Survey of nationally certified school psychologists' roles and training in psychopharmacology

Jeffrey D. Shahidullah, John S. Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


A randomly selected group of Nationally Certified School Psychologists (NCSPs; n = 817) were mailed the 42-item School Psychopharmacology Roles and Training Evaluation (SPRTE) which inquired about their caseloads, practice roles as proposed by DuPaul and Carlson, and prior training in psychopharmacology. A modified Tailored Design Methodology (TDM; Dillman, Smyth, & Christian,), involving four mail-based contacts, was used to yield a 74% survey return rate (n = 607). Of the returned surveys, a 72% (n = 548) usable response rate was obtained and used in the present study. Consistent with prior literature, nearly all (99.6%) school psychologists reported serving at least one student taking psychotropic medication. Primary direct service roles included monitoring behavioral response to psychotropic treatment (28%), monitoring treatment side-effects (23%), and developing psychotropic treatment goals from direct assessment measures (14%). Primary indirect service roles included providing behavior management consultation to teachers of students taking medication (96%), implementing adjunctive psychosocial supports (87%), and providing assessment data to physicians for diagnostic purposes (84%). Despite differences in established psychopharmacological training standards, actual practice roles and training received did not differ between NCSPs from APA-accredited programs and those from National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)-approved programs. Implications for school psychopharmacology practice, training and research are addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-721
Number of pages17
JournalPsychology in the Schools
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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