Mentoring the earliest-career psychologists: Role models, knowledge of internship issues, and attitudes toward research and science


Journal Article

© 2015 American Psychological Association. Training of undergraduate psychology students who will go on to be graduate students has received little research attention. The present study sought to investigate the influence of role models among psychology undergraduates, attitudes toward research, and knowledge of internship-related issues. Participants were 220 undergraduate students from across the United States and Canada who intended to pursue graduate training in psychology. Results of group difference tests, logistic regressions, and multivariate analyses of variance indicated that perceived socioeconomic status (SES) but not gender or race-ethnicity was associated with influence of role models such that lower perceived SES participants reported less influence of role models than higher perceived SES participants. Influence of role models was also positively related to belief in the use of research but not in attitudes toward research or belief in its relevance to clinical practice. Finally, deficits were detected in participants' knowledge of internship-related issues in psychology, and influence of role models was not associated with knowledge of those issues. The results of this study may inform future research on the training of the earliest-career psychologists (i.e., undergraduate students) and also suggest areas for direct improvements in undergraduate curriculums.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Parent, MC; Oliver, JA

Published Date

  • January 1, 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 46 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 55 - 61

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1939-1323

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0735-7028

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/a0038839

Citation Source

  • Scopus