Date of Award

6-2005

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Patrick Munley

Second Advisor

Dr. Joseph R. Morris

Third Advisor

Dr. Ruth A. Ervin

Abstract

Multicultural counseling competencies refer to the awareness, knowledge, and skills that are considered important for counselors to possess when working with culturally diverse clients (Constantine, 2002; Constantine & Ladany, 2001). Relatively few studies have looked at factors that may impact a client'sperception of a counselor's multicultural competence. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationship between a person's race, ethnic identity, and his/her ratings of the importance of 31 multicultural counseling competencies. A total of 304 undergraduate students (152 African-American and 152 White) from a large Midwestern university were surveyed to determine if there was a relationship between their racial background, ethnic identity, and ratings of how important each of the 31 competencies would be to them if they were involved in a counseling relationship with a culturally different therapist.

Participant ratings of importance were studied for each of the three sets of multicultural competencies: attitudes/beliefs, knowledge, and skills. Findings indicated a significant multivariate effect associated with race and ratings of importance of the 9 attitudes/beliefs multicultural competencies. Follow-up ANOVAs indicated significant univariate differences for ratings of importance by African-American and White students for 2 of the 9 attitudes/beliefsmulticultural competencies. The multivariate effects associated with race, ethnic identity, and the interaction between race and ethnic identity and participant ratings of importance of the knowledge competencies were not significant. The multivariate effect associated with race and participant ratings ofimportance of the 11 skill multicultural competencies was significant. Follow-up ANOVAs comparing African-American and White participant ratings ofimportance of the individual skill competencies were not significant. The multivariate effect associated with ethnic identity and participant ratings ofimportance of the 11 skill multicultural competencies was also significant. Follow-up ANOVAs comparing participants with high versus low ethnic identityindicated significant univariate differences for 5 of the 11 skill competencies. A discussion of the results is presented along with implications of the findings and directions for future research.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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