Factors affecting the research activity of UK clinical psychologists

PhD Thesis

Parsons, M. 2011. Factors affecting the research activity of UK clinical psychologists. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Department of Applied Psychology
AuthorsParsons, M.
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameDClinPsychol

Part A provides an overview of the literature pertaining to influences on the research activity of clinical psychologists. The need for ongoing research within the profession is outlined and the evidence for the role of different factors associated with research activity is described and evaluated. Further investigation is recommended in the areas of the research training environment and the practice context.
Part B reports an empirical study looking at how components of the theory of planned behaviour may mediate the impact of factors within the research training environment (RTE) on research intention in a sample of UK clinical psychologists. Low levels of clinical psychologist research activity are repeatedly highlighted within the literature. Several potential influences have been identified with the majority of investigation directed towards the RTE and mediators of this factor. A model has been proposed using the theory of planned behaviour to explain research activity and preliminary support has been found for this. The current study took a more in-depth look at the active ingredients of the RTE, as well as aspects beyond training in the workplace. Factor analysis revealed two second order factors within the RTE that differed from an earlier two-factor solution in the literature. These were labelled stimulation and expectations. The relationship between stimulation and intention to do research was shown to be mediated by theory of planned behaviour components, whilst expectation maintained a direct relationship with intention. Thematic analysis of comments from clinical psychologists relating to influences on their research activity supported some of these findings, but also identified new barriers and facilitators of research activity relating to the work environment. Further research exploring both training and practice contexts is called for and implications for training and practice are made.
Part C is a critical appraisal of the project, which considers learning points and skills gained from the process of undertaking the study. Future directions for developing research skills are discussed and personal reflections on how the implications of the project may be incorporated into future roles are provided.

KeywordsClinical psychologists, Research activity
Publication process dates
Deposited16 Nov 2011
SubmittedSep 2011
Output statusUnpublished
Accepted author manuscript
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