Date of Award:

1976

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

William R. Dobson

Abstract

Biasing effects in labeling and recommendations for educational services when factors of socio-economic status and age are manipulated were studied using 50 certified school psychologists in Utah. Subjects received case report information about IQ, behavior and achievement which described a school child in need of services within one of four conditions, Age 7 Socioeconomic status (SES) High, Age 7 SES Low, Age 13 SES High, and Age 13 SES Low. Other potentially biasing variables such as ethnic background, and sex were held constant. No evidence of bias could be found when dependent measures of labeling, recommendations for educational services, and perceived deficiency were used, although the school psychologists indicated they perceived that the child had a significant problem.

The implications of these results were discussed in terms of training factors, the relationship between recommendations and actual services school districts may provide, other true causative biasing variables, and experimental methodology.

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