Self-reported multicultural competence and provider interest in multicultural training and supervision

Meghan Wilson-Duff (2006)

The purpose of this study was to evaluate a community mental health center's (CMHC) multicultural competence at the level of direct service providers as a means to assess a CMHC's ability to serve racial and ethnic minority clients within its catchment area, as well as to address the barrier of clinician bias, as identified in the Surgeon General's Report (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2001). This study used archival data from 141 direct service providers at a CMHC. Data collected included participant demographics, Multicultural Counseling Inventory scores (MCI), (Sodowsky, Taffe, Gutkin, & Wise, 1994), Multicultural Training and Supervision Survey scores (MTSS), (Duff, 2005b), and exploratory Cultural Identity Dimension scores (CID), (Duff, 2005a). The analyses found no significant relationships between service provider characteristics and self-reported multicultural competence. Comparing the research sample's self-reported multicultural competence to other studies from the literature suggested that the CMHC providers had significantly higher self-reported multicultural competence than trainees prior to taking a multicultural course, as well as providers who indicated they had less than 50% multicultural workload. However, the CMHC providers' self-reported multicultural competence was significantly lower than a national sample and other providers who indicated they had more than 50% multicultural work. Two hypotheses predicting a relationship between high and low scoring MCI groups and interest in multicultural training and perception of multicultural supervision were not supported by the data. A multiple regression model indicated that highest degree, MTSS-Supervision scores, and CID scores accounted for the significant variance in MTSS-Training scores. Last, the relationship between the exploratory CID scores and service provider characteristics was studied. A significant relationship between CID scores and participants' sex, age, and race was found. The last section includes an overview of current trends in the multicultural training literature and recommendations for the CMHC central to this study in order to improve service provider self-reported multicultural competence. The discussion includes suggestions related to implementing all staff training and supporting the integration of that training into individual service providers' work and into agency culture and theoretical orientation. Future research questions and studies are also addressed.