School Psychology Forum

Research and Scholarship Affecting the Directions of School Psychology Practice
Volume 6, Issue 1 (Spring 2012 )

Editor: Steven R. Shaw

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  • Grade Retention and Borderline Intelligence: The Social–Emotional Cost

    Anne M. Ritzema & Steven R. Shaw

    pp. 1-14

    ABSTRACT: This retrospective study examines the impact of grade retention in a sample of students with borderline intellectual functioning. Data were collected as part of a 7-year study of 142 children ages 6–17 with intelligence test scores between 71 and 85. Thirty-two students in the study were retained in the second or third year of the study. A comparison group matched on gender, grade, and school grades was formed from the larger sample. The groups were indistinguishable in terms of their reported social–emotional and behavioral functioning. The results indicate that following retention there were no significant differences in academic performance between the retained and nonretained groups. However, the retained group was reported to experience significantly more depressive symptoms than the nonretained group. Following grade retention, 26 of the 32 retained students had depression scores above the clinical cut off. One year after grade retention, students in the retained group continued to have high levels of depressive symptoms. These results are discussed in the context of existing grade retention research, and implications for students with borderline intellectual functioning are considered.

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  • Can Rapid Advances in Genetics Inform the Practice of Modern School Psychology?

    Anthony Claro, Samira Moumne, & Corina Sferdenschi

    pp. 15-28

    ABSTRACT: School psychology is a dynamic field that has moved from a primarily assessment-based practice to a more complete and intervention-centered profession. Although this shift has been mainly positive, the present article addresses a potential gap in the current model. Specifically, technological advances have allowed for significant gains with regard to genetics. As a result, incorporating new genetic findings into the practice of school psychology allows for opportunities to advance the delivery of services, especially with regard to early identification of problems, prevention of negative outcomes, and specific interventions. Genetic research has led to earlier diagnoses for many disorders and will undoubtedly discover new causal genes for many disorders with currently unknown causes. School psychology remains a largely behavioral practice, but the advances in genetics provide an opportunity to improve assessment and interventions in the practice of school psychology. A major concern is not whether there should be a place in modern school psychology for genetics, but whether current practitioners will embrace such a union.

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