Diversity and Disability: Examining the Behavioral Referral Pipeline

This session is from the NASP 2021 Annual Convention

  • PMD: 8
  • Skill Level: Introduction
  • Session 3: Promoting Diversity and Multicultural Competence in School Psychology

Learner Objectives

This session will help participants…

  1. describe how the issue of disproportionality in the special education referral system impacts educational attainment.
  2. demonstrate knowledge of how a teacher's self-efficacy can predict referral chances for culturally diverse students with behavior concerns.
  3. assess the degree to which they can positively impact teacher-efficacy allowing the teacher to increase their competency in working with a range of students.


Teachers play a crucial role in the special education process, making their self-efficacy in working with diverse students an important factor to consider as it may affect referral practices. Through survey and case scenario data, this study aims to understand how a teacher’s self-efficacy best predicts referral chances for diverse students with behavioral concerns. Based on the results, school psychologists can inform best referral practices to address disproportionality and relations with students from diverse backgrounds.



Chaselyn C. Miller, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
Daniel M. Hyson, PhD, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse


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