Principals' Opinions on the Role of Speech-Language Pathologists Serving Students With Communication Disorders Involved in Violence Purpose The purpose of this study was to survey the opinions of principals concerning the role of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) serving students with communication disorders who have been involved in violence. Method A mixed methods design involving 678 questionnaires was mailed to elementary, middle, and high school principals ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2007
Principals' Opinions on the Role of Speech-Language Pathologists Serving Students With Communication Disorders Involved in Violence
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mitzi J. Ritzman
    University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Dixie Sanger
    University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Contact author: Mitzi J. Ritzman, University of Nebraska at Omaha, KH 115D, Omaha, NE 68182. Email: mritzman@mail.unomaha.edu.
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2007
Principals' Opinions on the Role of Speech-Language Pathologists Serving Students With Communication Disorders Involved in Violence
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2007, Vol. 38, 365-377. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2007/038)
History: Received July 7, 2006 , Accepted February 2, 2007
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2007, Vol. 38, 365-377. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2007/038)
History: Received July 7, 2006; Accepted February 2, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose The purpose of this study was to survey the opinions of principals concerning the role of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) serving students with communication disorders who have been involved in violence.

Method A mixed methods design involving 678 questionnaires was mailed to elementary, middle, and high school principals in a Midwestern state. Descriptive statistics and qualitative analyses identifying themes from 1 open-ended question were conducted.

Results A total of 423 (62.1%) questionnaires were received. Findings indicated that principals were aware of the important role of SLPs on multidisciplinary teams and in planning prevention programs. They agreed that SLP services positively impact students' social adjustment, academic performance, and behavior. Mean responses indicated uncertainty on 12 Likert-type items pertaining to SLPs' training in serving students who have been involved in violence. From 84 participants, 164 ideas emerged in seven themes: (a) intervention/service delivery, (b) definition of violence/relationship of violence to speech and language services, (c) role of SLP, (d) training/education, (e) frequency of violence/safety, and (g) impact of home environment.

Conclusion Findings should be interpreted cautiously due to sample restrictions. Nevertheless, findings support that principals value SLPs' services. They also provide evidence for SLPs to continue to advocate for the services they perform, collaboration, and a range of service delivery models during intervention.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The authors would like to thank Andy Dwyer at the Nebraska Evaluation and Research Center for his statistical data consultation. We are also appreciative of formatting assistance from Sharon Barden. Finally, without participation of the 423 principals, this study would not have been possible.
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