Publication Details

Humphreys, L., Crino, R. & Wilson, I. (2017). Psychological functioning predicts competence development for postgraduate students of professional psychology. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 11 (1), 49-56.


This study sought to examine the psychological functioning of students enrolled in postgraduate programs of clinical and forensic psychology in an Australian university, and the degree to which psychological functioning predicted competence attainment while participating in an extended clinical placement. Results revealed that as a group students reported psychological functioning within normal ranges, with levels of conscientiousness found to positively predict, and levels of depression found to negatively predict the development of the necessary competencies. However, a subgroup of 27% of students reported experiencing clinical levels of psychological distress on at least one measure during the placement. At the completion of the placement, when compared to the performance of peers, the students who reported experiencing clinical levels of psychological distress demonstrated significantly poorer performance on a psychometrically sound measure of competence attainment.



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