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Clin Psychol Rev. 1998 Apr;18(3):273-85.

Obstacles to addressing professional misconduct.

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School of Professional Psychology, Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR 97116, USA.


The Ethical Principles exhort psychologists "to encourage ethical behavior by students, supervisees, employees, and colleagues, as appropriate" (American Psychological Association, 1992, p. 1599). In spite of a clear directive to attempt resolution of unethical conduct by colleagues, research indicates that satisfactory resolution or actual reporting of misconduct is infrequent. This paper will address some of the forces that discourage psychologists from dealing responsibly and appropriately with professional misconduct by colleagues. The goals of this paper are to promote understanding of factors that interfere with the effective resolution of ethical misconduct, to identify possible signs of reluctance to address misconduct, and to propose strategies to combat those forces that keep us in silent collusion with colleagues who engage in unethical practices. A flowchart of steps for addressing possible misconduct by a colleague is provided, and educational, organizational, and professional considerations are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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