MARCH 19TH | 2:15 PM - 3:45 PM (ET)

Session Abstract: Graduate training in personality assessment indelibly includes the consideration of diversity-related issues. Various models attempt to reconcile how diverse factors play into personality and mental health more broadly, such as the ADDRESSING model (Hays, 1996, 2008), intersectionality theories (Crenshaw, 1989), and Minority-Stress Model (Meyer, 2003). Furthermore, the call for inclusive, culturally-sensitive practices in assessment training has grown stronger in recent years, leading to an increase in evidence-based best practices for psychological assessment with members of diverse racial and ethnic populations (Suzuki & Wilton, 2016), gender and sexual minority individuals (Smith & Krishnamurthy, 2018), and individuals with disabilities (APA, 2011). Nonetheless, strategies for applying these models to personality assessment remain limited. Thus, some salient considerations of training include considering how racial and ethnic minority, gender and sexual minority, and disabled identity status may impact the assessment process (Brabender & Mihura, 2016). For instance, how should cultural biases and the absence of multicultural norms of assessment be addressed? How should gendered test norms be implemented with transgender or non-binary clients? Should assessors disclose their minority status in the evaluation of diverse clients? SPA Graduate Student (SPAGS) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee is organizing a roundtable discussion, where panelists will share personal and professional knowledge that they have gained related to these questions and more. This discussion aims to guide attendees in understanding how clients' diverse identities and minority statuses can influence the assessment process and what steps we can take to be culturally aware and competent assessors.

Chair Information: A. Esin Asan | The Pennsylvania State University

Discussant Information: Radhika Krishnamurthy, PhD | Florida Institute of Technology

Presentation 1 Title:  Panelist

Presenters: 

Kelci Davis, MA | Sam Houston State University

Virginia Brabender, PhD, ABPP | Widener University

Kinshasa Bennett, PhD | The Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA

Alea R. Holman, PhD | Fordham University

Kelci DavisKelci C. Davis

Kelci C. Davis (she/her) is a second-year doctoral student in Clinical Psychology. She works under Dr. Jaime Anderson at Sam Houston State University. Her research interests broadly include multicultural aspects of personality psychopathology and assessment, particularly in the gender and sexual minority community. Clinically, she does a combination of assessment, forensic work, and client-focused interventions. As a member of multiple diversity-oriented committees and organizations, she enjoys teaching and learning from others about all things diversity, equity, and inclusion. She is fueled by advocacy, caffeine, and wanting a better life for her beagle.


Dr. BrabenderDr. Virginia Brabender

Virginia Brabender began her research in the area of psychological assessment on the difficult diagnostic issue of differentiating patients with unipolar versus bipolar depression.  For this research, she and her co-author were awarded the 1994 Walter G. Klopfer Award for Distinguished Statistically-based contribution to the literature in personality assessment, presented by the Society for Personality Assessment in collaboration with Psychological Assessment Resources.  She went on to publish various papers on personality assessment and served as co-editor of a special series of articles on ethics and psychological assessment.  More recently, she has delved into the topic of diversity, inclusion, and personality assessment through a collection of papers and presentations, as well as the volume, co-edited with Dr. Joni Mihura, The handbook of gender and sexuality in psychological assessment. She has particular interest in the pedagogy of training in diversity and personality assessment.  Virginia Brabender has taught personality assessment for 40 years at Hahnemann University, Temple University, and Widener University with her tenure at the latter spanning over 30 years.  She has served as President, Secretary, and newsletter editor of the Society of Personality Assessment, and as consulting and section editor for JPA.


Dr. BennettDr. Kinshasa Bennett

Kinshasa Bennett, PhD is an Assistant Professor at The Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. Previously she was the Training Director for the Wright Institute Assessment Supplemental Assessment Practica, a training program for second year students and above. Prior to joining The Wright Institute full time, Dr. Bennett was adjunct faculty in the Wright Institute’s Counseling and Clinical psychology programs while working at WestCoast Children's Clinic as an Assessment Specialist. She also supervised assessment practicum students at the Psychological Services Center (PSC) in Oakland, CA. Before immersing herself in assessment, Dr. Bennett conducted Infant & Child-Parent Psychotherapy at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland where she did her internship. She is a member of the Society for Personality Assessment and presented at their annual convention in 2019 and 2018 on issues of diversity and assessment. In addition to that she presented at WestCoast Children's Clinic in 2018 about Understanding Developmental Needs of Youth of Color.


Dr. HolmanDr. Alea R. Holman

Alea R. Holman is an assistant professor of School Psychology in the Graduate School of Education at Fordham University. She primarily teaches personality assessment and issues of non-biased assessment and decision-making. Her scholarship examines best practices for providing culturally-integrative, therapeutic, and collaborative psychological assessment for children. Additionally, she investigates mothers’ gendered racial socialization beliefs and practices with their Black and mixed-race children. Complementing her teaching and scholarship, Dr. Holman is a licensed psychologist and has served as a practitioner in schools, community mental health clinics, and private practice.

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