Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Dr. Michael Hass
Dr. Randy Busse
Dr. Pedro Olvera
School psychologists and school counselors are increasingly playing an essential role in the provision of school-based mental health services (SBMHS). This is especially true in California. Unfortunately, there are a few studies that have examined how California school psychologists and school counselors perceive their training to provide SBMHS, how they perceive their role in providing these services, and what they regard as their needs for professional development. The purpose of this study is to determine the extent to which California school psychologists and school counselors believe that their formal pre-service education and later in-service professional experiences have prepared them to provide SBMHS. This study also examines the extent that California school psychologists and school counselors feel prepared to deliver various SBMHS. An online survey was created to answer the study’s research questions, which is in the form of a descriptive survey design. A questionnaire was created and altered appropriately for the two groups of professionals. An overall sample size of 156 was obtained. Overall, the findings suggest that the California school psychologists and school counselors in this study agree that their formal pre-service education, except for their undergraduate program, prepared them to provide SBMHS. Also, participants strongly agree that both workshops/trainings and in-service professional experiences prepared them to provide SBMHS. There were no significant differences between the two groups’ responses regarding pre-service education or later in-service professional experiences. However, there were significant differences between the two groups’ responses to questions regarding developing and implementing behavior intervention plans (BIPs), providing behavior interventions, and conducting social-emotional/behavioral assessments and interpreting results. In each of these cases, school psychologists expressed feeling more prepared than school counselors to provide these services. Most participants expressed a need to receive more training in the form of workshops or other professional development to support them in their positions for the provision of SBMHS. As we continue to see a rise in schools becoming the primary location for mental health services for children and adolescents, school psychologists and school counselors should continue to receive ongoing training to support them in their roles as SBMHS providers.
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McKenzie, S. T. (2020). School psychologists and school counselors’ perceptions of preparation received for the provision of school-based mental health services (Doctoral dissertation). https://doi.org/10.36837/chapman.000183
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