Allies for Life? Lessons from White Scholars of Multicultural Psychology

Lisa Spanierman, V. Paul Poteat, Valene A. Whittaker, Lewis Z. Schlosser, Marvyn R. Arévalo Avalos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

10 Scopus citations


This article reports on a qualitative investigation conducted to assess how White multicultural scholars have responded to critical questions raised in the 1990s about their roles and responsibilities in multicultural psychology. We used the consensual qualitative research method to analyze semistructured interview data from 12 leading White scholars of multicultural psychology. Findings revealed 10 domains with nuanced categories within each. Key themes addressed: (a) antecedents of participants' interest and commitments to multicultural theory and research, (b) how participants understood Whiteness broadly, and how it influenced their multicultural scholarship specifically, (c) rewards and challenges of conducting multicultural research, and (d) recommendations for future White counseling psychologists. Implications for training and future research are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)618-650
Number of pages33
JournalCounseling Psychologist
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017


  • consensual qualitative research
  • multicultural psychology
  • White privilege
  • White racial justice allies
  • Whiteness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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    Spanierman, L., Poteat, V. P., Whittaker, V. A., Schlosser, L. Z., & Arévalo Avalos, M. R. (2017). Allies for Life? Lessons from White Scholars of Multicultural Psychology. Counseling Psychologist, 45(5), 618-650.