Date of Award

Winter 1-1-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy In Urban Education Degree, Counseling Psychology


Education and Human Services

First Advisor

Phillips, Julia

Second Advisor

Adam Voight, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Kelly Liao, Ph.D.


Multicultural counseling competence is the extent to which a therapist can effectively work with clients from cultural groups which differ from their own, and is expressed through skills, knowledge, and awareness (Sue, 1998; Sue, Bernier, Durran, Feinberg, Pedersen, Smith, & Vasquez-Nuttall, 1982; Sue, Arredondo, & McDavis, 1992). Color-blind racial ideology is the belief that either emphasizes sameness among all individuals, known as color-evasion color-blind racial attitudes, or emphasizes that all individuals have the same opportunity for success, known as power-evasion colorblind racial attitudes (Carr, 1997; Neville, Lilly, Duran, Lee, & Browne, 2000; Neville, Awad, Brooks, Flores, & Bluemel, 2013). A significant positive relationship has been found between therapist multicultural counseling competence and color-blind racial attitudes (Johnson & Williams, 2015). Additionally, lower levels of multicultural counseling competence are predictive of poorer ratings of empathy, while higher levels of color-blind racial attitudes are predictive of poorer ratings of empathy (e.g., Burkard & Knox, 2004; Fuertes & Brobst, 2002). This study examined if therapist color-blind racial attitudes mediate the relationship between therapist-reported multicultural counseling competence and therapist-rated empathy. Participants were licensed practitioners and masters and doctoral-level trainees under supervision. Participants completed a measure assessing v multicultural counseling competence, two measures assessing color-blind racial attitudes, and a measure assessing ratings of empathy. Results found partial mediation of colorevasion color-blindness on the relationship between multicultural awareness and empathy expressed toward an African-American male client. There was no mediated effect when respondents rated their general empathy. Results and future directions are also discussed.