The training and practice of early childhood school psychologists in New York state

Neena B Kumar, Pace University


Early childhood intervention typically leads to long-term social and academic gains. School psychologists, who generally have training in child development, family therapy, collaboration, and systems management, are in a unique position to provide early childhood services. However, few graduate programs provide specific training tracks in early childhood assessment, consultation, and intervention. Additionally, little research has been conducted on the training and practice of early childhood school psychologists. Knowledge of the training and practice of these professionals is essential so that individuals and organizations may represent and advance the field. In response to the need for practice and training data, the Infant and Early Childhood Psychology Survey was created by the New York Association of Early Childhood and Infant Psychologists (NYAECIP), and mailed to all members of the New York Association of School Psychologists (NYASP) and New York members of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). The survey asked for responses to 34 items related to demographic characteristics (e.g., age, gender, ethnicity, highest degree), practice characteristics (e.g., location of practice, percentage of time spent working with young children and families, services offered, measures used), early childhood training (e.g., early childhood development, assessment, intervention), consultation/collaboration, and continuing education. Responses from 214 school psychologists were analyzed. The results of demographic, training and practice analyses are presented. Early childhood school psychologists tend to provide more services for preschoolers than for toddlers, with infants being the population served least frequently. Generally, early childhood school psychologists provide assessment more often than consultation or intervention services. The most frequently served groups, in order, are those with developmental disabilities, cognitive impairments, pervasive developmental disorders, and children at risk due to environmental conditions. Psychologists who provide services to young children, nonetheless spend the majority of their time, in general, working with older children and adolescents. Most early childhood school psychologists received their training in early childhood development, assessment and intervention after graduate school. Implications for the training and practice of school psychologists are discussed.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Preschool education

Recommended Citation

Kumar, Neena B, "The training and practice of early childhood school psychologists in New York state" (2003). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI3069568.



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