Date of Award

Spring 5-14-2008

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Kathleen Gathercoal, PhD

Second Advisor

Patrick Stone, PhD

Third Advisor

Clark Campbell, PhD


There has been limited investigation into the reasons why, despite positive attitudes toward the concept of activism, psychologists do not frequently participate in advocacy of professional issues. The purpose of this study is to explore the differences between faculty and graduate student participation in legislative advocacy and to identify the barriers to participation in advocacy in general for both faculty and graduate students. Graduate students and faculty members from psychology graduate programs affiliated with the National Council of Schools of Professional Psychology (NCSPP) were asked to participate in an email survey. Faculty members were found to participate more frequently than graduate students in nearly all advocacy activities. Certain barriers (no awareness of advocacy issues, no interest in advocacy, and no awareness of advocacy opportunities) were most significant in preventing both faculty and students from participating in advocacy. Additional barriers were significant for only students or faculty. Implications for graduate training and future research are discussed.