Factors associated with choosing a career in clinical psychology - Undergraduate minority ethnic perspectives

  • Meredith E
  • Baker M
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Abstract

Concerns have been expressed by clinical psychologists about the preponderance of white members of the profession. While studies of minority ethnic recruitment into health professions and entry into higher education have been conducted at undergraduate level, the extent to which their results can be mapped on to issues of minority ethnic choosing of postgraduate training in clinical psychology is unknown. The aim of this study is to investigate the attraction or oth- erwise of professional clinical psychology to potential minority ethnic applicants. Q methodology was used to identify patterns of incentives and disincentives within a series of statements about the profession and its academic subject matter. Thirty-seven UK minor- ity ethnic undergraduate psychology students completed Q-sort ratings. Along with narrative descriptions of seven factors derived from analysis of the data, we present three overall categories. Q-sort data are by design defined by positive and negative aspects, and our interpretations indicate a mixture of overall attraction in all three cat- egories. These patterns of thinking extend what was known from previous research, and explicate something of the complexity of par- ticipants’ views of clinical psychology. Within the constraints of the study’s limitations, we view them as a small contribution towards an empirically based understanding of factors influential in the recruit- ment of an ethnically more representative workforce. Copyright

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Authors

  • Emmeline Meredith

  • Martyn Baker

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