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


Document Type


Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Deborah Kipps-Vaughan

Tammy Gilligan

Michele Kielty


Substance use has the potential to impact a student’s academic success; however, school counselors are in a position to intervene and provide support to these students to potentially mitigate the impact of the students’ use. Research shows that school-based interventions are effective in reducing substance use, but school counselors may not feel clinically prepared to provide these services. A random sample of school counselors in the state of Virginia practicing at the middle and high school level completed a survey regarding their feelings and perceptions of substance use intervention and support, including their self-efficacy to provide services, level of training, and views of the need within their schools. The data were compared to results from research conducted by Dassira (2019) investigating substance use intervention and support of school psychologists practicing in Virginia. Data suggests that despite graduate training in substance use intervention, the majority of school counselors do not feel prepared to intervene with students. The majority of participants also see a need in their schools for increased services, and do believe providing interventions is in their role as a school counselor. The results support increasing substance use screening and intervention in schools, as well as promoting increased training and collaboration between school professionals.



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