Empirical Influence of the Multicultural Guidelines: A Brief Report

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Abstract

Objective: In 2002, the American Psychological Association (APA) Council of Representatives approved the “Guidelines for Multicultural Education, Training, Research, Practice and Organizational Change for Psychologists.” The Guidelines have been downloaded 64,153 times from the APA website from 2007 to 2013, and have been cited nearly 900 times. This suggests that the Guidelines have influenced education, training, research, and practice in psychology. However, it is unclear how the Guidelines have influenced these domains. We conducted a comprehensive literature review to examine how the Guidelines have influenced the field. Articles were coded for several criteria, including whether the Guidelines were cited, the type of research that was conducted, study findings, limitations, and future directions of research. Method: The data for this study consisted of 895 empirical articles published since the 2003 publication of the Guidelines. A literature review using the keywords APA and multicultural guidelines were searched in PsycINFO and ERIC databases. Articles were then coded by the research team. Results: Findings from the literature review suggested that although there were a total of 895 articles and books that cited the Guidelines, only 34 met our coding criteria. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that most of the articles that cited the Guidelines used the citation as a way to document that culture is important to consider. In some cases, other professions cited the Guidelines to argue that their discipline should also attend to culture. However, very few articles focused on framing an investigation around a specific guideline.

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