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Date of Award


Degree Type

Dissertation (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Catherine Miller, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Susan Tinsley Li, PhD

Third Advisor

Michel Hersen, PhD, ABPP


Informed consent is an essential part of therapy in that it provides guidelines for psychologists, expectations for both the client and the therapist, and an agreement between the psychologist and the client regarding the psychological services to be provided. When working with children, it is necessary to consider who has legal authority to consent for a minor child to participate in the therapeutic process. An ethics complaint regarding parental consent recently was presented to the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners, resulting in questions about current practices of licensed psychologists in the state of Oregon. The purpose of this study was to assess current practices concerning parental consent procedures. Results suggest that the parental consent process varies depending on the parental arrangement such as married, divorced, never married, or separated. While many psychologists typically obtain consent from one parent regardless of parental arrangement, many reasons were provided as to why the psychologist decided to obtain consent from one or both parents in each parental arrangement. The primary reason provided was that consent is needed only from one parent, based on Oregon law. Unfortunately, this is a misinterpretation of Oregon laws. Recommendations were made that include the initiation of a comprehensive review by the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners and the legislature in order to fill gaps in Oregon, provide further education of the law, and advocacy to support the development of future legislation that reflects the practices of Oregon psychologists.


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