Preferred Name

Futcher, Alexa

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Date of Graduation

Summer 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Ashton Trice

Patricia Warner

Deborah Bandalos


The special education process typically involves the school psychologist, parents, and other members of the school staff. Prior to the first meeting, school psychologists know very little about the parents coming to the table. In order to better understand the style in which parents operate, a brief survey tool was created. Using Baumrind’s three parenting style prototypes and input from school psychologists, 55 items were created and 3 new groups of parent behavior were proposed: warmth, flexibility, and involvement. Nine school psychologists from a school district in Central Virginia vetted the questions based on their usefulness and group they related to. Out of the initial 55 items, 6 items were chosen for the final survey form, two items for each group. Parents were then asked to fill out the final survey form before a meeting with a school psychologist. The school psychologist was then instructed to provide open-ended responses of their perceptions of the parent after the meeting. The parent self-reported ratings were compared to the school psychologists’ responses using a thematic analysis process. Themes between responses were identified, but no validity was established for any of the three groups. Specifically, the survey form was not able to accurately identify high, moderate, or low levels of warmth, flexibility, and involvement within a parent.