Problem analysis: Examining the selection and evaluation of data during problem-solving consultation



The purpose of this study was to analyze how school psychologists engaged in problem analysis during problem-solving consultation. Five aspects of the problem analysis process were examined: 1) the types of questions participants asked during problem identification, 2) the types of data participants requested, 3) the frequency of requests for each type of data, 4) the use of multiple methods and sources of data across multiple domains, and 5) the criteria used to interpret the data. Four school psychologists were recruited to each complete three fictional consultation cases within a computer-simulated environment. A qualitative case study method was used. The results of this study revealed how school psychologists used theory, a multidimensional assessment framework, and self-referent data to analyze a problem. Implications for future research are discussed. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.