Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Student counselors; School psychologists;


The present study was designed to survey the school psychologists' perception of their own role and the role of the elementary,school counselor. The study was also designed to survey the elementary school counselors' perception of their own role and the role of the school psychologist. In the exploratory process of the present study, data regarding areas of potential conflicts and/or collaboration between school psychologists and elementary school counselors were studied. Twenty-eight school psychologists and 28 elementary school counselors were identified as working together within the public school systems served by three north central Iowa Area Education Agencies. The subjects were asked to respond to a questionnaire regarding their own role and the role of the other professional in their matched pair. Subjects were matched in relation to the schools they worked in so that each pair represented a school psychologist and an elementary school counselor who work within the same school. Of the 56 surveys originally mailed, 13 usable pairs were identified among the responses. The results indicate overlap of services as the school psychologists and elementary school counselors rated four of the same functions within the top five for their respective professions. The results also indicate a lack of understanding between the two groups in relation to each other's roles. The correlations between pair members ranking functions for the same profession were generally very weak ranging from .01 to .73. There only four of the total 26 correlations which were above .SO and therefore considered moderately strong. Finally, the results indicated diversity within both professions in relation to their own roles as well as the role of the other professional. The study represents a new method of exploring the roles and functions of the school professionals in relation to one another. The use of matched pairs of subjects is unique in the research of roles and functions of school personnel. Further study is needed to establish the origins of, and specifics regarding, overlaps in service and misunderstanding that are occurring between these professional groups within the schools. Only with clearer understanding between the mental health professionals working within our schools can services become coordinated and therefore, less time consuming and less often duplicated.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Specialist in Education


Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations

First Advisor

Donald W. Schmits

Second Advisor

Lawrence L. Kavich

Third Advisor

Audrey L. Smith


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