Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

MFTs’ Perceptions of Preparedness to Manage the Business of Clinical Practice: A Quantitative Analysis
by McBride, Kimberley Lesa, Ph.D., Northcentral University, 2020, 128; 28027015
Abstract (Summary)

A trend exists among marriage and family therapy pre-clinical fellows to complete their supervised clinical experience in independent practice rather than in a community agency. However, once in independent practice, it is unclear if marriage and family therapists have the business knowledge and skills necessary to manage the business of clinical practice. This descriptive comparative study with quantitative methods addressed the following research problem: Business knowledge and skills acquisition are not required parts of marriage and family therapy training; thus, marriage and family therapists may not be prepared to manage the business aspect of independent practice. The purpose of this study was to examine and compare the differences in perceptions of preparedness between marriage and family therapy pre- and clinical fellows, at the time of graduation and survey, to manage the business of independent practice. The study’s conceptual framework, complex adaptive systems, was used to manage the complexity of the study’s problem. A 33-item online measure was field tested and disseminated to 562 Washington State marriage and family therapists licensed between 2007–2019. The final sample consisted of 93 participants (76 Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy Clinical Fellows and 17 Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy Pre-Clinical Fellows). Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data, and analysis of covariance was conducted to partial out the effects of the covariate (self-efficacy beliefs) on the dependent variable (perceptions of clinical business preparedness). The research findings revealed no statistically significant differences between the two levels of the independent variable (marriage and family therapy experience). Thus, the results of the analysis failed to reject the null hypothesis.

Recommendations for practice included utilization by marriage and family therapist pre- and clinical fellows of the study’s survey scales as a framework for the development of business competencies. Recommendations for future research included replication of the study with a cohort (time-series) design; examination of marriage and family therapists’ perceptions of clinical business preparedness and the actual survival rates of the therapists’ respective clinical practices; and utilization of mediation analysis to explain how business knowledge acquisition and skills development in marriage and family therapy education are mediated by self-efficacy beliefs.

This study contributed to existing marriage and family therapy theory, education, supervisor training and clinical practice, and established a starting point for further research into the need for business core competencies in marriage and family therapy education.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Fawcett, David, White, Mark
Commitee: Perry, Wayne
School: Northcentral University
Department: School of Marriage and Family Sciences
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 82/1(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Behavioral Sciences, Systems science, Business education
Keywords: AAMFT approved supervisor business knowledge, Clinical MFT practice business, Marriage and family therapy business management, Practice management, MFT business core competencies, MFT business management
Publication Number: 28027015
ISBN: 9798662494176
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