Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology


School Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (xii, 159 pages)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

David Yun Dai

Committee Members

Stacy Williams


Gifted children, School psychologists

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Psychology | Psychology


School psychologists are comprehensive service providers asked to help with all students in assessing their needs, providing intervention strategies, and consulting with others. However, the role of school psychologists in gifted education is unclear, as more attention is given to students perceived to be disadvantaged. This underserved population experiences a wide-range of challenges that can be assisted by school psychologists (Brown, 1982; E.L. Robinson, 2002). To date, there has been no study to investigate school psychologists' awareness, perceptions, and involvement in gifted education. This study assessed potential service delivery differences in gifted education, examined current practices and awareness of related policies, evaluated the knowledge of school psychologists in regards to gifted students and their education, and examined perceived needs in order to best service gifted students. An online survey was developed and distributed to psychologists in the two states: New Jersey, a state where gifted education is mandated and New York, a state where gifted education is not mandated. A total of 291 surveys were used in data analysis. Findings suggest that school psychologists in this study hold a more liberal view of the term giftedness, even though it appears that only a small percentage of students are serviced in gifted programs. Results also revealed various needs with implications for training and practice. Most school psychologists reported not having received any training in gifted education and desire to learn more about gifted learners and ways to service this population. Furthermore, questions regarding state mandates on gifted education showed that school psychologists practicing in New York were more likely to work with gifted students than school psychologists practicing in New Jersey. When school psychologists in this study engaged in gifted education related activities, they did in a number of areas of practice such as assessment, counseling, Response to Intervention, and consultation. School psychologists' report of ideal assessment practices differed from their current practices. When compared to their familiarity with service models for gifted education, school psychologists reported use of strategies was relatively low. On items investigating perceptions of gifted students, school psychologists demonstrated awareness of some myths and facts. However, they lacked knowledge on some gifted characteristics, creativity assessment, and accelerated options. Based on the findings from this study, it appears that school psychologists are an untapped resource in the service of gifted students. This study highlights areas of needed training, which may help increase services for this population. The increased literature in the field may raise awareness of this population and their needs.