A Commentary on What We Know

Process/Outcome Findings from Selected Research Perspectives

Authored by: Jeffery P. Braden

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 chapters in this section explore links between school-based consultation processes and student outcomes from three perspectives or inquiry areas: (a) multicultural aspects (Ingraham, this volume), (b) social power (Erchul, Grissom, Getty, & Bennett, this volume), and (c) treatment integrity (Noell & Gansle, this volume). Each of these areas has a rich literature within consultation research; however, the assumptions that drive those literatures vary markedly and, as a result, so do the conclusions drawn within each of these chapters. One conclusion shared among all three chapters is that our field knows less than it should about how consultation processes relate to student outcomes; all of them call for more research to better develop, test, and understand the consultation/student welfare link. How one might go about achieving such insights is, however, a matter of considerable debate that is not solely attributable to the different phenomena that drive each chapter. Rather, the fundamental assumptions behind each chapter drive the tools of inquiry to be used to achieve these insights, and what can be reasonably drawn from them. Presumably, all of the authors contributing to this section share the common goal of enhancing student welfare via consultation (a point to which I will return at the end of this commentary), and more broadly, enhancing the ability of mental health professionals to use consultation as a tool to enhance the well-being of consultees in a variety of areas (e.g., health settings, industry, government).

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