School Psychology Review

General Issue
Volume 47, Issue 1 (2018)

Editor: Amy L. Reschly

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  • Generalizability of Universal Screening Measures for Behavioral and Emotional Risk

    Nicholas Tanner, Katie Eklund, Stephen P. Kilgus & Austin H. Johnson

    pp. 3–17

    Abstract. Data derived from universal screening procedures are increasingly utilized by schools to identify and provide additional support to students at risk for behavioral and emotional concerns. As screening has the potential to be resource intensive, effort has been placed on the development of efficient screening procedures, including brief behavior rating scales (BBRS). This study utilized classical test theory and generalizability theory to examine the extent to which differences among students, raters, occasions, and screening measures affect the amount of variance in data derived from universal screening procedures. Teacher pairs from three middle school classrooms completed two BBRS during fall and spring for each student in their classrooms. Correlation coefficients examining interrater reliability, test–retest reliability, and convergent validity were generally strong. Generalizability analyses indicated that the majority of variance in teacher ratings was attributable to student differences across all score comparisons, but differences between teacher ratings for particular students accounted for relatively large percentages of error variance among student behavior ratings. Although decision studies suggested that increasing the number of screening occasions resulted in more generalizable data, they also demonstrated that increasing the number of raters not only resulted in more generalizable data but also procedures that are more efficient.

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  • Examining Variation in Adolescent Bystanders’ Responses to Bullying

    Tracy Evian Waasdorp & Catherine P. Bradshaw

    pp. 18–33

    Abstract. Latent class analysis was used to examine whether patterns of bystander responses varied as a function of both student- and school-level characteristics. Data from 18,863 high school students from 58 schools who “ever witnessed bullying” were used to identify five latent classes of bystander behavior. Three of the classes identified paralleled commonly used researcher-identified categories (Passive = 9.7%, Defender = 20.4%, and Contributor = 3.4%), whereas we also identified two patterns of bystander responses that had not been previously characterized (Limited = 64.8% and Inconsistent = 1.7%). Multilevel logistic regression models were then used to examine student- and school-level characteristics that differentiate those in the defender class from other bystander classes. Youth in the defender class were more likely to believe that other students intervene with bullying, and they felt a greater connection with school staff as compared to youth in all other bystander classes. Further, gender, normative beliefs about retaliation, and bullying involvement were associated with class membership. Findings indicated that defending bystander responses are relatively low and suggested that school-level contextual factors, youth perceptions of others’ bystander behavior, and bullying involvement all inform our understanding of adolescent bystander behavior.

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  • What Makes a Defender? A Multilevel Study of Individual Correlates and Classroom Norms in Explaining Defending Behaviors

    Beatriz Lucas-Molina, Marta Giménez-Dasí, Eduardo Fonseca-Pedrero & Alicia Pérez-Albéniz

    pp. 34-44

    Abstract. This study examines the interplay between individual characteristics (social status, provictim attitudes, and family messages about conflict resolution) and classroom descriptive and injunctive norms (peer victimization behaviors and bullying-related beliefs, respectively) in explaining defending behavior. For this purpose, we used a representative sample of 2,050 Spanish primary school children (50.80% girls) from grades 3–6 (M = 9.80 years; SD = 1.24), nested within 103 classrooms in 27 schools. Multilevel modeling analyses showed that both individual and class characteristics helped to explain defending behavior. In addition, random slopes revealed that children with a high social status were more likely to support victims in classrooms where bullying was less accepted. These results expand previous findings in this field, demonstrating the need for a multilevel and interactive approach to the study of defending behavior.

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  • Multilevel Associations Between School-Wide Social–Emotional Learning Approach and Student Engagement Across Elementary, Middle, and High Schools

    Chunyan Yang, George G. Bear & Henry May

    pp. 45-61

    Abstract. The concurrent associations between students’ perceptions of cognitive–behavioral and emotional engagement in schools and three factors aligning with the major aims of the school-wide social–emotional learning (SEL) approach (i.e., teacher–student relationships, student–student relationships, and teaching of social and emotional competencies) were examined among 25,896 students across elementary, middle, and high school while controlling statistically for demographic variables. Results indicated that at the student level all three factors were associated significantly with cognitive–behavioral engagement, but at the school level only the teaching of social and emotional competencies was associated significantly with cognitive–behavioral engagement. All three factors were also associated significantly with emotional engagement at both the student and school levels, with teacher– student relationships having the strongest association. Results of moderating analyses revealed that the strength of association of student engagement with teacher–student relationships, student–student relationships, and the teaching of social–emotional competencies varied depending on the types of engagement and students’ grade levels. These and other key findings, as well as implications for research and practice, are discussed.

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  • Is More Screening Better? The Relationship Between Frequent Screening, Accurate Decisions, and Reading Proficiency

    Amanda M. VanDerHeyden, Matthew K. Burns & Wesley Bonifay

    pp. 62–82

    Abstract. Screening is necessary to detect risk and prevent reading failure. Yet the amount of screening that commonly occurs in U.S. schools may undermine its value, creating more error in decision making and lost instructional opportunity. This 2-year longitudinal study examined the decision accuracy associated with collecting concurrent reading screening measures and in collecting fall and winter screening measures for all students in Grade 3 in 4 schools in a midwestern district (N = 428) in Year 1. This study also categorized children by proficiency on the Year 1 test and by the amount of screening they received in Year 1 in 7 schools in the district (N = 656) and then examined performance on the Year 2 test to examine screening benefit. Analyses included multiple regression, classification agreement, and multilevel modeling. Results found no added accuracy in using more than one screening in the fall and no added accuracy in using both fall and winter screening data. Students experienced on average a 1.57-point gain on the year-end test for each screening to which they were exposed. Follow-up analyses found benefit for the most at-risk students and little benefit of screening for proficient students.

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  • Progress Monitoring in Reading: Comparison of Weekly, Bimonthly, and Monthly Assessments for Students at Risk for Reading Difficulties in Grades 2–4

    Stacy-Ann A. January, Ethan R. Van Norman, Theodore J. Christ, Scott P. Ardoin, Tanya L. Eckert & Mary Jane White

    pp. 83-94

    Abstract. The present study examined the utility of two progress monitoring assessment schedules (bimonthly and monthly) as alternatives to monitoring once weekly with curriculum-based measurement in reading (CBM-R). General education students (N = 93) in Grades 2–4 who were at risk for reading difficulties but not yet receiving special education services had their progress monitored via three assessment schedules across 1 academic year. Four mixed-factorial analyses of variance tested the effect of progress monitoring schedule (weekly, bimonthly, monthly), grade (2, 3, and 4), and the interaction effect between schedule and grade on four progress monitoring outcomes: intercept, slope, standard error of the estimate, and standard error of the slope. Results indicated that (a) progress monitoring schedule significantly predicted each outcome, (b) grade predicted each progress monitoring outcome except the standard error of the slope, and (c) the effect of schedule on each outcome did not depend on students’ grade levels. Overall, findings from this study reveal that collecting CBM-R data less frequently than weekly may be a viable option for educators monitoring the progress of students in Grades 2–4 who are at risk for reading difficulties.

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  • Homophobic Bullying in Schools: The Role of Homophobic Attitudes and Exposure to Homophobic Aggression

    Izaskun Orue & Esther Calvete

    pp. 95-105

    Abstract. This study examined the reciprocal longitudinal relations between homophobic attitudes and homophobic bullying at school. Furthermore, the study also assessed the roles of exposure to homophobic bullying at school, homophobic language at home, and previous social interaction with individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) as predictors both of homophobic attitudes and bullying. A total of 791 adolescents (56.38% boys; ages 12–17; M = 13.96, SD = 1.18) completed measures of homophobic attitudes, carrying out homophobic bullying, exposure to homophobic bullying at school, exposure to homophobic language at home, and social interaction with individuals who identify as LGBT. The results indicated that homophobic attitudes at Time 1 (T1) predicted homophobic bullying at Time 2 (T2), and homophobic bullying at T1 predicted homophobic attitudes at T2. Moreover, exposure to homophobic bullying at school at T1 predicted homophobic bullying at T2. Some gender differences emerged in the relations between the variables, which suggests that prevention and intervention in homophobic bullying should be tailored to fit different individual needs.

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