ERIC Number: ED460300
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
"It's Not My Problem!" Reframing Test and Place Referrals into Systemic Interventions.
Engel, Ned; Faustino, Peter
A broad scientific perspective that recognizes the child's social environment is needed in school psychology practice. The chances of influencing change expand when psychologists switch from an intrapsychic model to a social systems (group process) framework for testing referrals. Intrapsychic explanations create a mechanism for educators to avoid change because they locate the problem within an individual, which leads to over-referrals for assessment and over-emphasis on the child as the problem. Misbehavior may not be a symptom of psychopathology, but a function of the child's adaptation to the particular system. Observing behavior outside the testing room increases understanding of the interpersonal context in which the behavior is taking place. Adding standardized testing and observation together, the number and variety of possible intervention strategies is increased. Experience with shifting the focus of a multidisciplinary, pupil-services team away from individual assessment and in the direction of assessment of the child's functioning in context is presented. The reframing technique is described, and changes in the response of the team utilizing a systems perspective to test and place referrals are reported. Hope is increased when children's difficulties are assessed in terms of the social environment. (Contains 13 references.) (EMK)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association of School Psychologists (30th, Orlando, FL, April 14-18, 1998).