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|Title: ||Professional Identity Development: A Grounded Theory Study of Clinical Psychology Trainees|
|Authors: ||McElhinney, Rowena|
|Supervisor(s): ||Cheshire, Katherine|
|Issue Date: ||2008|
|Publisher: ||The University of Edinburgh|
|Abstract: ||This is a constructivist grounded theory study of the impact of the clinical
psychology flexible training scheme on the development of professional identity.
Professional identity development involves the acquisition of new role behaviours
and new views of the self. Research into professional identity development amongst
clinical psychology trainees is scarce. Studies involving clinical psychology trainees
have mainly focused on their psychological adaptation to the challenges of training.
A longitudinal study of the 2003 cohort of the University of Edinburgh Clinical
Psychology Training Programme was conducted to identify factors that facilitate and
impede professional identity development. A combination of focus groups and
individual interviews were used to explore flexible trainees’ experiences during their
4th and 5th years of training and the experiences of 4-year flexible and 3-year trainees
in their first-year post-qualification. All interviews were transcribed and coded
line-by-line in order to facilitate the development of analytic categories. Six main
categories were identified: Perceived Competence, Formal Status, Comparisons of
Self with Others, Expectations of Others, Role Conflict and Role Ambiguity.
The results suggest that professional identity development involves attaining
equilibrium between the formal status of the role and the individual’s perceived
competence in that role. Role conflict, role ambiguity, comparisons of self with
others and the expectations of others can all create a sense of disequilibrium and
impede the individual’s ability to identify with the professional role.
It would appear that flexible trainees are better able to identify with the professional
role on qualification as they have greater opportunities to develop a sense of
competence during their training in comparison with their 3-year peers. However,
they also appear to experience greater conflict and ambiguity in their roles as flexible
trainees, which has implications for their identity development during training.|
|Keywords: ||Clinical Psychology|
|Appears in Collections:||Clinical Psychology thesis collection|
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