Date of Award

2021

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Patton Garriott

Second Advisor

Jesse Owen

Third Advisor

Kathy Green

Fourth Advisor

Jayson Richardson

Keywords

Classism, Clinical decision making, Income inequality, Psychotherapy, Social class, Trainees

Abstract

The current study examined the effects of classist beliefs on trainee attitudes toward their client based on perceived social-class status. This study sought to determine whether classist attitudes contribute to meaningful differences in clinical decision making. A sample of mental health trainees (n = 147) attending graduate-level programs in the U.S. were recruited and randomly assigned to one of two clinical vignette conditions. Both vignette conditions included identical data regarding a hypothetical client’s presenting concerns (e.g., sleep disturbance, worry, rumination, loneliness), but differed on indicators of client socioeconomic status (SES). Results showed statistically significant between-group differences on ratings of clinical judgement based on random assignment to vignette condition. Participants who were randomized to the low SES vignette rated their client more severely on scales of psychological, social, occupational well-being, life functioning, and rated themselves as feeling less competent to successfully treat the client. Conversely, participants who were randomized to the high SES vignette provided superior ratings on the outcome variables and expressed a greater sense of competence to treat the client. Implications, limitations, and future directions for research are discussed.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Provenance

Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Jeremy J. Coleman

File size

107 pgs

File format

application/pdf

Language

en

Discipline

Psychology

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