Volume 16, Issue 3 (1987)
The Effects of Type of Referral Information and Test Data on Psychoeudcational Decisions
E. Scott Huebner
ABSTRACT: Eighty-two Illinois school psychologists reviewed a hypothetical case study and made a variety of psychoeducational decisions. The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of the type of referral information (specific vs. nonspecific reasons for referral) and test data (LD vs. normal) on school psychologists’ decisions.Knowledge of a teacher’s reasons for referral, under both the specific and nonspecific conditions, did not influence school psychologists’ expectations or diagnostic and placement decisions. In contrast, the type of test data did influence their decisions. School psychologists who received LD data were more likely to have lower future expectations for the child’s academic performance and motivation for success in school. They were also more likely to diagnose the child as LD and recommend him/her for a special education program. Thus, these school psychologists were not predisposed to diagnose a handicap nor recommend special education placements solely as a result of referral information, but rather incorporated the results of psychoeducational test information into their decision-making practices.
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