The major aim of this study was to investigate the multicultural counseling competencies, and multicultural training and assessment perceptions of pre-doctoral psychology interns and training directors at university counseling centers, taking into account a multicultural social desirability variable.
Thirty-one out of one hundred thirty-nine clinical directors of training agreed to distribute survey packets in the final quarter of the internship year. A final sample of 22 training directors and 49 pre-doctoral psychology interns agreed to participate in the study. From the group of training directors, 7 specialized in clinical psychology and 14 specialized in counseling psychology, (1 training director did not report degree specialization), with 27 of the pre-doctoral psychology interns training in clinical psychology programs and 22 training in counseling psychology programs. A cross-sectional research design was used for this study, analyzing data collected from the Multicultural Counseling Inventory (MCI; Sodowsky, Taffe, Gutkin, & Wise, 1994), the Multicultural Social Desirability Scale (MSDS; Sodowsky, O'Dell, Hagemoser, Kwan, & Tonemah, 1993, as cited in Sodowsky, Kuo-Jackson, Richardson, & Corey, 1998), and the Multicultural Training Survey (MTS; adapted from two surveys: Lee et al., 1999 and Magyar-Moe et al., 2005).
Multivariate analysis of covariance showed no significant differences between pre-doctoral interns and training directors in perceived multicultural counseling competencies. Multicultural social desirability was significantly related to perceived multicultural counseling competencies. Semi-partial canonical and bivariate correlation analyses supported further exploration of the relationships between multicultural counseling competencies and ethnicity, gender, and degree specialization. Analysis of covariance and chi-square analyses showed no significant differences between pre-doctoral interns and training directors in the overall perceptions of multicultural training and assessment provided while on pre-doctoral internship.
Through an examination of frequencies and percentages, both pre-doctoral psychology interns and training directors noted that providing counseling to diverse clients and cross-cultural relationships are the experiences most positively contributing to the development of their multicultural counseling competencies. Both pre-doctoral psychology interns and training directors noted cross-cultural communication as a content area in greatest need to develop pre-doctoral psychology interns' multicultural counseling competencies. Limitations of the study and recommendations for future research and training were discussed.