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Prescriptive authority for psychologists: A review of selected arguments

Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Clinical Psychology (MSCP)

Committee Chair

Catherine Moonshine, Ph.D., MSCP, MAC, CADC III


The psychological literature of the last decade was reviewed to critically analyze frequently used arguments by proponents and opponents to prescriptive authority, including: safety, educational requirements, whether prescribing psychologists have yet demonstrated safe and effective prescribing, consumer impact in underserved populations, and the suitability of psychologists to add the role of prescriber to their clinical repertoire. Research beyond the aforementioned scope was included to cite original works, or when such publications were deemed integral to the argument based upon literature meeting inclusion criteria. Medical research databases were not specifically searched, which is acknowledged as a limitation of the present review. It was concluded that appropriately trained psychologists should be granted prescriptive authority; however, the areas of need purportedly addressed by prescriptive authority should also be addressed on a systems level.


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