Counselor Education and Human Services
School psychologists are increasingly called on to consult with teachers and parents regarding students with anxiety. Unfortunately, and despite increased incidence of child and adolescent anxiety, the mental health needs of school-age youth exceed available resources in a school. To promote effective and sustainable school-based intervention models for youth with anxiety, increased focus on indirect service delivery models are warranted. This study examined school psychology practitioners’ preparedness to respond to referrals for student anxiety through a consultation model of service delivery. A sample of (n = 231) practicing school psychologists were surveyed on their: a) knowledge of empirically supported intervention strategies for youth anxiety, b) consultation experience specific to anxiety referrals, and c) perceived self-efficacy to consult with parents and teachers when presented with an anxiety referral. Findings indicate participants do primarily use indirect consultation services to support students in their schools with anxiety, but across seven case scenarios, an overwhelming majority (~75%) reported feeling only "slightly confident" in their skills to consult with parents and teachers. Knowledge, overall, was fair, with participants demonstrating a lack of understanding of the important avoidance/approach dynamic in evidence-based strategies for anxiety. Implications for improving pre- and in-service school psychology training are discussed.
school psychologists, anxiety, consultation
Bernstein, Elana R., "Enhancing School Psychologists’ Consultation Skills to Support Students with Anxiety" (2023). Thomas C. Hunt Building a Research Community Day. 53.