Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Psychology, Clinical-Community

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Matthew Taylor, Ph.D.


Matthew Taylor, Ph.D.

Steven Bruce, Ph.D.

Emily Gerstein, Ph.D.

Susan Kashubeck-West, Ph.D.


As our understanding of PTSD has advanced, changing demographics in the United States over the past few decades have led to a growing awareness of the mental health needs of an increasingly diverse and multicultural population. Research on ethnoracial differences in PTSD has had mixed results and additional research exploring possible contributing factors is needed to better explain observed differences. This study explored the presence of and contributing factors to clinician bias in the diagnoses of PTSD based on race and context. It examined whether clinicians were more likely to diagnose PTSD in a Black or White man due to combat or gang violence and examined the impact of various individual clinician characteristics and multicultural training experience on clinicians’ diagnoses. In this study, 294 active clinicians-in-training were presented with one of four vignettes and provided a primary diagnosis of the presented case. Participants were then asked to complete measures of social dominance orientation, ethnocultural empathy, ethnocentrism, and multicultural training. Clinicians-in-training diagnosed PTSD more frequently for men who experienced combat than gang violence (p= .007). PTSD diagnosis did not differ between White and Black vignettes (p= .890). Multicultural training moderated the relationship between vignette (race and context) and PTSD diagnostic impression (p= .016). Social dominance orientation, ethnocultural empathy, and ethnocentrism did not moderate the relationship between vignette (race and context) and PTSD diagnostic impression. Implications of these results are discussed.