Genetic Counseling Supervisors’ Self-Efficacy for Select Clinical Supervision Competencies

Sabra Ledare Finley, Patricia M Veach, Ian M. MacFarlane, Bonnie S LeRoy, Nancy Callanan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Supervision is a primary instructional vehicle for genetic counseling student clinical training. Approximately two-thirds of genetic counselors report teaching and education roles, which include supervisory roles. Recently, Eubanks Higgins and colleagues published the first comprehensive list of empirically-derived genetic counseling supervisor competencies. Studies have yet to evaluate whether supervisors possess these competencies and whether their competencies differ as a function of experience. This study investigated three research questions: (1) What are genetic counselor supervisors’ perceptions of their capabilities (self-efficacy) for a select group of supervisor competencies?, (2) Are there differences in self-efficacy as a function of their supervision experience or their genetic counseling experience, and 3) What training methods do they use and prefer to develop supervision skills? One-hundred thirty-one genetic counselor supervisors completed an anonymous online survey assessing demographics, self-efficacy (self-perceived capability) for 12 goal setting and 16 feedback competencies (Scale: 0–100), competencies that are personally challenging, and supervision training experiences and preferences (open-ended). A MANOVA revealed significant positive effects of supervision experience but not genetic counseling experience on participants’ self-efficacy. Although mean self-efficacy ratings were high (>83.7), participant comments revealed several challenging competencies (e.g., incorporating student’s report of feedback from previous supervisors into goal setting, and providing feedback about student behavior rather than personal traits). Commonly preferred supervision training methods included consultation with colleagues, peer discussion, and workshops/seminars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-358
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Genetic Counseling
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Feedback
  • Genetic counseling supervision
  • Goal setting
  • Self-efficacy
  • Supervision challenge
  • Supervision experience
  • Supervision training
  • Supervisor competencies


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