Role perceptions of school mental health personnel: Their unique and overlapping functions
Agresta, Jacqueline Marie
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This study explores the relationships among school social workers, school psychologists and school counselors in relation to the services each provides to students, their unique and overlapping roles, turf conflict, collaboration, and job satisfaction. Data was gathered through the use of a survey which was distributed nationwide to members of three professional organizations (ASCA, NASP, SSWAA). Four hundred eighty-six (486) of the 1200 surveys were returned and used for the findings of this study.;The findings of this study indicated that there was less role overlap and competition between the three professions than anticipated. Three roles were commonly agreed upon as being most appropriate for each professional group as follows: the role of psychometric testing for the psychologist; the role of community outreach for the social worker; and the role of academic advisement for the counselor. All three professions indicated that they would prefer increasing the amount of time they spend on individual and group counseling.;As expected, a negative relationship was found between role discrepancy and job satisfaction. A negative relationship was also found between years of experience and role discrepancy and between the level of education and role discrepancy. Unexpected findings indicated that female professionals experienced more role discrepancy than males and school social workers did the majority of crisis work in schools. Additional unexpected findings indicated that collaboration and competition are not related except in the case of school psychologists who experienced an increase in competitiveness with social workers when collaboration was increased.;This study can potentially influence public policy, hiring practices for schools, government grants/funding and the education of future school psychologists, school social workers, and school counselors.