Graduation Year

2008

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Psychological and Social Foundations

Major Professor

Michael J. Curtis, Ph.D.

Keywords

Psychological and Social Foundations, Demographics, Regions, Salary, Evaluations

Abstract

The field of school psychology has grown tremendously within the past 100 years, and legislation has played a major role in many changes related to the field. A review of the literature revealed that many studies have been conducted that explored demographic information, professional practices, and employment conditions. The studies tend to be somewhat narrow in focus (e.g., one study may look at demographic characteristics, while another considers only professional practices) and consider state differences rather than regional differences. In accordance with a policy established by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) that a study be conducted every five years, Graden and Curtis (1991) surveyed school psychologists who were members of the NASP for the purpose of developing a national database that reflected the demographic characteristics, employment conditions, and professional practices for the field during the 1989-1990 school year.

Members of the NASP have been surveyed relative to the same information every five years since that initial study. The fourth national NASP study was initiated in June of 2005 using data based on the 2004-2005 school year. The database was created using survey data. The present study represented a secondary analysis of the database for the purpose of examining regional differences across the nine U.S. census regions. Regional differences in demographic characteristics, professional practices related to special education, direct and indirect services to students, and employment conditions were analyzed utilizing chi-square analyses and analyses of variance. When significant relationships were found, follow up t-tests were conducted to identify regions between which differences existed.

Results indicated statistically significant regional differences for highest degree earned, licensure that allowed for independent practice in non-school settings, the number of re-evaluations conducted, the percentage of ethnic minority students in the district and served, the ratio of students to school psychologists for the district and based on caseloads, the number of days in respondents' contracts, salaries, and percentage of respondents who received clinical supervision.

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