The relationship between continuing professional development and demographic characteristics, professional practices, and employment conditions of school psychologists
Degree Granting Department
Psychological and Social Foundations
Michael J. Curtis, Ph.D.
School psychology, National survey, Professional issues, Supervision, Roles
Multiple issues that impact service delivery, such as changing student demographic characteristics, educational law and policy, and an increased focus on accountability for services, require school psychologists to adapt and acquire new professional skills in order to meet the needs of students and families. Continuing professional development (CPD) could help school psychologists expand their repertoire of professional skills so that they can engage in effective service delivery. The present study examined the CPD subject areas endorsed by practicing school psychologists and the relationship of those areas with selected demographic characteristics, professional practices, and employment conditions. Secondary analyses were performed using the existing 2004-2005 National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) national database. The total sample size included the responses from 1,155 practitioners.
Descriptive analyses revealed that the most commonly endorsed CPD subject areas were behavioral interventions and standardized psychoeducational assessment. Logistic regression analyses indicated that selected demographic characteristic variables helped to predict participation in academic interventions and consultation/problem-solving CPD subject areas. However, no one demographic characteristic variable made a significant unique contribution to either model. Selected professional practice variables helped to predict participation in standardized psychoeducational assessment, social/emotional interventions, consultation/problem-solving, and response to intervention CPD subject areas. School psychologists who engaged in non-traditional CPD subject areas (i.e., social/emotional interventions, consultation/problem-solving, and response to intervention) were less likely to engage in professional practices related to special education (i.e., initial evaluations).
Selected employment condition variables helped to predict participation in academic screening/progress monitoring and social/emotional interventions CPD subject areas. School psychologists who reported lower ratios were more likely to participate in social/emotional interventions CPD as compared to those who reported higher ratios. A statistically significant association was found between region and participation in academic screening/progress monitoring, behavioral assessment, social/emotional assessment, social/emotional intervention, response to intervention, and crisis intervention CPD. Implications of the findings are discussed within the context of previous research. Suggestions are offered for areas of future study related to the CPD activities of school psychologists.
Scholar Commons Citation
Lopez, Alana D., "The relationship between continuing professional development and demographic characteristics, professional practices, and employment conditions of school psychologists" (2007). USF Tampa Graduate Theses and Dissertations.