School Psychology Review

General Issue
Volume 35, Issue 1 (2006 )

Editor: Thomas J. Power


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  • School Psychology Review: 2006-2010

    Thomas J. Power

    pp. 3-10

    Abstract. The vision for School Psychology Review for the 2006–2010 editorial term is described, and five major goals are outlined. These goals include (a)addressing issues of critical importance to school psychology and the broader domains of child-oriented psychology and education; (b) promoting intervention and prevention research and publishing this work in its various stages of development;(c) strengthening the link between science and practice; (d) promoting across-fertilization of ideas through interdisciplinary collaboration; and (e) building the infrastructure through the use of electronic technologies. Strategies that will be used by the leadership team of SPR to address each goal during the next 5years are described.

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  • Academic and Cognitive Functioning in First Grade: Associations With Earlier Home and Child Care Predictors and With Concurrent Home and Classroom Experiences

    Jason T. Downer, Robert C. Pianta

    pp. 11-30

    Abstract. Family and child care experiences from birth to 54 months, achievement and social competence at entry to school, maternal sensitivity at first grade, and qualities of first-grade classrooms were used to predict academic and cognitive functioning at first grade for 832 children enrolled in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Study of Early Child Care.Repeated assessments of functioning from preschool to first grade indicated that individual differences in academic and cognitive functioning over the course of two years were relatively stable. In regression models that predicted relative change in cognitive ability from 54 months to first grade, child gender and race,family income-to-needs ratio, maternal education and sensitivity, and home learning environment were significant predictors. Preschool academic cognitive functioning served as a significant mediator between child characteristics, early family factors, child care quality, and first-grade child outcomes. Children’s social competence prior to school entry served a secondary yet significant mediating role between early experience and elementary school academic functioning. Upon controlling for early home and child care factors, classrooms that spent more time on literacy, language, and math instruction were associated with higher scores on tests of reading achievement, phoneme knowledge, and long-term retrieval.

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  • Evidence for Population-Based Perspectives on Children's Behavioral Adjustment and Needs for Service Delivery in Schools

    Jean A. Baker, Randy W. Kamphaus, Arthur M. Horne, Anne P. Winsor

    pp. 31-46

    Abstract. American schoolchildren show tremendous academic as well as intra- and interpersonal behavioral differences in the classroom. Current service delivery models within schools may be insufficient to meet the demand and diversity of students’ needs, especially in schools serving students placed at risk by adverse life circumstances, such as poverty. This article presents empirical findings about the range of normal behavioral variability within schools serving students at risk.Our findings suggest that a population-based perspective on behavioral adjustment captured this variability and was useful in predicting children’s educational risk status. Our data are best explained by a model associating behavioral risk and educational status that aligns with prevention-oriented service delivery approach specifying the needs for universal, selected, and indicated interventions in schools. We discuss our findings relative to the needs for schools to afford timely and efficient use of academic supports and mental health resources in schools serving children placed at risk.

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  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Scholastic Achievement: A Model of Mediation Via Academic Enablers

    Robert J. Volpe, George J. DuPaul, James C. DiPerna, Asha K. Jitendra, J. Gary Lutz, Katy Tresco, Ro

    pp. 47-61

    Abstract. The current study examined the influence of symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on student academic achievement in reading and in mathematics in a sample of 146 first- through fourth-grade students,103 of which were identified as having ADHD and academic problems in reading and/or math. A theoretical model was examined using structural equation modeling wherein student academic enablers (motivation, study skills, interpersonal skills, and engagement) and prior academic achievement served as mediators of the relationship between ADHD and academic achievement in mathematics and reading. Results of these analyses indicate that after controlling for the influence of prior achievement, ADHD influences motivation, which influences study skills to promote academic achievement. The article concludes with a discussion of the practical implications of these findings and how they extend prior research on the relationship between ADHD and academic achievement.

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  • Children's Reasoning About Aggression: Differences Between Japan and the United States and Implications for School Discipline

    George G. Bear, Maureen A. Manning, Kunio Shiomi

    pp. 62-77

    Abstract. Results are presented of a cross-cultural study of differences in the reasons that children in the United States and Japan give for refraining from common types of aggression. Over 200 children, primarily fifth-graders, were interviewed individually.The study was an extension of previous research showing that children who voice a self-centered or hedonistic perspective based on punishment, as opposed to a perspective that focuses more on the needs of others, tend to be more disruptive and/or aggressive. In the current study, children in the United States, compared to children in Japan, were more likely to focus on the consequences of their behavior on themselves, not on others. Indeed, nearly all children in the United States (92%) gave at least one response that focused on punishment, and 79% gave a response that focused on either overt or relational retribution. In contrast, 90% of the children in Japan did not mention punishment and less than half (42%) mentioned one of the two types of retribution. Given previously reported differences in behavior between Japanese and American students, the present findings suggest that emphasizing rules and punishment—as widely practiced in American schools but not in Japanese schools—might not be the best strategy for promoting responsible behavior, especially over the long term.

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  • Application of an Interdependent Group Contingency Method by an Automated Feedback Device: An Intervention Across Three High School Classrooms

    Theodore J. Christ, Jennifer A. Christ

    pp. 78-90

    Abstract. Contemporary roles of school psychology include the provision of ongoing support for teachers to prevent and remediate problematic behaviors within the instructional setting. Early research on the use of automated feedback devices to influence classroom behavior yielded promising results. The present study examined the effect of an interdependent group contingency as mediated by the Digital Scoreboard in three high school inclusion classrooms. The scoreboard provided ongoing positive feedback to students using an automated digital countdown timer and a digital delivery system of digital tokens. Teachers interrupted the positive feedback when students engaged in disruptive behaviors. The intervention effectively reduced the rate of disruptive behavior and teacher corrections for disruption, increased rates of active engagement and uninterrupted instructional time, and corresponded with high levels of teacher acceptability. Implications,limitations, and future directions for research are discussed.

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  • Assisting Low-Performing Readers With a Group-Based Reading Fluency Intervention

    John C. Begeny, Brian K. Martens

    pp. 91-107

    Abstract. Nearly 40% of America’s fourth-grade students are below the basic level in reading. Creating opportunities for practice to build reading accuracy and speed (i.e., fluency) is an important link between word decoding and passage comprehension. The purpose of this study was to combine several empirically validated reading interventions into an instructional package that could be used with small groups of children to increase oral reading fluency. Effects of the instructional package were evaluated with 12 third-grade students using a multiple-baseline design across groups. Findings suggested that students read more words correct per minute on trained passages and completed maze comprehension passages with higher accuracy and fluency. In addition, students made statistically significant gains over time on non practiced passages of varying grade levels, on word lists containing both “trained” and untrained words, and on subtests from a commonly used standardized educational assessment tool. Implications for the use of a group-based intervention, limitations of the study, and directions for future research are discussed.

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  • Higher Order, Multisample, Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Fourth Edition: What Does It Measure?

    Timothy Z. Keith, Jodene Goldenring Fine, Gordon E. Taub, Matthew R. Reynolds, John H. Kranzler

    pp. 108-127

    Abstract. The recently published fourth edition of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-IV) represents a considerable departure from previous versions of the scale. The structure of the instrument has changed, and some subtests have been added and others deleted. The technical manual for the WISC-IV provided evidence supporting this new structure, but questions about consistency of measurement across ages and the nature of the constructs measured by the test remain. This research was designed to determine whether the WISC-IV measures the same constructs across its 11-year age span and to explicate the nature of those constructs. The results suggest that the WISC-IV indeed measures consistent constructs across ages. The scoring structure of the test was not supported in these analyses, however. Comparison of theory-derived alternative models suggests a model more closely aligned with Cattell-Horn-Carroll theory provides a better fit to the WISC-IV standardization data than does the existing WISC-IV structure. In particular, it appears that the WISC-IV measures crystallized ability (Gc), visual processing (Gv), fluid reasoning (Gf),short-term memory (Gsm), and processing speed (Gs); some abilities are well measured,others are not. We recommend that users regroup the Perceptual Reasoning tests, and Arithmetic, to better reflect the constructs measured by the WISC-IV.Specific suggestions are also provided for interpretation of WISC-IV scores.

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  • Short-Term Estimates of Growth Using Curriculum-Based Measurement of Oral Reading Fluency: Estimating Standard Error of the Slope to Construct Confidence Intervals

    Theodore J. Christ

    pp. 128-133

    Abstract. Curriculum-based measurement of oral reading fluency (CBM-R) is an established procedure used to index the level and trend of student growth. A substantial literature base exists regarding best practices in the administration and interpretation of CBM-R; however, research has yet to adequately address the potential influence of measurement error. This study extends results of Hintze and Christ (2004) by incorporating research-based estimates of the standard error of the estimate (SEE) to generate likely magnitudes for the standard error of the slope (SEb)across a variety of progress monitoring durations and measurement conditions.Fourteen progress monitoring durations (2–15 weeks) and nine levels of SEE (2, 4,6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18) were used to derive SEb. The outcomes are discussed in relation to assessment practices, such as selecting optimal progress monitoring durations to reduce measurement error. Implications and limitations are discussed.

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  • Does the Timing of Grade Retention Make a Difference? Examining the Effects of Early Versus Later Retention

    Benjamin Silberglitt, Shane R. Jimerson, Matthew K. Burns, James J. Appleton

    pp. 134-141

    Abstract. Research examining the effectiveness of grade retention has provided overwhelming and seemingly irrefutable evidence that grade retention is an ineffective and potentially harmful practice. However, proponents of grade retention often advocate that retention in the early elementary grades (e.g., kindergarten,first and second grade) is the justified exception. This longitudinal study examined the reading growth trajectories of students (n =49) from first through eighth grade. Hierarchical linear modeling analytic procedures provided novel insights regarding the relative reading growth trajectories among retained students,comparing those students retained in kindergarten through second grade with those students retained in Grades 3–6. The results revealed that the growth trajectories of students retained early (Grades K–2) were comparable to those retained later (Grades 3–5). These findings failed to support the efficacy of retention at an earlier grade in elementary school.

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