School psychologists are trained in various models of problem solving and interviewing, however the interpersonal skills that play an integral role in consultation are not uniformly taught to trainees. The primary objective of this study was to examine the added value of an interpersonal skills training program on key outcomes of analogue consultation. Nine school psychology graduate students served as consultant participants, and participated in either an interpersonal skills training or control training. The online interpersonal skills training program was based on characteristics of effective consultants and strategies for building healthy relationships. All consultants completed a problem solving training based on stages of behavioral consultation. Thirty undergraduate students served as consultee participants, and worked with consultants in a problem solving activity about difficulties faced by college students.
The first dependent variable, treatment acceptability, measured consultee views of both a treatment proposed by consultants and of the consultants themselves. The second dependent variable, perceived consultant effectiveness, measured consultee views of the consultant's interpersonal and problem solving skills. The third dependent variable, follow through, measured how many steps of a follow-up activity consultees completed. The fourth dependent variable, treatment implementation, measured if consultees did or did not implement an intervention suggested by the consultant.
A higher proportion of consultees in the experimental group reported implementing the intervention suggested by the consultant than those in the control group. Regression analyses found that experience of the consultee accounted for the most significant proportion of variance in the perceived consultant effectiveness variable. Higher levels of consultee experience were associated with lower ratings of perceived consultant effectiveness. A combination of consultee gender, consultee and consultant preexisting social skills, and consultee and consultant experience covariates impacted whether or not consultees implemented interventions suggested by consultants. These results indicate that a variety of factors influence key consultation outcomes. Study findings can be used to inform future research that examines how school psychology programs approach interpersonal skills training and provide information toward the creation of an explicit interpersonal skills training program in order to enhance the effectiveness of school-based consultation.
|Commitee:||Brown, Michael B., Riley-Tillman, T. Chris|
|School:||East Carolina University|
|Department:||Psychology: School Psychology|
|School Location:||United States -- North Carolina|
|Source:||MAI 49/06M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational psychology, Counseling Psychology|
|Keywords:||Interpersonal skills, School consultation, School psychology, Training program|
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