Advocating for Social Justice: The Context for Change in School Psychology

By Rogers, Margaret R.; O'Bryon, Elisabeth C. | School Psychology Review, December 2008 | Go to article overview

Advocating for Social Justice: The Context for Change in School Psychology


Rogers, Margaret R., O'Bryon, Elisabeth C., School Psychology Review


Inequities and disparities abound in U.S. society. In the same job, a woman earns about 76 cents for every dollar earned by a man, a gain of about 4 cents over the past 10 years. In the private sector at the highest levels of occupational attainment (e.g., actuaries, attorneys, financial planners, physicians), African American men earn substantially less than do their White counterparts (Grodsky & Pager, 2001). Two adult heterosexuals can marry legally anywhere in the country, affording them over a thousand federal-level rights and benefits (Wolfson, 2004), but gay couples can marry or have civil unions recognized in only a limited number of states and same-sex couple rights in those states continue to be hotly contested. Across the country, minorities of color must contend with racial profiling, are more likely than Whites to be denied a mortgage, are less likely to have health insurance, and depending on the minority group are more likely to experience a host of serious illnesses including heart disease, strokes, cancer, and asthma (Smedley, Stith, & Nelson, 2003). In 2001 the report "Mental Health: Culture, Race, and Ethnicity--A Supplement to Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General" (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2001) recorded the existence of disparities for racial and ethnic group members in access to psychological services, quality of care and clinician responsiveness, and barriers to services. Day in and day out, inequities and disparities affect public health and the quality of life for all concerned.

For children and adolescents, there are other discouraging truths. Newspaper reports document a multitude of hate crimes because of a victim's gender, skin color, sexual orientation, or other social marker. African American males are overrepresented in the juvenile justice system at each stage within the system from offenses reported, to arrests, to confinement (U.S. Department of Justice, 1999). About 18% of all children and youth currently live in poverty and without health insurance (U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Reports, 2007). The consequences of living in poverty span all major domains of functioning, increasing children's risk psychosocially (e.g., greater exposure to aggressive peers, smaller social networks, less cognitive stimulation and more television at home), physically (e.g., overcrowded and pest-infested homes, inadequate heating, limited green space), environmentally (e.g., elevated exposure to poor air quality, environmental toxins, noise pollution), and educationally (e.g., exposure to high teacher turnover, less parental involvement in schooling, access to fewer books and computers; Evans, 2004). The health consequences for children living in poverty are significant, with high rates of upper respiratory diseases, poor dental health, low birth weights, and high infant mortality, among other problems (Evans, 2004; Giscombe & Lobel, 2005).

In the schools, marginalized youngsters experience an array of inequities. Children with disabilities are more likely to experience social ostracism than are their nondisabled peers, and face an unemployment rate of 62% as adults (National Council on Disability, 2008). African American and Native American Indian children are disproportionately represented in special education referrals and placements. Students of color generally face more severe consequences in response to misbehaviors in the schools than are White children. Morrison and D'Incau (1997) found that when children of color committed minor infractions at school, they were judged more harshly and were more likely to be expelled from school than when White students committed the same infractions. The U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (2000), reports that African American boys are about twice as likely to be suspended from school as are White boys. African Americans, Latinos, and boys experience elevated rates of grade retention (National Association of School Psychologists [NASP], 2003), and longitudinal research has shown that grade retention is the strongest predictor of dropping out of school (Gold-schmidt & Wang, 1999). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Advocating for Social Justice: The Context for Change in School Psychology
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.