Cultural competence in applied sport psychology: A survey of students and professionals

Sae-Mi Lee *, Alessandro Quartiroli **, Douglas Baumann **, Brandonn S. Harris ***, Jack C. Watson **** and Robert J. Schinke *****

(*) California State University, Los Angeles, USA
(**) University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, USA
(***) Georgia Southern University, USA
(****) West Virginia University, USA
(*****) Laurentian University, USA


Lee, S., Quartiroli, A., Baumann, D., S. Harris, B., C. Watson, J., J. Schinke, R. (2020). Cultural competence in applied sport psychology: A survey of students and professionals. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 51(4), 320-341. doi:10.7352/IJSP.2020.51.320


Cultural competence is imperative for ethical and effective practice in applied sport psychology. Nevertheless, research assessing the cultural competence of sport psychology practitioners (SPPs) is scarce. The purpose of the current study was to explore the cultural awareness, beliefs, and behaviors of SPPs. A total of 193 SPPs, both students and professionals, completed a survey on the influence of their cultural identities on their work and their beliefs and behaviors about working with diverse populations. Participants stated that they were generally unaware of how their cultural identities could influence their work. Moreover, SPPs reported they rarely work with diverse populations without multicultural training and that they believed working with diverse populations without proper training would be somewhat unethical. This study sheds light on the areas of improvement for cultural competence. It appears that awareness of one’s identities needs to be further addressed to develop culturally competent professionals.

Keywords: Cultural competence, Cultural identities, Multicultural training, diversity