ROLE CONFLICT AND EFFECTIVENESS OF COMMITTEES ON THE HANDICAPPED
KIRSHENBAUM, GERALD BARRY
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The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between role conflict and perceived effectiveness among the three mandated members of Committees on the Handicapped in New York State public school districts: the school psychologist, the special education teacher/administrator and the parent of a handicapped child assigned to the committee. The study sought to answer the following questions: (1) Is there a significant negative correlation between role conflict among the three mandated COH members for each role assessed and each member's perceived effectiveness of his/her committee? (2) Are there significant differences between the correlations of role conflict among the mandated members of a COH with each member's perceived effectiveness of his/her committee for: diagnostic roles, remediation roles, service to the community roles, communication roles, research roles and final disposition roles?;The Role Perceptionnaire developed by Onnembo (1972) and amended by Kirshenbaum (1982) was the instrument used to assess role conflict. The Perceived Effectiveness Questionnaire developed by Edelstein and Kirshenbaum (1982) was the instrument used to assess perceived effectiveness of committees.;Four hundred sets of questionnaires were sent to public school districts in twenty-four counties in New York State. Only sixty-nine school districts returned completed questionnaires from all three mandated committee members. Correlations between role conflict and perceived effectiveness were determined using the Spearman Rank Order Correlation Coefficient.;The data obtained minimally supported the conjecture regarding the negative relationship between role conflict and perceived effectiveness and refuted the conjecture regarding significant differences between the correlation of role conflict and perceived effectiveness among mandated members of committees on the handicapped.;In addition, the data showed that role conflicts existed among the three mandated committee members for one-third of the role items examined. Future research should examine procedures that committees on the handicapped can utilize that will reduce role conflicts, counteract the leverage of select members and thus strengthen the overall function of each mandated committee member.
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