Building Theory and Promoting Basic Science in School Psychology Research

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Science is the foundation for school psychology practice and training, but school psychology is a new science. Theoretical and conceptual frameworks provide a structure to guide practices and solve problems and are important for educational innovations to have a lasting impact. This chapter describes the importance of theoretical implications within school psychological research, discusses what theoretically oriented research would look like, and outlines approaches to writing theoretical papers. It begins by arguing the importance of theory in research. The chapter also discusses how theory can be used to understand interventions and to apply them in different settings. It provides a discussion on research methods and ways to report research that have clear theoretical implications. The chapter discusses questions that address causal mechanisms, moderators, and theory-based modifications for new and existing practices. Researchers have investigated theoretically based intervention modifications to repeated reading for the purposes of enhancing generalization.



Publication Title

Publishing in School Psychology and Related Fields: An Insider's Guide