Cultural competence and social desirability among practitioners: A systematic review of the literature

Kristine E. Larson, Catherine P. Bradshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There is increased awareness that practitioners (e.g., teachers, school counselors, social workers, and school psychologists) need additional training to work effectively with diverse populations. However, there has been limited consideration of measurement challenges related to assessing this type of competence. Specifically, there are growing concerns that self-report measures of cultural competence may be biased by social desirability. To address these gaps, we conducted a systematic review of the literature on cultural competence and social desirability bias. We identified 15 studies focused on issues related to cultural competence and social desirability bias that met our search criteria. Our review and analysis of these studies suggested that cultural competence is positively correlated with social desirability bias, but the strength of this association varies as a function of the cultural competence scale used. Furthermore, race, gender, sexual orientation, years of experience, and training experiences were also significantly associated with cultural competence and/or social desirability. Implications for future research and professional development related to cultural competence are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-111
Number of pages12
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Volume76
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2017

Keywords

  • Cultural competence
  • Social desirability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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