Do American Psychological Association (APA) or Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) Accreditations Make a Difference? A Look at GLB Competency Among Faculty and Graduate Students
Date of Conferral
Michael B. Johnson
A lack of knowledge and training on the topic of gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons (GLB) in mental health graduate programs can lead to a culture of ignorance and ineffective treatment for a subset of the population. Multicultural competency is defined as having self-awareness of one's own values and biases, knowledge, and skills to work with a given population; and it is important in order to ensure appropriate mental healthcare. The purpose of the current study was to identify if there is a difference in GLB competency among graduate students and faculty (dependent variables) from mental health programs that are accredited by organizations like the APA and CACREP versus those from nonaccredited programs (independent variables). The key theoretical foundation that grounded this study was Multicultural Counseling and Therapy Theory (MCT). The research questions explored herein center on whether GLB competency differs between graduate students and faculty from accredited programs versus those from nonaccredited programs. Results of this quantitative comparative research design study were derived via a multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) procedure in order to compare mean scores among the four groups. Results identified a significant difference between the groups in skills and knowledge; however, mean averages for graduate students from accredited programs (Skills M = 2.54, Knowledge M = 3.83) were below four, indicating little to no skills/knowledge. In order to optimize mental health treatment for the GLB community, graduate students in mental health programs must be exposed to GLB counseling training curriculum. The implications for social change focus on policy and accreditation standards set forth by APA and CACREP accrediting bodies.