This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

How Multiracial Individuals Are Addressed in Diversity Courses in Counselor Master’s Degree Programs: A Mixed Methods Content Analysis




Murphy, Patrick

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Special Education, Rehabilitation, Counseling


People who identify as Multiracial are a growing population in the United States and they now account for up to 10% of all new births (Pew Research Center, 2015; Root, 1996). While inclusion of Multiracial Individuals has expanded over the years, there is also a tendency for Multiracial Individuals to be under-represented, misidentified, or ignored as a population (Aguirre & Turner, 2011; Davis, 1991). The American Counseling Association (ACA) and Council for Accreditation of Counseling Related-Education Programs (CACREP) have updated their ethics codes and competencies standards to further highlight the need for and expectation of multicultural competencies (ACA, 2014; CACREP, 2016). However, this comes from a monoracial prospective and competencies around Multiracial groups were not specifically identified until 2015 by the Multi-Racial/Ethnic Counseling Concerns. Additionally, despite the growing movement to develop multicultural competencies in counselors, there is not agreement regarding specific guidelines on how to do so (Carter, 1995; Carter, 2001; Carter, 2003; Helms & Cook, 1999; Sue, 2001). This is especially true with reference to those persons who identify as Multiracial. To understand how this group is being addressed, this study is a mixed method content analysis to explore the content of syllabi, textbooks, and supplemental readings from Social and Cultural Diversity courses of counseling Master’s degree programs. An exhaustive search of ninety-nine syllabi resulted in a total of thirty-three syllabi and eleven textbooks that mentioned Multiracial Individuals. Examination of these resulted in three emergent themes based on the multicultural counseling competences: (1) Knowledge, (2) Skills, and (3) Self-awareness.