Psychology Case Study: Handling Disparate Information

Psychology Case Study: Handling Disparate Information

Rashida Vaji, PhD, a member of the school psychology faculty at a midsize university, serves as a faculty supervisor for doctoral students assigned to externships in schools. She has weekly group supervision meetings, reviews the on-site supervisor’s mid- and end-of-year student evaluations and on that basis provides the final grade (fail, low pass, pass, high pass) for the externship. As the end of the academic year is approaching Leo, one of Dr. Vaji’s supervisees, appears to have an adequate grasp of basic clinical skills but continues to have difficulty mastering required elements of multicultural competence, despite constructive feedback from Dr. Vaji during the year. In addition, in the end-of-year report, the site-supervisor wrote, “Although Leo appears highly motivated, evaluation of his multicultural treatment skills is limited because he has had fewer cases to discuss than some of his peers, since a larger than usual number of ethnic minority clients have stopped coming to their sessions with him.” Dr. Vaji is trying to decide whether his performance merits a grade of low pass or pass. A few weeks before grades are due, two students in Leo’s supervision group come to Dr. Vaji’s office to voice their concern that Leo has consistently used derogatory ethnic labels to describe his externship clients and brags about “putting one over” on his site supervisor by describing these clients in “glowing” terms just to satisfy his supervisors’ “stupid do-good” attitudes. They also report an incident at a local bar at which they heard Leo harass an undergraduate student by using ethnic slurs. Dr. Vaji does not know whether this new information requires action on her part. She believes she is responsible to ensure that Leo is fairly graded, that he receives supervision adequate for his needs, that he has the multicultural competencies to guard against harming future clients, and that his fellow students are confident in the integrity of the supervisory process.

Fisher, C. B. (2021). Decoding the ethics code (5th ed.). SAGE Publications.


In a minimum of 50 words, for each question, thoroughly answer each of the questions below regarding the case featuring Rashida Vaji, PhD. Use one to two scholarly resources to support your answers. Use in-text citations when appropriate, according to APA formatting.

  1. Explain why this is an ethical dilemma. Identify which APA Ethical Principles help frame the nature of the dilemma.
  2. Identify who the stakeholders are and how will they be affected by how Dr. Vaji resolves this dilemma.
  3. Identify what additional information Dr. Vaji might collect to provide him with a more accurate picture of Leo’s multicultural attitudes and professional skills. Discuss the reasons for and against contacting Leo’s supervisor for more information. Discuss if he should request that Leo’s sessions with clients be electronically recorded or observed.
  4. Discuss whether or not Dr. Vaji is in a potentially unethical multiple relationship as both Leo’s externship supervisor and his teacher in the Health Disparate class.
  5. Discuss to what extent, if any, if Dr. Vaji should consider Leo’s own ethnicity in his deliberations. Discuss if the dilemma would be addressed differently if Leo self-identified as non-Hispanic white, Hispanic, or non-Hispanic black.
  6. Discuss whether or not Dr. Vaji should have a follow-up meeting with the students who complained once the dilemma is resolved.
  7. Discuss how the APA Ethical Standards 1.08, 3.04, 3.05, 3.09, 7.04, 7.05, and 7.06 and the Hot Topics “Ethical Supervision of Trainee” (Chapter 11) and “Multicultural Ethical Competence” (Chapter 6) are relevant to this case. Identify which other standards might apply.
  8. Identify Dr. Vaji’s ethical alternatives for resolving this dilemma. Discuss which alternatives best reflects the Ethics Code aspirational principles and enforceable standards, legal standards, and obligations to stakeholders. Identify the ethical theory (discussed in Chapter 4) guiding your decision.
  9. Identify what steps Dr. Vaji should take to implement his decision and monitor its effect.