Towards a model for student selection in clinical psychology

Schweitzer, Robert, Khawaja, Nigar G., Strodl, Esben, Lodge, Jason M., Coyne, Joseph J., & King, Robert (2014) Towards a model for student selection in clinical psychology. Clinical Psychologist, 18(3), pp. 125-132.

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Selection of candidates for clinical psychology programmes is arguably the most important decision made in determining the clinical psychology workforce. However, there are few models to inform the development of selection tools to support selection procedures. The study, using a factor analytic structure, has operationalised the model predicting applicants' capabilities.


Eighty-eight clinical applicants for entry into a postgraduate clinical psychology programme were assessed on a series of tasks measuring eight capabilities: guided reflection, communication skills, ethical decision making, writing, conceptual reasoning, empathy, and awareness of mind and self-observation.


Factor analysis revealed three capabilities: labelled “awareness” accounting for 35.71% of variance; “reflection” accounting for 20.56%; and “reasoning” accounting for 18.24% of variance. Fourth year grade point average (GPA) did not correlate with performance on any of the selection capabilities other than a weak correlation with performance on the ethics capability.


Eight selection capabilities are identified for the selection of candidates independent of GPA. While the model is tentative, it is hoped that the findings will stimulate the development and validation of assessment procedures with good predictive validity which will benefit the training of clinical psychologists and, ultimately, effective service delivery.

Impact and interest:

2 citations in Scopus
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1 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 62512
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: clinical psychology, capabilities, students, selection, HERN
DOI: 10.1111/cp.12025
ISSN: 1328-4207
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Health Clinical and Counselling Psychology (170106)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 The Australian Psychological Society
Copyright Statement: This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Clinical Psychologist 2013 [copyright Taylor & Francis], available online at: Article DOI: 10.1111/cp.12025
Deposited On: 15 Sep 2013 22:53
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2015 23:38

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