Development and initial validation of a measure of multicultural competence stage of change
O'Neil, Maya Elin
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O'Neil, Maya Elin
Recent mandates for increased multicultural competence training in a variety of fields have stimulated a growing need for reliable and valid multicultural competence assessment instruments. Existing instruments have demonstrated varying levels of reliability and validity in assessing multicultural knowledge, awareness, and skills and have been critiqued for limitations in scope, applicability, and ability to capture the developmental nature of multicultural competence. In an attempt to address limitations of existing measures, this study investigated an original measure of multicultural competence utilizing a stages of change framework. The stages of change model has been applied to many types of behavior change but not yet to the construct of multicultural competence. The participants in this study were undergraduate and graduate students in human services (assessed one time), graduate students in education (assessed before and after participation in a required diversity course), and student services professionals (assessed before and after participation in a multicultural training). Findings suggest that the proposed measure, the Multicultural Competence Stage of Change Scale (MCSCS), has a six factor structure corresponding to the five stages of change and one social acceptability factor. The reliability of the measure was adequate, with values of Cronbach's α above .70 for 4 out of 6 subscales and .82 for the full scale score. The validity of the MCSCS was demonstrated by significant correlations with the Multicultural Awareness, Knowledge, and Skills Scale, Counselor Edition, Revised. Results indicate that student affairs professionals scored significantly higher than education students on the Pre-Contemplation and Preparation subscales and that pre-test scores were significantly lower than post-test scores on the Pre-Contemplation, Contemplation, and Action subscales. This study provides evidence that the MCSCS is a promising measure of multicultural competence stage of change. A discussion of the findings includes strengths of the MCSCS, limitations of this study, future research directions, recommended measure revisions, and applications of the MCSCS to clinical and vocational settings.