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What matters to psychology trainees when making decisions about internship and postdoctoral training sites: Differences between racial/ethnic minority and White VA trainees.

Cheng ZH, Fujii D, Wong SN, Davis DM, Rosner CM, Chen JA, Bates J, Jackson J. What matters to psychology trainees when making decisions about internship and postdoctoral training sites: Differences between racial/ethnic minority and White VA trainees. Psychological Services. 2021 Nov 18.

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Abstract:

It is projected that by 2045, racial/ethnic minorities in the U.S. will become the majority. Unfortunately, the numbers of racial/ethnic minority psychologists have not kept up with population trends. This discrepancy poses challenges for many psychology training sites, including the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). There is a lack of data on what factors are important for psychology applicants, including racial/ethnic minority trainees when they are considering internship and postdoctoral training sites. This quality improvement project surveyed 237 VA psychology trainees (59% psychology interns, 32.5% psychology postdoctoral fellows, 69.6% White, 9.3% multiracial, 6.8% Asian American or Pacific Islander, 5.1% Black/African American, 4.2% Latinx American, 0.8% Native American, 0.8% Middle Eastern) to study what factors are important when considering training sites. Results indicated that overall, racial/ethnic minority and White trainees endorsed similar primary factors when considering training programs. Site related factors (e.g., perceived workload, training opportunities) and future work related factors (e.g., ease of licensure, obtaining a first job) were top considerations regardless of race/ethnicity. The groups diverged in secondary factors with racial/ethnic minorities desiring infusion of diversity in training more than White applicants and White applicants considering quality of life factors such as extracurricular opportunities and convenience of daily living more important than racial/ethnic minority applicants. Qualitative data indicated applicants perceived VA training sites to be more welcoming and offer more opportunities for learning about diversity than non-VA sites. Recommendations for recruiting psychology trainees in general, and then specifically for racial/ethnic minority applicants are discussed. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).





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