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Date of Award


Access Type

Campus Access

Document type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Education; School Psychology

First Advisor

John M. Hintze

Second Advisor

William J. Matthews

Third Advisor

Lisa M. Wexler

Subject Categories

Curriculum and Instruction | Elementary Education and Teaching


While there is preliminary evidence supporting the use of collaborative problem solving teams in schools (e.g., Telzrow, McNamara, & Hollinger, 2000) only a few outcome measures have been explored in relation to these procedures, and the results have been inconsistently demonstrated across projects (Burns & Symington, 2002). Additionally, it has been found that many school teams are inconsistent in their implementation of quality consultation procedures (e.g., Doll et al., 2005). Unfortunately the positive outcomes that have been associated with collaborative problem solving teams cannot be implied in practice until there is evidence that these procedures can be incorporated into real life situations (Telzrow et al., 2000). This research utilized an explanatory case study design to investigate the factors that contribute to quality team consultation procedures in applied settings. The analysis of the permanent products of cases seen by three Instructional Support Teams (IST) during the 2006-2007 school year, revealed that on average IST's were able to implement five out of seven problem solving steps with fidelity. There was little evidence to confirm that teams provided detailed information on interventions that were implemented, or that treatment integrity data were collected regularly. Higher rates of implementation were found to be weakly associated with both greater goal attainment (r=.203, p=.044) and fewer referrals to special education (r=.230, p=.025). A comparison of mean implementation rates between academic and behavioral problems also indicated that teams implemented the process with greater fidelity when working on academic concerns (t (97) =3.387, p=.001). Focus group discussions revealed that team members and teaching staff considered the IST process to be more effective in addressing academic rather than behavioral problems. IST members identified the following factors as contributing to the success of their teams: administrative support, intervention support provided by specialists and Title 1 staff, participation of experts on teams, and teachers' attitudes. Teachers and IST members identified time and scheduling to be the most significant barrier associated with the IST process. The supports and barriers to the IST process were interpreted in the context of the studies limitations, and presented with implications for practice and future research.