Dissertation Defense Announcement
The College of Education announces the Final Dissertation Defense of
for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
June 1, 2018 at 11:00 AM in Ball Hall, Room 103
Advisor: Elin Ovrebo
Cultural Competence and Self-Awareness in Doctoral Psychology Students: Does International Experience Matter?
ABSTRACT: The importance of cultural competence for psychologists and psychology students are discussed at length in theoretical psychology literature. Some authors have suggested that international experiences such as study and work abroad may promote cultural competence. However, few empirical studies explore whether such experiences actually promote intercultural and multicultural competence. The current study investigated whether international experience, defined as time spent outside the United States for the purposes of education, professional training or work, is associated with increased intercultural competence (IC), multicultural competence (MC), and self-awareness among doctoral students in psychology. Two hundred seventy-seven psychology doctorate students from APA accredited clinical and counseling graduate programs completed self-report surveys that measured their perceived cultural competence and self-awareness. Results of analysis of variance group comparisons suggested that there are several significant relationships between time spent abroad and IC, MC, and public self-awareness. International experiences of more than 180 days were related to higher levels of IC and lower levels of public self-awareness, but differences in multicultural competence as predicted by time spent abroad were only found between groups of less than 30 days and 30 – 90 days abroad. Correlation studies also revealed several significant, but weak relationships between cultural competence, self-awareness, type of international experience and the number of graduate level multicultural courses taken by psychology doctorate students.