This study examined the perspectives of a national sample of pre-doctoral internship directors regarding psychological testing and assessment practices at the internship level. Study participants were from member programs of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC). The study's goals were to better understand the current state of affairs regarding the role of assessment in internship programs and to develop findings that may be useful to academic training programs and graduate students in psychology. A 32-item questionnaire was developed which inquired about general internship program information, types of assessment instruments used at each internship setting, the form and amount of assessment-related training offered at each site, emphasis placed on assessment in pre-doctoral internship programs, and types of assessment experience desired of interns before beginning internship. Information about directors’ current levels of satisfaction with beginning interns' assessment-related clinical experience and theoretical knowledge, and their perspectives on incoming interns' level of competency in conducting psychological assessment was also sought. Several open-ended items were included in the questionnaire to permit opportunities for offering recommendations or additional comments. The sample consisted of 182 internship directors (26% response rate) who responded to an online survey. Findings confirmed the continued importance of psychological assessment in most internship programs. Overall, participants reported being moderately satisfied with beginning interns' assessment-related theoretical knowledge and clinical experience. However, nearly 1 in 5 participants reported low satisfaction with interns' preparation to conduct assessment with diverse populations. Themes from open-ended responses included the need for academic programs to strengthen pre-internship training in assessment, while areas needing improvement included integration of test results and report writing; competence in testing and assessment with diverse populations; and continued or increased emphasis on pre-internship experience in personality assessment, including projective measures. Additional findings, study limitations, and recommendations for future research are also discussed and considered.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (PsyD) -- Psychology; Interns (Clinical psychology) -- Case studies; Internship Programs -- Evaluation; Psychology students -- Study and teaching

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Keatinge, Carolyn; Mitchell, Cary;