Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling and Psychological Services

First Advisor

Andrew T. Roach, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Claire Donehower, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Joel Meyers, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Emily Graybill, Ph.D.


The first chapter of this dissertation reports the results of a review of the practice and application of social validity assessments in SCD studies within the field of school psychology. Adopting similar procedures described in the Snodgrass et al. (2018) analysis, this review systematically investigated the extent to which social validity was evaluated in school psychology SCD studies, the characteristics of social validity assessments, the prevalence of assessing total construct social validity (i.e., goals, procedures, and outcomes), and the extent to which social validity findings were integrated with visual analyses to form conclusions about interventions. Although the content analysis revealed several encouraging aspects of the current state of social validity assessment, the majority of the findings suggested that there was still much to be done to advance the rigor of social validity practice.

The second chapter reports the findings of a mixed-method study that utilized an alternating treatments design to investigate the effects of McCallum and colleagues' (2011) Ask-Read-Tell (ART) procedure on the reading comprehension of three fourth-graders with a learning disability in reading. Three conditions were used as the independent variable: (1) Control (baseline) condition in which students did not use any prescribed strategies while reading, (2) ART Condition: Students used the three-step ART procedure, and (3) ART + PD (Peer Discussion) Condition: Students used the ART sequence followed by a discussion of text with peers. Dependent variables included students’ reading comprehension level (%C) and rate (%C/M) as measured by students’ comprehension performances on 400-word expository passages. Both interventions had positive effects on reading performance as compared to the baseline for all three participants. Results indicated that ART+PD led to the greatest gains in rate and level for two participants, while ART resulted in greater gains for the third participant who presented with significant inattention and distractibility. Finally, quantitative KIP and qualitative social validity data indicated that participants perceived the interventions as enjoyable, effective in improving their understanding of text, beneficial when doing schoolwork, and relevant in helping them achieve reading goals. By situating students as the primary respondents, the researcher hoped to underscore the importance of considering students’ voices in determining the social validation of intervention effects.


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