Mya M. Bethune


Johnson, Brian

Committee Member

Gonzalez, David

Committee Member

Wright, Stephen

Committee Member

Mundform, Daniel


Applied Psychology & Counselor Education


University of Northern Colorado

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Greeley (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

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161 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


The prediction of success in graduate education is of growing interest in the field of professional psychology. Large scale studies and meta-analyses have established that cognitive and personality variables do provide increments of validity in the prediction of individual differences in academic outcomes. However, there continues to be debate regarding the most effective variables to build predictive models and how to define success in graduate school. This dissertation analyzed whether the prediction of performance in a professional counseling masters program (PCMP) using undergraduate grade point average and Pre-Admissions Workshop rating scores could be incremented by adding personality traits, as measured by the MMPI-2. Graduate grade point average (GGPA) and internship evaluation ratings (IER) were both used as success criteria in order to investigate whether a stronger predictive model could be built using a traditional outcome variable or a criterion more in line with the training objective of a professional program. The two hierarchical regression analyses produced a number of key findings. Across both analyses, the MMPI-2 independently accounted for the most variance in performance outcome, after controlling for the traditional admissions variables. The final model accounted for 24.4% of the variance in GGPA and of that, the MMPI-2 uniquely explained 17.7%. When IER was used as the criterion, the final model accounted for 15.6% of the variance, and 14.5% of that variance was uniquely explained by the MMPI-2. Scales 9 (Hypomania), 2 (Depression) and F (Infrequency) on the MMPI-2 were the most significant contributors to the prediction of performance. Overall, these findings provided empirical support for the inclusion of an objective, valid personality instrument in PCMP admissions procedures and suggest that personality characteristics are veritably relevant to academic performance. Likewise, the use of IER as a criterion of success in a PCMP demonstrated potential as a variable that could overcome the limitations of using GGPA. Suggestions as to how to build on these results, through future research, are provided.

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