Associations Among the Advisory Working Alliance and Research Self-Efficacy Within a Relational-Efficacy Framework

Cory L. Cobb, Byron L. Zamboanga, Dong Xie, Seth J. Schwartz, Charles R. Martinez, Sydney Skaggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Using a relational-efficacy framework, we examined the advisory working alliance and its associations with research self-efficacy among clinical and counseling psychology doctoral-level students. Moreover, we examined whether the association between the advisory working alliance was indirectly associated with research self-efficacy by way of relation-inferred self-efficacy (RISE; i.e., how advisees perceive their advisors view their research abilities). Next, we examined whether other-efficacy (i.e., how advisees view their advisors' research abilities) moderated the relationship between RISE and research selfefficacy. Last, to add confidence in our findings, we tested a theoretically plausible alternative model against our specified model to determine which might better fit the data. Doctoral-level students (N = 144) from American Psychological Association-accredited clinical and counseling psychology programs completed questionnaires measuring the advisory working alliance, RISE, other efficacy, and research self-efficacy. Results from mediation analysis found that the link between the advisory working alliance and research self-efficacy operated indirectly through RISE. Furthermore, other-efficacy moderated the relationship between RISE and research self-efficacy such that this relationship was stronger at higher levels of other efficacy. Finally, results indicated that the original specified model fit the data better than the alternative model. Taken together, findings suggest that advisory working alliance may transmit relationship-specific information to students that in turn fosters students' perceived research self-efficacy. However, the extent to which this relationship-specific information fosters research self-efficacy may depend in part on the extent to which students view their advisors as adept and competent researchers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Counseling Psychology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019



  • Advisor
  • Advisory alliance
  • Health service psychology
  • Research self-efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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