School psychologists' sense of efficacy for consultation

Meaghan Curran Guiney, Fordham University


A measure was created and validated to assess school psychologists' perceptions of self-efficacy for school-based consultation. While consultation is generally recognized as an efficient and effective method of service delivery and psychologists consistently report a desire to engage in more of it, psychoeducational assessment activities continue to dominate psychologists' time and efforts. The development of a consultation efficacy scale enables exploration of the role played by efficacy perceptions in this trend. For example, as self-efficacy theory states that efficacy perceptions impact choices, effort, and emotions, it is possible that psychologists' feelings of efficacy affect the extent to which they approach or avoid consultation opportunities. Initial development of the scale consisted of the creation of a pool of items that reflected six domains of consultation suggested by the literature and professional training standards on consultation: self-related competencies, interpersonal skills, communication skills, knowledge of the consultation process, intervention knowledge and skills, and cultural competence. Items were revised after being reviewed and critiqued by school-based consultation experts, resulting in a 74-item measure that was piloted with a sample of 92 school psychology graduate students. This initial measure demonstrated high internal consistency reliability (α = .99) and test-retest reliability (r = .92). Subscale reliabilities ranged from α = .81 to α = .98. The scale demonstrated discriminant validity, as significant differences in mean efficacy scores were found between groups of students with different degrees of consultation knowledge and training. Item analyses resulted in a 56-item revised version of the consultation efficacy scale that was administered during a validation study with 347 practicing school psychologists. Exploratory factor analysis indicated a seven-factor structure of consultation efficacy that supported the hypothesized six-factor structure, as two factors appeared to reflect distinct domains of intervention knowledge: (a) intervention planning/selection and (b) intervention monitoring/data collection. Confirmatory factor analysis suggested an adequate for this model. Efficacy scores correlated significantly with psychologists' perceptions of their ability to respond to hypothetical consultation referral problems as well as with additional validity measures assessing affect, anxiety, and social desirability.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Psychology

Recommended Citation

Guiney, Meaghan Curran, "School psychologists' sense of efficacy for consultation" (2010). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3407463.