Establishing the Validity of the Affirmative Training Inventory: Assessing the Relationship between Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Affirmative Training and Students’ Clinical Competence


  • Thomas Stone Carlson,

  • Christi R. McGeorge,

  • Russell B. Toomey

  • Thomas Stone Carlson, PhD, and Christi R. McGeorge, PhD, are faculty members in the Human Development and Family Science Department at North Dakota State University; Russell B. Toomey is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Prevention Research Center at Arizona State University.

Address correspondence to Thomas Stone Carlson, Human Development and Family Science Department at North Dakota State University, Dept. 2615, PO Box 6050, Fargo, North Dakota 58108-6050; E-mail:


This study established the validity and factor structure of the Affirmative Training Inventory (ATI; T. S. Carlson, C. R. McGeorge & M. Rock, unpublished) as a measure of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) affirmative clinical training. Additionally, this study examined the latent associations among the subscales of the ATI and the Sexual Orientation Counselor Competency Scale (Bidell, 2005) utilizing a sample of 248 master’s and doctoral couple and family therapy students. The findings from this study provide empirical support for the relationship between specific classroom-related content associated with LGB affirmative therapy and students’ perceptions of their own ability to work competently with LGB clients. This study also found a positive association between the degree to which couple and family therapy programs adopt a LGB-affirmative stance and students’ beliefs, knowledge, and skills associated with competent therapy with LGB clients.