Assessing Cultural Competence in Graduating Students

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International Journal of Progressive Education


cultural competence, Cross-Cultural Inventory, multivariate statistics


Twofold purpose of this study was to develop a framework to understand cultural competence in graduating social work students, and test that framework for appropriateness and predictability using multivariate statistics. Scale and predictor variables were collected using an online instrument from a nationwide convenience sample of graduating social work students (n = 513) from 43 institutions accredited by CSWE. Results revealed that there was a good fit between the statistical model and data collected. The best fit model suggested that different demographic variables of respondents had varying effects on knowledge, attitude and belief, and skill components of cultural competence. Amount of education in human diversity and age were the two variables that affected their cross-cultural knowledge. Amount of education in human diversity, political affiliation, and years of education affected their own attitudes and beliefs while working with diverse populations. The amount of education in human diversity, gender, ethnicity, spirituality, political affiliation, and years in social work job were the 6 demographic variables of the respondents that influenced their skills when working with people from diverse backgrounds. Implications for education and practice are discussed.


© 2009 INASED