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School Psychology Quarterly - Vol 32, Iss 4

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School Psychology Quarterly The flagship scholarly journal in the field of school psychology, the journal publishes empirical studies, theoretical analyses and literature reviews encompassing a full range of methodologies and orientations, including educational, cognitive, social, cognitive behavioral, preventive, dynamic, multicultural, and organizational psychology. Focusing primarily on children, youth, and the adults who serve them, School Psychology Quarterly publishes information pertaining to populations across the life span.
Copyright 2018 American Psychological Association
  • The association between arithmetic and reading performance in school: A meta-analytic study.
    Many studies of school achievement find a significant association between reading and arithmetic achievement. The magnitude of the association varies widely across the studies, but the sources of this variation have not been identified. The purpose of this paper is to examine the magnitude and determinants of the relation between arithmetic and reading performance during elementary and middle school years. We meta-analyzed 210 correlations between math and reading measures, coming from 68 independent samples (the overall sample size was 58923 participants). The meta-analysis yielded an average correlation of 0.55 between math and reading measures. Among the moderators tested, only transparency of orthography and use of timed or untimed tests were significant in explaining the size of the correlation, with the largest correlations observed between timed measures of arithmetic and reading and between math and reading in opaque orthographies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Protective factor screening for prevention practice: Sensitivity and specificity of the DESSA-Mini.
    The Devereux Student Strengths Assessment Mini (DESSA-Mini; Naglieri, LeBuffe, & Shapiro, 2011/2014) was designed to overcome practical obstacles to universal prevention screening. This article seeks to determine whether an entirely strength-based, 8-item screening instrument achieves technical accuracy in routine practice. Data come from a district-wide implementation of a new social emotional learning (SEL) initiative designed to promote students’ social-emotional competence. All students, kindergarten through Grade 8, were screened using the DESSA-Mini. A random 5 students per classroom received additional assessment. Concurrent and predictive criterion studies were conducted using the full DESSA as well as administrative records of serious disciplinary infraction. The DESSA-Mini showed excellent internal reliability, exceeding .90. Negligible to small differences were found between scores on the DESSA-Mini screen and the DESSA full assessment. Classification consistency between the DESSA-Mini and the DESSA was high (87%–94%) in routine practice, with sensitivity and specificity estimates exceeding Glascoe’s (2005) standards. Finally, predictive validity of the DESSA-Mini was reliable; students screened as having a Need for SEL Instruction at the beginning of the year were 4.5 times more likely to have a record of serious disciplinary infraction at the end of the school year compared with those who were not identified (p <.001). These findings compare quite favorably with other instruments used in schools to screen entire student populations, in cases where such analyses have been conducted, and is consistent with a practice preference of identifying, but not overidentifying, students for accelerated preventative interventions for mental, emotional, and behavioral problems. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Observer and student ratings of the class environment: A preliminary investigation of convergence.
    The present study examined the relationship between student and observer ratings of the class environment. More specifically, class responses on the Responsive Environmental Assessment for Classroom Teaching (REACT; Theodore J. Christ & Colleagues, 2015) were compared with observer ratings on the Classroom Strategies Assessment System—Observer Form (Reddy, Fabiano, & Dudek, 2013). This study included 38 teachers and 582 students from 5 high-poverty schools. Observational data were reported as discrepancy scores, which reflect the difference between the recommended frequency and observed frequency of specific instructional and behavioral management strategies for classroom teachers. Pearson correlations were used to evaluate the relationship between the 6 subscales included on the REACT and the 9 subscales included on the CSAS-O. Results provide preliminary evidence for the relationship between observer and student ratings of the class environment. More specifically, as discrepancy scores decreased, student ratings of the class environment tended to be more positive. The relationship between the REACT and the CSAS-O differed across subscales; however, in general, subscales that were conceptually similar tended to demonstrate stronger relationships than subscales that were conceptually distinct. Thus, the observed results also provide preliminary evidence that students are capable of discriminating between the quality of different components of the class environment. The potential use of both observer and student ratings of the class environment to provide teachers with a more robust and comprehensive reference for professional development purposes is discussed within the context of a tiered model of support. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Authoritative school climate, number of parents at home, and academic achievement.
    School climate is widely recognized as an important factor in promoting student academic achievement. The current study investigated the hypothesis that a demanding and supportive school climate, based on authoritative school climate theory, would serve as a protective factor for students living with 1 or no parents at home. Using a statewide sample of 56,508 middle school students from 415 public schools in 1 state, results indicated that student perceptions of disciplinary structure, academic demandingness, and student support all had positive associations with student self-reported grade point average (GPA). In addition, findings showed that academic expectations and student support were more highly associated with GPA for students not living with any parent. Implications for policy and practice are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Improving approximate number sense abilities in preschoolers: PLUS games.
    Previous studies in both typically and atypically developing children have shown that approximate number system (ANS) abilities predict formal mathematical knowledge later on in life. The current study investigated whether playing specially designed training games that targets the ANS system using nonsymbolic stimuli only would improve preschool children’s ANS abilities. Thirty-eight preschool children were randomly allocated to either the training or control group. For 5 weeks, 20 preschoolers (9 girls) in the training group played daily games for 10 min that included guessing and comparing numerosities, whereas 18 control children (6 girls) were involved in interactive picture book reading sessions. Children’s ANS abilities were assessed using a computerized task before and after the training program. An analysis of covariance with posttraining ANS scores as dependent variable and pretraining scores as a covariate showed that the children in the training group had higher ANS abilities after the training, in contrast to children in the control group (p = .012, ηp2 = .171). This study provides evidence that ANS abilities can be improved in preschool children through a daily training program that targets the ANS specifically. These findings provide support for further training programs for preschool children who show mathematical difficulties early on in life. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Development and validity of the Rating Scales of Academic Skills for Reading Comprehension.
    The development and psychometric qualities of a measure using teacher judgment to rate performance in reading comprehension for narrative text is described—the Rating Scales for Academic Skills—Reading Comprehension Narrative (RSAS-RCN). Sixty-five teachers from the third, fourth, and fifth grades of 8 elementary schools completed the measure on 177 students. Each teacher rated students who had been identified through school-based universal screening to be below the 25th percentile, between the 25th and 74th percentile, and at or above the 75th percentile on national normative standards. Results indicated the RSAS-RCN has strong to moderate evidence of (a) 1-week test–retest reliability, (b) concurrent validity with the Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GRADE) and end of year state assessment in reading, and (c) significant classification accuracy across student ability levels. Principal component analysis and item response theory (Rasch modeling) indicate the RSAS-RCN is comprised of a single general dimension. Overall, this examination of the RSAS-RCN suggests teacher judgment may be a potentially valuable tool in assessing reading comprehension among upper elementary school students. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Evaluating an integrated support model for increasing treatment plan implementation following consultation in schools.
    This study examined the percentage of steps implemented from treatment plans following consultation with teachers. Interventions were implemented for 39 elementary school students referred for consultation and treatment for challenging behavior or academic deficits. An integrated support model that included antecedent social influence and planning combined with follow-up performance feedback was compared to weekly structured follow-up interviews. Participating teacher-student dyads were randomly assigned to conditions. Integrated support produced superior treatment implementation and child outcomes compared to weekly follow-up meetings. In contrast, teachers’ ratings of consultants’ effectiveness, treatment acceptability, and treatment implementation were undifferentiated across conditions. Treatment plan implementation and child behavioral outcomes were statistically significantly correlated. Treatment acceptability and implementation were not correlated at a statistically significant level. The implications of these findings for consultation and treatment research and practice are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Bayesian asymmetric regression as a means to estimate and evaluate oral reading fluency slopes.
    Bayesian techniques have become increasingly present in the social sciences, fueled by advances in computer speed and the development of user-friendly software. In this paper, we forward the use of Bayesian Asymmetric Regression (BAR) to monitor intervention responsiveness when using Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM) to assess oral reading fluency (ORF). An overview of Bayesian methods and their application to the problem-solving model is first presented, which is further illustrated by a case example. We conclude the paper with a Monte Carlo simulation study demonstrating the validity of BAR, as compared to the current standard of practice for CBM decision-making, ordinary least squares (OLS) regression. Results suggest that BAR is most advantageous with studies using small-to-moderate sample sizes, and when distributional information (such as the probability of intervention success) is of interest. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Identifying sets of maximally efficient items from the Academic Competence Evaluation Scales—Teacher Form.
    The Academic Competence Evaluation Scales—Teacher Form (ACES-TF; DiPerna & Elliott, 2000) was developed to measure student academic skills and enablers (interpersonal skills, engagement, motivation, and study skills). Although ACES-TF scores have demonstrated psychometric adequacy, the length of the measure may be prohibitive for certain applications in research and practice. Thus, the purpose of this project was to use item response theory to identify sets of maximally efficient items (SMIs) for each subscale of the ACES-TF that could inform the development of an abbreviated version. Results supported the reliability and precision of SMI scores. As such, the SMIs demonstrate promise to inform the development of an abbreviated version of the ACES-TF. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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