Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Celeste Jones, PsyD

Second Advisor

Mary Peterson PhD

Third Advisor

Kathleen Gathercoal, PhD


Doctoral psychology students represent multiple interchanging cultural identities that influence their behaviors, attitudes, and interactions with others. While training the next generation of psychologists, psychology doctoral programs have the challenging but vital responsibility to incorporate diversity training into their curriculums. Diversity training along with graduate students’ diversity awareness and experience work together to widen cultural mindsets (Chao, Kung, & Yao, 2015). The objective of this study was to explore variables associated with doctoral psychology students’ diversity awareness and multicultural experiences. Furthermore, the study explored graduate students’ insight into their own implicit biases, knowledge of issues of power and privilege, and cultural humility. This study is a mixed methods evaluation which collected quantitative data on doctoral psychology student hypothesizing that years of training, being a member of a diverse population, and gender will influence diversity awareness. Furthermore, the study predicted that multicultural experiences would be influenced by years of training, being a member of diverse population and gender. Participants included doctoral psychology students from a program housed within a private liberal arts university in the Pacific Northwest. Two quantitative questionnaires were used to assess diversity awareness and cultural experiences of doctoral psychology students and two focus group interviews were conducted to further explore formative experiences in diversity training. Quantitative findings suggested that there was a significant difference between years of training on diversity awareness Furthermore there was a significant interaction between year of training and gender on diversity awareness. However, being a member of diverse population did not have a significant impact on diversity awareness. In contrast, results failed to support the hypotheses that years of training, member of a diverse population or gender influenced multicultural experiences. Themes from the focus group interviews were distilled and collapsed into three categories (a) experiences that increased awareness of implicit biases, power and privilege, (b) influences of those experiences on therapeutic relationships, and (c) definition of cultural humility and perspectives on effective ways to continue developing cultural humility. In sum, these findings outline student perspectives on effective diversity training methods in a doctoral psychology training program.