In the Spring 2011 School Psychology Forum
By Steven Shaw
School Psychology Forum is now a quarterly journal that will be available online in fall, winter,
spring, and summer. Beginning with the Spring 2011 issue, we will standardize SPF to
have three articles, commentaries, and multimedia content. Feel free to send commentaries
or new articles for consideration to SchoolPsychForum@naspweb.org.
The Spring 2011 issue is a general issue covering a variety of timely topics. All papers
have specific applications to the practice of school psychology. Look for additional insights
into research and applications of research through interviews with the authors
to appear in the SPF webpage this spring. Full content of these papers can be found
Adolescent Dating and Intimate Relationship Violence: Issues and Implications for
School Psychologists by Jim Ayers and Susan Davies. Some teenage romantic relationships
involve physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. This literature review examines the
definition and prevalence of teen dating violence. Risk factors for becoming a perpetrator
or victim are described. The article includes prevention and intervention strategies
for school psychologists and suggested steps for future research.
Adding Additional Items to Difficult Tasks: Using Interspersal Techniques to Help
Decrease Avoidance-Reinforced Off-Task Behavior by David M. Hulac and Nicholas
Benson. Often, manipulating instructional variables can increase accurate academic
responding and increase on-task behavior. When task difficulty is found to cause offtask
behavior, adjusting an activity’s ratio of required tasks that students have mastered
and not mastered may prove beneficial. Such practices are known as interspersal techniques.
This paper reviews interspersal techniques and provides possible scenarios in
which it would be appropriate for a school psychologist to recommend or implement
them as well as scenarios when such practices should be avoided.
Literature Circles: Social and Leadership Development Among At-Risk Students by
Emily L. Sportsman, Janine L. Certo, Sara E. Bolt, and Jeffrey A. Miller. Literature circles
are interactive group experiences in which children are grouped heterogeneously to select
and discuss a common book. A sample of 112 students from 10 classrooms within one
urban elementary school participated in literature circles for 4 months. Pre- and posttest
BASC-2 data were collected to monitor students’ social and leadership skills across
their participation in literature circles. Data analysis revealed large and significant growth
in social and leadership skills among academically at-risk students. Average-achieving
and high-achieving student subgroups also demonstrated growth in social and leadership
skills. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
Steven R. Shaw, PhD, NCSP, is the editor of School Psychology Forum and a contributing editor for Communiqué.