-to-face contact than for telephone counseling in the initial stages of assessment. Somewhat surprisingly, no difference was found in the openness or revealing of sensitive information between telephone and face-to-face counseling. Differences in media usage were found by geographic region. Face-to-face contact was used the most often in the northeast, whereas the telephone was used most often in the southwest. The more face-to-face contact was used in the initial assessment stage, the greater the rated trust and expertise of the EAP counselor. Action recommendations are provided regarding the conditions under which EAP client communications should focus on telephonic or face-to-face encounters.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1985 .B768. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 46-09, Section: B, page: 3250. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1985.