Are We Training Practitioners to Treat a Rapidly Growing Population of Older Adults? A Look at Perceived Competence among a Sample of US Graduate Students

By Valencia Montgomery, Carmen Carrion, Danielle Cool, Joseph Freundlich, Andrew Haugen and Cami McBride.

Published by The International Journal of Aging and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: January 29, 2016 $US5.00

This retrospective study uses qualitative and quantitative methods to explore the degree to which students feel prepared to provide competent treatment to older adults. By all accounts, our population is aging at a rapid rate. Since multicultural competence became a major issue of interest, little research has focused on psychological training in the area of aging. Therefore, we analyzed survey responses from 90 students in psychology graduate programs throughout the United States. Using qualitative data analysis, which includes identification and interpretation of themes and patterns observed in response to questions on awareness, knowledge, and skills applied to a vignette condition, we determined the frequency with which responses correlated to themes and patterns found in the American Psychological Association Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Older Adults (2003; 2013). Results of our qualitative data analysis revealed that although students reported being prepared to treat older adults, they do not demonstrate the multicultural competence needed to treat this population. Thus, training programs for emerging clinicians may not be adequately meeting training needs. Implications and recommendations for training will be discussed. Future research should focus on establishing effective methods of training emerging clinicians to treat the older adult population.

Keywords: Ageism, Multicultural Competency, Qualitative Research, Counselor Training,, Counselor Trainee Competence

The International Journal of Aging and Society, Volume 6, Issue 1, March 2016, pp.11-22. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: January 29, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 451.328KB)).

Valencia Montgomery

Student, Clinical Psychology, Roosevelt University, Chicago, Il, USA

Carmen Carrion

Doctoral Candidate, Department of Psychology, Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL, USA

Danielle Cool

Doctoral Candidate, Department of Psychology, Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL, USA

Joseph Freundlich

Student, Clinical Psychology, Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL, USA

Andrew Haugen

Student, Clinical Psychology, Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL, USA

Dr. Cami McBride

Associate Professor, College of Arts and Science, Clinical Psychology, Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL, USA