Development and validation of the Multicultural School-Based Consultation Competency Scale
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Review of the Literature
Definition, Background, and History of Consultation
Definition of Consultation
Brief History of Consultation
Definition of School - Based Consultation
Definition of Multicultural Consultation
Contemporary Frameworks for multicultur al Consultation
Research in Multicultural Consultation
Multicultural Consultation Competency Research
Multicultural Competency Training
Methodologies Used to Identify and Validate Multicultural Competencies
Review of Met hodologies Used in the Counseling Field
Review of Methodologies Used in the Consultation Field
Review of Methodologies Used to Validate Multicultural
Importance of Developing a Multicultural Consultation Competenc y
Social Trends and Legal Responsibilities
Ethical Obligations and Professional Responsibilities
Consultation as a Practical Service Delivery Model
Effectiveness of Consultation
Rational e for Study
Purpose and Hypotheses of the Investigation
Chapter 3: Methodology
Pilot Investigation: Development of the MSCCS
Phase I: Items were Identified and Rated
Phase II: Items were Edited and Pilot Te sted
Validation of the MSCCS
Chapter 4: Results
Descriptive Statistics on the MSCCS
Chapter 5: Discussion
Interpretations and Implications of Findings
Limitations of the Study
Appendix A: Multicultural School - Based Consult ation Competency Scale
Appendix B: Multicultural Social Desirability Index (MCSD Scale)
Appendix C: Background Questionnaire
Appendix D: Recruitment Letter
Appendix E: Cover Letter
List of Tables and Figures
Table 1: Description of Psychometric Properties of the MAKSS, MCAS:B,
MCI, and CCCI - R
Table 2: Summary of Demographic Characteristics of the S tudy Participants
Table 3: Means and Standard Deviation for the MSCCS
Table 4: Standardized Factor Loadings for a Three - Factor Solution
Table 5: Standardized Factor Loadings for a Single - Factor Solution
Table 6: Correlations Between the MSCCS Sum score and Levels of
Table 7: Correlations Between the MSCCS Sum Score and Levels of
Table 8: Means and Standard Deviations on the MSCCS score for
Table 9: Means and Standard Deviations on the MSCCS Score for
Table 10: Primary Role Group Pair - wise Comparisons on the MSCCS
Table 11: Means and Standard Deviations According to Dimensions
Table 12: Multicultural Consultation Items Compared to General
Table 13: Summa ry of Outcomes on Hypotheses Testing
Figure 1: Inter - factor Correlations: Knowledge, Skills, and Awareness
Chapter 1: Introduction
Multicultural consultation is defined as a culturally sensitive, indirect service process in which the consultant adjusts the consultation services to address the needs and cultural values of the consultee and/or the client (Tarver Behring & Ingraham, 1998).
The current study seeks to explore competencies that are essential f or delivering successful sc hool - based consultation services to multicultural populations. Specifically, multicultural consultation competencies are identified from the literature and then empirically substantiated in this investigation. A multicultural population can include individ uals from different ethnic, racial, gender, socioeconomic status, religion, sexual orientation, disability backgrounds. For the purpose of the current study, a multicultural population refers to individuals from racially, ethnically, and linguistically div erse backgrounds.
Gutkin and Curtis (2009) reported that consultation is one of the most preferred professional activities by school psychologists and is also perceived as the most desired role. The topic of school - based consultation has appeared in numero us publications, including books, book chapters, articles, and journal miniseries (e.g., Bergan & Kratochwill, 1990; Brown, Pryzwansky, & Schulte, 2001; Gutkin & Curtis, 1999, 2009; Kratochwill, Elliott, & Callan - Stoiber, 2002; Kratochwill, Elliott, & Carr ington Rott, 1990; Rosenfield, 1987, 2002; Sheridan, 1997; Sheridan, Kratochwill, & Bergan, 1996; Zins & Erchul, 1995). An increase in the number of publications devoted to consultation suggests a growing focus on school - based consultation among school psy chologists and other professionals.
R eviews of the consultation literature reveal that school - based consultation is an effective service delivery model (e.g., Kratochwill, Elliott, & Bussse, 1995; Mannino & Shore, 1975; Medway, 1979, 1982; Medway & Updyke , 1985; Sheridan, Welch, & Orme, 1996). Effective consultation requires consultants to possess specific competencies. For example, competent cons ultants need to demonstrate effective
communication skills to work with consultees (Ingraham, 2008; Lopez & Nas tasi, 2008) . Consultation also requires knowledge and skills in solving problems, problem identification , and in planning and implementing interventions.
When consultants and consultees address the needs of students from culturally and linguistically dive rse backgrounds, consultation also involves specific multicultural competencies (Hansen, Pepitone, & Greene, 2000; Harris, 1996; Ingraham, 2000; Lopez & Rogers, 2001; Rogers, 2000; Rogers & Lopez, 2002). For example, consultants must demonstrate competenci es in cross - cultural communication. Identifying problems also requires the use of problem identification tools and procedures that are sensitive to cultural differences. Intervention planning and implementation requires careful attention to students’ cultu ral and linguistic backgrounds in order to implement interventions that are culturally sensitive.
Research suggests that using multicultural approaches results in improved process es and outcomes in consultation ( Goldstein & Harris, 2000 ; Ingraham, 2003; T arver Behring, Cabello, Kushida, & Murguia, 2000 ). Failure to examine or address the cultural concerns of clients can result in consultation outcomes that are inadequate and unsuccessful (Ingraham, 2003) . In order to become effective “multicultural” consul tants, it is essential that school psychologists employ a multicultural approach that utilizes
appropriate multicultural competencies. Systematically identifying and validating competencies that are relevant to multicultural consultation will not only enco urage but also guide consultants to effectively apply multicultural approaches in their training and practice.
The purposes of this investigation are to develop and validate the Multicultural School - Based Consultation Competency Scale (MSCCS). The scale i s intended to measure the self - perceived multicultural consultation competencies of practicing school psychologists and school psychology internship students. The ultimate goal of the study is to establish the psychometric properties (e.g., reliability and validity) of the scale and to provide empirical support for the scale. The primary hypothesis of this study is that there will be three correlated factors that operationally define multicultural consultation competency (i.e., Knowledge, Skills, and Awaren ess). Additional hypotheses have been proposed to gather validity evidence for the MSCCS. While multicultural competency scales have been developed and validated in the counseling field, the current study is the first in the consultation field.
The multic ultural school - based consultation competencies were identified in the literature and used to develop the MSCCS. In the current investigation, preliminary psychometric information was gathered by asking 328 participants (school psychologists, professors, gr aduate students) to rate the importance of competency items on the MSCCS when delivering consultation services to racially, ethnically, culturally, and ling uistically diverse populations. In addition, the Multicultural Social Desirability Index (MCSD; Sodo wsky, 1998) and the Biographical Questionnaire were administered for the purpose of gathering validity evidence.
The results of this study provided some validity evidence for the MSCCS. For example, the sum score on the MSCCS did not correlate with the sum score on the MCSD, providing evidence for divergent validity. Also, the participants with more multicultural training, as measured by the number of courses and workshops attended, rated items higher on the MSCCS, providing evidence towards criterion valid ity. However, the confirmatory factor analysis did not support the hypothesis that there are three underlying factors (i.e., Knowledge, Skills, Awareness) that measure multicultural consultation competency; rather, the analysis supported a single - factor so lution. Cronbach’s alpha of .96 was reported for the MSCCS, which is a very high internal consistency reliability.
The current investigation is the first attempt to empirically identify and validate multicultural competencies in the consultation field. Developing and validating a scale such as the MSCCS is important because it will help enhance our understanding of successful approaches for working with diverse populations. Utilizing the MSCCS can also potentially help improve the quality of consultation services school psychologists provide in school settings to students of diverse backgrounds as the scale can be used to help school psychologists and graduate students to identify areas that require further training. Additional research is necessary to fu rther validate the MSCCS.
Chapter 2: Review of the Literature
This chapter presents a review of the literature on multicultural consultation, with a particular focus on school - based consultation. First, the definition, background, and history of cons ultation are presented . The second section provides a review of the literature that focuses on multicultural aspect s of consultation , including multicultural
frameworks for consultation practice and research, and investigations examining findings related t o multicultural consultation processes, outcomes, competencies and training. The third section of this chapter reviews the methodologies used to conceptualize multicultural competencies and validate multicu ltural competency scales in the
counseling and con sultation literature . The fourth section of the chapter discusses the importance of multicultural consultation, especially as it applies to working in school settings . The fifth and final section of the chapter provides rationales for the current study, an d is followed by the purposes and hypotheses of the investigation.
Definition, Background, and History of Consultation
Definition of Consultation
Consultation is a term that encompasses several theoretical models used in education and psychology. Although there are
number of ways to define consultation, Caplan (1970) provided the most integrated definition. Caplan defined consultation as a process that involves a voluntary and nonhierarchical relationship between two professionals (consultants and consulte es) who are often of different occupational groups (e.g., psychologists as consultants and teachers as consultees), and is initiated by the consultee for the purpose of solving a work - related problem. According to Caplan, the goals of consultation are to i mprove the functioning of consultees with their clients and to
develop consultees’ skills so that they can deal more effectively with similar problems independently in the future. Based on this definition, there are three main participants in the consultat ion process: consultant (help - giver), consultee (help - seeker), and client (person for whom the help - seeker is responsible ).
Brief History of Consultation
Mental health consultation as we know it today originated in Israel in 1949 when Gerald Caplan, a ps ychiatrist, was given the responsibility of providing mental health services to 16,000 immigrant adolescents (Brown et al., 2001; Caplan, Caplan, & Erchul, 1994). The usual practice of individual psychotherapy was not feasible due to the significant number of referrals. Caplan and his staff found a way to reduce the direct service workload by traveling to the institutions and consulting with the institutions’ child guidance staff members. The focus during the consultation sessions was to work with child gui dance staff members so that they could effectively help caregivers develop new perspectives about the adolescents’ mental health difficulties. The child guidance staff members met with the referred adolescents along with t heir caregivers to deliver the services discussed during consultation. T his approach helped to reduce large workloads in direct service delivery.
The development of mental health consultation techniques continued, and by the mid - 1960s consultation became a major approach for delivering mental health services. Since then, mental health consultation has influenced psychology practice in many fields, including school psychology, (Knoff & Batsche, 1993; Meyers, Brent, Faherty, & Modafferi, 1993; Oakland , 1984), community psychology (Iscoe, 1993; Kelly, 1993;
Trickett, 1993), organizational psychology (Brown et al., 2001), and c ommunity mental health service provision (Backer, 1993) .
Definition of School - Based Consultation
When consultation occurs within a school setting, the focus is on resolving school - related problems so that the members of the school community (e.g., students, teachers, administrators, family) can successfully function in the school. Zins and Erchul (2002) defined school - based consultation as “a m ethod of providing preventively - oriented psychological and educational services in which consultants and consultees form cooperative partnerships and engage in a reciprocal, systematic problem - solving process guided by ecobehavioral principles” (p. 626 ). According to Zins and Erchul, the goal of school consultation is to promote students’ well - being and performance by empowering consultee systems. In contrast to providing direct services, consultation involves consultants (e.g., school psychologists, sc hool counselors) indirectly assistin g clients (students) by working directly with consultees (e.g., teachers, parents). For example, in schools, teachers and parents (consultees or help - seekers) often approach school psychologists (consultants or help give rs) when trying to solve a problem related to the students’ (client s’ ) academic or behavioral difficulties. In these situations, the purposes of the consultation are to identify the students’ needs, and plan and implement interventions by working with the t eachers and parents. As such , consultation not only focuses on remediating presenting problems, but also emphasizes increasing consultees’ skills in dealing with similar problems in the future.
There are numerous consultation models reflecting slightly different views of consultation. Anton - LaHart and Rosenfield (2004) conducted a survey to explore consultation training in school psychology programs. They found that many school psychology programs (47%) used some combination of the me ntal health, organizational, and behavioral models, rather than teaching a single model in their consultation training. The behavioral model was reported to be the most widely taught model. Four major consultation models are briefly discussed in this secti on: mental health, behavioral, instructional, and organizational. Multicultural consultation is pertinent to all of the consultation models.
The mental health consultation model, which was originally based on psychodynamic theory, involves a service th at is provided to care - giving professionals (e.g., doctors, teachers, lawyers, police, clergy) to help them deal with their work - related problems (Brown et al., 2001). Caplan (1970) identified four types of mental health consultation: (a) client - centered c ase consultation, (b) consultee - centered case consultation, (c) program - centered administrative consultation, and (d) consultee - centered administrative consultation. These four mental health approaches differ regarding who is the focus of the consultation and outcome. The focus may be on a particular client (i.e., client - centered consultation) or an administrative issue (i.e., program centered consulta tion). The goal can also include providing information to the consultee or improving the consultee’s proble m - solving skills (i.e., consultee centered consultation). Regardless of the foci and goals, the mental health consulting relationship
is described as nonhierarchical and coordinate. This implies that both consultants and consultees are experts in their own areas and their relationship is collaborative.
The behavioral consultation model refers to an indirect, problem - solving process involving a collegial relationship between consultants and consultees (Brown et al., 2001). This model involves collecting pro blem identification data and applying behavioral psychology principles. The problematic behavior is analyzed by identifying the antecedents that trigger particular behaviors and determining the consequences of those behaviors. The roles of consultants are to provide relevant psychological information and behavioral principles to consultees. The roles of consultees are to describe the problem, decide on a plan, implement the plan, and supervise the clients’ behaviors. The goal is to bring about changes by al tering the clients’ and consultees’ behaviors.
The instructional consultation model attempts to integrate the knowledge base of instructional practices and classroom management. In this model, the goal is to improve the students’ (client s’ ) learning by pro viding teachers (consultees) with a repertoire of knowledge and/or skills based on behavioral and instructional principles (Rosenfield, 1987). This model primarily focuses on instructional content and issues. One of the unique aspects of instructional cons ultation is that regardless of the referral problem (behavioral, instructional), academic progress is always a pervasive consideration because of its importance in schools (Rosenfield, 2002).
The organizational consultation model was originally developed to help businesses remain competitive in the marketplace (Steward, 1996). The main difference between this model and the others is that the client in the organizational model is the
organization itself or some subsystem of the organization, rather than an individual. Consultants are expected “to conceptualize how organizations function and how successful change strategies can be designed and implemented to correct problems that arise within organizations” (Brown et al., 2001, p. 86). The process often invol ves (a) using interviews, surveys, and questionnaires to identify problems group s
are experiencing within organizations , (b) examining the basic processes within and between group s (e.g., communication), (c) developing a new normative str ucture, and (d) re designing organizational structure s .
Overlapping Characteristics and Assumptions . Although there are multiple consultation models, they are unified by overlapping characteristics and assumptions, which include the following (Gutkin & Curtis, 2009):
Consul tation is an indirect service delivery model.
The focus of consultation is to provide services to one or more clients.
The major goals of consultation are to: (a) provide remedial services for clients’ presenting problems, and (b) improve the functioning of consultees so that they can deal more effectively with similar problems in the future.
The relationship between the consultant and the consultee is considered essential for effective consultation.
The development of an intervention plan is based on: (a) conducting a thorough and comprehensive assessment (i.e., collect ing problem identification data), (b) making a decision based on empirical knowledge, and (c) evaluating the plan with a short - term follow - up.
Consultants and consultees have separate and jo int responsibilities that contribute to the integrity, progress, and success of the consultation process.
The six elements listed above are the defining features of the major consultation models. These elements are also what separate consultation from othe r traditional service delivery approaches such as psychoeducational assessment, counseling and supervision.
A discussion was provided to briefly review the background and history of consultation, including the definitions an d major models of consultation (e.g., mental health, behavioral, instructional, organizational). When working with a diverse population, the consultation models need to be modified to address cultural issues in the consultation process. The following section will review the literature p ertaining to the construct of multicultural consultation.
The relationship between culture and the consultation process is multifaceted and complex (Ingraham, 2000; Ingraham, 20 03; Tarver Behring & Ingraham, 1998). Yet, the curre nt consultation models have been utilized with the assumption that they are effective for all cultural and ethnic popu lations. This assumption hinder s practitioners from identifying and addressing the unique set of needs encountered when consulting with di verse populations. The literature show s that utilizing a multicultural perspective is not only an important aspect of consultation, but also crucial, when working with a diverse population (e.g., Duncan & Pryzwansky, 1993; Rios ,
Cruz, DiTomasso, & Morales ,
1997; Rogers, 1998; Tarver Behri ng et al., 2000). Some studies provide direction s and guidelines for delivering consultation to multiculturally diverse populations (Ingraham, 2000; Nastasi, Varjas, Bernstein, & Jayasena, 2000; Tarver Behring & Ingraham, 1 998).
The training literature also shows that multicultural competency is a set of characteristics that can be trained when adequately defined and measured
(e.g., D’Andrea, Daniels, & Heck, 1991; Pope - Davis, Reynolds, Dings, & Ottavi, 1994; Smith, Constant ine, Dunn, Dinehart, & Montoya, 2006). However, multicultural consultation competencies have not been empirically identified; rather, these competencies have been identified and discussed qualitatively. Therefore, much of the discussion to follow will draw from qualitative research studies.
Definition of Multicultural Consultation
Multicultural consultation is defined in the literature as a culturally sensitive, indirect service process in which the consultant adjusts the consultation services to address th e needs and cultural values of the consultee and/or the client (Tarver Behring & Ingraham, 1998). According to Ingraham (2000), multicultural consultation encompasses situations in which members of the consultation triad (consultant, consultee/teacher and client/student) share the same culture as well as situations in which members of the consultation triad are of diverse culture s. In brief, multicultural consultation involves adopting an approach that “considers the potential influence of culture on the co nsultation process and the individuals involved in the consultation triad” ( Ingraham, 2004, p. 135 ). C ontemporary framework s for mult icultural consultation discussed in the next s ection provide guidelines as to how to approach consultation using a multicul tural perspective (e.g., Brown, 1997; Ingraham, 2000; Nastasi et al., 2000; Ramirez ,
Lepage, Kratochwill, & Duffy , 1998; Tarver Behring & Ingraham, 1998).
Contemporary Framework s for Multicultural Consultation
Multicultural frameworks provide directions and guidelines for researchers and practitioners working with diverse populations. Two multicultural consultation frameworks are reviewed in this section because they are the most theoretically - based and comprehensive: Multicultural School Consultation (MS C; Ingraham, 2000) and Participatory Culture - Specific Consultation (PCSC; Nastasi et al., 2000).
Ingraham (2000) proposed the Multicultural School Consultation ( MSC )
framework to address a wide range of topics and issues related to multicultural consultat ion in schools. In the MSC framework, culture is perceived as a central component that influences all aspects of the consultation process. The MSC framework not only acknowledges individual and group differences among members of the consultation triad, it also helps to identify cultural uniqueness. The MSC framework emphasizes the importance of understanding cultural variations based upon shared thinking, perceptions, and experiences between consultants, consultees, and clients. The MSC framework consists o f five major components: (a) domains of consultant learning and development (e.g., consultants and consultees understanding own and other cultures, and using specific approaches for cross - cultural consultation); (b) domains of consultee learning and develo pment ( i.e., consultees acquiring knowledge, skills, perspective, and confidence); (c) cultural variations in the consultation constellation (e.g., cultural diversity within the consultation triad) ; (d) contextual and power influences; and (e) hypothesized methods for supporting consultee and client success. These components of the MSC framework are intended to serve as lenses
for exploring the practice of multicultural consultation in schools. In the MSC framework, consultants consider the
influences of cu lture on the thoughts, expectations, and behaviors of consultees and clients. Furthermore, consultants make adjustments to the consultation process to meet unique and individual needs of consultees and clients. The MSC framework provides opportunities for conceptual change and serves as a guide for school consultants working with diverse populations (Ingraham, 2003).
Nastasi et al. (2000) proposed the
Participatory Culture - Specific Consultation ( PCSC ) framework to guide the development of culture - specific i nterventions. The PCSC framework focuses on identifying the presenting problem from the viewpoint of the target population and relies on psychological theory, research, personal theories (e.g., world views, beliefs), and experiences to guide the consultati on process. The emphasis is always on addressing the role of culture throughout the consultation process. There are nine phases in the PCSC framework: (a) reviewing relevant theory and research; (b) initiating contact with key stakeholders, gaining entry i nto the system, and seeking an initial understanding of the culture; (c) forming partnerships with and/or among stakeholders; (d) identifying the problem(s) and goal(s); (e) gathering data that are relevant to the target problem to achieve a culture - specif ic understanding of the problem; (f) generating culture - specific hypotheses and recommendations; (g) developing culture - specific interventions and implementing planned interventions; (h) evaluating the acceptability, integrity, and effectiveness of the int ervention and the consultation process; and (i) promoting the integration of intervention efforts into existing institutions. The authors point out that the effectiveness of such a framework “is highly dependent upon the consultants’ capacity for learning and understanding the culture of individuals and organizations, and expertise in appropriate methodology for achieving a thorough
understanding of the culture” (p. 403). In other words, the effectiveness of the consultation process is largely dependent on the consultant’s level of multicultural competency. The PCSC framework highlights the importance of consultants’ u nderstanding of problem s from the viewpoints of others involved in the process and developing interventions that are culturally sensitive.
Bo th the MCSC and PCSC frameworks provide multicultural consultation approaches and illustrate possible avenues to incorporate multicultural issues. For example, both the MCSC and PCSC frameworks emphasize approaching consultation from a cultural perspective to help identify problems and to develop interventions that are culturally responsive . Both frameworks also encourage consultants to become more aware of their own biases and to take an active role in learning about both consultees’ and clients’ cultures. In sum, both frameworks reject the notion that “one approach fits all” and promote cultural modifications to existing practices. These underlying principles have shaped some of the research conducted in the consultation literature. The next section review s research studies that have investigated the application of multicultural frameworks and approaches, and their impact on process and outcomes in consultation.
Research in Multicultural Consultation
Investigations examining multicultural aspects of consul tation are scarce and