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NASP Home NASP Publications School Psychology Review (SPR) Volume 14 Issue 4 (1985) The Challenge of Rural School Psychology
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Volume 14, Issue 4 (1985)

The Challenge of Rural School Psychology

pp. 400—401

Serving children of rural America poses a challenge for school psychology. Two-thirds of all schools in the United States are in rural areas (Helge, 1981). These rural schools serve 32% of America’s school children, but the majority of unserved and underserved handicapped children live in rural America (Sher, 1978). The obstacles to providing quality school psychological services to rural children include the geographic isolation of rural schools, widely scattered populations, transportation difficulties, small numbers oflow incidence handicapped children, poverty, and values such as the self-help ethos,traditionalism, and a distrust of outsiders. A major problem to delivering comprehensive health services to rural schools is the difficulty experienced in recruiting and retaining qualified special educators and school psychologists. Rural children and their families are also characteristically unserved or under served by non-school health and mental health professionals (The President’s Commission on Mental Health, 1978). Although the mental health of rural communities has been neglected, rural communities have a disproportionately high number of persons who are at risk for mental health problems(e.g., the poor and minorities).

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