Researching Interpersonal Influence Within School Consultation

Social Power Base and Relational Communication Perspectives

Authored by: William P. Erchul , Priscilla F. Grissom , Kimberly C. Getty , Megan S. Bennett

Handbook of Research in School Consultation

Print publication date:  April  2014
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415501200
eBook ISBN: 9780203133170
Adobe ISBN: 9781136478444


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The idea that it is not only feasible but also often advisable to view school consultation as an interpersonal influence process has gained acceptance over the past three decades. Discussions of social power and interpersonal influence within school psychology (e.g., Hughes, 1992; Lambert, 1973; Martin, 1978) have led to the empirical study of these phenomena within school consultation (e.g., Erchul, 1987; Getty & Erchul, 2009; Martens, Kelly, & Diskin, 1996). Visibly linked to the emergence of this line of research has been the advancement of the Paradox of School Psychology, which contends that school psychologists must focus their attention and professional expertise primarily on adults in order to serve children and adolescents most effectively (Conoley & Gutkin, 1986; Gutkin & Conoley, 1990). Working with other adults to deliver psychological services in schools requires a careful consideration of social psychological and organizational factors and, in particular, interpersonal influence processes because “effective indirect service … depend[s] to a large extent on psychologists’ abilities to influence the behavior of third-party adults” (Conoley & Gutkin, 1986, p. 403).

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