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ERIC Number: EJ868091
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0164-775X
Advancing Social Justice through Primary Prevention
Mule, Christina; Lippus, Kathleen; Santora, Kimberly; Cicala, Gina; Smith, Bethany; Cataldo, Jessica; Li, Chieh
Communique, v37 n8 p6-8 Jun 2009
A commitment to social justice is integral to being an effective school psychologist. While social justice is a term that is not easily defined, professionals in school psychology have characterized it as the idea that all students are entitled to be treated with fairness and respect. Though individual conceptions of social justice may vary, a recent study revealed a preference for a definition that highlights equal protection of rights and opportunities for all students. Social inequities permeate the nation's schools; therefore, school psychologists should be encouraged to respond as advocates. This is a familiar mission of school psychologists, but less is known about exactly how to advocate for social justice within the schools. One way that school psychologists can aspire toward a commitment to social justice is by implementing school-wide primary preventions that support all children. Inspired by the mission of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Social Justice Interest Group, faculty and students at Northeastern University began to infuse social justice in the school psychology program's curriculum. A social justice group consisting of school psychology faculty and students was formed to facilitate learning about social justice concerns within the schools. As a product of this group's work, the focus of this article is to provide useful information for practicing school psychologists by highlighting specific research-based primary prevention approaches for several groups who face social injustice. It is crucial to employ strategies that are culturally sensitive and appropriately recognize students' physical and mental health needs. Moreover, school psychologists must advocate for social justice at every level, specifically in children's home, school, and community environments. This article reviews primary prevention approaches that are culturally sensitive and geared toward all aspects of the children's environment. Specifically, it explores research-based primary prevention strategies for groups facing the following issues: (1) human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); (2) gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (GLBTQ) harassment; (3) homelessness; and (4) online social aggression. Finally, a discussion addresses how school psychologists can meet the needs of all students in their school and home communities.
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; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Counselors
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A