Psychology ETDs

Publication Date

Fall 10-31-2019


BACKGROUND: Despite significant progress in identifying empirically supported

elements of psychotherapy treatments over the last 20 years, the integration of these findings into clinical practice remains low. Practitioner training has been identified as a core component of successful translation of scientific findings into practice. Yet, little research has been conducted on the role of the trainer in the dissemination of empirically supported treatments (ESTs). This exploratory study investigated the practices and attitudes of trainers of an EST, Motivational Interviewing (MI), to identify potential factors related to successful and/or unsuccessful dissemination efforts. METHOD: A measure of Motivational Interviewing components (MIC) and a measure of Trainer Attitudes towards Motivational Interviewing (TAM) training were developed and administered to 111 members of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers. The MIC asked trainers to select training content for a hypothetical training scenario, from a list of items that included both empirically supported components and those that had no empirical support, based on a review of the MI literature. Factor Analyses were conducted on the two measures, and associations between the two measures were examined. RESULTS: A two-factor solution of Unsupported and Supported training components emerged from the MIC. A three-factor solution emerged from the TAM, including a factor of Pro-Technical attitudes, a factor of Pro-Relational attitudes, and a third factor indicating disinterest in training either. A correlational analysis showed that trainers who expressed disinterest in training on both the technical and relational components of Motivational Interviewing (MI) had a less favorable balance of supported vs. unsupported training components in a hypothetical training (r = -.228, p = 016), although the reliability of these measures was low. DISCUSSION: Based on this sample, there appears to be considerable uniformity in the training practices and attitudes of MI trainers. Trainers consistently include empirically supported MI components in their trainings, likely contributing to the positive findings for MI’s effectiveness. However, some trainers also appear to include components for which no empirical support exists, or which appear inconsistent with MI’s focus on active change. This study had serious limitations, including the use of new and unreliable measures and a small sample size.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Theresa Moyers

Second Committee Member

Dr. Barbara McCrady

Third Committee Member

Dr. Marco DelGiudice

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Included in

Psychology Commons