Investigation of Social Cognitive Career Theory for Minority Recruitment in School Psychology

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Abstract

School psychology trainers have historically struggled to adequately increase the number of professionals from diverse backgrounds. An increase in diverse providers is important in meeting the needs of a burgeoning racial/ethnic minority student population. Previous research suggests that minority undergraduate psychology students have less knowledge and exposure to school psychology than for counseling and clinical psychology, and that students with greater exposure or knowledge of school psychology reported significantly greater choice intentions for school psychology. The purpose of this study is to test the applicability of the Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT; Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1994) in explaining minority undergraduate psychology students’ choice intentions for school psychology. This study is an analysis of existing data and is based on a national sample of 283 minority undergraduate psychology students. All instruments used in this study were found to have internal consistency ranging from .83 to .91. Students’ learning experiences, self-efficacy, outcome expectations, and choice intentions for school psychology were evaluated by way of a mediator analysis. Results from a path analysis suggest that outcome expectations mediated the relationship between exposure and choice intentions for school psychology. Implications for minority recruitment practices are discussed.

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