Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)


Communicative Disorders

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

A. Lynn Williams

Committee Members

David A. Shapiro, M. Marshall Grube, Teresa L. Boggs


Research in the area of clinical supervision has historically been limited, especially in the field of speech-language pathology. Furthermore, those few studies that do exist were primarily published during the decade of the 1980's. Clinical supervision, and specifically its critical component of supervisory feedback, is crucial to all clinical training programs. However, supervision research only mentions the topic of supervisory feedback and neglects the relationship between supervisory feedback preferences and actual supervisory practices. This study was designed to identify and compare supervisor and supervisee preferences and perceptions regarding supervisory feedback, to relate these preferences to a continuum-based model of clinical supervision, and to compare the feedback preferences of all participants to actual supervisory practices.

Supervisory feedback preferences and perceptions were obtained by using a 31-item Supervisory Feedback Preferences and Perceptions Questionnaire (SFPPQ) developed for this study. Supervisory practices relevant to feedback were examined and described by collecting written feedback from participating supervisors at three different points within a six-week period of supervisory interaction. Participants included 37 speech-language pathology graduate students and 10 supervisors from two ASHA-accredited university training programs.

Results revealed that both supervisors and student clinicians prefer verbal, in-person feedback, which is provided immediately and consistently after each treatment session. Additional preferences supported the continuum-based model of clinical supervision; however, actual practices did not reflect adherence to this model. Findings regarding supervisory practices revealed that supervisors gave mainly direct feedback to their supervisees and that this feedback did not change over time, unlike that suggested by the continuum model. Although no link was found between level of supervisory experience and nature of feedback given, clinicians with advanced experience levels received a higher percentage of direct feedback. This finding again contradicts the recommended model of supervision.

This research expands and extends the limited amount of supervision literature, delineates areas for future research, and discusses implications for future clinical and supervisory training. These implications include information related to specialized supervisory training and styles of adult learning.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.