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Volume 31, Issue 1 (2002)

New Roles for School Psychologists: Addressing the Social and Emotional Learning Needs of Students

pp. 43—52

Abstract. The importance of addressing social and emotional skills for youth has been well documented within the literature. These skills are becoming increasingly critical as young people face difficult challenges at school and in their personal lives. Research also indicates that psychologically competent young people are more likely to avoid high-risk activities that can have dangerous consequences for their health and well-being. Schools have the potential to reach students with these important life lessons, and school psychologists can provide the leadership to enhance these educational experiences. This article reviews the literature on school-based social and emotional skill development and examines the relevance of this area to the work of the school psychologist. Suggestions are made for ways in which school psychologists can improve the social and emotional climates of their schools in areas such as prevention and health promotion, professional development,and collaboration with other professionals and organizations. Recommendations are also made for ways in which school psychology preparation programs can better train students to take on these new roles.

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