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

Cara Meixner


Existing research on parent experiences in school-based problem-solving team meetings has focused on the special education process; however, the pre-referral process precedes this and may influence future collaborative efforts. This study investigates parents' experiences in pre-referral meetings and explores their perceptions of participation, factors influencing their involvement, and barriers they face. A convergent mixed methods approach was utilized to analyze parents’ quantitative and qualitative responses to an online survey; frequency of response to survey items and thematic analysis were used to present a holistic depiction of parents’ personal experiences. Results suggested that although parents report positive experiences within their meetings, factors were present that influenced their participation. Parents emphasized the importance of setting clear expectations, effective communication, and limiting technical jargon to enhance their engagement in pre-referral meetings. Connections between the current study and existing literature are made, implications for future research to address the limitations of this study are discussed, and recommendations for schools to promote effective collaboration and improve parent experiences in pre-referral meetings are provided.



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