Psychological assessment represents a core competency domain that continues to be uniquely associated with professional psychology. Despite the necessity and value of psychological assessment across domains of practice, there is growing concern regarding the training provided to developing clinicians, specifically psychology graduate students. Past studies have drawn attention to the discrepancy between predoctoral internship directors’ expectations related to assessment and the competency levels of incoming psychology interns. The purpose of this study was to conduct a national, online survey of psychology internship directors to examine their perspectives regarding current practices, emerging trends, and needed changes regarding psychological assessment at the internship level. The participants were 182 directors of pre-doctoral internships within the United States, which represented a 26% response rate. Participants were identified using the 2014-2015 APPIC directory of approved internship programs. Of the 182 responders, 66% were female and 34% were male, with a mean age of 46.88 years. Most of the responders self-identified as Caucasian (88%). Participants completed a questionnaire that included 32 items organized into five sections: (a) questionnaire instructions; (b) respondent demographics and background variables; (c) internship site/program characteristics; (d) current uses of psychological assessment measures within the internship program; and (e) respondent opinions regarding key considerations and future directions regarding psychological assessment practices. The present study focused mainly on section 5 of the questionnaire while two co-investigators addressed other sections. Results indicated trends toward increased technology use, stable or increased funding for psychological assessment, stable or increased emphasis on psychological assessment, an increasing influence of evidence based practices on psychological assessment, increased patient diversity and growing need for multicultural competence in assessment, increased need for training in therapeutic assessment, and increased need for experience in the psychological assessment of patients of varying developmental stages. A theme that emerged in the open-ended comments was a recommendation that academic programs strengthen their commitment to provide comprehensive, high-quality education and training in psychological assessment. The present study offers current findings that may be used to inform and strengthen education and training practices in psychological assessment.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Dissertations (PsyD) -- Psychology; Psychodiagnostics; Interns (Clinical psychology) -- Case studies; Psychology students -- Study and teaching
Date of Award
Graduate School of Education and Psychology
Faith, Angel, "Internship directors' perspectives on emerging trends in psychological assessment training and practice" (2016). Theses and Dissertations. 705.