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NASP Home NASP Publications School Psychology Review (SPR) Volume 18 Issue 3 (1989) School Psychologists' Involvement in ...
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Volume 18, Issue 3 (1989)

School Psychologists' Involvement in the Response to Child Sexual Abuse

pp. 386—399

ABSTRACT: School psychologists have been designated as important figures in the schools’response to child sexual abuse. However, no reports are available on how school psychologists have responded to the issue of child sexual abuse. This study surveyed a large, national sample of practicing school psychologists to ascertain(a) their attitudes toward involvement in the response to child sexual abuse,(b) their level of experience in providing educational and therapeutic services, (c) their evaluation of district and community support for responding to the issue of child sexual abuse, (d) their degree of knowledge pertinent to identifying children who have been sexually abused, (e) their degree of comfort with their knowledge about child sexual abuse and their ability to provide services, and(f) their desire for additional education and training. The practicing school psychologists surveyed reported positive attitudes toward involvement in the response to child sexual abuse, limited experience, and strong school district and community support for the role functions of identification and reporting.In addition, the respondents indicated awareness of most signs that suggest possible sexual abuse. However, they reported not feeling comfortable with their degree of knowledge about providing educational and therapeutic services related to child sexual abuse and want additional education and training in these areas.The results are discussed in relation to seven role functions previously proposed for school psychologists in the response to child sexual abuse. Limitations of the study, as well as implications for professional practice and future research are offered.

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