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. A) a brief description of your selected population. Include in your description an explanation of whether this population is vulnerable physically, psychologically, or socially (or some combination of the three). Explain ethical considerations relevant to this population that might affect your research project. Finally, describe one strategy for conducting ethical research with this population that demonstrates cultural sensitivity and explain how. In addition to considering the obvious cultural issues of ethnicity, customs, and language be sure to consider other dimensions of cultural and global variation such as spiritual orientation, perspectives on privacy and consent, views toward and laws governing research, and personal freedoms.


Dimensions of diversity such as culture, race, religious orientation, sexual identity, rural/urban background, country of origin, and many others may sometimes cause ethical friction. Psychology professionals must be mindful to practice inclusively and respectfully in order to earn the trust of individuals in a diverse setting. Psychology professionals benefit from practice in applying decision-making frameworks that take some of the subjectivity out of choosing among actions.

For this Assignment, review the following Case Study:

An old friend proposes to hire you as a program evaluation consultant. He is applying for a discretionary grant from the state to help expand his nonprofit after-school program dedicated to fostering a drug-free community. He has poured more than a decade into getting this program up and running, and he is passionate about its mission of serving at-risk kids. “I know I can count on you to help demonstrate the good work that my team has been doing and help us get the grant,” he says.

He is excited about the grant opportunity because he has seen changes in the youth who have been participating and he wants to ramp up the program to address the needs of youth all over the state. The grant application asks for data demonstrating previous success and justification for expansion.

You both agree that you will need to collect survey and interview data that can evaluate the current program as well as assess the needs of the population he believes to be the target population for his program, which he describes as “low-income, minority youth.” You are concerned about the narrow scope he has in mind for the needs assessment and whether he has fully considered who the program should serve. If his goal is to serve all youth across the state who are vulnerable to the influences of drugs, then perhaps this is not the only population that should be included in the needs assessment. In addition, you want to ensure that your work reflects sensitivity to a variety of cultures. When you express your concerns to your friend, he tells you, “Don’t worry about that; other groups have other programs that take care of their needs. Besides, we are more likely to get the funding if we focus on minority kids.”

The Case Study allows you to apply ethics to real-life situations and demonstrate your understanding of the decision making needed to resolve such conflicts. It is rare for an ethical dilemma to involve only one issue, so you should take the time to reflect on the complications that present themselves in the situations described in the Case Study.

For this week’s Assignment, review the overview of the five ethical decision-making models that can be found in the Learning Resources section.

  • Koocher and Keith-Spiegel’s nine-step ethical decision-making model
  • Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists: The 10-step ethical decision-making process
  • Rest’s four-step ethical decision-making model
  • Jones’s four-step intensity-contingent ethical decision-making model
  • Fisher’s eight-step ethical decision-making model
  • An explanation of the ethical dilemmas you perceive to be involved in the Case Study.
  • A description of what you might do in response to the dilemma. Include the following in your explanation:
    • A step-by-step application of one of the decision-making models provided above.
    • An explanation of the possible outcomes for each individual in the Case Study.
    • An explanation of any benefits and limitations of the model you selected.


  • Bersoff, D. (Ed.). (2008). Ethical conflicts in psychology (4th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
    • Chapter 7, “Therapy and Other Forms of Intervention”
      • “National Survey of Ethical Practices Across Rural and Urban Communities” (pp. 354–360)
  • Fisher, C. B. (2017). Decoding the ethics code: A practical guide for psychologists (4th ed). California: Sage Publications, Inc.
    • Chapter 5, “Standards on Competence”
      • “Hot Topic: Multicultural Ethical Competence” (pp. 109-110)
  • Kelley, S., Crosby, S., Grodin, M. A., Macklin, R., Rubin, S., Brunger, F., & Weijer, C. (2002). The forum. Ethics and Behavior, 12(4), 371–387.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
    • Hugman, R., Pittaway, E., & Bartolomei, L. (2011). When “do no harm’ is not enough: The ethics of research with refugees and other vulnerable groups.” British Journal of Social Work, 41(7), 1271–1287.
      Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
    • Lauwers, H., & Van Hove, G. (2010). Supporting the participation rights of children in a sensitive research project: The case of young road traffic victims. International Journal of Children’s Rights, 18(3), 335–354.
      Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
    • London, L. (2002). Ethical oversight of public health research: Can rules and IRBs make a difference in developing countries? American Journal of Public Health, 92(7), 1079–1983.
      Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
    • Walden University. (n.d.). Research ethics FAQs for doctoral students in the field of education: Practical tips for avoiding delays and problems in the research approval process. Retrieved from the Center for Research Support at http://researchcenter.waldenu.edu/

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