Theses and Dissertations


Umbreen Iqbal

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Henington, Carlen

Committee Member

McCleon, Tawny E.

Committee Member

Gadke, Daniel L.

Committee Member

Devlin, Sandy

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible to MSU only for 3 years

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Educational Psychology

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Foundations


Ethical standards and principals are one of the most significant part of any professional field. Being an applied practice field, the application of ethical codes and conduct is a critical component for school psychologists. There have been numerous research studies on ethical decision making and ethical dilemmas in many applied fields to help update the ethics principles and codes, same is the case for the field of School Psychology (APA, 2017; NASP, 2010). The purpose of this study was to examine school psychologists’ professional characteristics with regards to managing critical incidents that pose potential ethical violations. An additional purpose was to investigate if the school psychologists’ ratings on the categories including experience, violation, harm, and legality would be able to predict the level of difficulty in solving an ethical dilemma. The perceptions of psychologists towards various ethical dilemmas have previously been studied by Pope and colleagues (1987), and the level of complexity of ethical incidents and their solution has been proposed by Bailey and Burch (2016) in a model for behavior analysts. The current study aimed to adapt the Pope and colleagues’ (1987) research study and modify it to apply for the field of school psychology and investigate if the Bailey and Burch (2016) model can be applicable for school psychologists as well. The results of the study indicate that the ratings of school psychologists on the scales of Personal Experience, Ethical Violation, Probability of Harm and Legal Implications was able to predict the Ease of Solution for a given critical incident. In addition, the ratings on the scale of Probability of Harm was significantly able to predict how easy it would be to resolve a particular dilemma for a practitioner in the field of school psychology.



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