Exploring Relational Communication Patterns in Preferral Intervention Teams

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Title: Exploring Relational Communication Patterns in Preferral Intervention Teams
Author: Bennett, Megan S
Advisors: William P Erchul, Committee Chair
Ann Schulte, Committee Member
Mary Haskett, Committee Member
Susan Osborne, Committee Member
Abstract: The purpose of this research was to understand the relational communication patterns that characterize school-based prereferral intervention teams (PITs). Prior research has suggested that although many states either require or recommend PITs, little is known about what occurs during PIT meetings (Truscott, Cohen, Sams, Sanborn, & Frank, 2005). A relational communication perspective emphasizes that within interpersonal interactions (such as those that occur in group-based situations), speakers are constantly redefining their roles, positions, and relationship through conversations (Erchul, Grissom, & Getty, 2008). A popular way of studying relational communication in dyadic or group situations is through coding systems such as the Family Relational Communication Control Coding System (FRCCCS; Heatherington & Friedlander, 1989). In this study, 15 PIT meetings were used as the basis of analyses and each meeting was audiotaped, transcribed, and coded using the FRCCCS. Additionally, each coder completed the PIT Meeting Evaluation Coding Sheet that assessed participants’ adherence to a traditional problem-solving framework. Important results included: (a) relatively consistent domineeringness (i.e., attempted influence) scores, with the exception of the referring teacher; (b) overall relatively consistent dominance (i.e., successful influence) scores; (b) significantly greater (p < .05) domineeringness by the school psychologist when compared to the referring teacher; and (c) no significant differences in dominance scores between the school psychologist and teacher. In sum, the current study represents an important first step in understanding communication patterns in school-based groups, which will continue to be important as schools transition to using response-to-intervention (RTI) models of service delivery.
Date: 2010-04-20
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Psychology
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/6265

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