Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Abbey Eisenhower

Second Advisor

Devin Atallah-Gutierrez

Third Advisor

Mari Carmen Bennasar


Bilingual psychologists serve the needs of the increasingly diverse US population, yet research suggests the training they receive to deliver bilingual or non-English clinical services is lacking, and many report feeling unprepared to deliver these services (Castaño et al., 2007; Verdinelli & Biever, 2009a). The aims of this study were to a) describe the training received by bilingual psychology trainees for providing bilingual/non-English services, b) examine their self-reported preparedness for delivering these services, and c) examine their experiences of burnout. Participants were bilingual (n = 65) and monolingual (n = 59) doctoral students and recent graduates from doctoral psychology programs across the US. a) Descriptive analyses showed that 49% of bilingual trainees had received only one type of bilingual training and 45% had received two or more types. The types of training received varied and the most common type of training was supervision in the non-English language (60%) while the least common type was relevant coursework (6%). b) Paired samples t-tests showed that bilingual trainees were significantly less prepared to conduct intake interviews, provide therapy, conduct assessments, and produce clinical writing in their non-English language versus in English (p < .001, d > 1.3). Further, hierarchical regressions showed that native speakers felt significantly more prepared than heritage speakers for providing non-English therapy (p = .04, d = 0.6). c) Hierarchical linear regressions showed that burnout did not differ significantly between monolingual and bilingual trainees, or between native speakers and heritage speakers. However, bivariate correlations showed that receiving more types of bilingual training was associated with higher personal accomplishment (i.e., less burnout) among bilingual trainees (r = .27, p = .04). These results highlight the need for more specialized training for this group of trainees and point to broader issues of linguistic and cultural diversity within the field, such as institutionalized English-centric biases, that likely contribute to this lack of training. Relatedly, bilingual psychology trainees feel significantly less prepared to deliver services in their non-English language versus in English. Third, results suggest that receiving specific and relevant bilingual training is associated with higher levels of personal accomplishment for bilingual psychology trainees. Given these results, larger efforts should be directed towards providing adequate training for bilingual psychologists to serve alternate language advantage (ALA) clients.


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