Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiThomaso, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Diane Smallwood, PsyD, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Barry Barbarasch, EdD

Third Advisor

Terri A Allen, PhD


School psychologists have a responsibility to be knowledgeable about and sensitive to the ethical principles and guidelines of professional conduct. This study sought to determine if there is a relationship between gender, race, age, dates and types of ethics training, number of years of experience, types of credentials and membership in professional school psychology organizations and school psychologists' knowledge and self-perceived skills regarding ethical practices in school psychology. School psychology graduate students and practicing school psychologists were invited to complete a survey that assessed their knowledge of ethical principles. Data also were collected regarding ethics training and ethical problem-solving practices. Analysis of survey data revealed no significant relationship between school psychologists’ gender or race and their knowledge of ethical principles. Similarly, there is no relationship between where school psychologists work and in what type of school/educational setting they practice and their knowledge of ethical principles. The data further suggest that activities in which professional school psychologists engage following certification are critical to their ability to maintain ethically sound professional practices. Specifically, those certified school psychologists who continue to engage in formal training in ethical principles once they are practicing in the field are more likely to be knowledgeable regarding ethical best practices when compared to their colleagues who do not pursue additional training. Similarly, findings revealed the incontrovertible positive impact of the NCSP credential on ethical knowledge, as certified school psychologists who hold the NCSP credential scored significantly higher when responding to the ethically challenging situations than their colleagues who did not hold the NCSP credential. Positive results were also noted with regard to the impact of membership in professional school psychology organizations on knowledge of ethical principles. Finally, the type of ethics training in which school psychology graduate students and certified school psychologists engage is also critical to the development of their knowledge of ethical principles. Study results revealed that the types of ethics training that appear to reap the greatest rewards in terms of acquisition of knowledge of ethical principles are those that are integrated into an internship experience and training that is provided via professional development workshops