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Title:
Regional differences in demographic characteristics, professional practices, and employment conditions of school psychologists across the United States
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Abshier, Dama W
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School psychology
Demographics
Regions
Salary
Evaluations
Dissertations, Academic -- Psychological & Social Foundations -- Doctoral -- USF   ( lcsh )
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non-fiction   ( marcgt )

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Summary:
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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Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2008.
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Includes bibliographical references.
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by Dama W. Abshier.
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Title from PDF of title page.
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Document formatted into pages; contains 149 pages.
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Includes vita.

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aleph - 002001101
oclc - 319547795
usfldc doi - E14-SFE0002578
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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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Regio nal Differences i n Demographic Characteri stics, Professional Practices, a nd Employment Conditions of School Psychologists Across t he United States by Dama W. Abshier A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for t he degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Psychological and Social Foundations College of Education University of South Florida Major Professor: Michael J. Curtis, Ph.D. Robert F. Dedrick, Ph.D. Linda M. Raffaele Mendez, Ph.D Daphne D. Thomas, Ph .D. Date of Approval: July 7, 2008 Keywords: school psychology, demographics, regions, salary, evaluations, consultation Copyright 2008 Dama W. Abshier

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DEDICATION This dissertation is dedicated to my three amazing sons, Landon, Logan, and Laine.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to express my deepest appreciation for my husband, Lance, who has unwaveringly supported my educational and professional aspirations for over a decade. I would also like to extend a special thank you to my parents, Revere nd Ronald and Alice Walker, and my sister, Kathy Riley, for their support and encouragement as they have watched me grow into the person I am today.

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i TABLE OF CONTENTS List of Tables iv Abstract v Chapter One I ntroduction 1 Foundation of the Present Study 5 Overview of the Present Study 8 Significance of the Present Study 1 0 Chapter Two Literature Review 1 3 Historical Overview of Accomplishments in School Psychology 1 4 Legislative In fluences on School Psychology 1 5 Ch allenges in School Psychology 1 8 Demographic Characteristics, Professional Practices, and Employment Conditions 1 9 Creation of the NASP National Database 2 5 First NASP National Database (1989 90) 24 Second NASP National Database (1994 95) 2 9 Th ird NAS P National Database (1999 2000) 3 4 Regional Dif ferences in School Psychology 3 9 Rationale for the Present Study 4 9 Chapter Three Method 5 3 Crea tion of th e 2004 2005 National Database 5 3 Participants 5 4 Protection of Human Participants 5 4 Histor ical Background of the National Database 5 5 Crea tion of the Nati onal Database 5 6 Procedure 5 9 Variables 60 Demographic Variables 6 1 Professional Practices Variables Related to Special Education 6 2 Professional Practices Variables Related to Direct and Indirect Services to Students 6 3 Employment Conditions Variables 6 4 Region 6 6

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ii Chapter Four Results 6 8 Research Question One 6 9 Descriptive Statistics for Demographic Variables 6 9 Preliminary Analys e s Demographic Characterist ics 7 3 Regional Differences in Demographic Variables 7 4 Research Question Two 7 8 Descriptive Statistics for Professional Practices Variables Related to Special Education 7 8 Preliminary Analyse s for Professional Practices Variables Re lated to Special Education 7 9 Regional Differences in P rofessional Practices Variables Related to Special Education 8 1 Research Question Three 83 Descriptive Statistics for Professional Practices Variables Related to Direct and Indirect Services to Students 84 Preliminary Analys e s for Professional Practices Variables Related to Direct and Indirect Services to Students 85 Regional Differences in Professional Practices Variables Related to Direct and Indirect Servi ces to Students 86 Research Question Four 8 8 Descriptive Statist ics for Employment Conditions 8 9 Preliminary Analys e s Rel ated to Employment Conditions 90 Regional Differences in Employment Conditions 9 3 Chapter Five Discussion 9 9 Research Implicat ions 9 9 Regional Differences in Demographic Characteristics 9 9 Regional Differences in Professional Practices Related to Special Education 10 2 Regional Differences in Professional Practices Related to Direct and Indirect Services with Students 10 3 Regional Differences Rela ted to Employment Conditions 10 4 Implications for th e Field of School Psychology 10 5 Limi tations of the Present Study 10 6 Implications for Future Research 1 08 Conclusions 1 10 References 11 3 Appendices 1 1 8 Appendix A: Table 6 Responses by Regions 11 9 Appendix B : Table 7 Descriptive Statistics Related to Demographic Characteristics b y Region 12 3 Appendix C: Table 8 Distribution of Means for Demographic Variables by Region 12 7

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iii Appendix D: Table 9 Professional Practices Related to Special Education by Region 12 9 Appendix E: Table 10 Distribution of Means for Professional Practice Variables Related t o Special Educati on by Region 1 30 Appendix F: Table 11 Professional Practices Variables Re lated to Direct and Indirect Ser vices to Students by Region 13 2 Appendix G: Table 12 Distribution of Means for Professional Practice Variables Related t o Direct and Indirect Services by Region 13 4 Appendix H: Table 13 Descriptive Statistics Relate d to Employment Conditions by Region 13 6 Appendix I: T able 14 Distribution of Means for Employment Conditions by Region 13 8 Appendix J: Comparison of 2005 NASP Membership to 2004 2005 NASP Nationa l Database Respondents 14 1 Appendix K: Na tional Association of School Psychologists Demographic Characteristics, Employment Conditions and Professional Practices Survey 2004 2005 School Year 14 3 About the Author END PAGE

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iv LIST OF TABLES Table 1 Demographic Variables 62 Table 2 Professional Practices Variables R elated to Special Education 64 Table 3 Professional Practices Variables Related to Direct and Indirect Services to Students 65 Table 4 Variables Related to Employment Conditions 66 Table 5 Regional Groupings of States 68

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v Regio nal Differen ces i n Demographic Characteri stics, Professional Practices, a nd Employment Conditions of School Psychologists Across t he United States Dama W. Abshier ABSTRACT The field of school psychology has grown tremendou sly within the past 100 years, and legislatio n has played a major role in many changes related to the field A review of the literature revealed that m any studies have been conducted that explore d demographic information, professional practices and employment conditions T he studies tend to be som ewhat narrow in focus ( e. g. on e 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 A ssociation 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 chara cteristics, 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 creat ed using survey data The present study represented a secondary analys i s of the database for the purpose of examining regional differe nces

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vi 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 analys e s of variance. When significant relationships were found, follow up t tests were conducted to identify regions between which differences exist ed Results indicated statistically significant regional differences for highest degree earned, licensure that allow e d 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 num ber of days in supervision.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 1 CHAPTER ONE Introduction Although t he field of school psychology has existed as a specialty within psychology for a little over 100 years, t he field has grown tremendously and undergone significant change within the past 50 years. During the 1960 s, a number of publications focused on school psychology were born, including 14 books and two journals devoted to the discipline the Journal of Sc hool Psychology and Psychology in the Schools (Fagan, 1986). Prior to the emergence of these books and periodicals, the only publication that was devoted to school psychology at the national level was the newsletter of the Division of School Psychology (D ivision 16) of the American Psychological Association (Fagan, 1986). Originally titled the Division of School Psychologists (with the name later changed to the Division of School Psychology), Division 16 was formed in 1945, separating school psychology fr om clinical psychology (Division 12) and educational psychology (Division 15) ( Fagan & Wise, 2007 ). While the State of Ohio was the first to actually found a state level association for school psychologists in 1943, by 1969, a total of 17 state school psy chology associations existed (Fagan, Hensley, & Delugach, 1986). The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) was officially founded in 1969, with a membership of 856 ( Fagan & Wise, 2007 ). Membership in the NASP grew to approximately 5,000 in 1979 ; 14,000 in 1989 ; 21,000 by 1999 ( Fagan & Wise, 2007 ),

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 2 and 22,500 by 2005 Currently, the organization has over 25,000 members (http// www.nasponline.org /advocacy/nclb/naspcomments.pdf). During this time of rapid growth, federal legislation played a m ajor role in prompting many changes related to school psychology. For example, in 1975 T he Education for All Handicapped Children Act ( Public Law 94 142 ) made public education available to all school aged students, regardless of disability, via special e ducation. Furthermore, parent permission was required by law for school psychologists to conduct psycho educational assessments that were previously conducted without permission ( Fagan & Wise, 2007 ). In 1986, the right to a free and appropriate education in public school settings was extended to include children from birth through age three (P.L. 99 457) ( Fagan & Wise, 2007 ). The role of school psychology expanded to include the provision of services to a greater number of students as federal law mandate d public educational opportunity for this greater range of students. Public Law 94 142 was reauthorized in 1997 (P.L. 105 17) as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and was reauthorized again in 2004 (P.L. 108 446) as the Individuals wi th Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA). The 1997 reauthorization of IDEA included the introduction of a functional behavioral assessment (FBA) as part of the evaluation process for students with suspected disabilities This change increased th e need for school psychologists to be trained and skilled in assisting with and conducting FBAs to guide the development of interventions for students exhibiting challenging behaviors in school settings. In addition, as a result of the 2004 reauthorizatio n (IDEIA), state and local educational agencies are to incorporate response to intervention practices into the determination of eligibility for special education through the identification of a

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 3 learning disability. Specifically, research based interventio ns must be implemented and student performance in response to those interventions must be monitored to determine if a student truly has a specific learning disability. With each reauthorization, federal legislation has required that school psychologists increase the amount of time devoted to the delivery of direct (e.g., interventions) and indirect (e.g., consultation) services to students with special needs and those at risk of school failure. However, the greater impact of these legislative changes has been a n increase d emphasis on assessment practices as well as an increase in the time school psychologists spend in the delivery of services to students with disabilities (Fisher, Jenkins, & Crumbley, 1986; Goldwasser, Myers, Christenson, & Graden, 1983) Research has suggested that some school psychologists have not been pleased with the increased emphasis that has been placed on testing practices (Goldwasser et al., 1983). On the other hand the se legislative changes have also supported increased f und ing for school psychologists. A ccordingly, these legislative changes have been at least partially responsible for significant growth in the number of school psychologists across the United States ( Fagan & Wise, 2007 ) D espite the increased funding for sch ool psychologists, the discrepancy has versus actual roles and professional functions. One of the primary functions in which school psychologists have identified a discrepancy between preferred and actual prac tice has been in the area of consultation. School psychologists surveyed by Fisher et al. (1986) reported consultation as their most preferred role; however, consultation was not ranked first in terms of the emphasis of training for the participants in t he study n or in their actual professional practices.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 4 versus actual roles and functions ; often this type of information is found in the literature under the category of professional practices. Survey instruments have been used to gather data related to the demographic characteristics as well as the professional practices and employment conditions of school psychologists for many years. Resulting data have been used to explore differ ethnicity, salary, years of experience, graduate training, professional credentials, ratio of students to school psychologist, and the frequency and types of psychological services provided, just to name a fe w ( e.g., Curtis, Grier, Abshier, Sutton, & Hunley, 2002; Curtis, Hunley, Walker, & Baker, 1999; Curtis, Lopez, Castillo, Batsche, Minch, & Smith, 2008; Graden & Curtis, 1991; Levinson, Rafoth, & Sanders, 1994; Reschly & Wilson, 1995). While studies have of fer ed useful descriptive information regarding the field of school psychology ( Fisher et al., 1986; M eacham & Peckham, 1978; Reschly, Genshaft, & Binder, 1987), there was a need for a comprehensive national database that encompassed vari ables related to the demographic characteristics, professional practices and employment conditions of school psychologists across the United States. Such a database would include studies systematically replicated on a regular basis to provide longitudinal data that would inform the field in understanding important trends across time. Furthermore, a national database would provide empirical information for use by professional organizations in their efforts to influence federal and state legislation and pol icies (NASP, 1998; Sullivan, 1998). The NASP addressed this need by establishing a policy creating such a national database through the completion of a study every five years.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 5 In accordance with this policy Graden and Curtis (1991) surveyed a random sa mple of school psychologists who were members of the NASP (i.e., persons working as a consultant or supervisor of psychological services, primarily engaged in the for the purpose of collecting information about the demographic characteristics, professional practices and employment conditions for the field during the 1989 1 990 school year. Regular m embers of the NASP were again surveyed to gather information related to these same three general areas based on the 1994 1995 school year by Curtis et al. (1999) and based on the 1999 2000 school year by Curtis et al. (2002) Co nsistency was maintained in most items across survey instruments over the years to allow for comparisons over time. The fourth and most recent national NASP study was initiated in June of 2005 based on the 2004 2005 school year. The survey instrument us ed was very similar to instruments used in each of the first three studies and was intended to collect data similar to the previous studies (e.g., demographic characteristics, professional practices, employment conditions ). Among the limited differences r eflected in the most recent instrument were the addition of items relating to supervision and to continuing professional development. The most recently created database (2004 2005) served as the basis for analyses in the present study. Foundation of the Pr esent Study Data gathered over the years have been used to inform policymakers, the NASP, and the field of school psychology The majority of this information has been

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 6 investigated longitudinally to explore important trends in the field and across variabl es (e.g., differences in gender, highest degree earned, etc.). Few studies could be identified in the literature that have comprehensively explored geographic regional differences across the United States relating to different aspects of school psychology Looking at regional comparisons is important for several reasons. It is difficult to obtain adequate responses from every state across the United States, and therefore an appropriate sample, for the purpose of making state by state comparisons. Aggreg ating the data by region creates a larger sample size of an area that is more similar in terms of variables such as politics (Southern G.O.P. versus Northeast Democrats), economics (agriculture versus industry), and racial/ethnic representation (Hosp & Res chly, 2002). Several previous studies used the five NASP governance regions (e.g., Hutton, Dubes & Muir, 1992 ; Meacham & Peckham, 1978); however, the present study utilized the nine United States census regions which allowed for a greater degree of disagg regation of the data among the regions. Studies have explored regional differences for particular variables, such as assessment practices and instruments ( Hutton et al., 1992 ), student to school psychologist ratios, shortages in the field, the effects of funding and economic conditions (e.g., recession ) relative to student to school psychologist ratios (Lund, Reschly, & Martin, 1998), and assessment practices, job satisfaction, beliefs related to systems reform, demographic characteristics, and relationshi ps between student to school psychologist ratios and assessment practices (Hosp & Reschly, 2002). The present study explored a broader spectrum of important variables to encompass many of the variables included in each of the separate aforementioned studi es.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 7 Hutton et al. (1992) explored variables specifically related to assessment, based on a n earlier study conducted by Goh, Teslow, and Fuller (1981). Within th e Hutton study, only the percentage of time spent on assessment activities was analyzed reg ionally. Interestingly, respondents from one region (Eastern) reported spending the least amount of time on assessment activities ( M =47.34%). Respondents from three o ut of the four remaining regions consistently spent the majority of their time on assess ment activities No other variables were compared regionally. Lund and colleagues ( 1998) investigated regional differences related to shortages in the field of school psychology, student to school psychologist ratios, and the impact of the 1989 1990 eco nomic recession on the shortage of school psychologists This study also compared data from the 1988 89 school year with that from the 1992 1993 school year. T here were slightly more school psychology graduates in both the Mid Atlantic and the New Englan d regions than anticipated job openings in school psychology in 1989. However, by 1993, the Mid Atlantic region was the only region in which the number of graduates exceeded the anticipated demand. Furthermore, in 1993, respondents from the West South Ce ntral region repor ted a demand exceeding the supply by approximately 180 school psychologists Across the country the shortage decreased from 1,100 unfilled positions in 1989 to 747 positions in 1993. Relative to student to school psychologist ratios, t he New England and Mid Atlantic regions consistently had the best ratios (1,205:1 and 1,239:1, respectively) with the West South Central region having the worst ratio (4,692:1). The national average ratio across the 1988 1989 and 1992 1993 school years wa s 1,875:1.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 8 Hosp and Reschly (2002) explored regional (i.e., the using the nine Unites States Census regions) differences in demographic characteristics role and assessment practices, job satisfaction, systems reform beliefs, and relationships between st udent to school psychologist ratios and assessment. Their study included a select number of new v ariables that were analyzed by region There were no statistically significant regional differences among demographic characteristics investigated. However, there were statistically significant regional differences among variables related to school and assessment practices I t is noteworthy that regions in which the reported number of hours that school psychologists spent in psychoeducat ional assessment was highest, school psychologists also spent the least amount of time providing direct interventions to students. T here also were regional differences in the types of assessments conducted. For example, school psychologists in the East S outh Central region reported using the highest number of behavior rating scales, projective measures, and achievement tests Significant regional differences were found as well among job satisfaction variables. Understandably, respondents in regions with the highest reported salaries also reported the highest levels of job satisfaction. There were some statistically significant regional differences found in response to the systems reform questions as well I n general, respondents agree d that school psyc hologists should have an active role in designing, implementing, and monitoring interventions prior to students being considered for special education services. Overview of the Present Study The present study explore d regional differences in school psychol ogy across the United States relative to demographic characteristics, professional

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 9 practices, and employment conditions This study examined a number of variables that have not been addressed by any other study conducted to date. Th e research questions were addressed by analyzing a national database resulting from the most recent national NASP study using data from the 2004 2005 school year. This database consists of responses from 1, 748 school psychologists who completed and retur ned a national survey that was mailed to a 20% sample of Regular members of the NASP randomly selected by state. The data reflect a 59 3 % response rate. In the present study, the data reported by respondents from across the country for the 2004 2005 sch ool year were grouped into categories based on the nine United States c ensus regions (i.e., Northeast, Mid Atlantic, South Atlantic, East South Central, East North Central, West South Central, West North Central, Mountain, and Pacific) to determine the ext ent to which regional differences exist among school psychologists in terms of demographic characteristics, professional practices, and employment conditions. Analyses were conducted to address the following research questions: 1. To what extent a re the re differences in demographic characteristics (e.g., gender, age, ethnicity, years of experience, and level of preparation) of school psychologists across regions of the United States? 2. To what extent a re there differences in professional practices that relate to special education (e.g., number of initial special education evaluations, number of special education reevaluations, total evaluations, percentage of time spent involved in activities related to special education, number of 504 plans, percentage of time spent on psychologists across regions of the United States?

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 10 3. To what extent a re there differences in professional practices related to direct and indirect servi ces (e.g., number of students served through consultation, number of students served through individual counseling, number of students served through groups, number of student intervention groups conducted, number of in service training programs delivered) for school psychologists across regions of the United States? 4. To what extent a re there differences in employment conditions (e.g., percentage of mi nority students served, student to sc hool psychologist ratio, salary ) for school psychologists across re gions of the United St a tes? Significance of the Present Study The present study provide s useful information relative to regional differences in the demographic characteristics, professional practices, and employment conditions of school psychologists acros s the United States. Of the studies that have investigated regional differences most have examined only a few select variables. For example, Hutton et al. (1992) studied regional differences only with regard to asses sment instruments and practices Hos p and Reschly (2002) probably completed the most comprehensive regional study to date, examining a range of variables. H owever, the present study examine d several of the same variables as did Hosp and Reschly, but did so using a database from the 2004 200 5 school year. Also, a number of additional variables related to demographic characteristics, professional practices and employment conditions were examined that have not bee n e xplored regionally to date. Knowing and understanding regional differences in school psychology provide s a greater understanding of significant trends in the field, including potential strengths and weaknesses. For example, professional practices related to direct and indirect services

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 11 (e.g., consultation, student group interventi ons, counseling) are typically considered to be part of a problem solving service delivery model as opposed to a more traditional test and place model of service delivery. K nowing the regions in which school psychologists report spending more time on dire ct and indirect services is helpful. This information could guide the field of school psychology and assist graduate training programs by serving as demonstration sites for the implementation of direct and indirect services with students In addition, su ch information may assist national and state professional associations in identify ing regions where strategic efforts could be initiated to address needs relative to continuing professional development for school psychologists. Additionally, based on fed eral legislation (e.g., P.L. 105 17, P.L. 108 446), functional behavioral assessments must be conducted when appropriate, and research based interventions must be implemented and monitored (i.e., response to intervention) as part of the evaluation process when determining eligibility for special education programming. Legislation has dictated changes in the professional practices of school psychologists across the nation. Examining regional differences across the United States helps to determine trends in the professional practices of school psychologists. As newly trained school psychologists enter the field, regional differences in employment conditions (e.g., salary, contract, ratio of students to school psychologist) may influenc e where these individua ls seek employment. Further more exam ining information relating to differential trends in the number of school psychologists nearing retirement. Knowing the region s in which there may soon be a c ritical shortage of school psychologists could guide recruitment strategies to facilitate the hiring of newl y trained

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 12 school psychologists. Ultimately, looking at regional differences across these three categories of variab les provides useful information for school psychologists individually and collectively as a field, for state and national school psychology associations, and for legislators making decisions that impact the field of school psychology.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 13 CHAPTER TWO Litera ture Review In reviewing the field of school psychology, one might look at accomplishments of the profession, legislative influences on the roles and functions of school psychologists, and the challenges school psychologists face. School psychology is a p sychological specialty that is only a little over 100 years old, and yet the field has grown from one that looks to others for influence to a field that influences others. Educational systems within the United States have evolved over time. Schools have experienced the rapid growth of special education. With that growth came a focused effort to identify students with special needs and to serve them in programs that essentially segregated them from s tudents in general education. However, r ecent initiati ves have encouraged the inclusion of students receiving special education services with their peers in general education. At the same time, l egislation has prompted many changes within education that directly and indirectly impacted school psychologists. As faced new challenges in that their required role often differe d from their preferred role. A brief historical overview will highlight accomplishments in school psycho logy; legislative influences on the field and challenges facing school psychologists will be briefly reviewed in the paragraphs to follow.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 14 Following the initial overview of the foundation of school psychology legislative influence s and challenges relativ e to the field, a review of the literature related to the demographic characteristics, professional practices, and employment conditions of school psychologists (Curtis et al., 2002; Curtis et al., 1999; Graden & Curtis, 1991; Levinson et al. 1994; Reschl y & Wilson, 1995) will be provided. Next a review of research specific to regional differences in demographic characteristics, professional practices, and employment conditions of school psychologists (Hosp & Reschly, 2002; Hutton et al., 1992; Lund et a l., 1998) will be included. Finally, this chapter will conclude with a rationale for the present study. Historical Overview of Accomplishments in School Psychology first ti me in 1911, and the first book about school psychology was published in 1930 (Fagan & Wise, 2000 ; Fagan & Wise, 2007 ). Since 1930, the literature has expanded to include many professional journals related to school psychology and hundreds of books about t in 1945, when the American Psychological Association (APA) reorganized into a divisional structure that included Division 16 for school psychologists (Fagan & Wise, 2000 ; F agan & Wise, 2007 ). The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) was founded in 1969 as the first national organization specifically for school psychologists. The NASP membership has grown from 856 members in 1969 (Fagan & Wise, 2000 ; Fagan & Wise, 2007 ) to over 25,000 today (http// www.nasponline.org ). In 1988, the NASP initiated the National School Psychology Certification System and the first Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential was awarded, effective

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 15 January 1, 1989. The field of school psychology has developed and matured drastically since its origin back in the early 1900s. Legislative Influences on School Psychology Over the last 30 years, federal legislation has exerted a major influence on the field of school psychology. The Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94 142) was enacted in 1975, emphasizing the need for special education and the provision of psychological services for all children, regardless of disability (Fagan & Wise, 2000 ; Faga n & Wise, 2007 ). In 1986, Public Law 99 457 extended the right to a free and appropriate education in public school settings to include children from birth through age three. These important pieces of legislation provided funding that resulted in signifi cant increases in the number of school psychologists and special education teachers (Bricklin Carlson, Demers, Paavola, Talley, & Tharinger 1995). However, these laws also represented a pivotal moment in shifting the professional roles and functions of school psychologists. Due to the new focus on providing special education and psychological services to all children regardless of disabilities from birth through age 21 years e of identifying and serving students with disabilities, accompanied by a greatly expanded emphasis on assessment practices (Bricklin et al., 1995). Goldwasser and colleagues (1983) conducted a study investigat ing school the degree to which P.L. 94 142 changed their role. The researchers surveyed a random sample of practicing school psychologists who were members of the NASP. The survey included questions requesting demographic data and information about psychological s ervices provided to children with handicaps (Note: at

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 16 change in evaluation proc edures used, there was an overall reported increase in the amount of time invested with students identified as having disabilities and a decrease in the amount of time spent with students without disabilities The majority of school psychologists reported a significant change in their practice of school psychology (i.e., 57% indicated a significant change, 42% indicated a minimal change, and 1% indicated no change). Of the 99% who reported a change, 68% believed the change was positive and 32% believed th e change was not positive. Similarly, 53% felt that PL 94 142 had broadened the scope of practice of school psychologists, while 38% felt the legislation had limited the scope of services provided. Within the survey, respondents were given the opportunity to list changes they thought should be made with regard to legislation. The most common complaint was that, as a result of legislation (i.e., specifically PL 94 142), the emphasis of school psychology was placed on testing, a psychometric model, and spec ial education. However, some school psychologists perceived that changes in legislation were responsible for improving psychological services by emphasizing the need to assess the whole child (i.e., the requirement for a multi factored evaluation) There were two areas in which school psychologists reported that legislation had a marked negative impact on the field. First, school psychologists were reportedly increasing their focu s on students with disabilities, while decreasing time spent with nondisable d students. This inevitably forced school psychologists to spend less time providing proactive psychological

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 17 services. Second, respondents reported that legislation necessitated an increased amount of paperwork and time spent on bureaucratic activities. Legislation has aided the field of school psychology in that PL 94 142 and subsequent reauthorizing laws increased funding for school psychology positions. However, this increase was associated with increased emphasi s in roles on a ssessing students to determine eligibility for special education programs including gifted education (Fagan & Wise, 2007; Goldwasser et al., 1986) This emphasis limited the time available to school psychologists for other services that they were trained to provide (e.g., consultation, counseling). Unfortunately, many of the services that school psychologists were not able to provide would be considered proactive in nature and could play a role in preventing the need for special education services for so me students if provided. In 1997, P.L. 94 142 was reauthorized (P.L. 105 17) as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA was reauthorized again in 2004 (P.L. 108 446) as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (ID EIA). The professional practices of school psychologists were impacted as a result of both IDEA and IDEIA (Fagan & Wise, 2007) In accordance with the 1997 and 2004 reauthorizations, school psychologists would be involved in conducting functional behavio ral assessments (FBA), students with disabilities would have access to general education settings, manifestation determinations would be conducted relative to student discipline issues, and response to intervention would become common prac tice rather than (Gresham & Noell, 199 8 ; Prasse & Schrag, 1999). As a result of

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 18 these important legislative changes, the roles of school psychologists have been impacted significantly. Challenges in School Psychology School psychologists have been cha llenged and frustrated by the discrepancy between desired versus actual roles and functions for many years. Generally, school psychologists have reported a desire for providing a wider variety of psychological services including assessment, consultation, in service training, research and program evaluation, and prevention activities (Bricklin et al., 1995). However, due to issues related to sources of funding for positions and credentialing, school psychologists report that they are often limited in the s ervices they can provide outside the realm of assessment and activities related to special education In a study conducted 30 years ago by Meacham and Peckham (1978), school psychologists were surveyed to determine the consistency between role functions an d training. This national survey provided school psychologists with the opportunity to describe their training, actual practices, preferred practices, and professional competence across 25 skills. The 25 skills were grouped into the areas of assessment, remediation, interpretation, consultation, change agent, and research. On the 25 skills identified in the survey, school psychologists reported that the emphasis was greater in their training than in their current practice s for the areas of individual int elligence testing, individual personality testing, group testing, developing research, and carrying out research. Interestingly, respondents ranked assessment as number one for training, present job expectations, and competence. However, assessment was r anked second to consultation in terms of preferred job functions.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 19 Fisher and colleagues (1986) replicated the Meacham and Peckham study using data from the 1983 84 school year. The survey obtained information regarding demographic characteristics and per ceptions regarding the congruence between training and practice in school psychology. Respondents were provided the list of 25 skills from the training and practice emphasis for each skill area Then, the 25 skills were categorized into the same six categories used in the previous study. Respondents were asked to rank order these 6 areas with regard to the percent of time spent on each area during their training, in their current job, in their preferred job, and their professional competence in each area. There were several interesting differences between the results of the Meacham and Peckham (1978) study versus the results of the study conducted by Fisher et al. (1986). The amount of time spent with children in activities relating to special education increased from 51.5% in the 1975 76 sample to 73% in the 1983 84 sample. The degree of congruence between training and practice also increased for 19 out of 25 skill areas as well. While bo th samples ranked consultation as their most preferred role, neither sample identified consultation as first in terms of either their training or their current position. The differences in the professional practices of doctoral and non doctoral level scho ol psychologists decreased from 1975 1976 to 1983 1984 Demographic Characteristics Professional Practices, and Employment Conditions Reschly and Wilson (1995) replicated a study that had been conducted by Reschly et al. (1987) based on a national surv ey of school psychologists in 1986 that was funded by the NASP. Surveys used in both studies included questions relating to demographic characteristics, employment conditions, beliefs regarding systems reform, job

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 20 satisfaction, and desired versus actual p rofessional roles. Reschly and Wilson (1995) obtained data based on the 1991 1992 school year. Both school psychology practitioners and school psychology u niversity faculty were surveyed, with the response rates being 83% and 78%, respectively. The prac titioner surveys were sent to a random sample of 1,600 members of the NASP, with this sample being divided into four groups (i.e., every fourth name was assigned to a different sampling group), and each group receiving a slightly different survey. The fac ulty surveys were sent to every fourth name listed in the Directory of School Psychology Programs (McMaster, Reschly, & Peters, 1989). Results of the Reschly and Wilson (1995) study were co mpared to those of the Reschly et al. (1987) study to determine i f significant changes had occurred between 1986 and the 1991 1992 school year Comparison s of the two studies indicated that there had been a statistically sign ificant increase in mean age. However, t here were no statistically significant differences in gender representation within the field Reschly and Wilson also reported that f aculty members earned approximately $9,000 more than did practitioners in mean annual salary, more frequently earned additional outside income (through activities such as consu lting, private practice, royalties), and typically earned more from outside sources than did practitioners. While there were no changes in the percentage of respondents with doctoral degrees, there was an increase in the percentage of respondents with s pecialist degrees, and a decrease in the percentage with masters degrees. There were no significant psychologist ratios. Results of the study conducted by Reschly and Wi lson (1995)

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 21 indicated that there were more respondents working with urban populations compared to the study conducted by Reschly et al. (1987). There were no significant differences in faculty variables examined across the two time periods. Results of b oth surveys suggested that the majority of the faculty had 15 or more years of experience, with 47% holding the rank of Professor, and 80% being tenured; they carried an average teaching load of five courses per year, served on eight student committees (di recting three to four theses or dissertations per year), and held the position of major chair for 12 graduate students per year. Results of the study conducted by Reschly and Wilson (1995) will be discussed i n the paragraphs that follow. They reported t hat d octoral level practitioners tended to work longer contracts (median = 202 days); however, median days in contracts were not reported for faculty or for non doctoral practitioners. Results of demographic and income variables for doctoral level practit ioners fell between those of faculty and nondoctoral practitioners. It should be noted that these groups (i.e., doctoral practitioners, nondoctoral practitioners, and faculty) all differed in mean age, highest degree earned, and gender; therefore, variabl e differences should be interpreted cautiously. For Reschly and Wilson (1995) differences were noted between actual and preferred roles by both faculty and practitioners. Faculty and practitioners consistently reported the desire for a change in the cur rent time allocations of school psychologists. Specifically, they expressed a preference for school psychologists to spend less time on assessments and less time with special education services. The primary difference between practitioners and faculty wa s that faculty would prefer that school psychologists

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 22 spend more time on research/evaluation. Generally, practitioners and faculty desired similar time allocations to include less time spent on assessment and more time spent on direct interventions and pr oblem solving consultation. In the Reschly and Wilson (1995) study, faculty viewed systems reform more positively than did practitioners. Based on a Job Satisfaction Scale, practitioners were most satisfied with colleagues, satisfied with work/supervis ion, neutral regarding their salaries, and least satisfied with opportunities for promotion. Faculty were most satisfied with colleagues and work, satisfied with supervision, and neutral about both pay and opportunities for promotion. Levinson and collea gues (1994) surveyed 636 practicing school psychologists to determine gender differences related to employment characteristics. The variables of interest were the amount of time spent versus amount of time desired for different professional roles, contrac t length, salary, number of schools served, highest degree earned, student to school psychologist ratio, and years of experience. Data were collected via a demographic data form that was part of a larger job satisfaction survey previously conducted by the first author. Although there was a 67% response rate, only 362 of the surveys were included in the analyses as this was the number of surveys completed by full time practitioners. A series of t tests were performed to compare males and females on sever al variables (i.e., age, employer, number of schools served, highest degree earned, psychologists to student ratio, and years of experience). The only significant differences found between males and females were in contract length and salary. M ales earne d higher monthly salaries and worked longer contracts. To further explore the significance

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 23 of gender on salary differences, an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was conducted and the results consistently indicated that males earned significantly higher sala ries than did females. A stepwise multiple regression analysis was completed to determine the impact of gender as a predictor of salary. In these analyses, all of the variables were entered as predictors of salary. When the regression analysis excluded gender, R 2 = .61, and when gender was included, R 2 = .63, indicating that gender only accounted for an additional 2% of the variance in salary. A Kruskal Wallis test of significance was performed to determine if gender differences existed in actual versus desired time spent in different professional functions (e.g., assessment, counseling, consultation, clerical activities, administrative tasks, and research). No statistically significant differences were found between males and females. Worrell, Skaggs, and Brown (2006) mailed a survey to 500 full time practicing school psychologists who were randomly selected from the NASP membership database. They attained a 61% response rate, with a total of 308 usable surveys. Participants completed data forms that collected demographic information (e.g., age, gender ) and information related to job characteristics (e.g., number of student served, salary, length of contract). Participants also completed a modified version of the 1977 Long Form of the Minnesota Satis faction Questionnaire (MSQ) to assess their satisfaction with respect to a variety of job related activities. Results indicated that 76.9% of respondents were female, 46.9% were age 50 or older, and 22.9% reported having 11 to 15 years of experience in sc hool psychology. Seventy percent of participants reported a 1:2000 school psychologist to student ratio or lower Nearly all participants held at least a masters degree plus 30 semester hours. While 53% reported being certified nationally, only

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 24 37.7% he ld state licensure. Eighty three percent of participants reported that they intended to remain in the profession, as well as overall satisfaction in their jobs. Creation of the NASP National Database s While many studies have provided useful descriptive information regarding the field of school psychology (Fisher et al., 1986; Levinson et al., 1994; Reschly & Wilson, 1995; Worrell et al., 2006), there was a need for a comprehensive national database that would encompass a wide range of important variables related to demographic characteristics, professional practices, and employment conditions. This type of database could then be replicated to allow for longitudinal comparisons that would be useful in understanding trends in the field. Professional organ izations attempting to impact state or federal legislation and policies would benefit from access to data related to variables that are important to the field. The NASP addressed this need by establishing a policy that a national database would be created and maintained through a study conducted every five years with regard to demographic characteristics, professional practices, and employment conditions of school psychologists. As a result, data have been collected for the 1989 90 school year (Graden & C urtis, 1991), the 1994 95 school year (Curtis et al., 1999), the 1999 2000 school year (Curtis et al., 2002), and the 2004 2005 school year (Curtis, et al., 2008). The surveys have been conducted and the results presented on behalf of the NASP Research Co mmittee in an effort to inform policymakers NASP and other relevant constituencies about important information relative to the field of school psychology. To date, trends in the variables have been noted longitudinally and across variables.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 25 First NASP National Database (1989 90) The initial national study was conducted through the NASP Research Committee to investigate the demographic characteristics, employment conditions and professional practices of school psychologists based on the 1989 1990 school year (Graden & Curtis, 1991). Surveys were mailed to a sample of 20% of Regular Members of the NASP, randomly selected by state, resulting in a 79% return rate of usable completed surveys. All respondents were asked to complete 17 demographic questions, while only full time practicing school psychologists employed in school settings were asked to complete the remaining items that pertained to employment conditions and professional practices. Results of the demographic portion of the survey indicated tha t the field of school psychology was predominantly female (64.9%), between the ages of 31 and 50 (73.5%), and Caucasian (93.9%). There were more respondents over the age of 50 (20.2%) than under 30 (6.4%), and minority groups were significantly underrepre sented in the field (e.g., only 1.9% were African American and 1.5% were Hispanic). The majority of respondents (74.7%) reported having 15 or fewer years of experience in school psychology, 50.9% reported having teaching experience, and of those 31.4% ha d taught for only 1 to 5 years. Data relative to salary indicated that 54.6% of respondents earned between $30,001 and $45,000, with 9.5% earning less than $25,000 and 14.9% earning over $50,000. The largest percentage of respondents (40.0%) reported hav ing a 181 190 day contract and 36.4% were paid based on a teacher salary schedule. Over half (54.4%) of the respondents were not aware of how their positions were funded. Over three fourths of respondents (77.2%) reported that they were practicing school psychologis ts, 9% identified themselves as

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 26 counselor), 7.2% were administrators, and 4.9% reported that they held faculty positions at the university level. Most respondents (91.8%) reported that they did not engage i n any private practice, 3.7% worked 40 or more hours per week in private practice, 15.5% 1 to 9 hours per week, and 4.5% 20 or more hours per week. Participants were asked to indicate the percent of time spent in different employment settings, with the f ollowing results: 67% spent one or more days each week in public elementary schools, 47% one or more days in public middle/junior high schoo ls, 37% in public high schools, and 13.9% in a public preschool setting. Very few respondents reported working in private schools (e.g., 4% in private elementary schools, 2% in private middle/junior high, high, or preschools). The remaining variables related to demographic characteristics were in the areas of degree and training, certification and licensure, and pr ofessional association memberships. Of all respondents, 84.5% reported having completed 60 graduate semester hours or more of formal training which is the level required by NASP standards for entry to the field. Results also indicated that 40.8% of resp ondents held a masters degree as the highest degree earned, 29.1% a specialist degree, and 28.1% a doctoral degree. Only .1% of respondents listed a bachelors degree as the highest degree earned. Of those responding to the survey, 80.5% indicated that th ey were Nationally Certified School Psychologists (NCSPs), 94.6% held a state certification credential, 12.9% held a school psychology license, 17.0% held a psychology license, and 4.5% were licensed as a psychological associate. Eighty percent of respo ndents were members of their state school psychological association, 36.9% were members of the National Education Association, 34.7% were members of their local teachers union, 9.0% were members of

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 27 the American Federation of Teachers, 23.7% were members of the American Psychological Association, and 31.1% were members of other professional organizations. The survey items related to professional practices were completed only by participants who were school psychologists practicing full time in a school set ting. Of th o se respondents, 57.8% worked in school districts with 10,000 or fewer students, and 18% worked in school districts with 40,000 or more students. Thirty one percent of respondents reported that 5% or fewer of the students in their school distr ict were ethnic minorities, 23.4% reported 6% to 15% ethnic minority students, and nearly 20% reported 46% or more students as ethnic minorities. It should be noted that while approximately 20% of respondents who were practicing school psychologists repor ted serving in districts where 46% or more of the students were from ethnic minority groups, 93.9% of the respondents reported Caucasian as their own ethnicity. According to the NASP professional practice guidelines, the recommended student to psychologi st ratio is 1000:1. Participants in the Graden and Curtis study reported that 17.9% worked in school districts where the ratios were below the recommended level, 25% reported ratios between 1001:1 and 1500:1, 23.5% ratios between 1501:1 and 2500:1, 23.4% ratios over 2501:1, and 6% reported ratios of over 4000:1. One portion of the survey asked participants to estimate the percentage of time they spent in various activities (e.g., assessment, counseling, consultation, etc.). Respondents reported spending 52.3% of their time on assessment activities related to special education, 9.3% on assessment activities not related to special education, 20% on consultation (14% individual consultation, 5.5% group/organizational consultation), 10%

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 28 on counseling (i.e., g roup and individual), 2.7% on providing in service training, and 2% on supervision. Next, the survey contained questions to further explore each area in which school psychologists reported spending their time. Specific to conducting initial special educa tion evaluations during the 1989 1990 school year, 54.3% indicated that they completed 50 or fewer evaluations, 21% completed between 51 and 75 evaluations 12.5% completed between 76 and 100, and 12.2% completed over 100 evaluations. Relative to special education reevaluations, 43.1% reported completing between 26 and 50 reevaluations, 31% completed 25 or fewer, and 25.9% completed over 50 reevaluations. When asked how many students were served through consultative services, 36.7% of participants indicat ed that they had served between 26 and 50 students, 36.4% had served 25 or fewer students, and 26.8% had served 51 or more students. When asked how many students they had served through individual and/or group counseling, 40.7% reported that they had in dividually counseled 1 to 10 students, 21.3% had counseled 11 to 20 students, 10.7% had counseled 21 to 30 students, 11.4% had counseled 31 or more students, and 16% reportedly provided no individual counseling to students. Related to counseling groups, 4 8.7% of the respondents reported that they did not conduct counseling groups, 40.5% had conducted 1 to 5 groups, 7.2% had conducted 6 to 10 groups, and 3.6% had conducted 11 or more groups. Relative to the number of students served through group counselin g, 47.7% reported that they served no students through group counseling, 19.7% had served fewer than 10 students, 13.7% had served between 11 and 20 students, and 18.8% had provided group counseling to 21 or more

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 29 students. Finally, 23% of respondents repo rted providing no in service trainings during the 1989 1990 school year, 19.1% provided one in service training, 20.4% conducted 2 in service trainings, and 16.9% conducted 5 or more in service trainings. Second NASP National Database(1994 95) To create the second NASP database, Curtis and colleagues (1999) surveyed Regular members of the NASP based on the 1994 1995 school year. This survey was again mailed to a sample of 20% of Regular members of the Association randomly selected by state. The first 17 items requested demographic information and the remaining 14 items requested information about employment conditions and professional practices. A 74% response rate was obtained Results of the demographic portion of the survey indicated that 70.8% of r espondents were female, 94.5% were Caucasian, only 1.1% were African American, and 1.9% were Hispanic. Over 70% were 40 years of age or older, approximately one third reported having over 15 years of experience in the field, 16.8% reported over 20 years o f experience, and 53.3% entered the field of school psychology with no teaching experience. Relative to salary, 35.8% of school psychologists reported earning $50,000 or more annually, 14.2% earned $25,000 or less, and 5.4% reported being at or below the $25,000 salary level. Based on the NASP training standards, school psychologists should be entering the field with a minimum of 60 graduate semester hours of formal training, which is considered equivalent to a specialist degree. In reviewing past studies it was learned that although many school psychologists had earned 60 graduate semester hours, they had been awarded only a masters degree because a specialist degree was not available from

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 30 the institution where they completed their training. Therefore, this survey included an item that requested the number of graduate semester hours that had been completed at the time of entry into the field as well as the number of graduate semester hours that had been completed as of the date they completed the survey. These items enabled the researchers to determine the percentage of participants who had met the minimum training requirement (i.e., 60 graduate semester hours), regardless of whether or not they held a specialist degree. Also, the researchers were able to compare the percentage of respondents who furthered their graduate education through formal study from the time they had entered the field until the survey was completed. As the highest degree earned, 36.5% reported holding a masters degree, 31.4% a sp ecialist degree, and 29.4% a doctoral degree. When looking at the number of graduate semester hours completed upon entry to the field, 24.3% reported having met the minimum requirement (i.e., 60 graduate semester hours), 37% had earned between 61 and 90 g raduate hours, and 17.5% had earned 90 or more graduate semester hours. In other words, 78.8% of the respondents had entered the field with 60 or more graduate semester hours of preparation in school psychology. Of the participants who were practicing scho ol psychologists, 98.1% held certification from a state education agency and 62% were Nationally Certified School Psychologists. Results indicated that 36.7% of the respondents were licensed at some level (e.g., school psychologist, psychologist, doctoral non doctoral). Results also indicated that 75.2% of practicing school psychologists were members of their state association, but only 16.9% were members of Division 16 (School Psychology) of the APA. The percentage of all respondents (i.e., including t hose who were not practicing

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 31 school psychologists, such as faculty members) who belonged to Division 16 of the APA was somewhat higher (23%), although still fewer than one out of four. Very few school psychologists reported working 100% of the time at one level (e.g., elementary, preschool, etc.). Of those who did, the largest percentage (15.6%) worked solely at the elementary school level. The majority (69.8%) of school psychologists worked at the elementary level, followed by middle school (44.4%), hig h school (33.1%), and then preschool (23.3%). Relatively few (11.9%) identified private worked at a university, 2% in hospital settings, and 0.9% at the state departme nt of education. Only 2.8% of school psychologists reported spending 40 hours or more per week in private practice and 34% reported spending fewer than 10 hours per week in private practice. When describing their school district settings, 44.8% reported that their district was suburban, 30.3% urban, and 24.9% rural. The highest percentage of participants (44.7%) indicated that their contract was for between 181 and 190 days, 34.1% between 191 and 220 days, 10.4% 180 days or less, and 10.7% 221 days or mo re. Over half of respondents (55.4%) did not know the funding source for their salary. Of those who did, 34.3% reported that a portion of their salary was paid from special education funds (19.8% state funds, 14.9% federal funds), and 31.3% reported that a portion of their salary was paid from general education funds (22.6% state funds 14.9% local funds). Almost half (48.7%) of school psychologist respondents indicated that their student to school psychologist ratio was at or less than 1500:1. Practicin g school psychologists also were asked for information about the student populations served in their school districts,

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 32 with 36.1% indicating that more than one fourth of the students they served were members of an ethnic minority group. In comparison to t he percentage of school psychologists who indicated that they were ethnic minorities (only 5%), it was apparent that a significant discrepancy existed between the ethnicity of school psychologists and the ethnicity of the population of students they served Practicing school psychologists also answered questions related to professional practices such as assessment, consultation, counseling, conducting groups, and training. The highest percentage (45.9%) of respondents indicated that they had served betwe en 1 and 25 students through consultation during the 1994 95 school year. Only 2.6% reported that they had not engaged in consultation, and 25.6% had served more than 50 students through consultation. Thirty four percent of participants said they counsel ed more than 10 students during the 1994 1995 school year, while 17.8% had not provided counseling services to any students. Relative to group sessions, 46.5% indicated that they had not provided group services to students and 20.3% had conducted group se ssions in which more than 20 students were served. While 22% of respondents conducted no in service training programs, 18.4% had conducted five or more in service training programs. Despite the heavy emphasis that is placed on the role of assessment in the field of school psychology, the majority of respondents in this study spent time providing other psychological services during the 1994 1995 school year. Of the practitioners participating in the study, 97.4% engaged in consultation activities, 86.4% provided individual counseling for students, 53.5% conducted some type of student groups, and 77.8% provided in service trainings. This information suggests that while school

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 33 psychologists are required to spend a great deal of time assessing students to d etermine eligibility for special education programs, many school psychologists are continuing to provide psychological services outside of assessment to meet the needs of students. Curtis, Hunley, and Grier (2002) conducted a study analyzing data from th e 1994 1995 NASP database. The researchers analyzed nine professional practice variables (e.g., number of initial special education evaluations, number of special education re evaluations, number of students served through counseling, number of students s erved through consultation). Pearson product moment correlations were used to examine the relationships between these nine professional practice variables and level of training, years of experience, gender, and ratio of students to school psychologist. D ifferences between type of school setting (i.e., urban, suburban, rural), demographic variables (e.g., years of experience), and professional practices were explored using analysis of variance (ANOVA) procedures. A statistically significant relationship was found between highest degree earned and counseling services provided as well as in service programs offered. A statistically significant inverse relationship was found between highest degree earned and amount of time spent on special education related activities. The findings were consistent when examining the relationship between these professional practice variables and the number of graduate semester hours earned (i.e., as opposed to highest degree earned). In other words, the higher the level of f ormal training received, the less time was spent in special education related activities. In addition, respondents with more years of experience conducted more special education evaluations, served more students through consultation, and provided more in service trainings than did those with fewer years of

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 34 experience. There were no significant differences between the professional practices of males versus females. However, females reportedly earned lower annual salaries than did their male counterparts. Statistically significant differences were found for several variables for school psychologists in different school settings. School psychologists in rural districts tended to report having fewer years of experience. In addition, more students were ser ved through consultation in urban and suburban districts compared to rural districts. There was a significant relationship found between the number of special education evaluations completed and the ratio of students to school psychologist. This relation ship suggested that the higher the ratio, the higher the number of special education evaluations completed. As one might expect, respondents who reported lower ratios also indicated that they served more students through counseling, conducted more counsel ing groups, and served more students through counseling groups than did those who reported higher ratios. Third NASP National Database (1999 2000) The third NASP national database was based on the 1999 2000 school year (Curtis et al., 2002). The survey ins trument consisted of 37 items, 19 of which requested demographic information and 18 items requested information relative to professional practices and employment conditions. As in the first two studies, this survey was mailed to 20% of Regular members of the NASP, randomly selected by state. Of the 3,022 surveys that were mailed, 2,052 completed and useable surveys were returned, resulting

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 35 practicing school psychologis t, 6% university faculty, 5% administrator, 2% private practice, and 7% other (e.g., counselor, behavioral intervention specialist). Based on the demographic portion of the survey, 70% of all school psychologists and 72% of practicing school psychologist s were female. The majority of schoo l psychologists were Caucasian, with only 7.2% being members of ethnic minority groups. While the percentage of school psychologists who are members of ethnic minority groups continued to be low, the percentage reflect ed a small increase from the 1989 1990 school year (6.1%). Further, while there were reportedly 1.5% Hispanic school psychologists during the 1989 1990 school year, 3.1% of respondents for the 1999 2000 school year indicated that they were Hispanic. Dat a for the 1999 2000 school year indicated that the field was getting older. In the 1989 1990 school year, 43.2% of respondents reported their age as 40 years or below; however, responses for the 1999 2000 school year indicated that markedly fewer (31.2%) w ere age 40 or younger. In contrast, respondents in the age 50 years or older group increased from 20.2% in 1989 1990 to 32.8% for the 1999 2000 school year. Those reporting 15 or fewer years of experience decreased from 74.7% (1989 1990) to 60.6% (1999 2 000). In contrast, those reporting more than 20 years of experience increased from 10.2% in 1989 1990 to 20.7% in 1999 2000. The largest percentage of respondents reported a masters degree as the highest degree earned (41%), 28.2% a specialist degree, a nd 30.3% a doctoral degree. While only 28.2% of respondents reported a specialist degree as the highest degree earned, 86.5% reported that they had completed 60 or more graduate semester hours, considered Nearly 36% of respondents reported

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 36 licensure as a psychologist, school psychologist, or a derivative title. Only 1.5% reported private practice as their primary employment (i.e., 32 or more hours); however, 9.9% reported spending some time in private pr actice as their secondary employment. Many respondents reported membership in their state school psychological association (73.9%). Based on the professional practices items that were answered only by full time, school based practicing school psychologis ts, the percentage of school psychologists working within the recommended student to school psychologist ratio (1000:1) had nearly doubled from 1989 1990 to 1999 2000 (17.9% to 35.7%, respectively). There also was a marked increase from 42.9% to 55.7% in the percentage of respondents approaching the NASP recommended ratio (1500:1). On the other hand, only one in four (25.2%) respondents worked in a setting with a ratio of over 2000:1. Of school psychologists responding to the 1999 2000 survey, 77.7% part icipated in the development of Section 504 plans, approximately one third completed 25 or fewer initial special education evaluations, two thirds completed 50 or fewer, and only 2.8% completed over 100 initial evaluations. Over 35% of respondents served 50 or more students through consultation; however, the percentage of respondents who reported serving no students through consultation increased slightly from 2.6% in 1989 1990 to 6.4% in 1999 2000. While 12.7% of respondents reported serving 30 or more stu dents through individual counseling, 23.8% reported providing no individual counseling services to students. While there was an increase of 1.2% in the percentage of student groups conducted, the percentage of respondents who conducted no student groups i ncreased from 48.7% to

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 37 54.8%. In addition, almost 26% of respondents reported that they conducted no in service training programs. Respondents estimated that they had spent 79.1% of their time in activities related to special education. Of this time, 4 1% of the time was spent on special education activities. Just under half (47.2%) of respondents indicated that they had received no supervision during the 1999 2000 school year. Of those who did receive supervision, 46.5% reported that their supervisor held a degree in school psychology, and 34.1% of supervisors reportedly held a doctoral degree. Curtis and colleagues (2002) examined the relationships between profe ssional practices of school psychologists and the following variables: practitioner training, experience, school district setting, and student to school psychologist ratio. School psychologists who indicated higher degrees earned reported providing more i ndividual counseling, group counseling, and in service programs. Those with less training reported spending more time on special education related activities and completing more initial evaluations. As years of experience increased, consultation services increased, but the number of student groups decreased. Respondents who indicated more training and more experience provided more direct and indirect intervention and prevention services. While respondents with more years of experience conducted more spe cial education reevaluations, they reported spending less time in special education related activities. Respondents in suburban school districts completed fewer special education reevaluations and reported lower student to school psychologist ratios than did those in rural and urban settings. Respondents who reported lower student to school psychologist

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 38 ratios reported spending more time in activities not related to special education (e.g., direct intervention services). Those who reported higher student to school psychologist ratios spent more time on activities related to special education (e.g., conducting initial special education evaluations and reevaluations). Curtis, Grier, and Hunley (2003) provided data related to important trends in school psy chology from the late 1960s to present, specifically related to demographic characteristics and ratio of students to school psychologist. They discussed implications for the field of school psychology, as well as possible projections for the future. The most dramatic changes in the field over time have related to gender, and this has come to 70 school year, the field consisted of 41% females (Farling & Hoedt, 1971 as cited in Curtis et al., 200 3), and this percentage jumped to 70% by the 1999 2000 school year (Curtis et al., 2002). In terms of race and ethnicity, the field has continued to consist of predominantly Caucasians. Ninety six percent of responding school psychologists during the 198 0 1981 school year (Smith, 1984 ) were Caucasian, and during the 1999 2000 school year 92.8% of respondents reported Caucasian as their race (Curtis et al., 2002). Curtis et al. (2003) also noted that there have been remarkable changes in graduate level preparation over the past 30 years. During the 1969 1970 school year, 93% of school psychologists reported a masters degree as their highest degree earned, 1.8% a specialist degree, and 3.4% reported a doctoral degree. By the 1999 2000 school year, 41% o f school psychologists reported a masters degree as their highest degree earned, 28.2% a specialist degree, and 30.3% a doctoral degree. This shift in preparation was most significant when comparing the 1969 1970 school year to the 1989 1990 school

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 39 year; and the data have remained relatively stable since the 1989 1990 school year. Relative to professional credentials, there has been little change over the past 10 years. The percentage of school psychologists who are certified by the state department of e ducation has decreased from 94.6% (Graden & Curtis, 1991) to 91.4% (Curtis et al., 2002). School psychologists holding licensure increased only slightly, from 34.4% (Graden & Curtis, 1991) to 35.5% (Curtis et al., 2002). While the percentage of school ps ychologists holding a non doctoral license changed very little between the 1994 1995 school year (17.4%; Curtis et al., 1999) and the 1999 2000 school year (17.7%; Curtis et al., 2002), the percentage of school psychologists with doctoral level licenses in creased from 11.3% to 17.8%, respectively. The mean age of school psychologists increased from 38.8 years (Smith, 1984 as cited in Curtis et al., 2003) to 45.2 years (Curtis et al., 2002). Finally, the percentage of school psychologists with 20 or more y ears of experience increased from 10.2% (Graden & Curtis, 1991) to 20.7% (Curtis et al., 2002). Curtis and colleagues (2003) discussed several projections for the field of school psychology based on the trends in data. The fourth NASP database is based on the 2004 2005 school year. Because that database served as the basis for analyses in the present study, creation of that database is described in Chapter Three Regional Differences in School Psychology Numerous studies have been conducted to explore the demographic characteristics, professional practices, and employment conditions of school psychologists across the United States. However, few studies have investigated whether there are regional differences among these three variable categories. Of the s tudies that

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 40 have explored regional differences, only limited information has been generated pertaining to many issues considered important to the field of school psychology. For example, Hutton et al. (1992) conducted a study updating information reporte d by Goh et al. (1981); however, the variables of interest in both studies were limited to assessment practices and instruments. Furthermore, the only variable that was examined regionally was the percentage of time spent on assessment activities. Hutton et al. (1992) mailed 1,000 surveys to a random sample of members of the NASP and obtained an initial return rate of 50%; however, only 39% of the surveys were usable and no follow up was conducted to increase the usable response rate. The survey was base d on the instrument created by Goh et al. (1981) and included questions related to demographic characteristics, amount of time spent conducting assessment, assessment contact with different age groups, and the assessment instruments used. Results indicat ed that respondents spent 52.7% of their time on assessment related activities. Respondents in the Eastern region of the United States reported spending the least amount of time on assessment (47.34%). T his regional difference was of statistical signific ance ( F = 2.54), with participants in 3 of the remaining 4 regions reporting spending a majority of their time on assessment activities (56.34%, 56.56%, and 56.82%). No other variables were examined regionally. In a study conducted by Lund et al. (1998 ) state and regional differences were investigated for the 1992 1993 school year relative to student to practitioner ratios over a five year period of time. Additional variables examined were personnel shortages in the field of school psychology, relation ships between per pupil expenditures and student to practitioner ratios, and the effects of economic recession on student to practitioner ratios.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 41 The student to practitioner ratio for 1993 was based on the student enrollment statistics for Fall, 1992 (U.S Department of Education, 1994). Results of the surveys also were compared to the report to Congress for the number of practitioners and the number of vacancies in each state to ensure accuracy. In addition, school psychology graduate programs were surv eyed regarding current enrollment, preferred enrollment, openings for more students, barriers to higher enrollment, number of graduates for the 1992 1993 school year, and anticipated enrollment for the 1993 1994 school year. There was a 74% response rate for universities surveyed. The authors estimated the attrition rate for the field of school psychology at 5%, while practitioner demand was based on estimates of unfilled vacancies and new positions anticipated compared to attrition. Data were examined longitudinally by comparing results from the 1992 1993 school year (Lund et al., 1998) with data obtained by Connolly and Reschly (1990) during the 1988 1989 school year. Connolly and Reschly (1990) conducted a survey to examine practitioner shortages, un iversity school psychology program enrollment, and numbers of graduates from school psychology programs. For the purposes of their study, practitioners were considered persons in school psychology positions in public school settings. Surveys were mailed to school psychology leaders (i.e., state association president and vice president, NASP delegate, state department of education school psychology consultant or contact person) in each state. There was a 68% response rate and data were received from 47 st each state were calculated for responses within 30% of the median. All responses that differed by more than 30% were inve stigated further to resolve the discrepancies.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 42 The effects of the 1989 1993 r ecession were assessed regionally by organizing the data into the nine U. S. census regions (i.e., New England, Mid Atlantic, South Atlantic, East South Central West South Central, East North Central, West North Central, Mountain, and Pacific) used by Dzia lo, Shank, and Smith (1993). All of the states were compared based on their rank order over time (i.e., 1966, 1974, 1989, and 1993). Results indicated the number of graduate students enrolled in school psychology programs varied by only 5% from 1989 to 1 993. The estimated national shortage of school psychologists improved from a shortage of 502 in 1989 to a shortage of 359 in 1993. State and regional differences in supply and demand also were explored. In 1989, the number of graduates in the Mid Atlant ic and New England regions slightly exceeded the anticipated demand. In 1993, this was only true for the Mid Atlantic region, whereas the remaining regions indicated a nearly equal supply and demand. In 1993, the West South Central region demonstrated th e largest discrepancy with demand exceeding the supply by almost 180 persons. It is noteworthy to mention that the number of vacant positions decreased from 1,110 in 1989 to 747 in 1993. Results of both the 1989 and 1993 surveys indicated an average na tional student to school psychologist ratio of 1,875:1. Although the ratio did not change over time, variations in the ratio across states and regions continued. Trends in states and regions were consistent when comparing the 1989 and 1993 survey results For example, the state with the best ratio continued to be Connecticut and the state with the worst ratio continued to be Texas. Regionally, the areas with the best ratios continued to be the New England region (1,205:1) and the Mid Atlantic region (1, 239:1), while the West South Central region continued to have the worst ratio (4,692:1). With the exception of the East

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 43 South Central region, with a ratio of 3,351:1, the remaining 5 regions were all relatively close to the national average. The next a nalyses looked at correlations between student to practitioner ratios, historical patterns, and per pupil expenditures. The state rankings of student to practitioner ratios across three decades were significantly correlated, ranging from .68 to .90. When looking at the relationships between actual state ratios in 1966, 1974, 1989, and 1993, the correlations were not as strong (ranging from .34 to .78). There was a high correlation when comparing state rank order for per pupil expenditures in 1989 to 1992 ( r = .97). Additionally, state per pupil expenditure rank orders were compared to state student to practitioner ratio rank orders. These correlations were statistically significant ranging from .53 to .76. An inverse relationship was found between act ual per pupil expenditure and student to practitioner ratios (ranging from .33 to .47) indicating that as per pupil expenditures increased, student to practitioner ratios decreased. Next, the researchers examined the relationship between changes in stu dent to practitioner ratios between 1989 and 1993 to the student to practitioner ratios reported in 1993. This correlation was negative ( r = .33), indicating that states with the largest changes in ratios also had better ratios in 1993. Changes in per p upil expenditure from 1989 to 1993 were compared to the student to practitioner ratios of 1989 and 1993. Both correlations were .34, and this positive correlation suggests that states with larger changes in per pupil expenditure also had larger student to practitioner ratios. Also, it was discovered that states with the lowest per pupil expenditures increased the most ( r = .33). The relationship between changes in per pupil expenditure and changes in student to practitioner ratios was not statistically significant.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 44 The recession had a slight impact on student to practitioner ratios. According to Lund, Reschly, and Martin (1998) economic data suggested that the least favorable ratios would be found in the following regions: New England, Mid Atlantic, South Atlantic, and Pacific. The number of students per school psychologist increased by 12.1% for the New England region and by 7.3% for the Mid Atlantic region. The number of students per school psychologist only increased by 1.1% for the Mid Atlantic region and 1.9% for the Pacific region over time (i.e between 1989 and 1993). The West North Central region improved their ratio by an 11.5% decrease in the number of students per school psychologist (i.e., between 1989 and 1993) Ratios for the remain ing 4 regio ns changed by only 5% or less (i.e., between 1989 and 1993). Hosp and Reschly (2002) conducted a study that explored regional differences in role and assessment practices, job satisfaction, systems reform beliefs, demographic characteristics, and relationships between ratios (i.e., student to school psychologist) and asse ssment. This study explored tho se variables regionally based on the nine United States census regions: Northeast (NE), Mid Atlantic (MA), South Atlantic (SA), East South Centr al (ESC), East North Central (ENC), West South Central (WSC), West North Central (WNC), Mountain (Mtn), and Pacific (PAC). Surveys were mailed to a random sample of 1,423 practicing school psychologists whose names were obtained from the 1997 NASP mailing list, with a usable response rate of 74% being obtained. Five primary research questions were explored by Hosp and Reschly (2002). The first four questions were related to regional differences in role and assessment practices, job satisfaction, system reform beliefs, and demographic characteristics. The data for each of these areas were analyzed using a series of one way analyses of variance

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 45 (ANOVAs). The final question explored the relationship between student to school psychologist ratio and the nu mber of assessments administered each month, and was addressed using a bivariate correlation. The correlation between the student to school psychologist ratio and the number of assessments administered each month was found to be statistically significant ( p = .013); however, the relationship was weak ( r = .138). Results of the ANOVAs conducted to answer the first four research questions will be discussed in the paragraphs to follow. There were no statistically significant regional differences found among the demographic variables. The highest percentages of school psychologists with doctoral degrees were found in the WSC (33.3%) and Mtn (34%) regions, with the lowest percentages being in the WNC (20.4%) and NE (22.2%) regions. The lowest mean age (45.5 years) was reported in the MA region and the highest mean age (49.3 years) was reported in the NE region. The majority of respondents were females, ranging from 53.6% in the Mtn region to 78.4% in the WSC region. Respondents in the NE region reported the lowest student to psychologist ratio (1,048.8:1), with respondents in the ESC ranged from $39,228 in the WSC region to $55,271 in the MA region. Respondents indicate d that regions with the highest salaries also had the lowest reported student to school psychologist ratios, while regions with the lowest salaries had the highest student to school psychologist ratios. The SA, ESC and WSC regions served the highest perce ntages of African American students (31%, 24.4%, and 22.7%, respectively), while the lowest percentages of African American students served were in the NE, Mtn and Pac regions (9%, 4.7%, and 10.3%, respectively). The highest percentages of Hispanic

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 46 studen ts served were in the Pac (26.7%), Mtn (21.7%) and WSC (15.1%) regions, while the lowest percentages were in the ESC (1.6%), ENC (3.9%), and WNC (4.2%) regions. There were statistically significant regional differences reported across variables related significant difference was found between regions in the number of hours spent in psychoeducational assessment. Respondents in the NE and MA regions spent almost 19 hours per wee k on assessment, while respondents in the ESC region spent over 26 hours per week on this activity. Also, a significant regional difference was found for hours spent providing direct interventions. Participants in the MA region spent 9.9 hours per week o n direct interventions, which was significantly different from every other region, with the exception of respondents in the NE (8.9 hours). Interestingly, respondents in the regions where the reported hours spent on psychoeducational assessment were highe st spent the least amount of time providing direct interventions. No significant regional differences were found for time spent on problem solving consultation, systems/organizational consultation, or research/evaluation. There was a statistically signi ficant regional difference reported for prefer red time spent on assessment Respondents in the MA region reported that they would prefer to spend just under 11 hours per week on assessment as opposed to respondents in the ESC region, who reported that the y would prefer to spend almost 16 hours per week on assessment. On average, psychologists in each region reported that they would prefer to spend fewer hours on assessment than they are in their current roles. A significant regional difference was report ed for preferred number of hours spent on systems/organizational consultation. While the majority of participants across regions

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 47 reportedly preferred to spend 3.5 to 4.3 hours on systems/organizational consultation, respondents from the Mtn and WSC region s reportedly prefer red to spend 5.3 and 6.6 hours on syst ems/organizational consultation, respectively. Regional differences of statistical significance also were reported for job satisfaction variables. Respondents in regions with the highest annual sal aries reported the highest job satisfaction, while respondents in regions with the lowest annual salaries reported the lowest job satisfaction. Interestingly, psychologists who reported they were the least satisfied with their supervisor reported the high est satisfaction with their annual salary and reported the lowest student to school psychologist ratios. Statistically significant regional differences were found in assessment practices. Respondents from the ESC region reported administering the highe st mean number of assessment measures per month ( M= 22.9), while participants in the NE region administered the fewest ( M= 11.2). There also was a significant regional difference in the use of preschool/family assessments administered per month. Psychologi sts in the NE, WNC, and Mtn regions reported administering less than one preschool/family assessment per month, whereas psychologists in the ESC region administered over 7 such assessments per month. It is noteworthy to mention that preschool/family asses sments were the most infrequent type of assessments conducted across regions. There was a statistically significant regional difference in the number of behavior rating scales given per month. Psychologists in the ESC region administered an average of 3 0.4 behavior rating scales per month while respondents in all other regions administered 12 or less per month There were significant regional differences for achievement tests administered as well. Respondents in the ESC region reportedly

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 48 administered 20 or more achievement tests per month while participants in the NE, WNC, and Mtn regions reportedly administered 6.1 to 6.9 achievement tests per month. Second to preschool/family assessments, the most infrequent assessment reported was visual motor mea sures. There were statistically significant regional differences for the number of visual motor assessments administered. While participants in the WSC and WNC regions reportedly administered 5.1 visual motor assessments per month, participants in the SA ESC, and Pac regions administered 11.8, 12.0, and 13.3 (respectively) per month. Statistically significant regional differences were discovered for projective measures. Psychologists in the WNC administered 8.8 projective measures per month, while psych ologists in the ESC region administered 18.2 projective measures per month. In general, psychologists in the coastal regions (i.e., NE, MA, SA, ESC, Pac) administered the highest number of projective measures. There were no statistically significant regi onal differences for the number of behavior observations conducted. It was noted that in regions where higher numbers of projective measures were administered, anecdotal observation notes were the most common form of behavioral observations conducted. There were statistically significant regional differences for only 3 out of 19 systems reform questions. Items 3, 5, and 6 were of significance across regions. Item 3 tea chers in designing, implementing, and monitoring interventions prior to consideration of special educat d, item 6 state d

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 49 Respondents in the MA, SA, and ESC regions strongly agreed with item 3 while respondents in the Mtn region were more neutral regar ding item 3. Those in the WSC region agreed slightly with item 5, while participants in all other regions responded very neutrally to item 5 Respondents in the NE, SA, and Mtn regions strongly disagreed with item 6, while respondents in the remaining regions responded neutrally to item 6. Overall, respondents agreed that school psychologists should be involved in assisting general education teachers in designing, implementing, and monitoring interventions prior to special education consideration; spec ial education eligibility determination should be directed back to interventions; direct measures of skills are useful for progress monitoring of interventions; and that it is important to understand the emotional dynamics of students to be effective with academic interventions. Generally, respondents did not agree with item 6 (i.e., students classified as learning disabled or mildly mentally retarded have similar educational needs ). Respondents also did not agree with item 8 (i.e., students classified as learning disabled or emotional/behavioral disorder ed h ave similar educational needs). Rationale for the Present Study This NASP database includes a great deal of information collected from school psychologists nationwide. When considering the complexi on of the field of school psychology across the United States, it is important to note that school psychology does not look the same everyplace and that regional differences exist. As a context for school psychology, fundamental differences may exist in v arious geographical areas of the country. These regional differences include, but are not limited to, environmental variables (e.g., weather, topography) as well as characteristics of the people (e.g.,

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 50 political views, economy, culture, race). While some of these regional differences have little or no effect on school psychology, other regional differences (e.g., politics, economy) may significantly impact the field. One such influential factor is the implementation of policies that result from federal le gislation. Federal legislation relating to education has changed significantly over the past 30 years, and these changes have influenced the field of school psychology. However, the effects of legislative changes may be experienced differently across reg ions of the country as there is latitude in interpreting and implementing federal policies. As a result of these potential differences, it is important to investigate regional differences that may exist among the demographic characteristics, professional practices, and employment conditions of school psychologists across the United States. Of the few studies that have investigated differences in school psychology across the United States, the limitations of such studies must be considered. Previous st udies have examined a limited number of variables (Hutton et al., 1992). Further, few studies to date have looked at differences in school psychology across regions of the United States. Some states are geographically larger than others and some are more densely populated; therefore, grouping states together regionally makes sense. Considering the examination of variables across regions of the United States is supported by the fact that the United States Census Bureau has created census regions for the p urpose of making regional comparisons. While making regional comparisons may be a relatively new concept in the school psychology literature, studies in other fields have analyzed national data by comparing regions. For example, Dzialo, Shank, and Smith (1993) investigated regional differences in employment status and salary to address challenges experienced

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 51 by states in the Northeast region and states along the west coast. Because the United States Census Bureau has already grouped the states into nine regional divisions, these existing regions could be used for the purpose of investigating regional differences in employment conditions. The NASP leadership is organized with r egional representatives as well. Using the U. S. census regions, Hosp and Reschly (2002) investigated and provided important findings regarding regional differences in school psychology based on data collected in the spring of 1997. The present study exa mined some of the same variables considered by Hosp and Reschly (2002); however, this study also investigated a number of additional variables and analyzed data utilizing a more current database (i.e., based on the 2004 2005 school year). To examine possi ble regional differences in the demographic characteristics, professional practices, and employment conditions of school psychologists across the United States, the present study addressed the following research questions: 1. To what extent a re there diff erences in demographic characteristics (e.g., gender, age, ethnicity, years of experience, and level of preparation) of school psychologists across regions of the United States? 2. To what extent a re there differences in professional practices that relate to special education (e.g., number of initial special education evaluations, number of special education reevaluations, total evaluations, percentage of time spent involved in activities related to special education, and number of 504 plans) for school ps ychologists across regions of the United States?

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 52 3. To what extent a re there differences in professional practices related to direct and indirect services (e.g., number of students served through consultation, number of students served through individu al counseling, number of students served through groups, number of student intervention groups conducted, number of in service training programs delivered) for school psychologists across regions of the United States? 4. To what extent a re there differenc es in employment conditions (e.g., percentage of minority students served, student to sc hool psychologist ratio, salary) for school psychologists across regions of the United States?

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 53 CHAPTER THREE Method The present study examined regional differences in the demographic characteristics, professional practices, and employment conditions of school psychologists across the United States. Specifically, analyses were conducted using a national database containing data gathered from school psychologists rel ative to demographic characteristics (e.g., gender, ethnicity, years of experience in school psychology), professional practices (e.g., number of consultation cases, number of initial special education evaluations and re evaluations, time spent on activiti es related to special education), and employment conditions (e.g., ratio of students to school psychologist, percentage of minority students served, salary), based on the 2004 2005 school year. This chapter will be presented in two major sections. The fi rst provides a description of the procedures used to create the national database. The second includes a delineation of the variables explored in this study and the specifi c research questions addressed. Creation of the 2004 2005 National Database This s tudy is a secondary analysis of an existing database This section describe s the participants, ethical considerations related to protection of the participants, historical information regarding the survey instrument utilized to obtain the data, and the sp ecific procedures used to create the 2004 2005 national database.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 54 Participants The participants whose responses constitute the national database include the 1,748 school psychologists who completed and returned a survey, based on the 2004 2005 school ye ar (Curtis, Lopez, Castillo, Batsche, Minch, & Smith, 2008). The survey was mailed to 2,948 "Regular" members of the NASP representing a 20% random selection by state. In order to be categorized as a Regular member of the NASP one must king or credentialed as a school psychologist, trained as a school psychologist and working as a consultant or supervisor of psychological services, ( www.nasponline.org /m embership/). Only this category of membership was included because it included only school psychologists; it did not include student members, who had not yet entered the field, and affiliate members, who were interested in the field but who were not schoo l psychologists. R espondents represented all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico Of the 1,748 respondents ( a 59.3% response rate) 80% were practicing school psychologists, 6% were university faculty, 5.3% were administrators, and 0.6% were employed by state departments of education. Demographic characteristics of this sample were compared to the 2005 NASP membership database. The reader is referred to Appendix A for a comparison of the 2005 NASP membership and the 2004 2005 NASP nati onal database that served as the basis for analyses in this study. Protection of Human Participants The current study is considered a secondary analysis of existing data because analyses were conducted using the previ ously created national database ( i.e ., not data that

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 55 were collected through this study ) The database includes no identifying information relative to human participants. The present study was approved by the University of South Florida Institution al Review Board (IRB) whose purpose is to p rotect human participants in social and behavioral sciences research ( http://www.research.usf.edu/cs/irb.htm ). Histor ical Background of the National Database Graden and Curtis (1991) were the first to survey members of the NASP and create a national data base in response to a NASP policy that required the Research Committee to create and maintain a national database related to the demographic characteristics, educational background, professional credentials, and professional practices of school psychologi sts every five years. The first survey instrument was drafted, reviewed, and modified based on feedback from the NASP leadership The revised survey was then piloted with five practicing school psychologists to obtain feedback regarding factors such as clarity of items, ease and time for completion, and so forth. Following subsequent revision, the survey instrument was approved by the NASP Delegate Assembly and the NASP Executive Board in 1990. The first national database was created based on the 198 9 1990 school year by Graden and Curtis (1991), the second database was based on the 1994 1995 school year (Curtis et al., 1999), and the third was based on the 1999 2000 school year ( Curtis et al., 2002) Consistency was maintained for most items across survey instruments over the years to allow for consistent measurement of variables repeated over time (Curtis et al., 1999) and for an examination of historical trends in the field (Curtis et al., 2002 ) Only minor changes were made to the 2004 2005 surve y instrument, to include the addition of

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 56 an item related to continuing professional development (i.e., Item 35) and more detailed information related to supervision (i.e., Items 36 and 37). Creation of the National Database Consistent with the first thr ee studies, the purpose of the 2004 2005 survey (Appendix B) was to obtain information regarding school psychologists across the United States. The survey consisted of 18 items related to demographic characteristics and 20 items related to professional pr actices and employment conditions. All participants were asked to respond to the first 18 items, whereas only school psychologists who worked full time in a school setting were asked to respond to items 19 though 38. The NASP central office conducted a computerized random selection of NASP Regular members, and the resulting list of names was used to generate duplicate sets of mailing labels. The initial mailing list included the names of 2,969 school psychologists NASP, representing a 20% random selection by state. The final, corrected list (following the removal of the names of persons with incorrect addresses, and those who were deceased, retired or had left the field), included 2,94 8 persons. Participation in th e survey was voluntary, no identifying information was requested, and steps were taken to ensure confidentiality. A code number was assigned to each participant; this code number was written on the postage paid, pre addressed return envelope that was in cluded with each survey. This coding system was used to prevent respondents from being included in subsequent mailings, and to randomly select participants for the award of incentives. The first mailing included the survey, a pre addressed, postage paid return envelope, and a cover letter from Dr. Michael Curtis, Principal Investigator on behalf of

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 57 the NASP Research Committee; the letter explained the rationale for the study, procedures used, and measures that would be taken to ensure confidentiality. T he first mailing took place in July 2005; data collection continued through November 2005. A total of three complete mailings were conducted, along with one postcard reminder, for a total of four mailings. To encourage response, potential participants we re notified of an incentive plan. The initial incentive plan was for 10 respondents to be randomly selected payment toward a NASP conference and/or registration for a NASP wor kshop. Informal not an effective incentive; therefore, it was decided to offer the same incentive that had been offered in earlier studies (i.e., the random selection of five respondents who would receive one year of free membership in the Association). Notification of the availability of both incentives was included in the fourth and final mailing. Regardless of when participants responded, all respondents were eligible free NASP membership incentives. Upon the receipt of a returned survey, the survey was immediately separated from off the mailing list, and the coded return envelope was placed in an alternate location to be used for the random selection of incentive reward recipients. Data obtained from the returned surveys were entered into an Excel database. Reliability checks were conducted fo r data entry accuracy for a randomly selected sample of 10% ( n =175) of the returned surveys, resulting in an identified error rate of 0.18% (i.e., 12 errors out of 6,650 entries). Survey data were then winzorized to eliminate error that may have been in troduced d ue

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 58 to extreme response outliers. The distributions of the data for each variable were reviewed by Dr. Michae l Curtis and Dr. George Batsche, and parameters were set. Dr. Curtis and Dr. Batsche are b oth past presidents of the NASP, members of th e NASP Research Committee, and are very familiar with the field of school psychology relative to demographics, professional practices and employment conditions. Dr. Curtis was the Principal Investigator for the first three national studies for the NASP an d publish ed the findings of each study. Dr. Curtis and Dr. Batsche examined the full range of responses for each item using boxplot displays and established the parameters for each item based on their judgment regarding the limits of possible responses. The resulting Excel database was imported into SPSS 14.0 for Windows Student Version (SPSS Inc., 2005) for the purposes of data analysis. A total of 1,748 usable surveys were received as a result of the four mailings, representing a 59.3% response rate. It has been suggested that response rates of less than 50% may reduce the ability to draw conclusions based on the data about the field of school psychology (Reschly & Wilson, 1995). In an effort to validate the data included in the national database to be utilized for the current study, demographic characteristics (e.g., gender, age, ethnicity, highest degree earned) of the sample for the database were compared to demographic membership data for the NASP. Chi square goodness of fit tests were conducted by Lopez (2007) to make comparisons between the national database and the NASP membership database for the 2005 year for select demographic variables. Results of the chi square goodness of fit tests indicated that responses for the 2004 2005 database were comparable to the 2005 NASP membership database for gender (1, 1748) = .22436, p < .01 but not for ethnicity (5, 1748) = 36.3449, p < .01 or

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 59 highest degree earned (3, 1748) = 167.704, p < 0 1. See Appendix A for a comparison of the 2005 NASP member ship and the 2004 2005 database, including a comparison of percent responding. It is noteworthy to mention that the 2005 NASP membership data represent a considerably lower response rate compared to the 2004 2005 database. Consequently, w hile there may be statistically significant differences between the 2005 NASP membership data and the 2004 2005 database, these differences are questionable in light of the lower response rate for the 2005 NASP membership data Many school psychologists who are Regular members of the NASP are unaccounted for in the membership data relative to these select demographic variables (i.e., response rates by item are much higher within the national database compared to the membership database) Fagan and Wise ( 2007 ) contend th at the NASP includes about 70% of all school psychologists in the field, suggesting that use of membership in the NASP for purposes of research is appropriate because it is highly representative of the field of school psychology. Procedure The 2004 2005 national database served as the basis for analyses conducted for the purpose of answering the specified research questions. The variables were grouped into four general categories: demographic characteristics, professional practices related to special ed ucation, professional practices related to direct and indirect services, and employment conditions. The state varia ble was coded (i.e., 1 through 52 including the 5 0 states District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico ), then the states were grouped together ac cording to the nine U.S. Census Regions The data were examined using analysis of variance (ANOVA) procedures to determine if the means of each continuous variable

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 60 differed statistically by region. Additionally, data involving categorical variables were examined using chi square analyses to determine if differences across regions were statistically significant. Variables There were four categories of dependent variables that included demographic characteristics, professional practices related to special education, professional practices related to direct and indirect services and variables related to employment conditions. The demographic variables of interest to this research included gender, ethnicity, highest degree earned, national certification, c ertification that allows for independent practice in non school settings, licensure that allows for independent practice in non school settings, membership in the state school psychology association, age, years of experience in school psychology, years of experience in teaching, and graduate training in school psychology. Professional practice variables related to special education included the number of section 504 plans completed, the number of initial special education evaluations completed, the number of special education reevaluations completed, and the percentage of total time spent on activiti es related to special education Professional practice variables related to direct and indirect services to students included the number of consultation cases conducted, the number of students individually counseled, the number of student groups conducted, the number of students served through groups, and the number of in service training programs conducted. Variables related to employment conditions included ethnic minorities, the percentage of students served by the responding school psychologist who were ethnic minorities, the ratio of students to school psychologist for

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 61 the district, the rati o of students to school psychologist for whom the responding school psychologist was responsible, the number of days specified in the work contract, the salary of the respondent (i.e., calculated as a daily rate of pay), the percentage of respondents who r eceived administrative supervision, the percentage of respondents who received clinical supervision, and the percentage of respondents whose clinical supervisor held a degree in school psycho logy. The independent variable for the current study was region with nine levels r epresenting the United States Census regions (i.e., Northeast, Mid Atlantic, South Atlantic, East South Central, East North Central, West South Central, West North Central, Mountain, and Pacific). Demographic Variables Each of the demog raphic variables included in the present study is listed in Table 1, along with a description of how the information was coded. Table 1 Demographic Variables Variable Coding ________________________________________________________________________ Gende r (gen) Female = 0; Male = 1 Ethnicity (eth) African American (AA) = 0; Caucasian (C) = 1; American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) = 2; Asian American/Pacific Islanders (API) = 3; Hispanics Highest Degree Earned ( high ) Bachelors = 0; Masters = 1; Specialist = 2; Doctorate = 3

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 62 ________________________________________________________________________ Variable Coding ________________________________________________________________________ National Certification (NCSP) NCSP = 1; No NCSP = 0 Certification Allows Ind ependent Allowed = 1; Not allowed = 0 Practice ( certnon ) Licensure Allows Independent Allowed = 1; Not allowed = 0 Practice ( licnon ) Membership (memb) M embership in state school psychology association = 1; Non members = 0 Years of School Psychology Exact number of years of experience in school Experience ( spexp) psychology Years of Teaching Experience Exact number of years of experience in teaching. (tchexp) Hours Prior to Entry (prior) N umber of grad uate credit hours obtained prior to entry into the field of school psychology Age (age) E xact age of respondent Professional Practices Variables Related to Special Education Each of the professional practice variables related to special education included in the present study is listed in Table 2, along with a description of how the information was coded

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 63 Table 2 Professional Practices Variables Related to Special Education ________________________________________________________________________ Variab le Coding ________________________________________________________________________ Section 504 (504) Number of Section 504 Plans assisted in developing Initial Evaluations (initial) Exact number of psychoeducational evaluations conducted for the purpos e of considering eligibility for special education services Reevaluations (reeval) Exact number of psychoeducational reevaluations conducted for the purpose of reevaluating the services (i.e., no differentiat ion between three year reevaluations and special reevaluations) Total Work Time (timespedu) Percentage of total work time spent on activities relating to special education ________________________________________________________________________ Professio nal Practices Variables Related to Direct and Indirect Services to Students Each of the professional practice variables related to direct and indirect services to students included in the present study is listed in Table 3, along with a description of how the information was coded.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 64 Table 3 Professional Practices Variables Related to Direct and Indirect Services to Students ________________________________________________________________________ Variable Coding _________________________________________ _______________________________ Consultation (consult) Number of consultation cases completed Individual Counseling (counsel) N umber of students individually counseled Groups (grp) N umber of student groups conducted Students Served in Groups (stgrp) N umber of students served in groups In Service Programs (inserv) N umber of in service training programs conducted ________________________________________________________________________ Employment Conditions Variables Each of the variables related to employme nt conditions that were included in the present study are listed in Table 4, along with a description of how the information was coded. Table 4 Variables Related to Employment Conditions _____________________________________________________________________ ___ Variable Coding ________________________________________________________________________ Ethnic Minority Students Percentage of minority students enrolled in district In District (ethdis)

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 65 _______________________________________________________ _________________ Variable Coding ________________________________________________________________________ Ethnic Minority Students Percentage of minority students served by Served (ethser) respondent District Ratio (ratio) Ratio of students to school psychologist for the entire school district Ratio Served (rser) Ratio of students to school psychologist based on Contract (cont) Number of days in work contract Per Diem (perdiem) Daily rate of pay = annual salary divi ded by number of days in contract Admin Supervision Received administrative supervision = 1; did not (asrecsup) received administrative supervision = 0 Clinical Supervision (csrecsup) Received clinical supervision = 1; did not receive clinical sup ervision = 0 Degree of Clinical Degree in school psychology yes = 1 no = 0; degree Supervisor (csdegsc) in psychology yes = 1 no = 0; degree in other area yes = 1 no = 0; doctoral degree yes = 1 no = 0; masters/specialist degree yes = 1 no = 0 ___ _____________________________________________________________________

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 66 Region The independent variable for the purposes of the present study was the United States census regions. A listing of the states within each of the nine U.S. census regions is pro vided in Table 5. Table 5 Regional Groupings of States ________________________________________________________________________ Region State ________________________________________________________________________ Northeast ( NE ) Connecticut, Maine, Ma ssachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont Mid Atlantic ( MA ) New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania South Atlantic ( SA ) Washington D.C., Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia East South Cent ral ( ESC ) Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee East North Central ( ENC ) Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin West South Central ( WSC ) Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas West North Central ( WNC ) Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota Mountain ( Mtn ) Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 67 ________________________________________________________________________ Region State _______________________________________________ _________________________ Pacific ( Pac ) Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington ________________________________________________________________________

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 68 CHAPTER FOUR Results The present study explored differences in demographic characteristics, professional practices related to special education, professional practices related to direct and indirect services with students, and employment conditions of school psychologists across the nine United States census regions. The reader is referred to Ap pendix A for information related to response rates for each region and for states within each region. This chapter will present results for each of the four research questions. An overview of descriptive information will be presented for the variables exa mined related to each research question. Preliminary analyses were conducted to examine differences between states within each region to determine how representative the aggregated regional data were and to ensure that outliers were not skewing the data. These preliminary analyses will be discussed as well. Finally, the analyses (i.e., ANOVAs, chi square analyses, and follow up t tests) conducted to answer the research questions will be discussed. There are a large number of comparisons, which can i nflate Type I errors; therefore, an a priori alpha level of .01 was maintained for all analyses conducted. In general, for each continuous variable ANOVA was used to determine if statistically significant regional differences existed and effect sizes were calculated using eta squared. Eta squared values are as follows: small effect sizes are less than .01, moderate effect

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 69 sizes are from .10 to .24, and large effect sizes are .25 and greater. For regional differences with moderate or large effect sizes, t he Scheff post hoc procedure was used to determine where the regional differences were, and eta squared was used as the measure of effect size. In analyzing categorical variables, chi square analyses were s V values are as follows: small effect sizes are less than .20, medium effect sizes are between .20 and .39, and large effect sizes are .40 and larger. For regional differences with moderate or large effect sizes, multiple comparisons we re calculated using a method developed by Cox and Key (1993) to determine were the regional differences were for these categorical variables. Research Question One T o what extent are there differences in demographic characteristics (e.g., gender, age, e thnicity, years of experience, and level of preparation) of school psychologists across regions of the United States? T here were clear relationships among three of the continuous variables explored. Based on the calculated Pearson correlation coefficien ts, the following variables were positively correlated at the .01 significance level: age and years of experience in the field of school psychology ( r = .73) and age and years of teaching experience ( r = .27). As would be expected, t hese correlations indi cate that as age increases the number of years of experience in school psychology and the number of years of experience in teaching increase, respectively. Descriptive s tatistics for d emographic v ariables. Percentages for the categorical variables (e.g. gender) and m eans and standard deviations for the continuous variable s

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 70 (e.g., age) related to demographic characteristics are reported in Appendix B Several noteworthy trends were noted Respondents from the South Atlantic (80.5%) and West North Centr al (80.2%) regions included the highest percentages of females, while the lowest percentage of female s resided in the Mountain (58.4%) region. The majority of respondents reported their ethnicity as Caucasian (overall sample = 92.6%); however, the region with the greatest percentage of non Caucasian respondents was the Pacific ( 11.2 %). Respondents from the South Atlantic region reported the highest percentages of African Americans (4%), while there were no African American respondents from the West North Central and Mountain regions. The highest percentage of American Indian/Alaskan Natives was in the Pacific region (1.8%), and the lowest percentages were in the South Atlantic (0.3%) and East North Central regions (0.3%). The highest percentage of respon dents reporting their ethnicity as Asian American/Pacific Islander was in the Mountain region (2.3%), while no respondents in the East South Central region reported Asian American/Pacific Islander as their ethnicity. The region with the highest percentage of respondents who reported Hispanic ethnicity was Pacific (5.9%), while there were no persons of Hispanic ethnicity represented in the East South Central or West North Central regions. The highest percentage of respondents indicating their ethnicity as American) was in the Northeast (3.3%), while there were no respondents in the East as their ethnic ity. When considering preparation and credentialing among school psychologists there are variations in college degrees, certification, and licensure. Only 0.3% of

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 71 respondents in the South Atlantic region reported a degree as the highest degr ee earned while there were no respondents in any other region who reported holding only a b achelor s degree While respondents from the Pacific region reported the highest percenta ge of respondents indicating a m aster s degree as the highest degree earne d (62.8%), the Pacific region was also the region with the lowest percentage of respondents indicating an e ducational s pecialist (Ed.S.) degree or a d octorate (Ph.D.) as the highest degree earned (13.4% and 23.8%, respectively). While respondents from the South Atlantic (16.6%) region reported the lowest percentage of persons who se highest degree earned was a m aster s degree, this region also had the largest percentage of respondents indicating an e ducational s pecialist (Ed.S.) degree Finally, participan ts from the West South Central region indicated the largest percentage of respondents reporting a d octorate (Ph.D.) as the highest degree earned. Because some universities do not offer a specialist degree, but provide specialist level preparation, it is a lso of interest to consider the number of semester hours of graduate training in school psychology completed prior to entry in the field. The number of semester hours ranged from 0 to 150, with a mean of 66.6 ( SD =26.4). This distribution was slightly pos itively skewed (sk=0.87) and leptokurtic (k=1.85), suggesting a non normal distribution. This distribution suggests that a number of respondents indicated semester hours slightly less than the mean. One explanation for this is that the number of semester hours and/or degree required for entry to the field has changed over the years. The highest mean number of graduate semester hours in school psychology prior to entering the field was reported from respondents in the West South Central ( M= 70.5, SD =32.3) region, with the lowest mean coming from respondents in the Pacific region ( M= 63.7, SD =31.3). These results were directly related

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 72 to highest degree earned in that the highest percentage of respondents reporting a doctoral degree as the highest degree earn ed were also in the West South Central region, while the lowest percentage of respondents reporting a doctoral degree as the highest degree earned were in the Pacific region. Respondents from the Mid Atlantic (65.2%) region had the highest percentage of Nationally Certified School Psychologists (NCSP), but only 33.8% of respondents from the East South Central region held the NCSP credential. While only 5.2% of participants in the West South Central region have certification that allows independent practi ce in non school settings, 32.6% in the Northeast are certified to conduct independent practice in non school settings. Additionally, 84.8% of respondents in the East South Central region have licensure that allows for independent practice in non school s ettings, and only 33.3% in the West North Central have licensure that allows for independent practice in non school settings. Association of School Psychologists (NASP), it is intere sting to consider which members are also involved in school psychology associations at the state level. In the Pacific region, 79.1% of respondents indicated that they are members of their state school psychology association. The lowest percentage of mem bership at the state level was in the Mid Atlantic region, with 61.5%. The ages of respondents ranged from 24 to 76 years with a n overall mean of 46.2 ( SD =10.9). The distribution of responses was slightly negatively skewed (sk= 0.22) and platykurtic (k= 1.01) The highest mean age was reported from respondents in the West South Central ( M =49.3, SD =10.3) region, while the lowest mean age was in the Mid

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 73 Atlantic ( M =44.4, SD =11.0) region. Years of experience in school psychology ranged from 0 to 42 years, with a n overall mean of 14.8 years ( SD =9.4). The distribution for years of experience in school psychology was slightly positive l y skewed (sk= 0.35) and platykurtic (k= 1.03) Respondents reporting the highest number of years of experience in school psych ology were from the East South Central ( M =15.9, SD =9.4) region, and respondents reporting the lowest number of years of experience in school psychology were from the Mid Atlantic ( M =13.8, SD =9.6) region. Years of experience in teaching ranged from 0 to 30 with a mean of 2.1 ( SD =4.5). This distribution was positively skewed ( sk =3.02) and leptokurtic ( k =10.24). This distribution is peaked (i.e., suggests that a number of respondents indicated years of experience less than the mean) with a heavy tail. How ever, the median number of years of teaching experience was 2.11, which is essentially the same as the mean. The mean number of years of experience in teaching was only 1.5 ( SD =3.5) for respondents residing in the East South Central and East North Central regions, with the highest mean number of years of teaching experience reported by respondents residing in the Northeast region ( M =2.9, SD =5.3). Preliminary a nalyses for d emographic c haracteristics. Preliminary data were reviewed to look at variability in demographic characteristics between states within each region. Knowing the variability between states within each region is beneficial in understanding the distribution of the data for each of the state s that make up each region and to ensure that ther e are no extreme outliers that may be skewing the data for the entire region. Each continuous variable was examined by state to consider means and standard deviations for each state within each region. Each categorical variable was examined by state to c onsider column percentages between states within each region. An

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 74 analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted for each continuous demographic variable, and chi square analyses were conducted for each categorical variable, to determine if there were statisti cally signifi cant differences between states. Preliminary analyses revealed a statistically significant difference relative to age between states within the West South Central region F (3, 96) = 4.8, p < 01, and relative to the average number of years of experience in school psychology between states within the Mountain region F (7, 136) = 3.1, p < 01. H owever, no pairwise comparisons were significant at the p < 01 level. Additionally, there was a statistically significant difference between states wit hin the West South Central region relative to the average number of years of experience in teaching F (3, 94) = 5.7, p < 01. Results of the Scheff post hoc procedure indicated the difference was between Oklahoma and Texas, where there was a mean differ ence of 5.6 years ( p < 01). It is noteworthy to mention that years of experience in teaching ranged from 0 to 28 in Oklahoma ( M = 6.7, SD = 9.4 ) and from 0 to 17 in Texas ( M = 1.02, SD = 2.6 ). This mean difference could potentially skew the data for thi s particular region in relation to years of experience in teaching, and should be considered when viewing the results of the ANOVA. Regional d ifferences for demographic v ariables. Regional differences for demographic characteristics were analyzed utiliz ing analysis of variance (ANOVA) for continuous variables. Eta squares were computed as a measure of effect size to assess the strength of statistically significant relationships. For moderate and/or large estimates of effect size, pos t hoc procedures we re utilized following the ANOVA to determine where the actual statistically significant differences lie. An a priori alpha level of .01 was maintained to minimize the probability of falsely rejecting t he null hypothesis. The

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 75 Scheff procedure was chosen as the most appropriate post hoc procedure to use for computing multiple comparisons once the F statistic indicated a significant overall difference. The Scheff procedure was selected because of its flexibility. The Scheff procedure can explore all pai rwise comparisons as well as more complex contrasts (i.e., involving more than two groups for significance) (Stevens, 1999). The Scheff procedure can be somewhat more stringent than other post hoc procedures because a large critical value is necessary fo r significance, meaning power (i.e., the probability of an accurate decision when rejecting a null hypothesis) may suffer (Stevens, 1999). According to Stevens (1999), the three factors that impact power are the alpha level set by the researcher, the samp le size, and the effect size. Power should not be a concern for the current study because an adequate alpha level has been selected, all sample sizes are large (i.e., more than 100 participants per group), and effect sizes will be discussed. Prior to con ducting all regional analyses, the distribution of the means of each variable were examined by region to ensure approximately normal distributions ( Appendix B ). An a nalysis of variance revealed that there was a statistically significant regional differenc e based on age, F (8, 1720) = 3.7, p < 01. Eta squared is an estimate of variability in the dependent variable that is accounted for by the independent variable and is interpreted similarly to an effect size. The estimated effect size for the regional d ifference based on age was small ( 2 = .02 ; therefore, multiple comparisons between regions were not computed relative to age. Chi square analyses were conducted to analyze regional differences relative to categorical variables. Based on the chi square analyses, there were regional diffe rences among responding school psychologists with respect to gender (8, N = 1734) = 33.23, p

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 76 < 01, ethnicity (40, N = 1693) = 68.06, p < 01, highest degree earned (24, N = 1731) = 194.02, p < 01, certification as a NCSP (8, N = 1734) = 60.14, p < 01, certification that allows for independent practice in non school settings (8, N = 1549) = 53.08, p < 01, licensure that allows for independent practice in non school settings (8, N = 784) = 70.56, p < 01, and membership in state psychological associations (8, N = 1735) = 33.19, p < 01. ffect sizes for each statistically significant regional difference, and results indicated medium effect sizes for regional differences based on highest degree earn ed ( V = 2 0 and licensure that allows for independent practice in non school settings ( V = 3 0 Multiple comparisons were computed for these two variables to further explore these regional differences. Effect sizes for the remaining regional differenc es were small; therefore, multiple comparisons were not computed for those variables. Multiple comparisons were calculated to further explore the strong, statistically significant regional differences in highest degree earned and licensures that allows f or independent practice in non school settings. The multiple comparisons were calculated using a model developed by Cox and Key (1993). This method involved deriving a chi square value for each individual region, then determining the differences in chi s quare values between each of the 36 possible multiple comparisons. Differences were compared to the theoretical distribution value (3.841). When further expl oring respondents who report a s pecialist degree as the highest degree earned, respondents in the South Atlantic region reported higher percentages than all other regions. Respondents in the Pacific region reported lower percentages with a s pecialist degree compared with all other regions except the South Atlantic region. Respondents in the

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 77 Mountain region reported higher percentages than those in the Mid Atlantic region. Respondents residing in the Mountain and East South Central regions reported signif icantly lower percentages with s pecialist degrees compared with the Northeast, West South Central and West North Central regions. Those in the East North Central region rep orted lower percentages with a s pecialist degree than those in the West South Central region. Finally, when further exploring those reporting a d octoral degree as the highest deg ree earned, respondents in the West South Central region reported significantly higher percentage with a Doctoral degree compared with those in the Northeast and South Atlantic regions. Results of multiple comparisons related to licensure that allows for independent practice in non school settings indicated that significantly lower percentages of respondents in the West North Central region held licensure that allowed for independent practice in non school settings compared with those in the Northeast, Mid Atlantic, South Atlantic, East South Central, East North Central, Mountain and Pacific regions. Lower percentages of respondents in the West South Central also reported licensure that allowed for independent practice in non school settings compared with those in the Pacific region. Results of ANOVA conducted to explore regional differences in demographic characteristics of responding school psychologists indicated that while statistically significant regional differences existed relative to age, the effe ct sizes were small. Considering both the ANOVA and estimated effect size, the regional differences based on age are not strong enough to discuss further. Results of chi square analyses indicated that there were statistically significant regional differe nces based on highest degree earned and licensure that allows for independent practice in non school settings. These

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 78 statistically significant regional differences were considered strong b ased on moderate effect sizes. There were numerous relationships b etween the regions discussed. Research Question Two T o what extent are there differences in professional practices that relate to special education (e.g., number of initial special education evaluations, number of special education reevaluations, total e valuations, percentage of time spent involved in activities related to special education, and number of 504 plans developed) for school psychologists across regions of the United States? In reviewing the relationships between the variables explored for r esearch question two, there were several correlations that were statistical ly significan t Although the correlations were significant, the relationships were not that strong. Correlations ranged from 0.37 (p < 01) to 0.37 (p < 01). It was expected th at the variables would be correlated since they are all associated with professional practices related to special education. While many of the variables were correlated, they are all measuring separate activities; therefore, none of the variables could be replaced or combined for the purposes of reducing the number of analyses conducted. Descriptive s tatistics for p rofessional practices r elated to special e ducation. Means and standard deviations for each variable associated with professional practices re lated to special education are reported in Appendix D Noteworthy trends will be discussed in the paragraphs to follow. The number of Section 504 plans ranged from 0 to 100, with a mean of 5.9 ( SD = 9.2). The West South Central ( M = 7 .8, SD = 20.3) regi on was the region with the highest reported mean number of Section 504 plans, while the West North Central ( M = 2.6, SD = 3.9) was the region with the lowest mean. The

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 79 number of initial evaluations and re evaluations completed ranged from 0 to 200, with m eans of 34.5 ( SD = 29.7) and 34.0 ( SD = 26.9), respectively. Respondents in the East South Central region reported the highest mean number of initial evaluations ( M = 58.1, SD = 42.9) and reevaluations ( M = 84.1, SD = 40.5). Respondents in the Northeast region reported the lowest mean number of initial evaluations ( M = 27.0, SD = 20.4) and re evaluations ( M = 28.0, SD = 23.5) completed The percentage of time spent on activities related to special education ranged from 0 to 100, with a mean of 80.1 ( SD = 21.8). Respondents from the West South Central ( M = 90 .2, SD = 15.3) region reported spending the highest percentage of their time on activities related to special education. While the South Atlantic region reported the lowest percentage of time on acti vities related to special education, the mean percentage of time spent was still 75.5% ( SD = 25.2). Preliminary a nalyses for p rofessional practices related to s pecial e ducation. Preliminary analyses were conducted to better understand any significant d ifferences in means between the states within each region. Means and standard deviations were considered along with ANOVA to determine if such differences exist and may inadvertently skew the regional data. There were no statistically significant differe nces between states within any of the regions relative to the general variable that represents the total percent of time spent on special education related activities. Results of the ANOVA indicated that there were statistically significant F (2, 245) = 7 .6, p < 01 differences between states (New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) within the Mid Atlantic region for the number of Section 504 plans that school psychologists assisted with writing. Scheff post hoc analyses revealed that the

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 80 differences wer e between New Jersey ( M = 2.9) and New York ( M = 9.0), where the mean difference of 6.1 was statistically significant ( p < 01). These differences between states within this region may need to be considered when examining regional differences. Result s of the ANOVA revealed statistically significant differences between states within four regions (i.e., Mid Atlantic, South Atlantic, East North Central, West South Central) relative to the number of initial evaluations completed. Within the Mid Atlantic F ( 2, 245) = 37.7, p < 01 region the outlier appear ed to be Pennsylvania, where respondents reported conducting significantly more initial evaluations. T he mean response from Pennsylvania was different from New York ( p < 01) by 28.8 mean evaluations, and d ifferent from New Jersey ( p < 01) by 31.8 mean evaluations. Within the South Atlantic F (8, 207) = 6.5, p < 01, Florida appears to be the outlier with respondents reporting significantly more initial evaluations The statistically significant mean diffe rences were between Florida and Maryland ( M = 42.3, p < 01), Florida and North Carolina ( M = 33.7, p < 01), and Florida and Virginia ( M = 29.1, p < 01). Within the East North Central F (4, 212) = 7.6, p < 01 region, Indiana appears to be the outlier wi th respondents reporting significantly more initial evaluations The statistically significant mean differences were between Indiana and Illinois ( M = 36.9, p < 01), Indiana and Ohio ( M = 27.4, p < 01), and Indiana and Wisconsin ( M = 33.7, p < 01). Al l of these differences should be taken into consideration when analyzing regional differences. Result of the ANOVA based on the number of re evaluations completed revealed statistically significant differences between states within the South Atlantic F ( 8, 210) = 3.7, p < 01 and West North Central F (6, 81) = 4.3, p < 01 regions. There were mean

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 81 differences of 28.9 between South Carolina and Florida ( p < 01) and 30.0 between South Carolina and Georgia ( p < 01). There was a mean difference of 69.6 bet ween Iowa and South Dakota ( p < 01). Regional d ifferences in p rofessional p ractices r elated to s pecial e ducation. Regional differences in professional practices related to special education were analyzed using analysis of variance (ANOVA) only because all variables related to research question two were continuous. The Scheff post hoc procedure was conducted following each ANOVA to determine where the actual statistically significant differences were located. Prior to conducting all regional analyses the distribution of means for each variable was examined by region to ensure approximately normal distributions ( Appendix E ). ANOVA revealed that there were statistically significant regional differences in the mean number of Section 504 plans assisted with writing F (8, 1159) = 3.45, p < 01, the mean number of initial special education evaluations conducted F (8, 1168) = 6.51, p < 01, the mean number of re evaluations conducted F (8, 1175) = 11.62, p < 01, and the mean percent of total time spent on s pecial education activities F (8, 1146) = 4.05, p < 01. Effect sizes were computed for each statistically significant regional difference, and results indicated moderate effect sizes for regional differences based on the number of re evaluations conducted ( 2 = 10 Multiple comparisons were computed for this variable to further explore this regional difference. Effect sizes for the remaining regional differences were small; therefore, multiple comparisons were not computed for these variables.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 82 The Sche ff post hoc procedure was utilized for examining multiple comparisons was calculated for each of the 36 possible multiple comparisons and those values are reported as well. small, values between .2 and .5 are considered moderate, and values at or above .8 are considered large. Only regional differences that were significant at the .01 level and ha d a moderate or large effect size are discussed. Results of the Scheff post hoc procedure indicated the mean number of re evaluations completed in the Mid Atlantic region was significantly lower than the East South Central ( d = 0 .82), East North Central ( d = 0 .51), Mountain ( d = 0 .63) and Pacific ( d = 0 .61) regions. The mean number of re evaluations completed in the South Atlantic region was significantly lower than the East South Central ( d = 0 .84), East North Central ( d = 0 .54), Mountain ( d = 0 65) and Pacific ( d = 0 .64) regions. The database used for the current study included a question regarding they served. Having access to th e s e data made it possible to divide the professional practices variables (i.e., related to special education) by the actual number of students respondents reported serving. This newly calculated variable was analyzed by region to determine if regional differences existed for each of the professional practices related to special education variables (i.e., Section 504 plans assisted with writing, initial evaluations, re evaluations, and percentage of total time spent on special education related activities). ANOVA s were conducted f or each newly created variable to determine regional differences. Results of the ANOVA s conducted using the newly

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 83 created variables based on caseloads were similar, with slightly fewer statistically sig nificant regional differences and small effect sizes. Research question two investigated regional differences in professional practices related to special education. Results of the ANOVA s indicated statistically significant regional differences in the number of Section 504 plans assisted with writing, numbe r of initial special education evaluations conducted, number of re evaluations conducted, and percentage of total time spent on special education activities. However, only the regional differences in the number of re evaluations conducted resulted in a m oderate effect size, suggesting this statistically significant regional difference was moderate Further exploration of the regional difference using post hoc procedures led to the realization that respondents residing in the Mid Atlantic and South Atlant ic regions reported conducting significantly fewer re evaluations than respondents from the East South Central, East North Central, Mountain, and Pacific regions. All of these statistically significant multiple comparisons were of moderate or large effect sizes, suggesting that these relationships are strong and significant. Research Question Three To what extent are there differences in professional practices related to direct and indirect services (e.g., number of students served through consultation, nu mber of students served through individual counseling, number of students served through groups, number of student intervention groups conducted, number of in service training programs delivered) for school psychologists across regions of the United States ? Based on the calculated Pearson correlation coefficients, correlations between the variables ranged from r = 0 .12 to r = 0 .68. The strongest correlation was between the

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 84 number of groups conducted and the number of students served in groups ( r = 0 .68). While highly correlated variables could suggest redundancy, for the purposes of this study it is important to look at these two variables separately. In the field of school psychology, it is of interest to professionals to distinguish between the number of separate groups conducted during the school year, as compared to the actual number of students served in groups. For example, one school psychologist might conduct two student groups per year with a total of 10 students served per group, for a total of 20 students served in groups. Another school psychologist might conduct 5 student groups per year with a total of 4 students served per group, resulting in the same total number of 20 students served in groups. Therefore, statistically, it might seem pr actical to combine these two highly correlated variables; however, combining these two variables would not make sense conceptually as they are measuring two distinct professional practice variables. Descripti ve statistics for professional p ractices relat ed to direct and indirect s ervices. Means and standard deviations for each variable associated with professional practices related to direct and indirect services for students are reported in Appendix F Noteworthy trends will be discussed in the paragr aphs that follow. The number of consultations completed ranged from 0 to 400, with a mean of 41.7 ( SD = 53.9) and median of 25. The South Atlantic ( M = 57.3, SD = 81.6) region was the region with the highest reported mean number of consultations complete d, while the West North Central ( M = 31.6, SD = 46.2) was the region with the lowest mean. The mean number of students individually counseled ranged from 0 to 200, with a mean of 10.0 ( SD = 17.4) and a median of 4. Respondents in the Pacific region indiv idually counseled the highest

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 85 mean number of students ( M = 14.5, SD = 23.1), while the lowest mean number of students individually counseled was in the East South Central region ( M = 5.2, SD = 8.4). The mean number of student groups conducted ranged from 0 to 40, with a mean of 1.7 ( SD = 3.7) and a median of 0. The lowest mean number of student groups conducted was in the East South Central region ( M = .63, SD = 2.0), while the highest mean number of student groups was in the Northeast region ( M = 3.6, SD = 4.8). The number of students served in groups ranged from 0 to 200, with a mean of 8.9 ( SD = 20.8) and a median of 0. The Northeast region ( M = 17.5, SD = 29.6) indicated the highest mean number of students served in groups, while the lowest mean numb er was in the East South Central ( M = 4.6, SD = 15.2) region. The mean number of in service trainings provided ranged from 0 to 50, with a mean of 2.6 ( SD = 4.4) and a median of 1. The highest mean number of in service trainings provided was reported by the East South Central ( M = 4.8, SD = 6.0) region, with the lowest mean number of trainings provided by respondents in the Northeast region ( M = 1.7, SD = 3.4). Preliminary a nalyses for p rofessional practices r elated to d irect and indirect s ervices. P reliminary analyses were conducted to determine if there were significant differences in means between the states within each region relative to professional practice variables related to direct and indirect services. Means and standard deviations were co nsidered along with ANOVA to determine if such differences exist ed and may have inadvertently skew ed the regional data. There were no statistically significant differences between states within any of the regions relative to the number of students served in groups or the number of in service trainings provided.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 86 There were statistically significant differences found between states within the Mid Atlantic region relative to the number of s tudents individually counseled F (2, 1186) = 6.1, p < 01, the num ber of consultations conducted F (2, 6267 ) = 4.9, p < 01, and the number of student groups conducted F (2, 46) = 4.5, p < 01. There was a difference of 7.3 ( p < 01) between the means for New York and Pennsylvania for the number of students counseled. There was a statistically significant mean difference between New Jersey and Pennsylvania ( M = 19.3, p < 01) for consultations conducted. There was a statistically significant ( F = 6.5, p < 01) difference between states in the East South Central region relat ed to the number of students counseled as well. Within the East South Central region, Alabama appears to be the outlier. However, this state only had a sample size of two and these two respondents may not be representative of others in the state of Alaba ma. This small sample size indicates that the mean for this region is likely unstable. In general, all differences between states within regions should be considered when drawing conclusions based on results of regional analyses conducted. Regional d ifferences in professional p ractices r elated to d irect and i ndirect s ervices. Regional differences in professional practices related to direct and indirect services were analyzed using analysis of variance (ANOVA) because all dependent variables related to research question three were continuous. The Scheff post hoc procedure was conducted following the ANOVA to evaluate the statistical significance of the pairwise differences. Prior to conducting all regional analyses, the distribution of means for e ach variable was examined by region to ensure approximately normal distributions ( Appendix G ).

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 87 ANOVA revealed that there were statistically significant regional differences in the mean number consultations conducted F (8, 1122) = 3.53, p < 01, students in dividually counseled F (8, 1169) = 3.55, p < 01, number of student groups conducted F (8, 1171) = 4.94, p < 01, number of students served in groups F (8, 1165) = 3.21, p < 01, and the number of in service trainings conducted F (8, 1163) = 3.07, p < 01. Ef fect sizes were computed for each statistically significant regional difference. Results indicated all effect sizes were small; therefore, multiple comparisons between regions were not computed for these variables. Similar to research question two, thes e professional practices variables were re calculated by dividing each variable by the number of students that respondents reported serving. These newly calculated variables were analyzed to determine if regional differences existed related to each of the professional practices related to direct and indirect services variables (e.g., consultations, students individually counseled, etc.) based on responding school psychologists caseloads. ANOVA were conducted for each newly created variable to determine re gional differences. Results of the ANOVA conducted using the newly created variables based on caseloads were similar, with slightly fewer statistically signif icant regional differences and all effect sizes were small. Results of analyses conducted to expl ore regional differences in professional practices related to direct and indirect services with students indicated that while statistically significant regional differences existed, the effect sizes were small. Based on small effect sizes, additional mult iple comparisons were not calculated as these regional differences were not considered strong.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 88 Research Question Four To what extent are there differences in employment conditions (e.g., percentage of students in the district who were ethnic minorities, p ercentage of ethnic minority students the responding school psychologist served, ratio of students to school psychologist for the district, ratio of students to school psychologist the responding school psychologist was responsible for serving, number of d ays in the contract, salary per diem, percentage of respondents who received administrative supervision, percentage of respondents who received clinical supervision, percentage of respondents whose clinical supervisor held a degree in school psychology) fo r school psychologists across regions of the United States? In reviewing the relationships between the variables explored for the fourth research question, there were several statistically significant Pearson correlation coefficients. Although the correla tions were statistically significant, many of the relationships were not strong. Correlations ranged from 0 .3 3 6 ( p < .01) to 0 .90 ( p < .01). Coincidentally, these two extremes were the only strong correlations and were to be expected The percentage of ethnic minorities in the district was highly correlated with the percentage of ethnic minorities served by the responding school psychologists. While this correlation might suggest redundancy, both variables are particularly interesting to the field. Fo r example, a responding school psychologist may be responsible for serving a particular ethnic minority group as their job description (e.g., bi lingual school psychologist serving Hispanic students). For the purposes of this study, it is important to con sider trends in these two variables separately as the two distinct variables are similarly related to ethnic minorities, yet measuring two unique areas related to ethnic minorities.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 89 Descriptive s tatistics for employment c onditions. Means and standar d deviations for each variable associated with employment conditions are displayed in Appendix H Noteworthy trends will be discussed in the paragraphs to follow. The percentage of students in the district who were ethnic minorities ranged from 0 to 100% with a mean of 31.1 ( SD = 29.33). The Pacific ( M = 43.6, SD = 28. 9 ) region was the region with the highest reported percentage of studen ts who were ethnic minorities, while the lowest percentage was in the Northeast ( M = 17.7, SD = 24) region. The perc entage of students served who are ethnic minorities ranged from 0 to 100%, with a mean of 33.1 ( SD = 32.6). The highest percentage reported was, again, the Pacific ( M = 45.7, SD = 32.3) region, with the Northeast ( M = 17.6, SD = 27.4) region reporting the lowest percentage. The ratio of students to school psychologists ranged from 0 to 8000, with a mean of 1,485.3 ( SD = 1033.2). The lowest reported ratio was from the Northeast ( M = 911.23, SD = 899.1) region, with the highest reported ratio from the East South Central ( M = 2,257.05, SD = 1389.1 ). The ratio of students to school psychologists that was reflective l caseloads ranged from 0 to 8, 000, with a mean of 1,196 ( SD = 1046.7). The lowest reported mean number of students ser ved was 738.4 ( SD = 878.1) in the Northeast region, while the highest mean number of students served came from the East South Central ( M = 1,908.3, SD = 1616.7) region. overall mean of 195.1 ( SD = contract was in the Northeast ( M = 185.9, SD = 10.6) region, with the highest mean number of days was in the South Atlantic ( M = 208.4, SD = 21.1) region. Lastly, per diem sala ries ranged from a daily rate of $128.00 to a daily rate of $704.17, with a mean

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 90 of $312.66 ( SD = 83.8). The highest mean daily rate was reported in the Mid Atlantic ( M = $353.41, SD = 103.9), and the lowest mean daily rate was reported in the West South Central ( M = $247.13, SD = 38.9). Preliminary a nalyses r elated to e mployment c onditions. Preliminary analyses were conducted to determine if there were significant differences in means between the states within each region relative to variables regard ing employment conditions. Means and standard deviations were considered along with ANOVA to determine if such differences exist ed and might inadvertently skew the regional data. Relative to the percentage of students in the district who are considered e thnic minorities, there were statistically significant differences among the states within the East North Central region F (3, 36) = 6.3, p < .01 and the Mountain region F (7, 86) = 4.0, p < .01. Although statistically significant differences exist ed there were no statistically significant pairwise comparisons for the East North Central or Mountain regions. Relative to the percentage of ethnic minority students served by responding school psychologists, there were statistically significant differences bet ween states within the East South Central region F (3, 134) = 10.4, p < .01, Mountain region F (7, 89) = 6.3, p < .01, and the Pacific region F (4, 115) = 9.3, p < .01. Within the East South Central region, Mississippi appeared to be consistently higher than the remaining three states (i.e., Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee). In addition, respondents from Tennessee also indicated significantly higher percentages of ethnic minority students served when compared to Alabama. Within the Mountain region, New Mex ico appeared to be the outlier, with respondents indicating significantly higher percentages of ethnic minority students served compared to Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. There were no

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 91 pairwise comparisons made within the Pacific region due to low sample size within one of the states. Relative to the ratio of students to school psychologist in the district, there were statistically significant differences between states within the Mid Atlantic region F (2, 206) = 55.8, p < .01, South Atlantic F (8, 166) = 3.7, p < .01, East South Central F (3, 37) = 4.6, p < .01, East North Central region F (4, 186) = 3.8, p < .01, Mountain region F (7, 84) = 3.6, p < .01, and the Pacific region F (4, 107) = 7.0, p < .01. There were no statistically significant pairwise comparisons within the South Atlantic and Pacific regions due to low sample size within one of the states. Within the Mid Atlantic region, respondents from Pennsylvania reported significantly higher ratios compared to respondents in New York and New Jers ey. Within the East South Central region, respondents from Mississippi reported significantly higher ratios than respondents in Kentucky and Tennessee. Within the East North Central region, respondents in Indiana reported significantly higher ratios than respondents in Wisconsin. Finally, within the Mountain region, respondents in Utah reported higher ratios than those in Arizona and Colorado. In terms of the ratio of school psychologist to students based on respondents actual caseload, there were stat istically significant differences between states within the Mid Atlantic F (2, 218) = 92.3, p < .01, South Atlantic F (8, 186) = 5.7, p < .01, East South Central F (3, 125) = 19.0, p < .01, West South Central F (3, 40) = 7.2, p < .01, Mountain F (7, 89) = 3.1 p < .01, and Pacific regions F (4, 107) = 3.9, p < .01. Within the Mid Atlantic region, all three states were significantly different. Respondents from Pennsylvania reported significantly higher ratios of students served compared to New

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 92 York and New Jer sey, while respondents from New York also reported higher ratios served than those in New Jersey. Within the South Atlantic region, respondents from Georgia reported significantly higher ratios than those in Delaware, North Carolina, and Virginia. Within the East South Central region, respondents residing in Mississippi reported higher ratios of students served compared to all other states (i.e., Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee), while those in Alabama reported significantly lower ratios served compared to Kentucky and Tennessee. Within the West South Central region, respondents in Oklahoma reported higher ratios than those residing in Arkansas and Texas. Finally, there were no statistically significant pairwise comparisons within the Mountain and Pacif ic regions. Preliminary analyses related to the number of days in the respondents contract revealed statistically significant differences between states within the Mid Atlantic F (2, 237) = 25.4, p < .01, South Atlantic F (8, 172) = 3.8, p < .01, East Sou th Central F (3, 144) = 22.4, p < .01, East North Central region F (4, 210) = 15.6, p < .01, West South Central F (3, 50) = 6.8, p < .01, West North Central F (6, 83) = 4.4, p < .01, and Mountain regions F (7, 91) = 3.0, p < .01. There were statistically sign ificant differences between states in terms of per diem salary for the Mid Atlantic F (2, 231) = 7.5, p < .01, South Atlantic F (8, 168) = 5.8, p < .01, East North Central region F (4, 208) = 4.5, p < .01, and Pacific regions F (4, 119) = 13.9, p < .01. There we re no statistically significant pairwise comparisons within the Pacific region. Within the Mid Atlantic region, respondents from Pennsylvania reported significantly lower per diem salaries than those in New York and New Jersey. Within the South Atlantic region, respondents in Florida reported significantly lower per diem salaries than those residing in Maryland. Within the East

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 93 North Central region, respondents in Illinois reported significantly higher per diem salaries than those residing in Wisconsin. Regional d ifferences in e mployment p ractices. Regional differences in employment conditions were analyzed using analysis of variance (ANOVA) for continuous variables and chi square analyses for categorical variables. The Scheff post hoc procedure was conducted following each ANOVA to compare pairwise differences between the regions. Prior to conducting all regional analyses, the distribution of scores for each variable was examined by region to ensure approximately normal distributions ( Appendix I ). ANOVA revealed that there were statistically significant regional differences in the mean percentage of students who were ethnic minorities for the district F (8, 1052) = 14.0, p < .01), the mean percentage of students served who are ethnic minorities F (8, 1071) = 13.5, p < .01, the mean ratio of school psychologist to students for the district F (8, 999) = 21.5, p < .01, the mean ratio of school psychologist to students based on F (8, 1032) = 19.3, p < .01, the mean number of days in wo rk contracts F (8, 1116) = 25.2, p < .01, and the mean salary calculated as a per diem F (8, 1092) = 27.4, p < .01. Effect sizes were computed for each statistically significant regional difference, and results indicated moderate effect sizes for regional d ifferences based on percentage of students who were ethnic minorities for the district ( 2 = 10 percentage of students served who are ethnic minorities ( 2 = 10 ratio of school psychologist to students for the district ( 2 = 15 ratio of school psy chologist to students 2 = 13 number of days in work ( 2 = 15 and per

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 94 diem ( 2 = 17 Multiple comparisons were computed for these variables to further explore the statistically significant regional differences. T he Scheff post hoc procedure was utilized for examining multiple comparisons was calculated for each of the 36 possible multiple comparisons and those values are r eported as well. Only regional differences that were significant at the .01 level and had a moderate or large effect size are discussed. Based on results of the Scheff procedure, respondents in the Northeast region reported significantly lower percentag es of students who are ethnic minorities than those in the West South Central ( d = 0 .91) and Mountain ( d = 0 .70) regions. Respondents in the South Atlantic region indicated significantly higher percentages of students who are ethnic minorities (i.e., in the district) than those in the Northeast ( d = 0 .97), Mid Atlantic ( d = 0 .50), East North Central ( d = 0 .66), and West North Central ( d = 0 .97) regions. Finally, respondents in the Pacific region reported significantly higher percentages of students who are ethnic minorities than those in the Northeast ( d = 0 .97), Mid Atlantic ( d = 0 .52), East North Central ( d = 0 .68), and West North Central ( d = 0 .97), regions. In terms of the percentage of students served who are ethnic minorities, respondents in the South Atlantic region reported significantly higher percentages of students served who are ethnic minorities than those in the Northeast ( d = 0 .93), Mid Atlantic ( d = 0 .50), East North Central ( d = 0 .60), and West North Central ( d = 0 .94) regions. Respon dents in the Mountain region reported significantly higher percentages of students served who are ethnic minorities than those in the Northeast ( d = 0 .68) region. Finally, respondents in the Pacific region reported significantly higher percentages of

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 95 stud ents served who are ethnic minorities than those in the Northeast ( d = 0 .93), Mid Atlantic ( d = 0 .50), East North Central ( d = 0 .59), and West North Central ( d = 0 .95) regions. Scheff post hoc procedures revealed significantly lower ratios of school psy chologists to students (i.e., for the district) in the Northeast region compared to the South Atlantic ( d = 1.14), East South Central ( d = 1.26), East North Central ( d = 0 .64), West South Central ( d = 0 .92), and Pacific ( d = 0 .81) regions. Respondent s in the Mid Atlantic region reported significantly lower ratios than those residing in the South Atlantic ( d = 1.11), East South Central ( d = 1.34), East North Central ( d = 0 .58), West South Central ( d = 0 .98), and Pacific ( d = 0 .73) regions. Respon dents in the East North Central region reported lower ratios than those in the South Atlantic ( d = 0 .48) and East South Central ( d = 0 .68) regions. Respondents in the West North Central region reported lower ratios than those in the South Atlantic ( d = 0 .63) and East South Central ( d = 0 .82) regions. Finally, respondents in the Mountain region reported lower ratios of school psychologists to students (i.e., for the district) than those residing in the South Atlantic ( d = 0 .60) region. The Scheff pos t hoc procedure revealed that relative to the ratio of school regions reported significantly lower ratios than those residing in the South Atlantic ( d = 0 .97), East Sou th Central ( d = 1.07), East North Central ( d = 0 .58), and Pacific ( d = 0 .64) regions. Respondents in the Mid Atlantic region also reported significantly lower ratios (i.e., based on actual caseloads) than those in the East South Central ( d = 1.34), E ast North Central ( d = 0 .65), and Pacific ( d = 0 .73) regions. Finally, respondents in

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 96 the South Atlantic reported significantly higher ratios than those in the Northeast ( d = 0 .97), Mid Atlantic ( d = 1.09), and Mountain ( d = 0 .68) regions. When furthe r analyzing the regional differences related to number of days in contracts (i.e., fewer number of work days) than those in the East South Central ( d = 1.42), East North Central ( d = 0 .60), and West South Central ( d = 1.11) regions. Respondents in the Mid Atlantic region reported significantly shorter contracts than those in the East South Central ( d = 0 .79) and West South Central ( d = 0 .63) regions. Finally, p articipants living in the South Atlantic region reporter significantly longer contracts than those residing in the Northeast ( d = 1.26), Mid Atlantic ( d = 0 .99), East North Central ( d = 0 .68), West North Central ( d = 0 .94), Mountain ( d = 0 .81), and Pacific ( d = 0 .79) regions. Finally, post hoc procedures revealed regional differences relative to salary per diem (i.e., calculated as a daily rate of pay), indicating that respondents in the Northeast region earned significantly higher salaries per diem than those in the South Atlantic ( d = 0 .88), East South Central ( d = 1.23), West South Central ( d = 1.49), West North Central ( d = 1.15), and Mountain ( d = 0 .82) regions. Respondents in the Mid Atlantic region reported higher salaries per diem than those in th e South Atlantic ( d = 0 .80), East South Central ( d = 0 .96), West South Central ( d = 1.11), West North Central ( d = 0 .91), and Mountain ( d = 0 .71) regions. Respondents in the East North Central region reported significantly higher salaries per diem than th ose residing in the West South Central ( d = 0 .92) and West North Central ( d = 0 .64) regions. Lastly, respondents in the Pacific region reported significantly higher salaries per diem than those in the South Atlantic ( d =

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 97 0 .89), East South Central ( d = 1.2 4), West South Central ( d = 1.50), West North Central ( d = 1.16), and Mountain ( d = 0 .83) regions. Chi square analyses were conducted to analyze regional differences relative to categorical variables. Based on the chi square analyses, there were regiona l differences among responding school psychologists with respect to percentage of respondents who received administrative supervision, (8, N = 1184) = 20.20, p < .01, the percentage of respondents who received clinical supervision (8, N = 1181) = 60.25, p < .0 1 and the percentage of respondents whose clinical supervisor held a degree in school psychology (8, N = 1181) = 28.78, p < .0 1 Effect sizes were computed for each statistically significant regional difference V and results indicated moderate effect sizes for regional differences based on the percentage of respondents who received clinical supervision ( V = 23 Multiple comparisons were computed for this variable to further explore the regional differences. Effect sizes for the remaining regional differences were small; therefore, multiple comparisons were not computed. Using the Cox and Key (1993) method of multiple comparisons, the regional differences in clinical supervision were further explored. Based on results of the multiple comparisons, a higher percentage of respondents in the Northeast region reported receiving clinical supervision compared with all other regions. Higher percentages of respondents in the East South Central region reported receiving clinical supervision compared with those in the Pacific region. Research question four explored regional differences in employment conditions of sc hool psychologists. Statistically significant regional differences were discovered with moderate to large effect sizes related to the percentage of students who were ethnic

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 98 minorities for the district percentage of students served who were ethnic minorit ies, ratio of school psychologist to students for the district, ratio of school psychologist to students per diem and the percentage of respondents who reported that they received clinical supervisi on. Multiple comparisons were computed to further explore all of these strong, statistically significant regional differences and to look at trends.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 99 CHAPTER FIVE Discussion The present study examined differences in demographic characteristics, professi onal practices related to special education, professional practices related to direct and in direct services with students, and employment conditions of school psychologists across the nine United States census regions. While this study is descriptive in n ature, it is a comprehensive study that encompasses a number of variables. The following discussion addresses the findings of this study that are statistically and practically significant relative to regional differences in the field of school psychology. Additionally, t he implications of these findings with regard to school psychologists and future research are discussed. Research Implications Regional Differences in Demographic Characteristics Research articles ha ve discussed years as the average age of school psychologists has increased s ignificantly over time (Curtis et al. 2003). Between the 1980 1981 school year and the 1999 2000 school year, the average age of school psychologists increased from 38. 8 to 45.2 ( Curtis et al., 2002; Smith, 1984). The database used in the present study support s this trend as the average age of responding school psychologists was 46.2 years during the 2004 2005 school year (Curtis et al., 2008) One cannot accurately pr edict retirement based on age, but it is safe

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 100 to assume that those older in age may be closer to retirement than those who are much younger. Years of experience may be a better predictor of school psychologists being near retirement, because some may ente r the field at an older age. H owever, there were no significant regional differences relative to years of ex perience in school psychology. In examining trends in the field, the average age of school psychologists has increased consistently over time (Smi th, 1984; Cur tis et al., 2002 ; Curtis et al., 2008) Results indicate d that there were statistically significant regional differences in gender, ethnicity, highest degree earned, national certification, licensure, state certification, and membership in the state psychological association. Research dated back to the 1969 1970 school year indicates that the percentage of males in the field of school psychology has decreased from 59% (Farling & Hoedt, 1971) to 30% in 1999 2000 (Curtis et al., 2002). The d atabase used for the present study (i.e., based on the 2004 2005 school year) indicated only 26% of responding school psychologists were males, which s upports the continuation of this trend (Curtis et al., 200 8 ) This study supports the literature that th ere is a feminization of the field, and further adds that there are regions where this feminization is more apparent. For example, in the South Atlantic region and West North Central regions, 80% of respondents were females, whereas only 58% of respondent s in the Mountain region were females. Over the course of almost two decades, there has been little change in the percentage of school psychologists who are reportedly members of minority groups. Specifically, the percentage of school psychologists who were members of minority groups increased from 6.1% during the 1989 1990 school year (Graden & Curtis, 1991) to 7.2% during the 1999 2000 school year (Curtis et al., 2002). The 2004 2005 database

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 101 indicates that there has been no improvement in terms of b etter representation of minority groups in the field of school psychology based on responding school psychologists The present study revealed that the field continues to consist of primarily Caucasian school psychologists The literature indicates tha t the level of preparation based on highest degree earned has changed over the years. During the 1969 1970 school year 93% of school psychologists involved in a study conducted by Farling and Hoedt (1971) held a m degree as their highest degree ear ned. The level of preparation has shifted rather dramatically. According to the database used for the present study, only 16.9% of respondents held a m while 38.5% held a s pecialist degree and 44.6% held a d octoral degree The 2004 2005 d atabase supports past findings and trends that suggest a decrease in the percentage of m s and an increase in the percentage of s pecialist and d octoral level school psychologists (Curtis et al., 2008) Furthermore, results of the present study revealed that there are strong, statistically significant regional differences in highest degree earned as well as licensure that allows for independent practice in non school settings. Specifically, responden ts in the South Atlantic region reported the highest percentage of respondents with a specialist degree, while respondents in the Pacific region reported the lowest percentages of specialist degrees. Respondents in the West South Central region reported s ignificantly higher percentages of respondents with a doctoral degree than those in the Northeast and South Atlantic regions. Respondents in the West North Central and West South Central regions reported significantly lower

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 102 percentages of respondents with licensure that allows for independent practice in non school settings. Regional Differences in Professional Practices Related to Special Education Professional practices of school psychologists have been reviewed in the literature for years For thre e decades researchers have discussed the discrepancies between psychological services that emphasize traditional special education related activities and psychological services that emphasize consultation and in tervention based activities (Curtis et al., 1999; Curtis et al., 2002; Meacham & Peckham, 1978; Smith, 1984). Until recently ( Abshier, Curtis, & Grier, 2003; Hosp & Reschly, 2002), professional practices related to special education have not been examined regionally. Results of the 2004 2005 datab ase were consistent with many findings of the study conducted by Abshier et al. (2003). For example, Abshier et al. (2003) and results of the 2004 2005 database consistently revealed that respondents in the East South Central region completed the highest number of initial evaluations and re evaluations across the 1999 2000 and 2004 2005 school years. Hosp and Reschly (2002) examined a few variables similar to the professional practices variables related to special education that were used in the present s tudy However, due to the differences in variables used, it would be difficult to make comparison s between the Hosp and Reschly (2002) database and the 2004 2005 database used for the present study. Results based on the 2004 2005 database revealed a stro ng, statistically significant regional difference in the number of re evaluations completed. Specifically, respondents in the Mid Atlantic and South Atlantic regions reported conducting significantly fewer re evaluations than respondents from the East Sou th Central, East North Central, Mountain, and Pacific regions. This finding is important to

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 103 the field of school psychology and further research could be conducted to better understand the basis for these regional differences. Regional Differences in Pr ofessional Practices Related to Direct and Indirect Services with Students The present study adds to the literature because the study of regional differences in professional practices variables related to direct and indirect services with students is extre mely limited to date. Hosp and Reschly ( 2002 ) included similar variable s (e.g., problem solving consultation, direct interventions, systems/organizational consultation, research/evaluation) in their study Due to the differences in variable s examined, tr ue comparisons cannot be made between the Hosp and Reschly (2002) study and the present study. Based on data from the 1999 2000 school year, Abshier et al. (2003) examined many of the same professional practices variables related to direct and indirect se rvices (i.e., with the exception of the number of students served in groups), and some comparisons could be made between the two studies. There were a few similar regional trends. For example, respondents from the South Atlantic region consistently repor ted the highest number of consultations (i.e., for the 1999 2000 and 2004 2005 school years). Also, respondents in the Northeast region consistently reported the highest number of student groups conducted. Knowing these trends and further examining the r egional differences is important as these professional practice variables are all related to important practices in the field of school psychology. If the same regional trends continue, it would be important to further examine these areas and other variab les to understand why psychologists in some regions are more likely to be involved in the provision of these direct and indirect psychological services with students.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 104 Regional Differences Related to Employment Conditions The present study included vari ables related to employment conditions that have not been examined before in a regional study. For example, the inclusion of variables related to administrative and clinical supervision is new to the literature. Hosp and Reschly (2002) examined regional differences in school psychologist to student ratios and annual salaries; however, the present study expanded on these variables as well The present study added to the examination of ratios (i.e., of students to school psychologists ) to include ratios ba sed on actual caseloads. Annual salary was examined more closely by calculating salaries as a daily rate of pay (i.e., per diem ) based on the annual salary respondents reported divided by the number of days in respondents contract s (i.e., as reported by respondents). These two methods of examining common variables (e.g., salary and ratios) led to a more accurate understanding of the data. For example, comparing the ratio based on district figures (e.g., total number of students divided by total number of school psychologists) may be different than comparing the responding school psychologist ratios based on the number of students served Furthermore, an annual salary of $50,000 may be quite different if one professional works 196 days and another works 260 days. Additionally, the present study included not only the percentage of students who are ethnic minorities for the entire district, but also the percentage of students who are ethnic minorities that responding school psyc hologists actually serve d as part of their caseload assignment. The expansion of common variables (e.g., salary) and the inclusion of new variables (e.g., supervision) adds to the body of literature and examining regional trends relative to these variabl es i s important to the field

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 105 Results of the present study indicated that respondents in the Northeast region report ed significantly lower percentages of students who were members of ethnic minority groups in the district and based on responding school p caseloads. Respondents in the South Atlantic and Pacific regions consistently reported the highest percentages of students who were members of ethnic minority groups in the district and n reviewing regional differences in ratios of students to school psychologists, respondents in the Northeast and Mid caseloads. Respondents in the South Atlantic and Ea st South Central consistently reported higher ratios of students to school psychologists for the district and based on caseloads. Respondents in the Northeast and Mid Atlantic regions reported significantly shorter contracts and the higher salaries com par ed with many other regions. Respondents in the Northeast region also reported higher percentages of respondents who received clinical supervision compared with every other region. While there are many trends related to respondents in the Northeast region (e.g., fewer ethnic minority students, lower ratios of students to school psychologists, shorter contracts, higher salaries, and more clinical supervision), it is important to note that there are regional differences that would be expected. For instance, one would expect the salary to be higher in the Northeast region because the cost of living is also much higher in the Northeast compared with other regions. Impli cations for the Field of School Psychology There are regions in which the average age of sch ool psychologists is increasing more rapidly along with the average number of years of experience in the field. Results

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 106 of the current study reveal ed these trends along with regional differences. Perhaps r ecruitment strategies could be used to target su ch regions, and concentrated effort could be made to recruit and retain school psychologists who are members of ethnic minority groups to provide better representation of these minority groups in the field of school psychology. The NASP provide s regional trainings annually to ensure professional development opportunities for school psychologists across the United States. Results of the current study may be helpful in understanding the professional development needs of school psychologists b ased on trend s in current professional practices related to both special education and direct and indirect services with students Regions where respondents reported spending higher amounts of time on special education related activities (e.g.. higher percentage of tim e on assessment, increased number of initial or re evaluations, etc.) may benefit from professional development offerings related to direct and indirect services with students (e.g., response to intervention and problem solving processes ) There may also be a need for further examination of why there are differences in professional practices as there could be an underlying systemic problem that needs to be addressed. Limitations of the Present Study The present study consisted of analyses of pre existing data collected via a survey of school psychologists who were members of the NASP for the purpose of answering specific research questions. In general, there are several limitations related to survey research that must be considered when reviewing results of the current study. These limitations include low response rates, problems with the wording of survey items, and

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 107 difficulty generalizing results obtained from the sample of participants to the desired population (e.g., sampling members of the NASP as a basis for drawing conclusions about all school psychologists in the United States). The national database used in this study was created based on the judgment that the best method to obtain data from a large sample of school psychologists was via survey and that Regular members of the NASP constituted a reasonable representation of the field as a whole, and were readily available. As noted earlier, Fagan and Wise ( 2007 ) contend that the membership of NASP includes approximately 70% of all school psychol ogists in the United States and, therefore, provides for strong representation of the entire field. In addition, the database used in the current study was created based on surveys completed and returned by 59.3% of the school psychologists sampled, a res pectable response rate. Consequently, while the results may not be directly generalizable to school psychologists in the field who were not part of this study, the benefits of surveying NASP members given its representation of the field, and the strong re sponse rate, outweigh the limitation relative to these issues The survey instrument itself has remained highly consistent over the years, reflecting only minor changes in wording and/or in the addition or deletion of a very small number of items. Th e survey procedure used to create the 2004 2005 database was the fourth conducted over the years (i.e., Graden & Curtis, 1991; Curtis et al., 1999; Curtis et al., 2002); only minor adjustments were made in the survey content for purposes of clarification a nd/or to add information to the database, which lends integrity to the survey instru ment. For the purposes of the current study, conducting secondary analyses utilizing this existing database was considered appropriate.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 108 There are many variables included i n the present study in which measures could be taken to gather more accurate data. Such measures may include collecting data regarding student to school psychologist ratios by gathering these numbers from the school districts within each state. For examp le, obtaining a total number of school psychologists for the district and total number of students enrolled in the district and aggregating all of th e s e data might result in a more accurate reporting of this ratio. For the purposes of the present study, s urvey data wer e used to measure this variable. This seems appropriate because studies conducted to date have utilized the same survey techniques for obtaining these data; therefore, data and results of the present study are comparable to those in the lite rature (Curtis et al., 1999; Curtis et al., 2002; Graden & Curtis, 1991; Hosp & Reschly, 2002; Lund et al., 1998; Worrell et al., 2006). Implications for Future Research Each of the research questions included in the present study could be expanded and developed into numerous individual studies. The present study is broad and includes a number of variables that encompass demographic information professional practices related to special education professional practices related to direct and indirect se rvices with students, and employment conditions. The purpose of the database used for the present study is to provide a broad picture of the field on a national level. A better understanding of factors (e.g., beliefs of school psychologists, content of p rofessional training, etc.) could be obtained relating to some of the issues identified (e.g., differences in the number of re evaluations conducted) by examining these variables through additional in depth research. Future research could be conducted acr oss all four categories of variables

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 109 Research could be conducted expanding the literature to better understand the disparity between students in school psychology graduate training programs who are ethnic minorities and school psychologists in the field who are ethnic minorities. Curtis et al. (2003) recommend research questions that might examine inaccurate reporting of data, as well as why school psychologists who are ethnic minorities might leave the field of school psychology at different rates than t heir non minority counterparts. T his is definitely an area that needs to be further explored. While the sample size for the present study is large ( N = 1,748), perhaps efforts could be made to increase the sample size in hopes of better representation of respondents from the s tates within regions. Along with increasing the representation from states that are typical ly underrepresented, perhaps measures could be taken to consider the number of Regular members of the NASP who actually reside in each sta te and ensure that all states are proportionately represented so that all regions include balanced samples from each state A dditional research should be conducted to replicate the findings of the present study. Fortunately, the NASP has mandated that e very five years Regular members of the NASP will be surveyed to collect this data In following this policy, it is important that regional differences are compared every five years as well. This will inform the field of not only important information abo ut school psychology as a whole, but also regarding trends in regional differences. Regional differences based on the NASP national database were first conducted in 2003 (Abshier et al., 2003) based on the 1999 2000 school year. These analyses should be continued in future research.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 110 Survey data are based on self report and relies on honest reporting of data from responding school psychologists. Perhaps there are measures that could be taken to check the accuracy of the data, or even add to the database b y collecting data from school districts and/or states to compile into the database. For example, when comparing ratios of school psychologists to students, this could possibly be gathered by collecting data from each district regarding the number of schoo l psychologists hired and the total number of students enrolled in the district. While this would be a huge undertaking, if the focus of the study was to examine ratios taking these additional measures may result in a more accurate and complete database. The same is true for salaries, as human resources departments would have access to the number of days in contracts and annual salaries for school psychologists Data regarding the number of initial evaluations and re evaluations could likely be gathered from the Director of Psychologic al Services in most districts as well. Conclusions It is important and of interest in the field of school psychology to report descriptive data regarding the demographic characteristics of school psychologists, professio nal practices related to special education, professional practices related to direct and indirect services with students and the employment conditions of school psychologists. E xamining regional differences across these variables over time adds to the li terature and helps to better understand trends in the field of school psychology across the United States. Due to the large number of variables included in the current study, it was important to narrow the focus to regional differences that were both sta tistically

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 111 significant and with moderate or large effect sizes. Based on these parameters, there were strong, statistically significant regional differences in highest degree earned, licensure that allows for independent practice in non school settings, t he number of re evaluations conducted, the percentage of students who were ethnic minorities for the district, the percentage of students served who were ethnic minorities, the ratio of school psychologists to students, the ratio of school psychologists to students based on caseload, per diem There were interesting trends and similarities among some of the regional differences. The majority of the strong, statistically significan t regional differences were among the variables related to employment conditions. The trends were identical when comparing regional differences in the percentage of students who were ethnic minorities in the district and the percentage of students served who were ethnic minorities. For both variables, respondents reported significantly higher percentages of ethnic minorities (i.e., in the district and served) in the South Atlantic, West South Central, Mountain and Pacific regions. There were some simila rities in trends for both variables related to ratios (i.e., school psychologist to students for district and caseload). Respondents in the Northeast and Mid Atlantic regions tended to report lower ratios, whereas respondents in the South Atlantic tended to report higher ratios. In general, r espondents residing in the Northeast and Mid Atlantic regions worked fewer days (i.e., shorter contracts) and earned higher salaries (i.e., per diem). Respondents in the South Atlantic worked more days (i.e., longer contracts) and earned lower salaries (i.e., per diem). Respondents in the East North Central and Pacific regions also reported better pay compared with the remaining regions

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 112 It is important to further analyze regional differences and trends related to the variables of interest to the current study The dissemination of these results will add to the literature, support trends in the current literature, and provide useful information relative to the field of school psychology. We are experiencing a sign ificant shortage of professionals in the field of school psychology, there are paradigm shifts in education, there are changes in service delivery models for school psychological services, differing ratios of school psychologists to students, limited diver sity in the ethnicity of school psychologists, and differences in contracts and salaries. Being cognizant of all of the changes in motion, there is a wealth of information provided by the current study that would be beneficial and c o uld serve as a foundation or stimulus for future research.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 113 REFERENCES Abshier, D. W., Curtis, M. J., and Grier, B. C. (2003, April). Regional Differences in the Demographic Characteristics and Professional Practices of School Psychologists. Poster se ssion presented at the annual National Associ ation of School Psychologists convention, Toronto, Canada. Connolly L. M. & Reschly D. J. ( 1990 ). Personnel shortages: The school psychology crisis of the 1990s. NASP Communique, 19 (3), 20 24. Cox, M. K. & Key, C. H. (1993). Post hoc pair wise comparisons for the chi square test of homogeneity of proportions. Educational and Psychological, Measurement, 53, 951 962. Curtis, M. J., Grier, J. E. Chesno, Abshier, D. W., Sutton, N. T., & Hunley S. A. ( 2002 ). School psychology: Turning the corner into the twenty first century. Communique, 30 (8), 1, 5 6. Curtis, M. J., Grier, J. E. Chesno, & Hunley, S. A. (2003). The changing face of school psychology: Trends in data and projections for the future. School Psychology Quarterly, 18(4), 409 430. Curtis, M. J., Hunley, S. A., & Grier, J. E. C. (2002). Relatio nships among the professional practices and demographic characteristics of school psychologists. School Psychology Review,31, 30 42.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 114 Curtis, M. J., Hunley, S. A., Walker K. J., & Baker A. C. ( 1999 ). Demographic characteristics and professional practices in school psychology. School Psychology Review, 28 (1), 104 116. Curtis, M. J., Lopez, A. D., Castillo, J. M., Batsche, G. M., Minch, D., & Smith, J. C. (2008). The status of school psychology: Demographic Characteristics, Employment Conditions, Professional Practices, and Continuing Professional Development. Communique, 36 (5), 27 29. Dzialo, M. C., Shank, S. E., & Smith D. C. ( 1993 ) markets hit hard in early 1990s. Monthly Labor Review 32 39. Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975. Fagan, T. K. (1986). The evolving literature of school psychology. School Psychology Review, 15, 430 440. Fagan, T. School Psychological Review, 17, 447 458. Fagan T. K., & Wise P. S. (2000) School p sychology: Past, p rese nt, and f uture (2 nd edition ) Bethesda, MD: National Asso ciation of School Psychologists. Fagan, T. K., & Wise, P. S. (2007). School psychology: Past, present and future (3 rd edition) New York: National Association of School Psychologists. Farling, W. H. & Hoedt, K. C. (1971). National survey of school p sychologists. Washington, DC: National Association of School Psychologists (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. 061 553).

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 115 Fisher, G. L., Jenkins, S. J. & Crumbley J. D. ( 1986 ). A replication of a survey of school psychologists: Congruence bet ween training, practice, preferred role, and competence. Psychology in the Schools, 23 271 279. Goh, D. S., Teslow, C. J., & Fuller G. B. ( 1981 ). The practice of psychological assessment among school psychologists. Professional Psychology, 12 696 70 6. Goldwasser, E., Myers, J., Christenson S. & Graden J. ( 1983 ). The impact of PL 94 142 on the practice of school psychology: A national survey. Psychology in the Schools, 20, 153 165. Gorin, S. National Association of School Psychologists. (2006, M arch 29). NASP Principals and Legislative Language Recommendations for the Reauthorization of ESEA/NCLB. Retrieved December 4, 2007, from http://www.nasponline.org/advocacy/nclb/naspcomments.pdf Graden J. L. & Curtis M. J. ( 1991 ). A demographi c profile of scho ol psychology: A report to the D elegate A ssembly of the National A ssociation of S chool P sychologists. Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists. Gresham, F. M. & Noell, G. H. (1998). Functional analysis assessment as a cornerstone for noncategorical special education. In D. Reschly, D. Tilly III, & J Special Education in Transition: Functional Assessment and Noncategorical Programming, (pp. 19 43). Sopris West. Hosp J. L. & Reschly D. J. ( 2002 ). Regional differ ences in school psychology practice. School Psychology Review, 31( 1), 11 29. Hutton, J. B., Dubes, R. & Muir S. ( 1992 ). Assessment practices of school psychologists: Ten years later. School Psychology Review, 21 (2), 271 284.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 116 Institution Review Boar d (n.d.). Retrieved December 4, 2007, from University of South Florida http://www.research.usf.edu/cs/irb.htm Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (1997, 1999). 20 U.S.C. 1400 et.seq. (Statute). 34 C.F.R. 300 (Regulations). Levinson, E. M., Rafot h, M. A. & Sanders P. ( 1994 ). Employment related differences between male and female school psychologist. Psychology in the School 31, 201 206. Lopez, A. D. (2007). The Relationship between Continuing Professional Development and Demographic Cha racteristics, Professional Practices, and Employment Conditions of School Psychologists. Unpublished thesis, University of South Florida, Tampa Lund, A. R., Reschly, D. J., & Martin, L. M. ( 1998 ). School psychology personnel needs: Correlates of cu rrent patterns and historical trends. School Psychology Review, 27 (1), 106 120. McMaster, M. D., Reschly, D. J., & Peters J. M. (1 989 ). Directory of school psychology graduate programs Washington DC: National Association of School Psychologists. Meacham M. L. & Peckham P. D. ( 1978 ). School psychologists at three quarters century: Congruence between training, practice, preferred role and competence. Journal of School Psychology, 16 (3), 195 206. National Association of School Psychologists. ( 1998) NASP legislative agenda. Bethsada, MD: Author. Prasse, D. P. & Schrag, J. A. (1999). Providing noncategorical, functional, classroom

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 117 based supports for students with disabilities: Legal parameters. In D. Reschly, D. Tilly III, & J Special Educati on in Transition: Functional Assessment and Noncategorical Programming, (pp. 19 43). Sopris West. Reschly, D. J., Genshaft, J., & Binder, M. S. (198 7 ). The 1 986 NASP survey: Comparison of practitioners, NASP leadership, and university faculty on key iss ues. Washington, DC: National Association of School Psychologists. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 300 733). Reschly, D. J. & Wilson, M. S. (1995). School psychology practitioners an d faculty: 1986 to 1991 92 trends in demographics, roles, satisfaction, and system reform. School Psychology Review, 24 (1), 62 80. Smith, D. K. (1984). Practicing school psychologists: Their characteristics, activities, and populations served. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 15, 798 810. SPSS, Inc. (2005). SPSS (Version 14.0) [Computer Software]. Chicago, IL: SPSS, Inc. Stevens, J. (1999). Intermediate Statistics: A Modern Approach (2 nd ed). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers. Sullivan, L. (1998). NASP supports the reauthor ization of IDEA. Communique, 27 (2), 1, 5. United States Department of Education. (1994). Digest of Educational Statistics Washington, DC: Author. Worrell, T. G., Skaggs, G. E., & Brown, M. satisfaction: A 22 y ear perspective in the USA. School Psychology International, 27 (2), 131 145.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 118 Appendices

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 119 Appendix A: Table 6 Responses by Regions Region (and states) N % Nort heast (NE) 160 9.3 Connecticut 59 3.4 Maine 16 0.9 Massachusetts 56 3.2 New Hampshire 15 0.9 Rhode Island 7 0.4 Vermont 7 0.4 Mid Atlantic (MA) 353 20.5 New Jersey 78 4.5 New York 167 9.6 Pennsylvania 108 6. 2 South Atlantic (SA) 308 17.8 Delaware 7 0.4 Florida 80 4.6 Georgia 42 2.4 Maryland 48 2.8 North Carolina 35 2.0 South Carolina 22 1.3 Virginia 60 3.5

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 120 Appendix A: Table 6 continued Responses by Regions Region (and states) N % South Atlantic (continued) Washington, D.C. 9 0.5 West Virginia 5 0.3 East South Central (ESC) 65 3.8 Alabama 5 0.3 Kentucky 21 1.2 Mi ssissippi 7 0.4 Tennessee 32 1.8 East North Central (ENC) 303 17.6 Illinois 92 5.3 Indiana 29 1.7 Michigan 43 2.5 Ohio 97 5.6 Wisconsin 42 2.4 West South Central (WSC) 97 5.6 Arkansas 9 0.5 Louisiana 21 1.2 Oklahoma 13 1.7 Texas 54 3.1

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 121 Appendix A: Table 6 continued Responses by Regions Region (and states) N % West North Central (WNC) 131 7.6 Iowa 23 1.3 Kansas 21 1.2 Minnesota 37 2.1 Missouri 22 1.3 Nebraska 21 1.2 North Dakota 5 0.3 South Dakota 2 0.1 Mountain (Mtn) 137 7.9 Arizona 48 2.8 Colorado 38 2.2 Idaho 8 0.5 Montana 7 0.4 Nevada 12 0.7 New Mexico 7 0.4 Utah 10 0.6 Wyoming 7 0.4

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 122 Appendix A: Table 6 continued Responses by Regions Region (and states) N % P acific (Pac) 172 10.0 Alaska 9 0.5 California 117 6.7 Hawaii 2 0.1 Oregon 14 0.8 Washington 39 2.2

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 123 Appendix B : Table 7 Descriptive Statistics Related to Demographic Characteristics by R egion Variable NE MA SA ESC ENC WSC WNC Mtn Pac Gender (%) Female 68.6 71.7 80.5 72.3 76.2 77.3 80.2 58.4 73.8 Ethnicity (%) AA 0.7 3.2 4.0 1.6 1.7 1.1 0 0 1.2 C 91.5 91.9 91.7 96.9 95.0 93.6 98.4 90.8 88.8 AI/AN 0.7 0.6 0.3 1.6 0.3 1.1 0.8 2.3 1.8 API 1.3 0.6 0.3 0 1.3 1.1 0.8 2.3 1.2 H 2.6 3. 5 3.3 0 1.3 3.2 0 3.1 5.9 O 3.3 0.3 0.3 0 0.3 0 0 1.5 1.2

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 124 Appendix B: Table 7 continued Descriptive Statistics Related to Demographic Characteristics by Region Variable NE MA SA ESC E NC WSC WNC Mtn Pac Degree (%) Bachelors 0 0 0.3 0 0 0 0 0 0 Masters 24.2 33.8 16.6 16.9 43.2 34.0 29.8 24.1 62.8 Ed.S. 45.2 29.3 52.6 38.5 30.4 17.5 45.8 35.8 13.4 Ph.D. 30.6 36.9 30.5 44.6 26.4 48.5 24.4 40.1 23.8 NCSP (%) 51.3 65.2 40.9 33.8 45.4 42.3 48.9 47.4 61.0 Certnon (%) 32.6 24.6 10.1 11.3 22.2 5.2 16.2 19.7 14.1 Licnon (%) 77.0 77.5 73.8 84.8 57.2 42.0 33.3 54.2 70.0 Memstate (%) 69.4 61.5 72.4 78.5 76.9 76.3 65.6 76.6 79.1

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 125 Appendix B: Table 7 continued Descriptive Statistics Related to Demographic Characteristic s by Region Variable NE MA SA ESC E NC WSC WNC Mtn Pac Age M 47.8 44.4 46.8 45.9 45.5 49.3 44.8 48.1 46.0 SD (10.1) (11.0) (11.0) (10.6) (11.1) (10.3) (10.7) (10.5) (10.5) Exppsy M 15.7 13.8 14.7 15.9 15.4 15.6 14.3 14.9 13.8 SD (9.7) (9.5) (9.1) (9.4) (9.8) (9.0) (9.2) (9.6) (9.3) Expteac M 2.9 2.0 2.5 1.5 1.5 2.2 1.6 2.4 2.1 SD (5.3) (4.6) (5.3 ) (3.0) (3.5) (4.8) (4.2) (4.6) (3.9) Prior M 65.0 67.0 66.7 69.3 66.5 70.5 66.9 68.4 64 3 SD (23.2) (24.7) (24.8) (30.9) (25.7) (3 2 3 ) (25.2) (28.2) (31.3)

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 126 Appendix B: Table 7 continued Descrip tive Statistics Related to Demographic Characteristics by Region ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Notes AA = African America; C = Caucasian; AI/AN = American Indian/Alaska Native; API = Asian American/Pacific Islanders; H = Hispanic; O = other ethnicities; Ed.S. = education specialist degree; Ph.D. = doctoral degree; NCSP = Nationally Certified School Psychologist; certnon = certification that allows for independent practice in non school settings; licnon = licensure that allows for independent practice in non school settings; memstate = membership in a state school psychology association; M = mean; SD = standard deviation; Exppsy = years of experience as a school psychologist; Expte ac = years of experience in teaching; prior = number of graduate credit hours obtained prior to entry into the field of school psychology.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 127 Appendix C: Table 8 Distribution of Means for Demographic Variables by Region Variable NE MA SA ES C ENC WSC W NC Mtn Pac Age n 159 348 307 65 301 97 131 136 177 sk 0.13 0.06 0.28 0.44 0.23 0.46 0.24 0.64 0.18 k 0.41 1.02 1.08 1.13 1.18 0.66 1.14 0.77 0.90 Exppsy n 160 352 306 65 302 95 130 137 180 sk 0.37 0.52 0.28 0.07 0.30 0.01 0.29 0.35 0.50 k 0.96 0.77 1.04 1.21 1.23 1.27 1.19 1.18 0.75 Expteac n 158 345 300 63 298 95 130 135 178 sk 2.48 3.09 2.94 2.50 3.39 3.29 4.07 2.45 2.04 k 6.66 10.07 9.23 6.19 13.68 12.27 19.73 5.68 3.77

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 128 Appendix C: Table 8 con tinued Distribution of Means for Demographic Variables by Region Variable NE MA SA ESC ENC WSC W NC Mtn Pac Prior n 159 353 307 65 303 97 131 137 181 sk 0.36 1.18 1.13 0.49 0.65 0.64 0.95 0.63 1.0 k 1.84 3.49 3.46 0.31 1.62 0.21 1.75 0.73 0.91 ___________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ Notes n = number of respondents; sk = Skewness; k = kurtosis; Exppsy = years of experience as a school psychologist; Expteac = years of experience in teaching; prior = number of graduate credit hours obtained prior to entry into the field of school psychology.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 129 Appendix D: Table 9 Professional Practices Related to Special Education by Region Means and (Standard Deviations) Variable NE MA SA ESC ENC WS C W NC Mtn Pac 504 M 7.4 7.0 6.9 5.3 4.5 7.8 2.6 5.3 5.9 SD (6.9) (10.0) (10.9) (8.5) (6.4) (20.3) (3.9) (6.6) (6.2) Initial M 27.0 30.3 41.1 58.1 36.3 29.8 32.4 30.7 32.7 SD ( 20.4) (27.3) (32.8) (42.9) (29.3) (28.4) (21.7) (29.9) (26.9) Reeval M 28.0 27.6 26.6 48.0 40.4 27.7 38.3 44.0 41.5 SD (23.5) (21.4) (21.8) (40.5) (29.3) (22.8) (23.3) (34.9) (26.2) Worktime M 75.9 79.8 75.5 84.1 8 0.3 89.1 83.6 83.2 83.1 SD (21.8) (22.1) (25.2) (21.2) (20.5) (16.8) (20.3) (19.8) (18.8) ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Notes M = mean; SD = standard devi ation; 504 = number of Section 504 plans; Initial = number of initial evaluations; Reeval = number of re evaluations; Worktime = percentage of total work time spent on activities relating to special education.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 130 Appendix E: Table 10 Distribution of Means for Professional Practice Variables Related to Special Education by Region Variable NE MA SA ESC ENC WSC W NC Mtn Pac 504 n 103 246 205 39 209 54 82 97 125 sk 1.95 3.03 4.43 4.06 3.12 4.0 3.32 2.50 1.53 k 5.86 12.04 29.09 20.23 14.34 16.36 14.40 8.62 2.40 Initial n 104 246 208 40 213 53 82 98 125 sk 1.64 1.56 1.63 1.07 2.16 2.25 0.59 2.19 2.34 k 3.10 3.10 4.0 1.82 8.51 7.1 0.17 7.81 10.84 Reeval n 104 249 211 41 213 54 82 98 124 sk 1.87 1.20 1.50 1.22 1.93 1.30 0.71 1.87 1.17 k 5.04 1.30 2.89 1.08 7.29 1.34 0.26 4.73 2.38

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 131 Appendix E: Table 10 continued Distribution of Means for Professional Practice Variables Related to Special Education by Region Va riable NE MA SA ESC ENC WSC W NC Mtn Pac W ork time n 102 239 205 40 213 51 80 95 122 sk 1.24 1.51 1.27 1.67 1.60 2.62 1.80 1.83 2.20 k 1.70 2.18 0.64 1.90 2.50 8.59 3.13 3.11 6.12 _________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________ Notes n = number of respondents; sk = Skewness; k = kurtosis; 504 = number of Section 504 plans; Initial = number of initial evaluations; Reeval = number of re evaluations; Worktime = percentage of total work time spent on activ ities relating to special education.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 132 Appendix F: Table 11 Professional Practices Variables Related to Direct and Indirect Services to Students by Region Variable NE MA SA ESC ENC WSC W NC Mtn Pac Consult M 37 .0 34.8 57.3 47.4 37.7 31.6 34.2 39.3 46.8 SD (46.8) (36.3) (81.6) (64.5) (37.3) (46.2) (40.9) (47.2) (59.8) Stucoun M 11.4 10.3 12.0 5.2 7.4 5.3 6.3 10.5 14.5 SD (16.1) (14.3) (22.5) (8.4) (16 .6) (8.5) (10.4) (14.8) (23.1) Grp M 3.6 1.9 1.6 .63 1.2 .95 1.3 2.1 1.7 SD (4.8) (3.3) (4.1) (2.0) (3.5) (2.7) (3.1) (3.8) (3.7) Stugroup M 17.5 8.6 9.2 4.6 7.0 6.8 8.5 11.2 6.0 SD (29.6) (1 6.1) (23.3) (15.2) (14.8) (27.6) (26.1) (25.4) (11.4)

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 133 Appendix F: Table 11 continued Professional Practices Variables Related to Direct and Indirect Services to Students by Region Variable NE MA SA ESC ENC WSC W NC Mtn Pac Inserv M 1.7 2.1 3.1 4.8 2.4 3.4 2.7 2.5 2.8 SD (3.4) (3.9) (4.8) (6.0) (4.8) (4.7) (4.2) (3.5) (3.8) ____________________________________________________________________________________________ ______________ Notes M = mean; SD = standard deviation; consult = consultation cases; stucoun = students individual counseled; Grp = student groups conducted; stugroup = students served in groups; inserv = in service training programs conducted.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 134 Appendi x G: Table 12 Distribution of Means for Professional Practice Variables Related to Direct and Indirect Services by Region Variable NE MA SA ESC ENC WSC W NC Mtn Pac consult n 98 235 201 39 206 51 81 91 121 sk 5.35 2.41 2.61 2.53 2.13 4.31 4.62 3.18 3.03 k 37.92 8.29 6.79 6.18 5.61 23.24 29.64 11.01 10.30 stucoun n 102 246 209 41 217 52 84 94 125 sk 3.10 3.14 3.89 2.52 4.91 2.42 2.52 3.42 4.89 k 12.10 14.07 19.12 7.26 31.57 6.24 7.12 15.41 33.94 G rp n 103 246 208 40 215 55 84 97 124 sk 1.82 2.85 5.90 5.24 7.43 4.23 4.04 3.20 3.73 k 3.10 10.72 45.80 30.08 74.43 20.39 19.59 12.24 16.69

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 135 Appendix G: Table 12 continued Distribution of Means for Professional Practice Variables Related to Direct and Indirect Services by Region Variable NE MA SA ESC ENC WSC W NC Mtn Pac stugroup n 104 245 209 40 210 54 83 97 124 sk 3.34 3.35 4.98 5.52 2.69 6.72 5.91 5.12 2.73 k 14.88 13.68 31.05 32.69 7.35 47.50 39.22 33.17 8.59 inserv n 104 240 208 41 216 53 84 96 122 sk 6.22 3.91 4.96 2.53 6.58 2.69 2.97 3.51 2.97 k 48.43 18.71 35.76 7.54 55.53 8.86 9.63 17.89 11.94 ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Notes n = number of respondents; sk = Skewness; k = kurtosis; consult = consulta tion cases; stucoun = students individual counseled; Grp = student groups conducted; stugroup = students served in groups; inserv = in service training programs conducted.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 136 Appendix H: Table 13 Descriptive Statistics Related to Employment Conditions by Region Means and (Standard Deviations) Variable NE MA SA ESC ENC WSC WNC Mtn Pac Ethdist 17.73 27.93 42.38 33.62 24.18 40.25 18.57 36.19 43.59 (24.0) (31.1) (26.1) (33.4) (28.5) (26. 6) (20.0) (29.1) (28.9) Ethser 17.64 29.13 45.34 35.62 26.72 41.78 18.37 37.89 45.66 (27.4) (33.5) (30.7) (35.0) (31.8) (29.9) (22.0) (31.9) (32.3) Ratio 911.2 1003.3 2005.7 2257.1 1528.1 1974.4 1 417.0 1445.4 1606.8 (899.1) (830.8) (989.2) (1389.1) (994.8) (1550.2) (793.0) (827.6) (826.8) Resser 738.4 739.7 1761.3 1908.3 1324.9 1056.2 1178.0 1058.5 1341.8 (878.1) (727.2) (1129.6) (1616.7) (1073.0) (1081.5) (942 .6) (779.9) (990.4) Contract 185.9 189.3 208.4 203.2 195.31 200.5 191.2 193.4 194.4 (10.6) (18.0) (21.1) (15.8) (17.6) (17.3) (10.5) (12.5) (11.3)

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 137 Appendix H: Table 13 continued Descriptive Statistics R elated to Employment Conditions by Region Means and (Standard Deviations) Variable NE MA SA ESC ENC WSC WNC Mtn Pac Perdiem 341.2 353.41 282.2 259.2 315.4 247.1 268.4 286.5 341.7 (72.0) (103.9) (63.6) (50.0) (80.2) (38.9) (50.5) (59.6) (70.8) ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Notes Ethdist = ethnic minority students in district; Ethser = ethnic minority students served; Ratio = ratio of students to school psychologists in district; Resser = ratio of students to school psychologists based on caseload; Contract = days in work cont ract; per diem = daily rate of pay.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 138 Appendix I: Table 14 Distribut ion of Means for Employment Conditions by Region Variable NE MA SA ESC ENC WSC WNC Mtn Pac ethdist n 98 223 176 37 199 44 76 87 113 sk 1.72 1.09 0.51 0.88 1.30 0.33 1.89 0.62 0.21 k 1.96 0.18 0.53 0.72 0.52 0.94 3.37 0.78 1.18 ethser n 98 217 193 37 199 45 77 90 116 sk 1.72 1.01 0.25 0.69 1.19 0.36 1.66 0.55 0.16 k 1.61 0.48 1.17 0.99 0.02 1.09 2.33 0.92 1.27 ratio n 88 207 167 38 187 44 76 85 108 sk 6.04 3.47 1.65 2.14 3.19 1.18 0.94 1.59 1.64 k 45.33 24.0 7.61 6.96 16.36 1.34 1.19 4.70 4.71

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 139 Appendix I: Table 14 continued Distribution of Means for Employment Conditions by Region Variable NE MA SA ESC ENC WSC W NC Mtn Pac resser n 97 219 187 29 188 41 74 90 108 sk 6.16 1.41 0.51 1.96 2.43 0.77 1.13 0.47 1.09 k 4 9.29 2.0 0.03 6.21 12.23 0.82 0.89 0.61 2.18 contract n 106 238 173 39 211 51 84 92 123 sk 1.98 1.23 0.85 1.06 0.42 0.84 0.09 1.90 1.85 k 30.0 8.33 0.32 2.98 8.20 1.97 5.52 7.53 9.56 perdiem n 103 232 1 69 39 209 50 82 89 120 sk 0.26 0.68 0.69 0.40 0.88 0.55 0.28 0.10 0.16 k 0.59 0.18 0.08 0.27 1.87 0.47 0.54 0.34 0.56

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 140 Appendix I: Table 14 continued Distribution of Means for Employment Conditions by Region _____________________________________________________________________________________________ ______________ Notes n = number of respondents; sk = Skewness; k = kurtosis; Ethdist = ethnic minority students in district; Ethser = ethnic minority students served; Ratio = ratio of students to school psychologists in district; Resser = ratio of student s to school psychologists based on caseload; Contract = days in work contract; per diem = daily rate of pay.

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 141 Appendix J : Comparison of 2005 NASP Membership to 2004 2005 NASP National Database Respondents ___________________________________________________ _____________________ VARIABLES 2005 NASP Membership 2004 05 Database ________________________________________________________________________ GENDER Female 73.5% 74% Male 26.5% 26% Percent Responding 63.7% 99.9% ______ __________________________________________________________________ ETHNICITY White/Caucasian 88.5% 92.6% American Indian /Alaska Native 0.9% 0.8% Asian American/Pacific Islander 1.4% 0.9% African American 3.1% 1.9% Hispanic 3.8% 3.0% Other 2.4% 0.8% Percent Responding 73.8% 97.5% ________________________________________________________________________ HIGHEST DEGREE Bachelors 1.2% 0.1% 44.8% 32.6% Specialist 22.9% 34.9%

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 142 Appendix J: Comparison of 2005 NASP Membership to 2004 2005 NASP National Database Respondents continued ________________________________________________________________________ VARIABLES 2005 NASP Membership 2004 05 D atabase ________________________________________________________________________ HIGHEST DEGREE Doctorate 28 .0 % 32.4% Percent Responding 80.4% 99.8% ________________________________________________________________________ MEAN AGE IN YEARS 50.9 46.2 Percent Responding 80.4% 99.8% ________________________________________________________________________

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 143 A p pendix K : N ational Association of School Psychologists Demographic Characteristics, Employment Conditions and Professional Practices Survey 2004 2005 School Year ________________________________________________________________________ 1. Gender ____ female ____ male 2. Age ____ 3. Ethnicity (optional) ___ American Indian/Alaska Native___ Asian American/Pacific Islander ___ Black/African American ___ Caucasian ___ Hispanic ___ Other 4. What language(s) do you speak fluently other than English? _______________ If you speak another language, do you provide psychological services to students/families in that language? __ __yes ____no 5. Disability ___no ___ yes, specify: _______________ PLEASE RESPOND TO ALL ITEMS BASED ON THE 2004 2005 SCHOOL YEAR! 6. Years of experience in school psychology _______________ 7. Years of classroom teaching experience (Pre K High School) _______ ___ 8. Primary position (e.g., school psychologist, university faculty, administrator, state department) _______________ 9. Annual salary (primary position) _______________ 10. State in which employed _______________ 11. Highest degree earned (e.g., bachelors, masters, specialist, doctorate) _______________

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 144 Appendix K: National Association of School Psychologists Demographic Characteristics, Employment Conditions and Professional Practices Survey 2004 2005 School Year continued ________________________________________ ________________________________ 12. Total graduate level training completed related to school psycho logy PRIOR TO ENTRY TO PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE (report total number of semester hours; 1 semester hour=1.5 quarter hour) _______________ 13. Certification/Licensure (Mark all that apply): ___ Nationally Certified School Psychologist ___ Certified by State Education Agency as School Psychologist ___ Certified by State Education Agency as Psychometrist, or similar title (specify: _______________ ) ___ Lic ensed School Psychologist (doctorate req ___ Licensed Psychologist (doctorate req ___ Licensed School Psychologist (non doctoral; State Board of Psychology) ___ Licensed Psychological Associ ate or similar title (non doctoral; State Board of Psychology; specify:_______________ ) 14. If certified, does certificate allow for independent practice in non school setting? ___ yes ___ no 15. If licensed, does license allow for independent practice i n non school setting? ___ yes ___ no 16. Membership (please check all that apply): ___ State School Psychology Association

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 145 Appendix K: National Association of School Psychologists Demographic Characteristics, Employment Conditions and Professional Practices Survey 2004 2005 School Year continued ________________________________________________________________________ ___ National Education Association ___ American Federation of Teachers ___ Division of School Psychology (16), American Psychological Associat ion ___ Local Teachers ___ American Psychological Association ___ American Counseling Association ___ Council for Exceptional Children ___ Other, specify: _______________ 17. For your PRIMARY employment, please estimate the average number of hours per week of employment in each of the following settings. _____ Public Schools _____ Private Schools ____ Faith Based Schools _____ College/University _____ Independent Practice_____ State Department _____ Hospital/Medical Setting ____ Other, specify: ____________________ 18. For any SECONDARY employment, please estimate the average number of hours per week of employment in each of the following settings. _____ Public Schools _____ Private Schools ____Faith Based Schools _____ College/University _____ Independent Practice_____ Stat e Department _____ Hospital/Medical Setting _____ Other, specify: _______________

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 146 Appendix K: National Association of School Psychologists Demographic Characteristics, Employment Conditions and Professional Practices Survey 2004 2005 School Year continu ed ________________________________________________________________________ If your PRIMARY employment for 2004 2005 was FULL TIME in a public, private or faith based preschool, elementary school, middle/jr. high school, and/or high school, please answer the remaining questions. Please respond based on the entire 2004 2005 school year. If your PRIMARY employment was NOT in one or more of those settings, you have completed the survey. Please return it in the enclosed envelope. Thank you for your time and assistance. 19. Type of setting (i.e., urban, suburban, rural) _______________ 20. Please estimate average number of hours per week in each setting: ______ Preschool ______ Elementary School ______ Middle/Jr. High School ______ High School ______ Other, specify: _______________ 21. % of students in district who are ethnic minority __________ 22. % of students you serve who are ethnic minority _________ 23. Ratio of School Psychologists to Students for DISTRICT _1: _________ How many students are YOU responsible for serving? ____________

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 147 Appendix K: National Association of School Psychologists Demographic Characteristics, Employment Conditions and Professional Practices Survey 2004 2005 School Year continued __________________________________________________________________ ______ 24. What data did you use to answer items 27 35 ____ estimated ____ personal log ____central database (e.g., dept) ____ other (please specify)_________________________________ 25. Number of SECTION 504 PLANS that you assisted in developing ____ 26. Number of Psychoeducational Evaluations completed relating to INITIAL DETERMINATION of special education eligibility _______________ 27. Number of REEVALUATIONS _______________ 28. Number of CONSULTATION CASES (e.g., consultation for interventions, prereferral interven tions, but NOT part of a multifactored evaluation _______ 29. Number of students COUNSELED INDIVIDUALLY (not sessions) _________ 30. Number of student GROUPS conducted (not sessions) _______________ 31. Total number of STUDENTS served in groups (not sessions) ________ ____ 32. Number of INSERVICE PROGRAMS conducted _______________ 33. % of TOTAL WORK TIME in activities relating to special education ________ 34. % of TIME RELATING TO SPECIAL EDUCATION for each of following ____ conducting assessments ____ writing reports ____ attend ing team meetings ____ other (e.g., Medicaid documentation); specify: _______________

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 148 Appendix K: National Association of School Psychologists Demographic Characteristics, Employment Conditions and Professional Practices Survey 2004 2005 School Year co ntinued ________________________________________________________________________ 35. Check the top 3 foci of your continuing professional development activities: ____ standardized psycho educational assessment ____ academic screening/progress monitoring (e.g., CBM, DIBELS) ____ academic interventions ____ behavioral assessment ____ behavioral interventions ____ social/emotional assessment ____ social/emotional interventions ____ consultation/problem solving ____ response to intervention ____ crisis intervention ____ other (specify)_____________________________________ Did you receive administrative (e.g., unit head, administrator) supervision during the past year? __ yes ___ no; If yes, job title of that person _______________ Average number of supervis ion hours/month ________ If yes, please indicate all of the following that describe that person: _____ degree in school psychology_____ degree in psychology ____degree in admin ___ degree in other area; ___ doctoral degree ___masters/specialist degree

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Regional Differences in School Psyc hology 149 App endix K: National Association of School Psychologists Demographic Characteristics, Employment Conditions and Professional Practices Survey 2004 2005 School Year continued ________________________________________________________________________ 37. Did y ou receive clinical supervision during the past year? __yes ___no If yes, please indicate all of the following that describe your supervisor: ___degree in school psychology ___degree in psychology ___degree in other area; ___doctoral degree ___masters/sp ecialist degree ____ number of school psychologists your supervisor supervised 36. Number of days in your 2004 2005 Contract Period _______________ THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME IN COMPLETING THIS SURVEY. PLEASE RETURN IT IN THE ENCLOSED ENVELOPE __________________ ______________________________________________________ Note Formatting of this survey instrument, but not content, was changed to comply with requirements of the Graduate School.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dama Abshier received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psyc hology from the Specialist degree (2003) in School Psychology from the University of South Florida. She was admitted to doctoral candidacy in the School Psychology Progra m at the University of South Florida in the summer of 2005, and has been working in an administrative role for the Exceptional Student Education department in the Marion County Public School system since July, 2002. While attending the University of South Florida, Mrs. Abshier received the Tampa Campus Library Graduate Scholarship award in 2003, co authored publications in the journal, Cognitive Development and in Communique She co presented four scholarly papers at annual conferences of the National Asso ciation of School Psychologists and has co presented papers at the annual meetings of the American Psychological Society and the Early Childhood Association of Florida.