Date of Award

8-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Michael Wischnowski

Second Supervisor

Timothy Madigan

Abstract

Estimates suggest that up to two million children have had a parent deployed at least once over the past decade. Despite the length of the war, and multiple deployments, little is known about how school psychologists support military children before during and after deployment. This study investigated how school psychologists who are members of the New York Association of School Psychologists support children who have or have had a parent deployed in support of the Overseas Contingency Operation. Results suggest that they have limited awareness when children have a parent deployed yet 43% reported having provided counseling to, consultation and or referral for at least one child with a deployed parent. The most common reasons for working with these children were anxiety, academic concerns, and disruptive behaviors. School psychologists with an immediate family member who was serving or had served in the military participated in more workshops, used more methods to identify student needs, and identified more diverse reasons for working with children. They rely on other professionals and the professional associations to inform their work. These findings must be interpreted with caution in part due to the low response rate (12.7%). It is recommended that University programs and school psychology associations actively increase the awareness of the potential role of school psychologists in supporting military children. As mental health professionals they are in a position to offer support groups and counseling to facilitate effective problem solving, self-regulation and coping skills all of which promote resilience and ease the transitions related to military deployment.

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