This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Faculty Comfort Level in Responding to Students Exhibiting Problems of Professional Multicultural Competence




Crawford, Claudia

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Special Education, Rehabilitation, Counseling


The significance of diversity and multicultural issues is becoming more apparent with the increase in visibility of social and political events domestically and abroad. These cultural influences have a direct impact on psychology and counselor education training programs and the multicultural development of graduate students. As faculty foster students’ multicultural competence, they are responsible for responding when problems of professional multicultural competence arise (PPMCC). However, there has been little research directly investigating faculty’s roles when responding to PPMCC despite the prevalence of encountering such issues and despite the difficulty associated with providing constructive feedback related to issues of diversity (e.g., race), especially within the context of cross-racial interactions. This study broadly sought to investigate which individual characteristics influence faculty’s comfort level in responding to students identified with PPMCC. Results indicated that faculty’s age, experiences interacting with trainees identified as having problems in professional competence (TIPPC), graduate-level multicultural training, and multicultural personality traits significantly predicted faculty’s comfort level. Conversely, study results did not show support for a relationship between faculty-student racial pairings and comfort level. Implications for faculty training and development are discussed.