The tripartite efficacy framework in client–therapist rehabilitation interactions: implications for relationship quality and client engagement
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Purpose: Within supervised rehabilitation programs, Lent and Lopez (2002) proposed that clients and therapists develop a “tripartite” network of efficacy beliefs, comprising their confidence in their own ability, their confidence in the other person’s ability, and their estimation of the other person’s confidence in them. To date, researchers have yet to explore the potential relational outcomes associated with this model in rehabilitation contexts. Method: In Study 1, we recruited 170 exercise clients (M age = 63.73, SD = 6.46) who were enrolled in a one-to-one aerobic exercise program with a therapist as a result of a lower-limb musculoskeletal disorder. Clients reported their tripartite efficacy beliefs and perceptions about the quality of their relationship with their therapist, and respective therapists rated each client’s engagement in his or her exercise program. In Study 2, we recruited 68 separate exercise clients (M age = 65.93 SD = 5.80) along with their therapists (n = 68, M age = 31.89, SD = 4.79) from the same program, to examine whether individuals’ efficacy perceptions were related to their own and/or the other person’s relationship quality perceptions.Results: In Study 1, each of the tripartite efficacy constructs displayed positive direct effects with respect to clients’ relationship quality appraisals, as well as indirect effects in relation to program engagement. Actor partner interdependence modeling in Study 2 demonstrated that clients and therapists reported more adaptive relationship perceptions when they themselves held strong tripartite efficacy beliefs (i.e., actor effects), and that clients viewed their relationship in a more positive light when their therapist was highly confident in the client’s ability (i.e., partner effect). Conclusion: These findings underscore the potential utility of the tripartite efficacy framework in relation to motivational and relational processes within supervised exercise programs.
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