First Advisor

Hugo M. Maynard

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Urban Studies


Urban Studies and Planning




Psychotherapy, Interpersonal communication, Older people -- Medical care, Geriatric psychiatry



Physical Description

2, ix, 168 p.: ill. 28 cm.


This dissertation reports on the evolution of an observation instrument designed to examine a series of dyadic interactions between service providers and elderly clients. The encounters took place in the physical context of the client's home and under the auspices of two different kinds of urban service agencies. Staff members and elderly clients of In-home Nursing and Interaction agencies participated in the study. The coding system (Service Provider/Client Dyadic Interaction Coding System or SP/CDICS), is comprised of 28 carefully defined and described behavioral categories. The categories were developed through literature reviews and a series of preliminary observations conducted in agencies similar to but not included among the sampled agencies. A majority of the defined behavioral categories require moderate levels of observer judgment. A Field Manual was developed to train the five observers who collected the data. This was supplemented with a videotape constructed to further assist observers in the learning and subsequent use of the code, particularly with non-verbal and paralinquistic aspects of the behaviors. Fifty-one service providers and 147 clients comprised the sample of observed dyads. The coded observational data were examined in the expectation that there would be recurrent patterns of behavior. Factor analysis resulted in the delineation of ten client and five service provider behavioral patterns that appear to be interpersonally meaningful. The derived service provider and client behavioral factors were correlated with other measurements available on the same population. These included several service provider personality and attitude measures as well as observer and client evaluations of the encounter. The comparisons, in general, tended to confirm the interpretations given to the described factors, further supporting an assumption that the SP/CDICS is a useful and valid instrument.


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Portland State University. School of Urban Affairs.

Persistent Identifier