School Psychology Review

Mini-Series: Understanding and Meeting the Psychological and Educational Needs of African-American and Spanish-Speaking Students
Volume 21, Issue 4 (1992 )

Editor: Edward S. Shapiro


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  • Editor's Comments

    Edward S. Shapiro

    pp. 523-524

    One of the most important issues that has faced all of American education is the increasing presence in classrooms of individuals from diverse cultural groups. In some areas of the United States, members of minority groups comprise the majority populations of the school district. With little question, the changing cultural diversity of schools has had important and substantial impact on the delivery of school psychological services. Indeed, the 1991 conference of the National Association of School Psychologists was devoted to the theme of multicultural issues. The present volume of the journal represents one of the first systematic attempts of the Review to add to the knowledge base of school psychologists in the area of multicultural issues. The mini-series grew out of a symposium presented by many of the authors at the 1990 American Psychological Association meeting in Boston. The focus of the mini-series is on the issues faced in achieving educational success by primarily African-Americans as well as some individuals from Spanish-speaking countries.

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  • Understanding and Meeting The Psychological And Educational Needs Of African-American And Spanish-Speaking Students

    Sharon-ann Gopaul-McNicol

    pp. 529-531

    “In the 21st century, racial and ethnic groups in the United States will outnumber Whites for the first time. The browning of America will alter everything in society from politics and education to industry, values and culture” (Henry, 1990). Given the expected change in the demographics of the population in the 21st century, it is imperative that minorities possess the knowledge and skills for productive and responsible participation in society.

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  • Issues And Problems In The Influence Of Culture On The Psychoeducational Needs Of African-American Children

    Craig L. Frisby

    pp. 532-551

    Within the field of school psychology, consciousness of African-American cultural issues has led to many desirable outcomes. However, discussions concerning the influence of culture (as it relates to the psycho-educational needs of African-Americans) continue to be plagued by three major problems: (a) profound confusion over connotative meanings of the word “culture” and the nature of “cultural differences,” (b) writers’ propensity for undifferentiated stereotyping of African-Americans, and (c) the influence of ideological frameworks that hinder objectivity. It is suggested that school psychologists learn to anticipate ethnic/racial conflicts, reexamine their criteria for determining “expertise” in cultural matters, and overcome rigidities in their ideological beliefs.

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  • Intellectual Assessment Of Children From Culturally Diverse Backgrounds

    Eleanor Armour-Thomas

    pp. 552-565

    A long-standing criticism of standardized tests of intelligence is their inappropriateness for the assessment of intellectual competence of children from cultural diverse backgrounds. The purpose of this article is twofold: (a) to examine the assumptions and premises of standardized tests of mental ability and review the extant theories and research on intellectual functioning of children from culturally different backgrounds, and (b) to discuss the implications of these issues and perspectives for new directions for intellectual assessment for children from culturally different backgrounds. The article closes with recommendations for change in the training and practice of school psychologists working with these children.

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  • Psychoeducational Adjustment Of English-speaking Caribbean And Central American Immigrant Children In The United States

    Tania N. Thomas

    pp. 566-576

    This study is an overview of the existing literature on the psychoeducational adjustment of immigrant children from English-speaking countries in the Caribbean and Central America. Issues of education, language differences, sociocultural adjustment, and in the case of Central America immigrant children, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are addressed by providing a deeper understanding of the literature and guided by the experience of the author. The role of the school psychologist as an advocate in the school system for the immigrant student and the family is discussed.

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  • Cooperative Learning: A Case For African-American Students

    Norris M. Haynes and Sara Gebreyesus

    pp. 577-585

    The article offers the premise that African-American children benefit from cooperative learning strategies because of their cultural heritage, family background, and socialization. The authors briefly review cooperative learning strategies, offer a theoretical analysis of the sociocultural basis for cooperative learning orientations among African-American children, and examine empirical studies which appear to substantiate the benefits of cooperative learning for African-American children. The authors discuss implications for practice and research and conclude with a critical appraisal of the school psychologist’s role in promoting more culturally sensitive environments to address children’s needs. A conceptual model is suggested as an explanatory framework for understanding the sociocultural basis for the basic premise.

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  • African-American Children And The Educational Process: Alleviating Cultural Discontinuity Through Prescriptive Pedagogy

    Brenda A. Allen and A. Wade Boykin

    pp. 586-596

    This article seeks to establish that contextual factors informed by certain postulated cultural experiences can influence the cognitive performance of African-American children. Toward this end, a model designed to explain the fundamental link between culture and cognition using African-Americans as the case in point is presented. It is argued that much of the school failure exhibited by African-American children can be explained in terms of the cultural discontinuity resulting from a mismatch between salient features cultivated in the African-American home and proximal environments and those typically afforded within the United States educational system. The empirical investigations emanating from this stance reveal that the task performance of black children can be greatly enhanced by the incorporation of certain cultural factors into the learning contexts. Increased performance is interpreted as the result of familiarity with the learning context which activates the use of cognitive skills and enhances motivation to perform the given task Suggestions for practice and research are offered.

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  • Implications For School Psychologists: Synthesis Of The Mini-Series

    Sharon-ann Gopaul-McNicol

    pp. 597-600

    A synthesis of the special issue is presented by showing how the psychoeducational status of minority students can be enhanced if school psychologists and teachers take into consideration the linguistic and cultural differences of students. More responsive educational approaches that match and nurture the positive cultural experiences of minority students are emphasized. Implications for conducting culturally relevant assessments of intelligence and personality are discussed. A research agenda for the next decade is proposed.

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  • Understanding And Meeting The Psychological And Educational Needs Of African-American And Spanish-speaking Students Annotated Bibliography

    Sharon-ann Gopaul-McNicol

    pp. 601-602

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  • Multicultural Training In School Psychology: A National Survey

    Margaret R. Rogers, Joseph G. Ponterotto, Marty J. Wiese, and Jane Close Conoley

    pp. 603-616

    A national sample of directors of school psychology training programs responded to a survey measuring the extent to which the programs integrated multicultural themes into core courses, offered minority related courses, exposed students to culturally diverse clients during practica and internships, provided minority issues research opportunities, and represented culturally diverse groups among faculty and students. Directors of 121 doctoral and nondoctoral school psychology programs in the U.S. responded, constituting a response rate of 57%. Results show that APA accredited and PhD granting programs were making the most effort to include minority themes in assessment coursework, offer optional minority related courses, and involve students in minority issues research projects. However, many programs sampled (40%) do not yet offer specific courses in minority issues nor integrate multicultural content/themes into core school psychology courses and almost one-third of the programs surveyed provided limited access to minority children during fieldwork experiences. Specific results are discussed and suggestions for future research and policy also are presented.

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  • Accountability Practices of School Psychologists: 1991 National Survey

    Thomas N. Fairchild & Joseph E. Zins

    pp. 617-627

    In 1984 a national survey of the accountability practices of school psychologists was conducted. In order to assess current practice and to determine changes that may have occurred, another national survey was conducted. A questionnaire of accountability practices was sent to 360 members of the National Association of School Psychologists; 161 usable questionnaires were returned. This article describes the results including (a ) current accountability efforts, (b ) how participants learned about accountability methods, (c) significant barriers to the collection of accountability data, (d ) the relationship between involvement in accountability efforts and demographic variables, (e ) changing trends in accountability practices, and (f) suggestions for increasing activity in this area. Results indicated that 57.8% of the 161 respondents were collecting accountability data, which was not statistically different from the 60% rate found in the 1984 survey. The respondents not collecting such data identified lack of familiarity with procedures, time constraints, and failure to consider the topic as major reasons for their lack of involvement. Respondents indicated a need for additional preservice and in-service training on specific methods, procedures, and practices. A critical analysis of the results is presented.

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  • Acceptability Of Behavioral Treatments For Children: Analog And Naturalistic Evaluations By Parents

    Thomas M. Reimers, David P. Wacker, Linda J. Cooper, and Agnes O. De Raad

    pp. 628-643

    To date, most investigations of treatment acceptability have utilized an analog methodology, with few studies examining the acceptability of treatments in naturalistic environments. The purpose of the present study was to examine both analog and naturalistic ratings of acceptability using the same group of parents. Participants were 40 parents whose children were seen in a behavior management clinic. Parents rated the acceptability of alternative treatments applied to case descriptions and also rated the acceptability of treatments actually provided to them in the clinic for the management of their children’s behavior difficulties. Naturalistic ratings were obtained in the clinic, and at 1, 3, and 6 months following the clinic visit. Results indicated that analog treatments were distinguished on the basis of acceptability ratings. When the severity of behavior problems was considered, a positive relationship existed between analog and naturalistic acceptability ratings. A strong, positive relationship was found between treatment effectiveness and acceptability at each time point. In addition, a gradual increase was observed in the relationship between acceptability and compliance over time.

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  • Effects Of Curriculum-test Overlap On Standardized Achievement Test Scores: Identifying Systematic Confounds In Educational Decision Making

    Paul F. Bell, Francis E. Lentz, Jr. and Janet L. Graden

    pp. 644-655

    The effects of curriculum-test overlap on standardized reading test performance (WRAT-R, K-TEA, and WRMT-R) were assessed with 181 first- and second-grade students receiving reading instruction from the MacMillan-R (Smith & Arnold, 1986) reading curriculum. Two methods of quantifying curriculum-test overlap were used to predict the patterns of students’ performance across the three tests and to compare their relative power for prediction. Results were consistent with other findings (Good & Salvia, 1988), examining different grade levels, tests, and curricula, indicating a strong and systematic curriculum bias which could confound educational decisions based on test scores. Neither method of quantifying curriculum-test overlap consistently outperformed the other indicating both are suited for use by researchers and assessment practitioners.

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  • Author Index

    pp. 656

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  • Citation Index

    pp. 657-658

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