A Revision of the Multicultural Counseling Awareness Scale. (Articles)

By Ponterotto, Joseph G.; Gretchen, Denise et al. | Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, July 2002 | Go to article overview

A Revision of the Multicultural Counseling Awareness Scale. (Articles)


Ponterotto, Joseph G., Gretchen, Denise, Utsey, Shawn O., Rieger, Brian P., Austin, Richard, Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development


This article reports the results of 2 studies designed to test and revise the Multicultural Counseling Awareness Scale (J. G. Ponterotto et al., 1996). Collective results support the 2-factor extraction (Knowledge and Awareness) as the best fit model and provide initial indices of validity and internal consistency reliability for the newly titled Multicultural Counseling Knowledge and Awareness Scale.

Este articulo informs los resultados de 2 estudios disenados para probar y revisar la Escala de Conciencia de Consejeria Multicultural (J. G. Ponterotto et al., 1996). Los resultados colectivos sostienen la extraccion de 2 factores (el Conocimiento y la Conciencia) como el mejor modelo y proporcionan los indices iniciales de validez y fiabilidad de la consistencia interns para la nuevamente titulada Escala de Conocimiento y Conciencia de Consejeria Multicultural.

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The 1990s witnessed multicultural counseling rising to assume, perhaps, the central core of the counseling profession's identity. In fact, a recent Delphi Poll on the future of counseling psychology over the next 10 years in the United States identified "commitment to issues of diversity" as the single greatest core identification of the profession through the year 2010 (Neimeyer & Diamond, 2001, p. 57). One vibrant research focus within this core identity is the subject of multicultural counseling competency development and assessment (Constantine & Ladany, 2001; Fuertes, Bartolomeo, & Nichols, 2001; Pope-Davis & Coleman, 1997; Pope-Davis, Coleman, Liu, & Toporek, in press; Sue et al., 1998).

Despite the increasing use of multicultural competency measures in systematic research and program evaluation, the collective set of measures is sail considered to be in the early stages of development and validation (Ponterotto, Fuertes, & Chen, 2000). At present, there is a strong need to devote more focused attention to the testing and possible revision of paper-and-pencil self-report measures of multicultural counseling competence (Constantine & Ladany, 2000, 2001; Kocarek, Talbot, Batka, & Anderson, 2001; Worthington, Mobley, Franks, & Tan, 2000).

The purpose of the present series of studies was to revise and test the validity of a popular measure of multicultural counseling competencies--the Multicultural Counseling Awareness Scale (MCAS; Ponterotto et al., 1996). Our introduction begins with a brief overview of competency measurement in multicultural counseling, followed by a review of the development and uses of the MCAS. The section closes with a review of criticisms and research needs on the MCAS and with a delineation of the specific goals of the present sequence of studies.

measurement of multicultural counseling competence

Landmark work on multicultural competency assessment was conducted by LaFromboise and colleagues with their development and validation of the Cross-Cultural Counseling Inventory (CCCI; Hernandez & LaFromboise, 1985) and the Cross-Cultural Counseling Inventory-Revised (CCCI-R; LaFromboise, Coleman, & Hernandez, 1991). The CCCI-R is a 20-item instrument completed by an evaluator who observes a counselor working with a client of a different racial/ethnic background.

Subsequent to work on the observer-report format of the CCCI, research began on the development of counselor self-report assessments of perceived multicultural competence. In the early 1990s, three geographically dispersed research teams, working independently, developed the following self-report instruments: the Multicultural Awareness/Knowledge/Skills Survey (MAKSS; D'Andrea, Daniels, & Heck, 1991) in Hawaii, the Multicultural Counseling Inventory (MCI; Sodowsky, 1996; Sodowsky, Taffe, Gutkin, & Wise, 1994) in Nebraska, and the Multicultural Counseling Awareness Scale (MCAS; Ponterotto et al., 1996; Ponterotto, Sanchez, & Magids, 1991) in New York. …

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