Publicado may 17, 2014


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Viviana Langher

Benedetta Brancadoro

Andrea Caputo

Marianna D´Angeli


This paper presents a case study of 213 university students of Clinical Psychology that explores affective symbolizations, which structure their relationship with hosting bodies in internship experience. This is in order to detect students’ main representations about their role as interns, professional activities and functions they have to comply with and the perceived integration between university education and real work contexts. A questionnaire was administered for the analysis of students’ motivational dynamics and expectations activated by imagining their future internship. Four clusters of students have been identified, through multivariate statistical techniques, multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) and cluster analysis (CA). Results were as follows: a general powerlessness, distrust and disinvestment toward internship (17.7%); affiliation with hosting bodies in order to gain increasing acceptance and power (33.8%); high pragmatism, task-orientation and compliance with what the hosting bodies propose (30.8%) and a demand for recognition without any negotiation (17.7%). No relationship is detected between clusters and some illustrative variables related to sex and indicators of academic success, problems and participation. These clusters are conceived along three latent dimensions, which explain 57.9% of the total variance and refer to: disengagement/involvement toward internship experience; owerlessness/omnipotence about using competences and devaluation/idealization of the hosting body in relation to university training. Overall, two critical issues emerge: the first refers to a gap between university training and internship, the second one deals with discontinuity between the internship and the labor market. Some reflections and implications for practice are discussed.

internship, professional psychology, university students, representations, reflective practice.prácticas, psicología profesional, estudiantes universitarios, representaciones, la práctica reflexiva

Cómo citar
Langher, V., Brancadoro, B., Caputo, A., & D´Angeli, M. (2014). Imagining Future Internship in Professional Psychology: A Study on University Students’ Representations. Universitas Psychologica, 13(4).