An Exploration of Multicultural Training in a Sport and Exercise Psychology Graduate Program

Sae-Mi Lee, West Virginia University, USA
Michael Berrebi, West Virginia University, USA

Theme: Social and cultural diversity

Poster Number: 141

Program ID: POS-2

Presentation: October 4, 2013 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Room: Napoleon


Student-athlete populations are among the most diverse on college campuses, with 29.6% of male and 22.8% of all female student-athletes identified as non-Caucasian (NCAA, 2010). Based on these statistics alone, it is clear sport psychology practitioners need multicultural training. Sport psychology professionals have called for multiculturally competent practitioners and have offered suggestions on how professionals might achieve this goal (e.g., Schinke & Hanrahan, 2009; Schinke & Ryba, 2009). Nevertheless, Wells (2000) suggested that, despite a culturally competent individual, one cannot fully achieve cultural proficiency without the support of a culturally competent organization. Thus, for students to become culturally proficient practitioners, it seems imperative that graduate programs are also improving their cultural competence. To address the need for multicultural training in sport psychology graduate programs, Martens, Mobley, and Zizzi (2000) proposed various practical training designs. Despite these suggestions, it is uncertain how programs actually integrate multicultural education due to limited research. Therefore, the purpose of this poster is to illustrate how multicultural training might be incorporated in a sport and exercise psychology graduate program. Moreover, the authors will offer suggestions of how to bridge the gap between literature and practice. The graduate program explored was most equivocal to the interdisciplinary model proposed by Martens et al., offering a multicultural course through the counseling department. However, Martens et al. proposed a need for multicultural courses addressing the unique considerations of athletic populations. Some suggestions for improving the cultural competence of graduate programs include: a) understanding that cultural competence is on a continuum and using it to assess and advance towards the final stages of cultural proficiency (see Hanrahan, 2010); b) designing a multicultural education course as part of the sport and exercise psychology curriculum; and c) including monthly workshops for students to practice consulting with multicultural clients.

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