Shannon Bates


The psychological assessment literature has consistently reflected the importance of psychological assessment competency for professional psychologists across all training and practice settings. Past surveys of pre-doctoral internship directors have highlighted a troublesome misalignment between internship directors’ assessment-related expectations of students and the actual competencies demonstrated by many beginning pre-doctoral psychology interns. The purpose of the present study was to survey psychology internship directors within the United States to examine their perspectives regarding current practices, emerging trends, and desired modifications in psychological assessment training at the internship level. A 32-item, online questionnaire was developed for this study that consisted of five distinct sections: (a) administration instructions; (b) respondent demographics; (c) characteristics of the internship program, including assessment training methods, role/function of assessment, and director’s satisfaction with assessment-related preparation of incoming interns; (d) training expectations and current psychological assessment measures used within the internship program; and (e) future directions of psychological assessment practices. The present dissertation maintained a particular focus on the fourth section, while two co-investigators addressed the other sections. Participants included 182 directors of pre-doctoral internships nationwide (26% response rate), as identified in the 2014-2015 APPIC directory of approved internship programs. The majority of the 182 responders identified as Caucasian (88%), with a mean age of 46.88 years; 66% were female and 34% were male. The results revealed broad similarities with past studies, including the continued importance of psychological assessment as a core competency and varying usage patterns of specific psychological measures across different types of internship settings. Likewise, a handful of measures were found to be relatively stable regarding high use by interns compared to earlier studies, including several Wechsler scales, the MMPI-2, and the BDI-II. Reported BAI and PAI use increased compared to earlier surveys. Results also revealed a significant decline in internship directors’ reported use of projective instruments by interns, as well as a remarkable decrease in projective assessment emphasis overall. However, the Rorschach remained a highly valued assessment measure for pre-internship experience. These findings present significant implications for academic curriculum and practicum-level training in assessment. Other findings, recommendations, study limitations, and suggestions for future research are explored.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (PsyD) -- Psychology; Clinical psychology -- Study and teaching; Psychology students -- Study and teaching; Psychologists -- Training of

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Keatinge, Carolyn; Mitchell, Cary;