Supervisors' influence over clinicians' prejudicial biases: Implications and points of intervention
This research explores prejudicial biases in the clinical work of licensed, doctoral-level supervisors and their pre-doctoral intern supervisees and the training experiences they have had in diversity and supervision preparation. Participants provided a preliminary diagnosis for a client vignette and made predictions about rapport, response to treatment, and prognosis if they were to work with the client. Six conditions existed, varying in gender, race, sexual orientation, and body weight. For those data where supervisors' and interns' responses could be matched, correlations were found in the diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder across conditions; further, assignment of GAF was significantly similar. Interns and supervisors reported the least comfort in dealing with spirituality and sexuality issues in treatment. The tendency to pathologize women more than men is discussed in the context of clinicians' perception of higher competency addressing gender issues. Formal training in supervision and attention to specific aspects of diversity using an integrative developmental model are recommended, as is a four tiered approach to reducing clinical bias: triage, reinforcement of successes, specific training, and attention to evolving needs. Methodological issues are discussed and recommendations for future inquiry are offered.