This project creates an opportunity to explore the intersection between psychometric instrumentation and cross-cultural factors, as the researchers intend on the development of a new projective psychological instrument. Assessment instruments have been statistically proven to can be beneficial for members of all populations. As the number of minority clients increases and the mental health community continues to recognize the importance of minority mental health, the need for culturally sensitive instruments will increase. Diverse clientele in need of psychological assessment may be at a disadvantage because, traditional tests may not be culturally-sensitive to a client of non-traditional heritages. The diagnostic conceptualizations that are made by practitioners who do not have access to more adaptive instrumentations may be inaccurate as they are based on non-relative or inapplicable norms.
The researcher seeks to create a psychological projective test, similar to that of the Thematic Apperception Test, Robert's Apperception Test, or even the Rorschach Inkblot test, yet one that fills gaps that these tests do not by being demonstrated to be more applicable to today's modern society, as well as able to allow persons from varying heritages to identify constructs that will not lead to diagnostic conceptualizations that will over-pathologize them. This test intends to be one that allows mental health practitioners to cease trying to put square pegs into circular holes, and to instead honor the differences within people from divergent cultures and not to unnecessarily label their behaviors, belief systems, or thought processes as meeting diagnostic criteria for a mental disorder because they project outside of Western society's anticipated norms. The dominant projective test inventories for adults, such as the TAT, SAT, and CAT will be reviewed to determine the areas for improvement of projection tests, including their structure, administration and scoring procedures as well as the characteristics and concerns using these tests with ethnically diverse populations.
The researchers want the opportunity to explore many of the challenges that are specifically related to the assessment of multicultural populations. More specifically, students will research multicultural considerations in projective psychometrics, including the sociocultural and sociopolitical pulls that may influence a respondent's responses. Researchers will also delve into the literature to determine the necessity of this type of instrument and adaptations and instrument characteristics needed to create a test that meets the needs of ethnically diverse populations.
This project holds the following assumptions to be true: (1) every person within a system is affected by culture; (2) the development of racially and culturally responsive practitioners is integral to a clinician’s professional development (3) professional excellence in counseling and psychotherapy can be achieved by the practitioners ability to perceive themselves and their clients holistically and psychodiagnostic assessment and psychotherapy from a similarly holistic perspective.
In the initial stages, the researchers will (1) conduct literature review about psychological projective tests with adult populations, (2) locate gaps in the intersections between cultural-competencies and sensitivity as it relates to the formation of previous psychological tests, (3) begin to write rationale for intended test instrumentation as based on determined areas of improvement for projective tests, including their structure, administration and scoring procedures, (4)A literature review paper and table. Following research, we will be able to utilize gathered data to create a culturally sensitive projective test, develop quantitative research projects to test the reliability and validity of the new instrument, and publish the test for use by mental health practitioners in both journals and in instrument format.
This project's primary purpose is to help the field of psychology increase its level of cultural-competency. Minorities are increasing their acceptance and adherence to mental health when they are experiencing internal and interpersonal distress, and it is vital that as these populations begin to seek treatment, that the community of mental health is able to do what it is in their best interests. The community is affected by psychologists and therapists who are not equipped with appropriate materials or information, to create diagnostic formulations that are adequate or applicable. Several persons are in the community with misdiagnoses because of uninformed mental health workers. For instance, there are some religions that require people to believe in seeing spirits or seeing visions, and without the proper information these people may be diagnoses with Schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder. This must be stopped, and the award would be an asset for the researchers as we seek to do thorough research studies in order to gather the most salient and applicable information under the most critical circumstances, because research is costly in this day and age. This project will also contribute to the scholarly enrichment of the students’ academic experience by providing an opportunity to prepare student participants for their post-doctoral career specialization in testing and assessment in ethnically diverse communities.