Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP

First Advisor

Christina Esposito, Psy.D., Chairperson

Second Advisor

Ray Christner, Psy.D.

Third Advisor

Barbara Williams, Ph.D.


Children who have chronic medical illnesses must rely on their families and schools to create an environment that allows goals in the areas of development, of academic, social, familial and life-skills to be individualized to accommodate the capabilities of each child. School psychologists are an essential part of blending a child’s needs and academic fit. Although school psychologists receive some training in child psychopathology, they lack the necessary training in the areas of acute and chronic illness, in order to work with the health care system and to collaborate with pediatricians. The emergence of the field of Pediatric Psychology in 1995, however, is developing and educating psychologists, who now possess the medical knowledge to work with children who have chronic health issues. There were 469 school psychologists surveyed about their knowledge and attitudes regarding children with chronic illness, and the results of the study revealed that school psychologists have not only limited knowledge of children with chronic health issues, but also negative attitudes towards this sample of children. School psychologists, who received their certification after 1995, possessed more knowledge and more favorable attitudes regarding these children than did school psychologists, who received their certification prior to 1995. Limitations of the study and directions for future research are also addressed.