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Purpose: This study investigated the opinions of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) regarding their role, education, and training in serving students with communication disorders who have been involved in violence.

Method: A survey consisting of 26 items was given to 598 SLPs from eight states representing geographic regions of the United States.

Results: Participants acknowledged that violence is an increasing concern. They also recognized the valuable role they have in planning prevention programs and serving on multidisciplinary teams. In contrast, SLPs' opinions suggested that they did not feel well trained to deal with violence, nor did they feel that the role of communication in violence was understood by SLPs or educators. Comparisons between SLPs from different school and nonschool settings on their education and training and their role in serving this population were not significant. Participants with violence education and training responded significantly more favorably than those without such education and training on planning prevention programs; contributing important information to multidisciplinary teams in planning programs; and the impact of intervention on academics, behavior, and social interactions. Statistically significant findings indicated that both groups disagreed on understanding the role of communication in violence and being trained to provide services. However, findings need to be interpreted cautiously because both groups' means fell within the same categories of agreement/disagreement, and actual differences between groups were small. Quantitative and qualitative findings revealed that education and training are prevalent concerns of SLPs. Their written feedback suggested that SLPs provide critical information as we plan for this population.

Clinical Implications: Additional education and training are needed in areas such as the role of the SLP in communication and violence, intervention that addresses behavior management, and multicultural issues.


This article was originally published in Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, volume 35, issue 1, in 2004. DOI: 10.1044/0161-1461(2004/003)

Peer Reviewed



American Speech-Language-Hearing Association



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