School Psychology Forum

General Issue
Volume 13, Issue 1 (Spring 2019)

Editor: Oliver Edwards

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  • Utilization of Best Practices by Problem-Solving Teams: Addressing Implementation Procedures Resistant to Feedback

    By Adrea J. Truckenmiller & Amanda Lannie

    pp. 2-15

    ABSTRACT: In elementary schools, intervention service delivery is often initiated through multidisciplinary problem-solving teams. Therefore, the functioning of the team is a critical feature to facilitate intervention outcomes. The purpose of this study was to examine two methods to improve the practices of problem-solving teams by: (a) replicating the use of performance feedback to improve implementation of best practices for problem-solving teams and (b) addressing the problem-solving team practices resistant to performance feedback by providing targeted training and tools. Utilizing a changing criterion single case design, teams improved their implementation of best practices. Limitations and future directions are discussed.

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  • Discipline History and Demographics: Which Factors Relate to School Climate Perceptions Among High School Students?

    By Kayla Gordon & Sarah Fefer

    pp. 16-28

    ABSTRACT: Previous research has consistently shown that positive school climate perceptions have been associated with positive behavioral, academic, and social outcomes. However, much less attention has been given to factors that may influence school climate perceptions, particularly among high school students. The present study examined perceptions of school climate among students (N = 856) in grades 9–12 in two public high schools. Results showed significant differences in school climate perceptions based on gender, race, and academic history. Additionally, the number of times that a student reported being sent to the office and the total student-reported discipline history (measured by the number of times a student was sent to the office, the number of times the student received a detention, and the number of days the student was suspended) were significant predictors of perception of school climate.

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  • Class-Wide Partner Reading Intervention for Science Comprehension

    By June L. Preast, Matthew K. Burns, Kristy L. Brann, Crystal N. Taylor & Lisa Aguilar

    pp. 29-40

    ABSTRACT: Teachers can potentially address reading comprehension deficits in a content area, such as science, by using the students in their classrooms as resources. We examined the effects of a class-wide partner reading intervention with science reading materials on a measure of content comprehension skills. A total of 65 fourth-grade students and 61 fifth-grade students in one urban elementary school participated. Preintervention reading scores were used to create heterogeneous dyads, and researcher-generated maze probes were used as pre- and posttest measures of growth. All students demonstrated increases in the number of correct responses after 2 weeks. Potential implications, suggestions for future research, and limitations are considered.

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  • School Psychologists’ Perceptions of Systems Change: A Case Study

    By Erik D. Maki, A. Victoria Sheppard, Jesseca James, Marlana Mueller, Samantha Broadhead, Lauren Brodsky, Angela Couse & Melissa Pearrow

    pp. 16-28

    ABSTRACT: This study examines the perspectives of school psychologists as they expand their role to provide a comprehensive range of behavioral health services. Participants were in the first cohort of schools within an urban district that implemented this model of expanded service and were studied using mixed methods of semistructured interviews and scaled ratings. Five themes emerged highlighting strategies for focus: (a) the need for planful and collaborative efforts, (b) benefits of role clarity and increased capacity, (c) recognition of the support provided by colleagues and training resources, (d) expressions of personal and professional growth, and (e) self-perceptions of leading systems change. Overall, the school psychologists felt knowledgeable, confident, and capable of implementing systems change, and they highlighted the importance of support from district leaders in navigating systemic barriers. Recommendations for school psychologists are explored based on these findings.

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  • Spiritual and Religious Multicultural Practice Competencies: A Partial Replication Study With School Psychologists

    By Janise S. Parker

    pp. 2-15

    ABSTRACT: Religiosity and spirituality have been linked to various indicators of mental health among adults and school-age youth. Consequently, researchers postulate that culturally responsive psychological services should reflect a practitioner’s willingness and ability to acknowledge and address these two aspects of clients’ cultural identities. This study replicated portions of a study by Vieten et al. (2016) assessing psychologists’ perceptions of 16 religious/spiritual multicultural competencies intended to guide psychologists’ clinical practices. The replication aimed to examine school psychologists’ perceptions of the proposed competencies. Similar to key findings in the original study, the majority of the participants perceived themselves as being mostly or completely competent across the 16 domains, and they viewed most of the competencies as somewhat important or very important to the practice of school psychology. Significant differences between doctoral-level and specialist-level school psychologists were also examined, with doctoral-level school psychologists reporting significantly higher perceived competence across the 16 religious/spiritual multicultural competencies. Overall, this study shows that the participants generally perceived themselves as possessing most of the competencies and viewed the competencies as important for the field of school psychology. However, key results suggest that nondoctoral school psychologists may require additional professional development to learn how to support religiously and spiritually diverse students.

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