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Clinical Trial

Exploring the Influence of Clinician Biases on the Diagnoses of African Americans Patients

The objective of this research aims to explore the effect of a hypothetical patient?s race on the diagnoses of mental disorders commonly associated with African American patients, specifically in the context of psychological assessment. Oppositional Defiant Disorder, (ODD), is the primary disorder that this study will be centered around. Patient vignettes, or realistic patient profiles, will be used to assess psychotherapist?s perceptions of patients? mental health diagnoses. Patient race and gender will be changed in the vignette to determine the influence, or lack thereof, of cultural responsiveness and psychotherapist characteristics and see if they result in differences in the type of diagnosis given. Participants of this study will be presented with a vignette that describes the patient's behavioral history, current symptoms, and the results of one or more behavioral assessment measures. After providing this information, participants will then be asked to describe what they believe to be an appropriate mental health diagnosis and explain why. We predict that if the diagnosis of Oppositional Defiance Disorder is determined more often when the patient in the vignette is identified as being Black or African American than if the patient is identified as being White in the vignettes, even when the information provided within the vignette is the same, then there is evidence of lack of cultural responsiveness. Furthermore, we predict that more disparities will also be present if the patient is identified as being of Black rather than of African American race.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Inclusion: Participants must have received training in diagnosis and assessment and be a licensed clinical, counseling, or school psychologist or doctoral/postdoctoral students who have completed diagnosis and assessment training. Exclusion Everyone not meeting the inclusion criteria

Contact Information

    Michelle Johnson, PhD

    (706) 737-1694