Real Change or Performative Anti-Racism? Clinical Psychology Programs’ Efforts to Recruit and Retain BIPOC Scholars

Scholars for Elevating Equity and Diversity (SEED)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: This study assessed perceptions of Clinical Psychology doctoral programs’ efforts to recruit and retain faculty and graduate students of color, as well as differences in perceptions based on participants’ position within their program (i.e. graduate student versus faculty) and race. Method: Participants (n = 297; 35% people of color; 79% female; mean age: 32) were graduate students and faculty from Clinical Psychology doctoral programs who completed an anonymous online survey about their programs’ efforts to recruit and retain graduate students and faculty of color; sense of belonging and perceptions of racial discrimination within programs; and experiences of cultural taxation and racism within programs. Results: Faculty (n = 95) reported significantly greater perceptions of recruitment and retention efforts and fewer perceptions of racial discrimination than did graduate students (n = 202). Asian (n = 31), Black (n = 25), and Latinx (n = 35) participants reported significantly fewer perceptions of recruitment and retention efforts, less sense of belonging, and greater perceptions of racial discrimination than did White participants (n = 192). Cultural taxation was common among participants of color, and approximately half (47%) reported they have considered leaving academia–and approximately one third (31%) have considered leaving their program–due to experiences of racism in their program or field. Conclusions: Cultural taxation and racial discrimination were common among scholars of color in this sample. Whether intentional or not, these experiences contribute to racially-toxic environments and negatively impact the racial diversity of the mental health workforce.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-426
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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