Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




The American Psychological Association (APA) has constructed the Ethical Standards of Psychologists to serve as a guideline for the therapeutic behavior of its members. Collective literary opinion suggests that a code of ethics be constructed from the attitudes and values of the associations members and the attitudes and values of the society in which these individuals practice.

The purpose of this study was twofold. First, it attempted to determine the attitudes of APA members concerning Section 6a of the 7th Draft of the Ethical Standards of Psychologists which deals with the practice of dual relationships. Second, this study attempted to describe the population of subjects whose responses deviated from those stated in Section 6a by correlating the responses received on each item with the subject's age, sex, years of experience and therapeutic setting.

An attitudinal survey questionnaire was constructed, validated and mailed to a nationwide random sample of 300 .M.A members registered with divisions 12 and 17. Of the 300 subjects sampled, 211 (70.3%) returned their questionnaires.

The results of this study indicate that for each of the 34 items, constructed from the concepts contained in Section 6a, both a deviant and non-deviant population exists. The non-deviant population is larger than the deviant population for the majority of the items. The results also indicate that age, sex, years of experience and therapeutic setting are associated with deviancy but only on individual, unrelated items and that these variables cannot be considered as descriptors associated with deviancy.

Included in

Psychology Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.