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American Psychological Association Inc.

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Professional psychologists are expected to know ethical standards and engage in proactive analysis of ethical considerations across professional roles (e.g., practice, research, teaching). Yet, little is known about the current state of doctoral ethics education in professional psychology, including the content covered and pedagogical strategies used to ensure developing this core component of professional competency (de las Fuentes, Willmuth, & Yarrow, 2005). A survey of ethics educators from APAaccredited programs across the United States and Canada resulted in 136 instructors reporting on their program's ethics training. The majority of questionnaires returned were from PhD programs (77.9%). A substantial number of programs were clinical (59.6%) and followed a scientist practitioner training model (69.9%). The response rate across specialties ranged from 34.5% to 41.4%. Nearly all (95.6%) reported having a required ethics course. Lectures (95.6%) were the most common teaching method reported. Fully 100% of ethics educators reported teaching about mandated reporting and informed consent to treatment. An overwhelming majority (90% and above) covered the same 11 other topics, showing notable convergence in content. The most commonly used document across programs (99.3%) was the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (APA, 2010). The most common type of assignment was reading (94.1%), and the most common teaching practice was "teaching by example" (90.4%). Finally the most endorsed teaching goal was advancement of critical thinking (94.9%). Implications for ethics education and future research directions are described. © 2014 American Psychological Association.