School psychology interns’ characterizations of family–school partnerships

Olivia R. Soutullo, Stephanie C. Sanders-Smith, Tina M. Smith-Bonahue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


School psychologists are encouraged to establish family–school partnerships with culturally and linguistically diverse families across the spectrum of child development. Partnerships and collaborations have been described in prior literature as bidirectional, nonhierarchical relationships between families and schools, expanding on the more traditional but limited concept of unidirectional parent involvement in school. This qualitative study describes five specialist-level school psychology interns’ experiences facilitating family–school partnerships with culturally diverse families during their internship year. Findings focus on defining and identifying characteristics of family–school partnerships from interns’ recollections of their lived experiences. Five salient elements characterized the practical experience of a partnership: requisite situations for partnering, stakeholder involvement, intern's actions, intern's emotional responses, and the outcome or quality of the family–school partnership. These findings have implications for the training of school psychologists and the ways that family–school interactions are conceptualized both in training programs and in school settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)690-701
Number of pages12
JournalPsychology in the Schools
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019


  • family–school partnerships
  • home–school collaboration
  • school psychology professional development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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