School Psychology Review

General Issue
Volume 48, Issue 3 (2019)

Editor: Amy L. Reschly

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  • Peer Sympathy for Bullied Youth: Individual and Classroom Considerations

    Tracy E. Waasdorp, W. John Monopoli, Zephyr Horowitz-Johnson & Stephen S. Leff

    pp. 193–206

    Abstract. Sympathetic bystanders are necessary for helping to create a positive antibullying climate. The purpose of the current study is to better understand both individual and classroom factors that are associated with having sympathy for victimized peers. Data come from 1,051 third through fifth graders, predominantly African American youth from 55 classrooms in 6 urban schools. Hierarchical linear models showed that relational aggression (teacher report) and popularity (peer nomination) were associated with low levels of sympathy (self-report). Low classroom levels of aggression (aggregated peer nominations) and high levels of teacher–student closeness (teacher report) were associated with high levels of sympathy. Cross-level interactions revealed boys in highly aggressive classrooms demonstrate less sympathy than boys in less aggressive classrooms. Further, for relationally aggressive youth, being in a classroom with high levels of teacher–student closeness was associated with greater sympathy for bullied peers as compared with relationally aggressive youth in classrooms with low levels of teacher–student closeness. This study underscores the importance of the broader social context for understanding students’ displays of sympathy for victimized youth. This has implications for programming to emphasize positive bystander responses in the context of stronger teacher–student relationships and reduce relational aggression, thereby helping to facilitate safer and more secure classrooms.

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  • Further Examination of a Critical Assumption Underlying the Dual-Discrepancy/Consistency Approach to Specific Learning Disability Identification

    John H. Kranzler, Kacey Gilbert, Christopher R. Robert, Randy G. Floyd & Nicholas F. Benson

    pp. 207-221

    Abstract. The aim of this study was to further examine a critical assumption underlying the dual-discrepancy/consistency (DD/C) patterns of strengths and weaknesses method of specific learning disability (SLD) identification. To examine the concordance between strengths and weaknesses in cognitive abilities and academic achievement, we conducted classification agreement analyses on data gathered from three large representative samples of children and adolescents (n = 300 for each group) at different age levels using composite scores from the norming sample of the Woodcock-Johnson IV Tests of Cognitive Abilities and Achievement. We also followed the decision processes for determining significant weaknesses in the DD/C method and used the accompanying Cross-Battery Assessment Software System to analyze data. Results of classification agreement analyses indicated that, although specificity and negative predictive values were high across all academic achievement domains and cognitive abilities examined, sensitivity and positive predictive values were low. These findings further the empirical literature research questioning the utility of the DD/C methods of SLD identification. Altogether, research on the utility of the DD/C method suggests that use of these methods will result in school psychologists spending too much time conducting assessments with a low probability of accurately identifying SLD.

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  • Internalizing Problems of Youth Involved in Bullying via Different Participant Role Combinations and Gender

    Jaclyn E. Tennant, Jacqueline J. Klossing, Michelle K. Demaray, Nicole Dorio, Trevor Bixler & Caicina Jones

    pp. 222-236

    Abstract. The purpose of the current study was to identify how defending behaviors in bullying overlap with bullying behaviors and victimization experiences using an empirical approach. Furthermore, an additional goal was to examine internalizing problems associated with these bullying role behaviors. Data on students’ defending and bullying behaviors, victimization experiences, anxiety, depression, and self-esteem were collected from 700 sixth- through eighth-grade students using the Bully Participant Behaviors Questionnaire, the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Disorders–Child Version, the Center for Epidemiological Studies–Depression, and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. Results of a latent profile analysis identified the following roles: defenders, bully–victim– defenders, and students who had low involvement in bullying, victimization, and defending. Results documented significant differences in internalizing problems among the roles. Specifically, bully–victim–defenders reported higher levels of depression and anxiety and lower levels of self-esteem than did defenders and students who had low involvement with bullying scenarios.

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  • Transfer of School Crisis Prevention and Intervention Training, Knowledge, and Skills: Training, Trainee, and Work Environment Predictors

    Amanda B. Nickerson, Erin E. Cook, Melinda A. Cruz & Timothy W. Parks

    pp. 237-250

    Abstract. The current study examined how well training design, trainee characteristics, and work environment factors predicted the extent to which participants in the National Association of School Psychologists’ PREPaRE School Crisis Prevention and Intervention Training transferred the knowledge and skills learned in the program to their work in K–12 schools. A sample of 310 participants who attended the PREPaRE training within the previous 2 years completed measures to assess transfer of training; trainee characteristics, training design, and work environment, as assessed by the Learning Transfer System Inventory; and barriers to transfer of training. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that characteristics of the training design, trainee characteristics, and work environment accounted for 70% of the variance in participants’ output of transfer behavior and 46% of variance for the specific use of PREPaRE knowledge and skills. Implications for PREPaRE program evaluation efforts and for facilitating the transfer of training to schools are discussed.

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  • Teacher–Home Communication and Bullying Victimization: Do Parents’ Perceptions of Fairness of Rules Matter?

    Chunyan Yang, Jill D. Sharkey, Chun Chen & Shane Jimerson

    pp. 251-266

    Abstract. Guided by the social–ecological model, this study used hierarchical linear modeling to examine the associations between parental perception of teacher–home communication and parental perception of their children’s bullying victimization. This study also examined the multilevel moderating effects of parental perception of fairness of rules and school levels (elementary, middle, and high schools) on the association between teacher– home communication and bullying victimization. Participants were 11,484 parents of 4th–12th graders from 89 schools in Delaware. Controlling for student, parent, and school demographic factors, results revealed that parents’ perceptions of teacher–home communication and fairness of rules were both associated with parents perceiving less frequent bullying victimization among their children. Moreover, the negative association between parent-level teacher–home communication and bullying victimization was significantly moderated by parents’ perceptions of fairness of rules at both parent and school levels. Notably, the protective role of teacher–home communication on bullying victimization was stronger in schools that were perceived to be less fair. Additionally, the magnitude of the association between teacher–home communication and bullying victimization increased significantly from elementary school to high school. These findings highlight the importance of considering parents’ perceptions of fairness of school rules and their children’s grade levels in home–school engagement efforts targeting bullying and victimization.

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  • Reading Proficiency in Elementary: Considering Statewide Testing, Teacher Ratings and Rankings, and Reading Curriculum-Based Measurement

    Kristen N. Missall, Michelle K. Hosp & John L. Hosp

    pp. 267-275

    Abstract. Determining the reading proficiency of elementary students is important in the prevailing educational climate of accountability in the United States. Collecting information about reading proficiency can be accomplished using a range of assessment approaches. This article examines the extent to which reading proficiency can be determined across two types of measures—curriculum-based measurement (CBM) and teacher judgment. Using a representative statewide sample of 980 students in kindergarten through sixth grade and their 51 homeroom teachers, concurrent data were collected on Iowa Assessments–Reading, Dynamic Indicators for Basic Early Literacy Skills Next CBMs, and teacher judgments of reading proficiency. Results showed that teachers rated students as proficient readers with high levels of accuracy and Dynamic Indicators for Basic Early Literacy Skills Next CBMs were relatively more accurate for identifying students at risk for reading problems. Recommendations presented here support using teacher and direct assessments for data-based decision making and instructional planning.

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  • The Effect of Weighted Vests and Stability Balls With and Without Psychostimulant Medication on Classroom Outcomes for Children With ADHD

    Fiona L. Macphee, Brittany M. Merrill, Amy R. Altszuler, Marcela C. Ramos, Elizabeth M. Gnagy, Andrew R. Greiner, Stefany Coxe, Joseph S. Raiker, Erika Coles, Lisa Burger & William E. Pelham

    pp. 276-289

    Abstract. Current evidence-based, school-based interventions for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) include academic intervention, behavioral classroom management, and psychopharmacological intervention. However, some approaches that are commonly used have not been studied in controlled evaluations. The current study is the first rigorous evaluation of the effect of occupational therapy (OT) weighted vests and stability balls on classroom behavior and academic productivity in elementary-age children with ADHD (N = 64). The effect of psychostimulant medication and its combination with each of the OT interventions on classroom outcomes was also examined. The study consisted of a 2 (medication: methylphenidate, placebo) × 3 (OT intervention: stability ball, weighted vest, control) within-subjects design and was conducted over a 6-week period in a weekday, 60-min summer classroom. OT intervention was randomized daily within a medication crossover design. Overall, results indicated that medication but not weighted vest nor stability ball interventions resulted in improvement in two key areas of functioning in school settings: following classroom rules and academic productivity.

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