Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology


School Psychology



First Advisor

Margaret R. Rogers


The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) is committed to supporting the academic, behavioral, social, and emotional needs of students from historically underserved and/or marginalized backgrounds. However, there continues to be a lack of attention given to U.S. Indigenous populations in the school psychology literature. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the training and professional practices of school psychologists serving U.S. Indigenous communities. Fifteen certified and/or licensed school psychologists practicing in a school setting with three or more years of experience serving high-density Indigenous school populations participated in the study. Qualitative methods were employed, and data were obtained through semi-structured interviews. Interviews were analyzed using manifest content analysis techniques.

The findings suggest that the role of school psychologists in the present sample was limited with a large focus on special education service delivery with assessment as a major responsibility. Participants engaged in varying levels of intervention, counseling, consultation, supervision, training and professional development, social justice-oriented advocacy, and research. Participants also held a number of additional demanding and time-intensive roles outside of school psychological service delivery. In addition to the systemic rewards and challenges typically faced by school psychologists, participants described distinctive cross-cultural rewards and challenges to providing comprehensive, integrated school psychological services to Indigenous students. With regard to training, participants reported insufficient preparation in graduate education and applied training for competent school psychological service delivery with Indigenous communities.

Opportunities to obtain Indigenous-specific content in continuing education experiences varied significantly across participants. Limitations of the study are presented. Implications for future research and school psychology practitioners in Indigenous communities are discussed.



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