The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine school psychologists' perceptions of their professional role relative to the services that they provide to low-income children and families. Participants included six female school psychologists who worked in a Midwestern, urban school district that serve a large low-income student population. Interviews were conducted with each participant that addressed their day-to-day professional experiences, professional interactions with low-income children and families, and the impact of graduate training on services provided to low-income children and families. Critical qualitative analysis was used to generate themes from the interview transcripts. Member checks and peer debriefing were used to ensure the validity of the themes. Among the themes were: the advantage of having shared personal characteristics and experiences, such as race, gender, and/or income background, with students and their families in establishing rapport and providing services to children and families; the constraint of having dissimilar personal characteristics and experiences from the students and their families in the provision of services; the importance of relationships, trust, and communication with regard to participants professional experiences; the negative consequences surrounding participants' unmanageable caseloads, including having little to no interaction with families; and having a high level of role specificity related to conducting assessments, the participants negative perceptions' on the outcomes of special education services, and the sense of purpose that participants utilize in their service. Resources and constraints, participant perceptions of the children and families they serve, and interpretive frameworks used by participants to understand their student population were also identified and discussed.
|Advisor:||Cummings, Jack A.|
|Commitee:||Brantlinger, Ellen, Carspecken, Phil F., Martinez, Rebecca|
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Indiana|
|Source:||DAI-A 69/02, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational sociology, Educational psychology, Special education|
|Keywords:||Economic disadvantage, Low-income, Psychologists, School psychologists, School psychology|
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