Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling and Psychological Services

First Advisor

Andrew T. Roach, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Joel P. Meyers, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Catherine A. Perkins, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Natalie S. King, Ph.D.


Racial disciplinary disproportionality (RDD) is a well-documented and long-standing problem in education. Given the historic and systemic nature of racial bias in America, the trend of RDD in education is particularly troubling as it mirrors the practices of the criminal justice system and contributes to the school-to-prison pipeline. Studies have examined the roles and experiences of teachers, administrators, students, and parents as they navigate RDD. However, few studies examine the roles and experiences of school mental health professionals regarding inequitable disciplinary practices. Specifically, the experiences of Black school psychologists as they encounter RDD has been unexplored. Black school psychologists have a unique position and responsibilities regarding RDD given their identities as Black people, mental health professionals, and school personnel. Chapter one of this dissertation employs a scoping review to establish the need for research in this area. Chapter two uses Consensual Qualitative Research (CQR) (Hill & Knox, 2021) to explore how Black school psychologists (n = 13) report experiencing RDD in their work contests. Participants fell into several themes within seven distinct domains. Overall, interviewees identified specific causes and impacts of RDD, discussed district-led and individual-led efforts to address RDD, identified benefits and challenges related to how their Black identity in addressing RDD, and offered suggestions to districts and to future Black school psychologists when addressing RDD. Results of this study lend support for districts to develop and clarify plans to address RDD, practitioners’ use of cultural knowledge when approaching RDD, efforts to mitigate potential stress and burnout among Black school psychologists, and professional advocacy for students who experience RDD.


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Available for download on Saturday, December 06, 2025