The Relationship of Affective Training Climate of Doctoral Counseling and Clinical Psychology Training Programs to Student Psychotherapist Affect and Professional Development
Type of DegreeDissertation
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There is a substantial literature demonstrating that organizational climate is significantly related to various employee outcomes, including employee affect and job satisfaction. The professional literature is lacking, however, in addressing the impact that training climate of doctoral counseling and clinical psychology programs has on student psychotherapist affect and professional development (which is conceptually similar to the job satisfaction construct). The present study examined the predictive power of the affective training climate of doctoral clinical and counseling psychology programs with respect to student psychotherapist affect and professional development. The sample consisted of 301 doctoral counseling and clinical psychology student psychotherapists from APA-accredited training programs. Participants were required to have completed at least one academic year within their current training program as well as at least one semester of clinical training/experience. Participants completed the “Affective Training Climate Scale,” “The Positive Affect Negative Affect Schedule,” and the “Psychotherapists’ Professional Development Scales.” Regression analyses indicated that the Warmth/Affiliation facet of affective training climate explained a significant amount of the variance in student psychotherapist positive affect and that the Cooperation/Openness facet accounted for a significant proportion of the variance in student psychotherapist negative affect. Regression analyses also indicated that the Cooperation/Openness facet of affective training climate explained a significant amount of the variance in student psychotherapist professional development (i.e., Overall Career Development, Currently Experienced Growth, and Currently Experienced Depletion). These findings are consistent with the numerous empirical findings that document the importance of organizational climate in determining various employee outcomes (including affect and job satisfaction). It is hoped that these findings will illuminate the importance of the assessment of affective training climate of doctoral counseling and clinical psychology programs with respect to enhancing the affective well-being and professional development of doctoral student psychotherapists.