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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 at http://www.nasponline.org/publications/spf/spfissues.aspx.

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.