PSYCH 660 Assignment Case Study Worksheet
Rashid Vaji, Ph.D., a member of the school psychology faculty at a midsize university, serves as a faculty supervisor for students assigned to externships in schools. The department has formalized a supervision and evaluation system for the extern program. Students have weekly individual meetings with the faculty supervisor and biweekly meetings with the on-site supervisor. The on-site supervisor writes a midyear (December) and end of academic year (May) evaluation of each student. The site evaluations are sent to Dr. Vaji, and he provides feedback based on the site and his own supervisory evaluation to each student. The final grade (fail, low pass, pass, high pass) is the responsibility of Dr. Vaji.
Dr. Vaji also teaches the Spring Semester graduate class on Health Disparities in Mental Health. One of the course requirements is for students to write weekly thought papers, in which they are required to take the perspective of therapy clients from different ethnic groups in reaction to specific session topics. Leo Watson, a second-year graduate student is one of Dr. Vaji’s externship supervisees. He is also enrolled in the Health Disparities course. Leo’s thought papers often present ethnic-minority adolescents as prone to violence and unable to grasp the insights offered by school psychologists. In a classroom role-playing exercise, Leo plays an ethnic-minority student client as slumping in the chair not understanding the psychologist and giving angry retorts. In written comments on these thought papers and class feedback, Dr. Vaji encourages Leo to incorporate more of the readings on racial/ethnic discrimination and multicultural competence into his papers and to provide more complex perspectives on clients. PSYCH 660 Assignment Case Study Worksheet
One day during his office hours, three students from the class come to Dr. Vaji’s office to complain about Leo’s behavior outside the classroom. They describe incidents in which Leo uses derogatory ethnic labels to describe his externship clients and brags about putting one over on his site supervisors by describing these clients in glowing terms just to satisfy his supervisor’s stupid liberal do-good attitudes. They also report an incident at a local bar at which Leo was seen harassing attitudes. They also report an incident at a local bar at which Leo was seen harassing an African American waitress using racial slurs.
After the students have left his office, Dr. Vaji reviews his midyear evaluation and supervision notes on Leo and the midyear on-site supervisor’s report. In his own evaluation report Dr. Vaji had written, Leo often articulates a strong sense of duty to help his ethnic minority students overcome past discrimination but needs additional growth and supervision in applying a multicultural perspective into his clinical work. The on-site supervisor’s evaluation states that:
Leo has a wonderful attitude towards his student clients . . . Unfortunately evaluation of his treatment skills is limited because Leo has had less cases to discuss than some of his peers since a larger than usual number of students have stopped coming to their sessions with him. PSYCH 660 Assignment Case Study Worksheet
It is the middle of the Spring Semester, and Dr. Vaji still has approximately 6 weeks of supervision left with Leo. The students’ complaints about Leo, while more extreme, are consistent with what Dr. Vaji has observed in Leo’s class papers and role-playing exercises. However, these complaints are very different from his presentation during on-site supervision. If Leo has been intentionally deceiving both supervisors, then he may be more ineffective or harmful as a therapist to his current clients than either supervisor realized. In addition, purposeful attempts to deceive the supervisors might indicate a personality disorder or lack of integrity that if left unaddressed might be harmful to adolescent clients in the future.
Dr. Vaji would like to meet with Leo at minimum to discuss ways to retain adolescent clients and to improve his multicultural treatment skills. He does not know to what extent his conversation with Leo and final supervisory report should be influenced by the information provided by the graduate students
Respond to the following questions in 1,250 to 1,500 words:
- Why is this an ethical dilemma? Which APA Ethical Principles help frame the nature of the dilemma?
- To what extent, if any, should Dr. Vaji consider Leo’s ethnicity in his deliberations? Would the dilemma be addressed differently if Leo self-identified as non-Hispanic White, Hispanic, on non-Hispanic Black?
- How are APA Ethical Standards , , , , , , and relevant to this case? Which other standards might apply?
- What are Dr. Vaji’s ethical alternatives for resolving this dilemma? Which alternative best reflects the Ethics Code aspirational principle and enforceable standard, as well as legal standards and obligations to stakeholders?
- What steps should Dr. Vaji take to ethically implement his decision and monitor its effects?
Fisher, C. B. (2013). Decoding the ethics code: A practical guide for psychologists. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE CLASS
Discussion Questions (DQ)
- Initial responses to the DQ should address all components of the questions asked, include a minimum of one scholarly source, and be at least 250 words.
- Successful responses are substantive (i.e., add something new to the discussion, engage others in the discussion, well-developed idea) and include at least one scholarly source.
- One or two sentence responses, simple statements of agreement or “good post,” and responses that are off-topic will not count as substantive. Substantive responses should be at least 150 words.
- I encourage you to incorporate the readings from the week (as applicable) into your responses.
- Your initial responses to the mandatory DQ do not count toward participation and are graded separately.
- In addition to the DQ responses, you must post at least one reply to peers (or me) on three separate days, for a total of three replies.
- Participation posts do not require a scholarly source/citation (unless you cite someone else’s work).
- Part of your weekly participation includes viewing the weekly announcement and attesting to watching it in the comments. These announcements are made to ensure you understand everything that is due during the week.
APA Format and Writing Quality
- Familiarize yourself with APA format and practice using it correctly. It is used for most writing assignments for your degree. Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for APA paper templates, citation examples, tips, etc. Points will be deducted for poor use of APA format or absence of APA format (if required).
- Cite all sources of information! When in doubt, cite the source. Paraphrasing also requires a citation.
- I highly recommend using the APA Publication Manual, 6th edition.
Use of Direct Quotes
- I discourage overutilization of direct quotes in DQs and assignments at the Masters’ level and deduct points accordingly.
- As Masters’ level students, it is important that you be able to critically analyze and interpret information from journal articles and other resources. Simply restating someone else’s words does not demonstrate an understanding of the content or critical analysis of the content.
- It is best to paraphrase content and cite your source.
- For assignments that need to be submitted to LopesWrite, please be sure you have received your report and Similarity Index (SI) percentage BEFORE you do a “final submit” to me.
- Once you have received your report, please review it. This report will show you grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors that can easily be fixed. Take the extra few minutes to review instead of getting counted off for these mistakes.
- Review your similarities. Did you forget to cite something? Did you not paraphrase well enough? Is your paper made up of someone else’s thoughts more than your own?
- Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for tips on improving your paper and SI score.
- The university’s policy on late assignments is 10% penalty PER DAY LATE. This also applies to late DQ replies.
- Please communicate with me if you anticipate having to submit an assignment late. I am happy to be flexible, with advance notice. We may be able to work out an extension based on extenuating circumstances.
- If you do not communicate with me before submitting an assignment late, the GCU late policy will be in effect.
- I do not accept assignments that are two or more weeks late unless we have worked out an extension.
- As per policy, no assignments are accepted after the last day of class. Any assignment submitted after midnight on the last day of class will not be accepted for grading.
- Communication is so very important. There are multiple ways to communicate with me: