This article describes the development and evaluation of a new instrument for the assessment of oral counseling communication skills, the Communication Skills Progress Test (CSPT). The first aim of this study was to investigate the reliability, dimensionality, and discriminant power of the CSFT. The second aim was to examine whether trainees show progress in their mastery of counseling communication skills after taking a course in basic counseling communication skills and a course in advanced counseling communication skills. The CSPT is designed as a video test. With this test students have to demonstrate their mastery of the separate communication skills. A total of 454 psychology students took the CSPT, either before (T0) or after a course in basic counseling communication skills (T1), or after a course in advanced counseling communication skills (T2). Furthermore, 103 psychology students took the CSPT at T0, T1 Mid T2; 26 students served as a control group. We found two factors underlying the CSPT, a Basic Skill Factor and an Advanced Skill Factor. The interrater reliability and internal consistency of these factors were high. As expected, students who took the basic course showed more progress on the Basic Skill Factor than the students in the control group. After the course in advanced counseling communication skills their scores on the Advanced Skill Factor improved substantially. These findings support the discriminant power of the CSPT. The main conclusion is that the CSPT assesses the progress of the mastery in communication skills in a reliable and valid manner.

Assessment, Communication skills, Counseling, Progress test, Training
dx.doi.org/10.1027/1016-9040.12.4.301, hdl.handle.net/1765/66495
European Psychologist
Department of Psychology

Kuntze, A.J, van der Molen, H.T, & Born, M.Ph. (2007). Development and evaluation of a new instrument for the assessment of counseling communication skills. European Psychologist, 12(4), 301–313. doi:10.1027/1016-9040.12.4.301