Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Psychology & Higher Education

First Committee Member

Scott Loe

Second Committee Member

William Cross

Third Committee Member

Stefani Relles

Fourth Committee Member

Jared Lau

Number of Pages



The goal of this qualitative ethnographic study is to explore how school psychologists demonstrate multicultural competence (MC) when testing students for K-12 special education. As the population of the United States (US) becomes increasingly diverse, mental health professionals are encouraged to become culturally competent. Cultural competence is the ability to work with culturally and linguistically diverse populations; and being aware of stereotypes, biases and microaggressions. Cultural competence is taught within some psychology preparation programs; however, courses are often limited. Although cross-cultural competencies have been explored in clinical and counseling psychology, they have yet to be explored in the field of school psychology; hence there is a gap in the literature. Intersectionality theory provides the framework with which to explore cultural competence perceptions. The author conducted interviews with 30 Title I school psychologists and asked 10 open-ended questions regarding their perceptions of cultural competence. Using an ethnographic approach, the author explored the language, behavior, and values of school psychologist culture within the state organization, Nevada Association of School Psychologists (NVASP), located in the Southwest region of the US.


Culturally responsive assessments; Disproportionality; Ethnography; Multicultural competence; Qualitative research; School psychology


Clinical Psychology | Counseling Psychology | Educational Psychology

File Format


File Size

1.6 MB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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