Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology


Counseling Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (viii, 85 pages) : illustrations

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Alex L Pieterse

Committee Members

Tania Israel


Counselor Training, Multicultural Competence, Multicultural Counseling, Privilege, Counselors, Cross-cultural counseling, Multiculturalism, Whites, Blacks

Subject Categories

Counseling Psychology


Despite the elapsed 33 years since the delineation of the Multicultural Counseling Competencies (Sue et al., 1982), little is known about factors that may facilitate the development of multicultural competence in counselors and counselor trainees. As a first step toward greater empirical understanding of multicultural competence and training, the present study sought to examine 3 predictors of counselor trainees’ self-reported multicultural competencies. It was hypothesized that trainees’ Social Dominance Orientation, as measured by the Social Dominance Orientation Scale (SDO6, Sidanius & Pratto, 1999); Awareness of White Privilege, as measured by the White Privilege Awareness subscale of the Privilege and Oppression Inventory (POI; Hays, Chang, & Decker, 2007); and the Multicultural Training Environment of trainees’ graduate programs, as measured by the Multicultural Environmental Inventory—Revised (MEI-R; Pope-Davis, Liu, Nevitt, & Toporek, 2000), would significantly contribute to their self-reported multicultural competencies, both together and individually. Counselor trainees (N = 362) from doctoral and Master’s-level training programs in the U.S. and Canada completed the online survey. Awareness of White Privilege and Multicultural Training Environment were supported as predictors of trainees’ self-reported multicultural competencies, and social dominance orientation was partially supported, suggesting that each predictor bears an important relationship with self-reported multicultural competencies; that is, lower social dominance orientation, higher awareness of white privilege, and greater perceived attention to multicultural issues in the graduate training environment were related to higher self-reported multicultural competencies amongst counselor trainees. More importantly, however, significant measurement issues in the field of multicultural competence were encountered; thus, while these three predictors of self-reported multicultural competencies are important to theory building, it is posited that research on the multicultural competencies cannot move forward until these substantial measurement issues are addressed.