Despite recent research suggesting that relationally aggressive behaviors occur frequently and may lead to physically aggressive actions within urban school settings, there has been little prior research to develop and evaluate relational aggression prevention efforts within the urban schools. The current article describes the development and preliminary evaluation of the Preventing Relational Aggression in Schools Everyday (PRAISE) Program. PRAISE is a 20-session classroom-based universal prevention program, designed to be appropriate and responsive to the needs of youth within the urban school context. Results suggest strong acceptability for the program and feasibility of implementation. Further, the program was especially beneficial for girls. For instance, girls in classrooms randomly assigned to the PRAISE Program demonstrated higher levels of knowledge for social information processing and anger management techniques and lower levels of relational aggression following treatment as compared to similar girls randomly assigned to a no-treatment control condition. Further, relationally aggressive girls exhibited similar benefits from the program (greater knowledge and lower levels of relational aggression) plus lower levels of overt aggression following treatment as compared to relationally aggressive girls within the control classrooms. In contrast, the program was not associated with improvements for boys across most measures. The significance and implications of the findings for research and practice are discussed.
This study used simulation techniques to evaluate the technical adequacy of three methods for the identification of specific learning disabilities via patterns of strengths and weaknesses in cognitive processing. Latent and observed data were generated and the decision-making process of each method was applied to assess concordance in classification for specific learning disabilities between latent and observed levels. The results showed that all three methods had excellent specificity and negative predictive values, but low to moderate sensitivity and very low positive predictive values. Only a very small percentage of the population (1%-2%) met criteria for specific learning disabilities. In addition to substantial psychometric issues underlying these methods, general application did not improve the efficiency of the decision model, may not be cost effective because of low base rates, and may result in many children receiving instruction that is not optimally matched to their specific needs.
The need for pregnancy prevention programs in educational settings is recognized by a variety of professionals. With the rise in incidence figures, especially among pre-adolescent populations, involvement of school personnel in prevention programs has assumed increased importance. This article presents information regarding (a) correlates of pre-adolescent and adolescent pregnancy; (b) components of innovative school-and community-based programs; and (c) implications for school psychologists with respect to preventive programming in school settings. Large-scale social reform efforts are discussed as well as smaller-scale strategies within school systems and communities.
Research suggests that involvement in relational aggression is associated with serious adjustment problems, including concurrent and future social maladjustment (e.g., problematic friendships; rejection), internalizing problems (e.g., depressive symptoms), and school avoidance. Despite the burgeoning literature focusing on the harmful and damaging nature of relationally aggressive behavior, this research has only recently begun to be used to inform school-based prevention and intervention programming. This article reviews the developmental research related to relational aggression and presents a systematic examination of nine published school-based prevention and intervention programs to prevent relational aggression. Programs reviewed target preschool through eighth-grade students. Strengths and limitations of each program are discussed. Recommendations are offered for future research to develop and validate school-based programming for relational aggression, and implications for school psychologists are discussed.
High rates of aggressive-disruptive behavior exhibited by children during their initial years of elementary school increase their risk for significant behavioral adjustment problems with teachers and peers. The purpose of the present study was to examine the unique and combined contributions of child vulnerabilities and school context to the development of aggressive-disruptive student behavior during first grade. Parent ratings and child interviews assessed three child characteristics associated with risk for the development of aggressive behavior problems in elementary school (aggressive-disruptive behaviors at home, attention problems, and social cognitions) in a sample of 755 first-grade children in four demographically diverse American communities. Two school characteristics associated with student aggressive-disruptive behavior problems (low-quality classroom context, school poverty levels) were also assessed. Linear and multilevel analyses showed that both child and school characteristics made independent and cumulative contributions to the development of student aggressive-disruptive behavior at school. Although rates of student aggressive-disruptive behavior varied by gender and race, the predictive model generalized across all groups of children in the study.
Trained classroom observers used the Direct Observation Form (DOF; McConaughy & Achenbach, 2009) to rate observations of 163 6- to 11-year-old children in their school classrooms. Participants were assigned to four groups based on a parent diagnostic interview and parent and teacher rating scales: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)-Combined type (n = 64); ADHD-Inattentive type (n = 22); clinically referred without ADHD (n = 51); and nonreferred control children (n = 26). The ADHD-Combined group scored significantly higher than the referred without ADHD group and controls on the DOF Intrusive and Oppositional syndromes, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Problems scale, Hyperactivity-Impulsivity subscale, and Total Problems; and significantly lower on the DOF On-Task score. The ADHD-Inattentive group scored significantly higher than controls on the DOF Sluggish Cognitive Tempo and Attention Problems syndromes, Inattention subscale, and Total Problems; and significantly lower on the DOF On-Task score. Implications are discussed regarding the discriminative validity of standardized classroom observations for identifying children with ADHD and differentiating between the two ADHD subtypes.
Test examiners used the Test Observation Form (McConaughy & Achenbach, 2004) to rate test session behavior of 177 6- to 11-year-old children during administration of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fourth Edition (WISC-IV) and Wechsler Individual Achievement Tests-Second Edition (WIAT-II). Participants were assigned to four groups based on a parent diagnostic interview and parent and teacher rating scales: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-Combined type (n = 74); ADHD-Inattentive type (n = 25); clinically referred without ADHD (n = 52); and controls (n = 26). The ADHD-Combined type group scored significantly higher than the other three groups on six Test Observation Form scales: (1) Attention Problems; (2) Oppositional; (3) Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Problems scale; (4) Inattention sub-scale; (5) Hyperactivity-Impulsivity subscale; and (6) Externalizing. The two ADHD groups also scored significantly lower than controls on all WISC-IV and WIAT-II composites and lower than those clinically referred without ADHD on WISC-IV Working Memory Index and Full Scale Intelligence Quotient. Implications are discussed regarding the discriminative validity of standardized test session observations for identifying children with ADHD and differentiating between the two ADHD subtypes.
Given growing concerns regarding the prevalence and seriousness of bullying, the National Education Association recently drew upon its membership to launch a national study of teachers' and education support professionals' perceptions of bullying, and need for additional training on bullying prevention efforts and school-wide policies. The data were collected from a representative sample of 5,064 National Education Association members (2,163 teachers and 2,901 education support professionals). Analyses indicated that compared to education support professionals, teachers were more likely to witness students being bullied, more likely to view bullying as a significant problem at their school, and were more likely to have students report bullying to them. Teachers were more likely to be involved in bullying policies at their school, yet both groups reported wanting more training related to cyberbullying and bullying related to students' sexual orientation, gender issues, and racial issues. Implications for school psychologists and the development of school-wide bullying prevention efforts are discussed.
Although numerous studies have evaluated the effectiveness of multi-modal psychosocial interventions for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, these programs are limited in that there has not beeti an explicit focus on the connection between fatnily and school. This study was designed to develop and pilot test a family-school ititervention, Family-School Success-Early Elementary (FSS-EE), for kindergarten and first-grade studetits with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Key components of FSS-EE were family-school behavioral consultatioti, daily report cards, and strategies to improve parent-child relationships atid family involvement in educatioti. FSS-EE was developed using a multistep iterative process. The piloted version consisted of 12 weekly sessions including 6 group meetings, 4 individualized family sessions, and 2 school-based consultations. Families participating in the study were given the choice of placing their childreti on medication; 25% of children were on medication at the time of random assignmetit. Childreti (n = 61) were randomly assigned to FSS-EE or a comparison group controlling for nonspecific treatment effects. Outcomes were assessed at post interventioti and 2-month follow-up. Study findings indicated that FSS-EE was feasible to implement and acceptable to paretits atid teachers. In addition, the findings provided preliminary evidence that FSS-EE is effective in improving parenting practices, child behavior at school, and the student-teacher relationship.
Family-school collaboration related to children's physical development has become increasingly important as childhood obesity rates continue to rise. The present study described the development and implementation of a literacy-based, family component of a school-based health education program and investigated its viability, acceptability, and effectiveness. Interactive children's books were the mechanism by which students, parents, and teachers received consistent messages at home and school regarding nutrition information. The home-school intervention served to bridge home and school cultures in an urban population. Preliminary process evaluation results indicated that the interactive children's books were feasible to implement in the school context. Parents, children, and teachers had positive perceptions of the books. Parents who received the books demonstrated increased knowledge of 5 a Day, the primary nutrition message communicated in the program. Although not statistically significant, after the first and second years of intervention, parents in the experimental group reported that their children were eating 0.54 and 0.36 additional servings of fruit and vegetables per day compared with children in the control group. The program did not seem to impact the availability and accessibility of fruits and vegetables at home.
The cumulative body of eye movement research provides significant insight into how readers process text. The heart of this work spans roughly 40 years reflecting the maturity of both the topics under study and experimental approaches used to investigate reading. Recent technological advancements offer increased flexibility to the field providing the potential to more concertedly study reading and literacy from an individual differences perspective. Historically, eye movement research focused far less on developmental issues related to individual differences in reading; however, this issue and the broader change it represents signal a meaningful transition inclusive of individual differences. The six papers in this special issue signify the recent, increased attention to and recognition of eye movement research's transition to emphasize individual differences in reading while appreciating early contributions (e.g., Rayner, 1986) in this direction. We introduce these six papers and provide some historical context for the use of eye movement methodology to examine reading and context for the eye movement field's early transition to examining individual differences, culminating in future research recommendations.
The purpose of the study was to investigate teachers' perceptions of word callers as they relate to the concepts of reading fluency and reading comprehension. To this end, second grade students (N = 408) completed a series of reading fluency and reading comprehension assessments, and their teachers (N = 31) completed word caller nominations and a questionnaire regarding their concepts surrounding these issues. Our findings suggested that teachers often over nominated children as word callers. Further, questionnaire data indicated a great deal of ambiguity and inconsistency exists regarding teachers' understanding and use of the term word caller. By contrast, teachers seemed to possess a veridical understanding of the related terms reading fluency and reading comprehension.
Reading skills are core competencies in children's readiness to learn and may be particularly important for children in foster care, who are at risk for academic difficulties and higher rates of special education placement. In this study, prereading skills (phonological awareness, alphabetic knowledge, and oral language ability) and kindergarten performance of 63 children in foster care were examined just prior to and during the fall of kindergarten. The children exhibited prereading deficits with average prereading scores that fell at the 30(th) to 40(th) percentile. Variations in prereading skills (particularly phonological awareness) predicted kindergarten teacher ratings of early literacy skills in a multivariate path analysis. These findings highlight the need for interventions focused on prereading skills for children in foster care.
School-based consultation typically focuses on individual student problems and on a small number of students rather than on changing the classroom system. The Classroom Check-up (CCU) was developed as a classwide consultation model to address the need for classroom level support while minimizing treatment integrity problems common to school-based consultation. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effects of the CCU and Visual Performance Feedback on teacher and student behavior. Results indicated that implementation of the CCU plus Visual Performance Feedback increased teacher implementation of classroom management strategies, including increased use of praise, use of behavior specific praise, and decreased use of reprimands. Further, these changes in teacher behavior contributed to decreases in classroom disruptive behavior. The results are encouraging because they suggest that consultation at the classroom level can create meaningful teacher and student behavior change.
The purpose of this study was to identify and evaluate a universal screening battery for reading that is appropriate for older elementary students in a response to intervention model. Multiple measures of reading and reading correlates were administered to 230 fourth-grade children. Teachers rated children's reading skills, academic competence, and attention. Children were classified as not-at-risk or at-risk readers based on a three-factor model reflecting reading comprehension, word recognition/decoding, and word fluency. Predictors of reading status included group-administered tests of reading comprehension, silent word reading fluency, and teacher ratings of reading problems. Inclusion of individually administered tests and growth estimates did not add substantial variance. The receiver-operator characteristic curve analysis yielded an area under the curve index of 0.90, suggesting this model may both accurately and efficiently screen older elementary students with reading problems.
Foster children are at great risk for poor school outcomes. Given that school readiness is a powerful predictor of later school success, the promotion of school readiness skills in foster children is an opportunity for preventive intervention. Results are presented from a preliminary evaluation of a program designed to improve school readiness in foster children. Twenty-four foster children were randomly assigned to the intervention or comparison conditions. The intervention consisted of therapeutic playgroups (twice weekly for 7 weeks during the summer) focusing on social competence and self-regulation skills. Attendance rates for the playgroups are reported. In addition, group differences on data collected before and after the intervention are reported. Intervention group children exhibited increased social competence and self-regulation. Comparison group children exhibited poorer performance in these domains over time. Results are discussed in terms of how the study has informed a current randomized efficacy trial of a school-readiness intervention.
We investigated the effects of My Teaching Partner-Secondary (MTP-S), a teacher professional development intervention, on students' peer relationships in middle and high school classrooms. MTP-S targets increasing teachers' positive interactions with students and sensitive instructional practices and has demonstrated improvements in students' academic achievement and motivation. The current study tested the prediction from systems theory that effects of MTP-S on students would extend beyond the academic domain-that is, the ecology of teachers' behaviors towards students should also influence the ecology of students' behaviors towards one another. Participants were 88 teachers (43 randomly assigned to MTP-S and 45 assigned to a control group that received the regular professional development offerings in their school) and 1423 students in their classrooms. Observations and student self-report of classroom peer interactions were collected at the start and at the end of the course. Results indicated that in MTP-S classrooms, students were observed to show improvement in positive peer interactions, although this pattern was not found in self-report data. However, moderation analyses suggested that for students with high disruptive behavior at the start of the course, teacher participation in MTP-S mitigated a typical decline towards poorer self-reported peer relationships. The relevance of findings for the social ecology of classrooms is discussed.
The cognitive attributes of Grade 1 students who responded adequately and inadequately to a Tier 2 reading intervention were evaluated. The groups included inadequate responders based on decoding and fluency criteria (n = 29), only fluency criteria (n = 75), adequate responders (n = 85), and typically achieving students (n = 69). The cognitive measures included assessments of phonological awareness, rapid letter naming, oral language skills, processing speed, vocabulary, and nonverbal problem solving. Comparisons of all four groups identified phonological awareness as the most significant contributor to group differentiation. Measures of rapid letter naming, syntactic comprehension/working memory, and vocabulary also contributed uniquely to some comparisons of adequate and inadequate responders. In a series of regression analyses designed to evaluate the contributions of responder status to cognitive skills independently of variability in reading skills, only the model for rapid letter naming achieved statistical significance, accounting for a small (1%) increment in explained variance beyond that explained by models based only on reading levels. Altogether, these results do not suggest qualitative differences among the groups, but are consistent with a continuum of severity associated with the level of reading skills across the four groups.
This study examined ethnic and language group differences on dimensions of parent-rated and teacher-rated parent involvement after adjusting for the influence of family socioeconomic factors. A total of 179 teachers and 481 parents provided information on parent school involvement for a sample of ethnically and linguistically diverse first-grade children attending one of three school districts in Texas. Four groups were examined: White, Black, Hispanic-English speaking, and Hispanic-Spanish speaking. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis supported four parent-reported involvement dimensions (positive perceptions about school, communication, parent-teacher shared responsibility, and parent school-based involvement) and three teacher-reported dimensions (alliance, general parent involvement, and teacher initiation of involvement). Data generally supported the hypothesized ethnic and language group differences in parent involvement and the moderating effect of dimension of parent involvement on group differences. Implications for school psychologists are discussed.
Despite alarming rates and negative consequences associated with urban teacher attrition, mentoring programs often fail to target the strongest predictors of attrition: effectiveness around classroom management and engaging learners; and connectedness to colleagues. Using a mixed-method iterative development framework, we highlight the process of developing and evaluating the feasibility of a multi-component professional development model for urban early career teachers. The model includes linking novices with peer-nominated key opinion leader teachers and an external coach who work together to (1) provide intensive support in evidence-based practices for classroom management and engaging learners, and (2) connect new teachers with their larger network of colleagues. Fidelity measures and focus group data illustrated varying attendance rates throughout the school year and that although seminars and professional learning communities were delivered as intended, adaptations to enhance the relevance, authenticity, level, and type of instrumental support were needed. Implications for science and practice are discussed.
This study examined the effectiveness of a yearlong, researcher-provided, Tier 2 (secondary) intervention with a group of sixth-graders. The intervention emphasized word recognition, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension, Participants scored below a proficiency level on their slate accountability test and were compared to a similar group of struggling readers receiving school-provided instruction. All students received the benefits of content area teachers who participated in researcher-provided professional development designed to integrate vocabulary and comprehension practices throughout the school day (Tier 1). Students who participated in the Tier 2 intervention showed gains on measures of decoding, fluency, and comprehension, but differences relative to students in the comparison group were small (median d = +0.16). Students who received the re searcher-provided intervention scored significantly higher than students who received comparison intervention on measures of word attack, spelling, the state accountability measure, passage comprehension, and phonemic decoding efficiency, although most often in particular subgroups.
The "Bill of Rights for Handicapped Children" is seen as increasing the need for school psychologists and as providing them with greater protection from moral and legal liability. Practitioners will need increased skills in several areas, such as working with parents, completing assessments with handicapped children, and preparing well-documented, thorough reports. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Describes 4 common modes of consultation most adaptable to school psychology and discusses how consultation may fulfill needs mandated by Public Law (PL) 94-142. These models include mental health consultation, organizational process, information-giving, and systems intervention; the commonality among them is that the consultant is the person outside of the situation in which the problem occurs. Previous research from which these models are taken is cited. The new priorities mandated by PL 94-142 can possibly encourage the consultative role to be the primary activity of school psychologists (which according to the literature has not been so in the past). Regarding assessment procedures, evaluations must be administered in the child's native language, be validated for the specific purpose for which they are used, and be responsive to specific educational needs. Individual educational plans should be formulated by multidisciplinary teams and implemented through an ongoing problem-solving relationship. The role of school psychologist in formative evaluation, intervention procedure, and/or modification of the feedback system itself, is indicated. To ensure that "mainstreaming" is a positive action, psychologists can contribute skills and knowledge concerning affective growth and group process, and additionally, train and educate parents and teachers. The ongoing formative evaluation approach illustrated by PL 94-142 can potentially improve educational environments for all children. (23 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Scores for academic performance, adaptive functioning, DSM-oriented scales, and empirically based scales on the Teacher's Report Form were compared for demographically similar samples of 7- to 16-yr-old students assessed in 1981, 1989, and 1999, and for randomly selected population-based national samples assessed in 1989 and 1999. Problem scores increased from 1981 to 1989 and decreased from 1989 to 1999, with all effect sizes being very small. Problem item scores correlated from .95 to .99 between assessment years, indicating very high stability for the assessment procedure over 8, 10, and 18 yrs. Gender differences were much larger than most other demographic effects, but did not affect the comparisons between years. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Treatment integrity (the degree to which a treatment is implemented as planned) represents a key concept in school-based intervention and is considered to be a link between use and effectiveness of interventions. 181 experimental studies published between 1980 and 1990 in 7 journals known for behaviorally based interventions were reviewed. Of primary interest was whether or not integrity was assessed, the degree of treatment integrity, operational definitions of treatments, and effect sizes produced by interventions. Only 14.4% (26 studies) systematically measured and reported integrity data; only 34% (65 studies) operationally defined treatments. Moderate positive correlations were found between degree of treatment integrity and level of treatment outcome. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Results from 1986 and 1991–1992 national surveys (D. J. Reschly et al, 1986) of school psychology practitioners and faculty were examined for changes in demographic characteristics, role preferences, delivery system reform attitudes, and job satisfaction. Trends include (1) increasing age, (2) women dominating in practitioner and men dominating in faculty positions, (3) continued emphasis on services to students with disabilities, and (4) specialist-level training dominating among practitioners. Role preferences in both groups are in the direction of reduced emphasis on psychoeducational assessment, with more emphasis on direct interventions and problem-solving consultation. Overall job satisfaction was positive; however, higher satisfaction existed among faculty and practitioner dissatisfaction was evident with career advancement opportunities. Overall, both groups held positive attitudes toward system reform themes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
A questionnaire of accountability (AC) practices was completed by 161 members of the National Association of School Psychologists. Focus was on (1) current AC efforts, (2) how Ss learned about AC methods, (3) barriers to collection of AC data, (4) the relationship between involvement in AC efforts and demographic variables, (5) changing trends in AC practices, and (6) suggestions for increasing activity in this area. 57.8% of the Ss were collecting AC data, which was not statistically different from the 60% rate found in the 1984 survey (J. E. Zins and T. N. Fairchild; see record
1987-32687-001). The Ss not collecting such data identified lack of familiarity with procedures, time constraints, and failure to consider the topic as major reasons for their lack of involvement. Ss indicated a need for additional preservice and in-service training on methods, procedures, and practices. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Examined relationships between the professional practices of school psychologists and the factors of practitioner training, experience, gender, school district setting, and students-to-school-psychologist ratio. A national database resulting from a survey of school psychologists was used in this study. Results show that school psychologists with more years of experience and those with higher levels of training were found to have served more students through consultation and to have conducted more inservice programs than did those with less experience or training. Rural school psychologists were generally less experienced and were found to have conducted more special education reevaluations but fewer consultations than had their urban and suburban peers. Larger students-to-school-psychologist ratios were associated with special-education-related practices such as initial evaluations and reevaluations. Implications for future research are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
This study compared teachers’ ratings of behavioral and emotional problems on the Teacher's Report Form for general population samples in 21 countries (N = 30,957). Correlations between internal consistency coefficients in different countries averaged .90. Effects of country on scale scores ranged from 3% to 13%. Gender effects ranged from <1% to 5%, and age effects were all <1%. With great consistency across countries, scores were higher for boys than for girls on eight scales: Total Problems; Externalizing; the Attention Problems, Rule-Breaking Behavior, and Aggressive Behavior syndromes; and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM)-oriented Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Problems, Oppositional Defiant Problems, and Conduct Problems. Correlations between mean item ratings in different countries averaged .74. Teacher's Report Form results were thus similar across 21 very diverse countries, despite differences across these countries in school systems, models of pedagogy, and curricula.
As we enter the 21st Century, school psychologists are in a key position to participate in comprehensive health care of children and adolescents. For the most part, however, school psychologists have persisted in the conduct of traditional psychoeducational assessment as a primary function. Presented here is a model for thinking about school psychology in which practitioners assume an active role in addressing the health and mental health needs of children and adolescents. Comprehensive health care is defined as an integrated system of culture-specific services ranging from prevention to treatment directed toward health, mental health, and related needs of students and their families. The model is rooted in developmental-ecological theory and action research methodology and embodies a participatory approach with caregivers, stakeholders, and professionals working together to design, implement, and evaluate interventions. Realizing a role in health care requires changes in the conceptual framework and professional identity characterizing school psychology. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
A conceptual model (paradigm) for school psychology is presented based upon ecological and contextual considerations that frame the practice, training, and research agendas of the field. The authors argue that despite previous calls by noteworthy scholars, school psychology has failed to heed efforts to move toward effective prevention and intervention models of service. The authors provide a synthesis of issues that have prevailed to limit the quality of school psychological services during the past decades (i.e., the anomaly), integrate contemporary theoretical and research advances that address the core problems (i.e., the paradigm), and suggest methods for changing the predominant focus of school psychological services (i.e., changing our own ecology). The authors suggest that school psychology be guided by an ecological framework of service delivery that addresses needs at multiple ecosystemic levels. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Discusses the utility of individual ability measures for diagnostic and treatment decisions with children and youth who are referred in educational settings due to learning and/or behavioral problems. Although utility can be analyzed from a number of perspectives, the most relevant is the benefit to individual children referred for learning and/or behavioral problems. Topics discussed include the ability assessment debate, system reform themes and public policy, and what to do with individual assessment measures. It is concluded that the utility of current individual measures of ability in school psychology is low, both for diagnostic and treatment decisions. Alternatives that contribute more effectively to these decisions need to be considered and, where public policy permits, implemented and evaluated rigorously. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Assessed the effects of different components of parental involvement on the academic achievement of 8th graders. Four components of parental involvement considered were parental aspirations for children's education, parent–child communication about school, home structure, and parental participation in school-related activities. Data from a nationally representative sample of 21,834 students and their parents were analyzed using latent variable structural equation models. Results suggest that educational aspirations of parents have a powerful influence on the 8th-grade student's achievement. The study found a small negative effect of home structure on achievement and no effect of parent–child communication and parental participation in school-related activities. These effects appear age-specific, suggesting that parent involvement may affect learning more in elementary than in middle school. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Investigated the inter- and intrarater reliability of the Connors Abbreviated Teacher Rating Scale (CATRS). Teachers and classroom aides from 5 classrooms of 44 learning-disabled elementary school-aged children completed the CATRS on 2 occasions 1 mo apart. Intrarater reliability for teachers (.866) and for aides (.602) and interrater reliability (.702) achieved acceptable statistical levels. Thus, CATRS ratings may be assumed to be reliable across time and across raters. (9 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Evaluated the 2 hypothesized alternative models for the joint factor structure of the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (K-ABC) and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children—Revised (WISC—R) using confirmatory factor analysis with 51 referred children (mean age 9 yrs 10 mo) or 49 low-achieving children (mean age 9 yrs 6 mo). Ss were administered the 13 K-ABC subtests and 11 WISC—R subtests in 1–3 sessions over a 3-wk period. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to compare the 2 models. Results support a model with separate reading achievement and verbal comprehension factors over a model subsuming both in an achievement factor for at-risk children. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Reviews the K-ABC, focusing on test-theory match for simultaneous vs successive processing and for crystallized vs fluid intelligence, technical characteristics, subtest specificity, and instructional value. It is contended that the K-ABC has floor and ceiling inadequacies that render ipsative test interpretation for gifted and low functioning children of questionable value. Although Black–White Mental Processing Composite discrepancies were minimal in the standardization sample, this result appears to be due to modifications that may render the K-ABC less useful than would otherwise be the case. Design and technical difficulties limit the value of the instrument with preschoolers. K-ABC generated simultaneous-successive diagnostic-prescriptive information in academic remediation is questioned, and it is suggested that if this model is not valid, there is no unique value in the K-ABC. The instrument does not match its theoretical foundations purely. It is concluded that although faults may be found with the instrument, necessary data to find those faults are included in the manual data. (30 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Recurrent somatic complaints of children and adolescents represent one of the most complex school health related problems encountered by school officials and physicians. Physical complaints that are not disease-based account for many missed school days and are often cited as primary reasons for prolonged absences. In addition, somatic complaints often result in students missing important classroom instruction due to time spent determining the validity of such complaints. Somatic complaints without clear organic origin are also primary indicators for both anxiety and depression in childhood and adolescence. The purpose of this review is to provide school psychologists with basic information regarding the prevalence, assessment, and treatment of one of the most common types of somatic complaints: recurrent abdominal pain (RAP). A preliminary strategy for the assessment of RAP is presented.
Describes the importance of both general and specific cognitive abilities in explaining school achievement. A summary of the results of a set of studies which examined the relationship between
g and 7
Gf-Gc specific abilities and general and specific reading and mathematics skills, is presented. These studies used structural equation modeling procedures and tests from a validated
Gf-Gc organized intelligence battery to operationalize a hierarchical
Gf-Gc model consistent with J. B. Carroll's (1993) 3 stratum model of intelligence. Across all analyses, the relationship of
g to general reading and math was as expected. However, a number of significant and strong cross-validated direct effects for specific
Gf-Gc abilities on specific reading and math skills also were found. The results of these studies suggest that (1) some specific abilities may be important for understanding the development of specific reading and math skills, above and beyond the understanding gained from
g and achievement constructs, (2) the "just say no" position to subtest analysis needs to be reexamined, (3) practitioners need to broaden their assessments beyond traditional instruments in order to measure specific cognitive abilities. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Reviews and evaluates psychometric characteristics of the J. Mercer and J. Lewis System of Multicultural Pluralistic Assessment's (SOMPA) operational models. The medical model measures reflect biological pathology that interferes with psychological functioning and is independent of sociocultural variables. Empirical evidence supports the value of these measures in educational decisions. The social systems model measures are the WISC-R and the Adaptive Behavior Inventory for Children (ABIC), and are associated with the social deviance perspective. ABIC offers to conceptualize a child's adaptive behavior in nonacademic social roles and has potential application for clinical work and in research. The pluralistic model is characterized by multiple norm groups that are used on an individual comparative basis; sociocultural scales and estimated learning potential (ELP) are the 2 sets of measures. Transformation of WISC-R IQs into ELPs may require procedural clarification to validate ELP scores in conjunction with school functioning level. It is concluded that there is a lack of evidence of the validity of proposed test measures. (7 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
The management of child sexual abuse is conceptualized within a preventive framework. Guidelines are presented for practicing school psychologists and educators to plan and implement sexual abuse prevention programs in elementary schools. The literature is reviewed on prevalence, dynamics, and psychological consequences of child sexual abuse. The guidelines for preventive programming are formulated within the framework of primary prevention (prevention before the onset of sexual abuse), secondary prevention (early detection and intervention) and tertiary prevention (treatment and remediation for sexually abused children and their families). A critical examination of the strengths, limitations, and possible unintended consequences of school-based programs is considered, along with guidelines for program evaluation. An appendix is included which provides an annotated bibliography of audiovisual presentations, curricula, books for parents, children and professionals, and various support groups available to victims of sexual abuse and their families.
Substance abuse and suicide have been recognized as major self-destructive behaviors of youth, have strong comorbidity, and have substantial overlap with regard to risk and protective factors. This article summarizes information on the prevalence of these behaviors, on risk and protective factors, and on the effectiveness of existing prevention programs. A coordinated, resilience-building prevention strategy is proposed which addresses generic and domain-specific knowledge and skills. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Presents data from the American Humane Association showing that 49% of child abuse and neglect cases in the US involve school-age children (51% of substantiated reports are on children aged 7 or younger). Studies have shown that there is a higher percentage of special education and institutional placements for abused children than for nonabused children; a higher frequency of academic difficulties and school behavior problems is also reported among abused children. School psychologists need to be aware of indicators of possible child abuse or neglect and of their professional and legal responsibilities to report suspected incidents. The school psychologist is in a particularly advantageous position to assist in the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect and to stimulate research in this area. (32 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Evaluated a teacher training program on child sexual abuse (CSA) prevention, with 21 teachers in the training condition and 21 as controls. Ss in the in-service group received 6 hrs of training conducted by experts in the area of CSA. Responses of experimental Ss were compared to those of the controls on pretest, posttest, and follow-up measures. Trained Ss demonstrated significant increases in knowledge about CSA, attitudes regarding prevention, identifying behavioral indicators of abuse, and appropriate intervention in potential abuse cases. A 3-mo follow-up survey indicated that trained Ss were more likely to have engaged in certain behaviors related to the training (e.g., talking with children and reporting suspected cases of abuse). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Provides school psychologists with an overview of the affective and cognitive aspects of child maltreatment, focusing on the current state of knowledge, a rationale for the study of psychological maltreatment, the impact of psychological maltreatment on schools, and direction for intervention. The present authors review the empirical evidence on the relationship between maltreatment and school readiness and performance. Recommended intervention efforts include special handling for maltreated children; providing support for parents; building a network of community services; and advocating for change in major institutions (e.g., the media, schools and other childcare institutions). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Discusses the major approaches to school-based substance abuse prevention (i.e., information/education programs, social resistance/inoculation interventions, and personal and social coping skills training programs). School organizational issues that must be considered in the implementation of such programs are outlined. The need for multilevel interventions, which include parents, the community, and media, is also explored. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Suggests ways to help school psychologists (1) identify victims of sexual child abuse (SCA), (2) interview a victim and his/her parents, (3) determine who to notify when SCA is suspected, and (4) identify treatment and intervention approaches that are appropriate in the practice of school psychology. Being able to identify probable SCA, reporting it to the appropriate agency, and subsequently working in concert with the agency increase the likelihood of stopping the abuse and helping the child overcome its detrimental effects. (10 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
This article describes the application of experimental analysis methods for identifying reading fluency interventions for two elementary school students (fourth and fifth grade) referred for reading problems. For each student the experimental analyses examined use of rewards, instruction, and a treatment package containing both reward and instructional components across difficulty levels to determine the condition that led to the most efficient increases in reading fluency for each student. Based on the experimental analyses, individualized reading packages were developed that required minimal supervision. These interventions were carried out over time during normal instructional routines, and progress monitoring data were gathered to determine the effects of the interventions. Results are discussed in terms of how practitioners can use experimental analyses of academic skills within a broader response-to-intervention framework. Also, recommendations for future research in this area are made. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)