Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Robert J. Reese


Racial and ethnic minority populations suffer disproportionally from mental health disparities in the United States (Dillon et al., 2015; Holden et al., 2014). Research has indicated that a lack of culturally competent care contributes to these disparities (Holden & Xanthos, 2009). As multicultural competencies (American Psychological Association [APA], 2002; Council of National Psychological Associations for the Advancement of Ethnic Minority Interests, 2003) have been widely endorsed and implemented in professional organizations and training programs, research on their need and usefulness has increased over the last three decades (Worthington et al., 2007). However, the majority of research on multicultural competencies has relied on analogue studies, college students, and trainees as participants (Ridley & Shaw-Ridley, 2011; Worthington et al., 2007).

The current study contributed to the multicultural competency literature by including perspectives from real clients with diverse backgrounds in community settings, along with assessing therapist multicultural competency (MCC). The study examined the relationship between therapist (n = 28) multicultural competency (MCC) and psychotherapy outcomes of clients (n = 2024) from diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds in a community mental health agency. Therapist MCC did not have a statistically significant positive relationship with treatment outcome. Therapist MCC also did not have a statistically significant positive relationship with reliable or clinically significant change in treatment outcome. Results do not indicate any mediating effect of therapist MCC between race and treatment outcomes. Gender predicted overall treatment outcomes, clinically significant change and reliable change in treatment. Findings suggest cultural variables may have played a role in treatment outcomes given the differences in treatment outcomes for female clients, despite the lack of association found between therapist MCC and treatment outcomes. Implications for clinical practice and research are discussed.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)