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Dissertation

Training Culturally Competent Psychologists: The Effects Of A Doctoral Level Diversity Laboratory Course

16 April 2018

Abstract

The American Psychological Association (APA) requires clinical psychology graduate programs to take steps to prepare students to work with culturally diverse populations; however, there are no guidelines based on strong empirical research regarding the most effective way of teaching Multicultural Counseling Competence (MCC). This study sought to evaluate the impact of a Human Diversity laboratory at Pacific University School of Graduate Psychology, students are trained under a unique multicultural training model. The participants in this study were the students enrolled in either the Human Diversity course or the Human Diversity laboratory. This study utilizes an experimental pre-test post-test cohort design. MCC of graduate students was measured using Implicit Association Test-Race (Race-IAT) scores, Color-Blind Racial Attitudes Scale (CoBRAS) total scores, White Privilege Attitudes Scale (WPAS) total scores, and WPAS subscale scores. After completion of the Human Diversity course, students on average showed a decrease in implicit racial bias (d = .84). Students went from having a slight preference for White over Black faces to no preference. However, White students on average endorsed less White privilege awareness after completion of the Human Diversity course than at pre-test (d = 1.11). There were no significant findings at post-test for the Human Diversity laboratory. Taking a single didactic course on diversity may be more impactful on students’ awareness than previously believed. There also appears to be a consistent longitudinal change effect for implicit racial bias. Future research should continue to examine MCC through a developmental lens and


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