The perceptions of clinical psychology : a focus on the different ethnic groups
Introduction: The under-representationo f minority ethnic staff groups within the clinical psychology profession has been a serious area of concern for some time. Central to these concerns has been the questionable ability of the profession to adequately address, provide for and meet the needs of an increasingly diverse multi-racial and multi-ethnic society, for whom the utilisation of clinical psychology services are extremely poor. Literature review: The literature review indicated that minority ethnic groups were generally marginalized and excluded from clinical psychology services on a number of different levels, due to a combination of referral conventions, professional misunderstandings of psychological distress, the limitations of conceptual frameworks and cultural factors. Research report: Given the profession's lack of success in attracting and recruiting staff from minority ethnic groups, this thesis was undertaken to: (a) explore the perceptions of clinical psychology held by different ethnic groups, using psychology undergraduates as the target population and (b) investigated their intention or otherwise to pursue a future career in clinical psychology, using the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) as a model. The results showed the TPB to be predictive of intention in all cases. However, for the minority ethnic groups, there were significantly more perceptions of disadvantage in pursing clinical psychology, as there were the factors that would deter them from entering the profession. Methodological limitations of the study, practical implications and directions for future research are discussed. Critical appraisal: An appraisal of the research process is presented, concluding with salient learning points for the future.