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ERIC Number: EJ1141806
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0279-6015
The Legal Quality of Articles Published in School Psychology Journals: An Initial Report Card
Zirkel, Perry A.
School Psychology Review, v43 n3 p318-339 2014
As a follow-up to a companion study (Zaheer & Zirkel, in press) that focused on the legal content in school psychology, this analysis examined legal quality. The companion study found that only 35 of the more than 7,000 articles in five leading journals of school psychology for the period 1970-2013 met rather relaxed standards for being law based. This analysis assessed the legal quality of these 35 articles based on my subjective judgment according to three component criteria: accuracy, completeness, and citations. The findings included the following: (a) slightly fewer than half of the 35 articles had at least one author with a law degree; (b) the average legal quality ratings, in terms of traditional letter grades, were B- for accuracy, B for completeness, B- for citations, and B for the overall composite; and (c) the ratings were notably higher for the articles with one or more authors with law degrees than those without such authors. After identifying the most frequent areas warranting improvement for each of the three designated criteria, I offered various professional practice recommendations specific to the field and specific to the journals, including a leadership role for the National Association of School Psychologists in developing more collaboration with legal specialists as authors and reviewers. Finally, I listed several suggestions for further research, including systematic investigation of the specific sources and level of school psychologists' applicable legal knowledge.
National Association of School Psychologists. 4340 East West Highway Suite 402, Bethesda, MD 20814. Tel: 301-657-0270; Fax: 301-657-0275; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A