Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education Policy, Planning, and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Merry Staulters, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Colleen Commisso, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Colleen Penzone, Ed.D.


This mixed-methods study followed an exploratory sequential methodology to study pressures placed upon school psychologists to engage in unethical practices and the outcomes associated with those experiences. The participants, 27 school psychologists from Pennsylvania, completed a questionnaire focused on the pressure to engage in unethical practices and related outcomes. Ten of those participants were selected for an interview that focused on administrative pressure related to the Social Justice Theory. Findings show that pressure to engage in unethical practice continues to be a problem in the field of school psychology and that school psychologists experience repercussions as a result of advocating on behalf of marginalized students. This research contributes to the literature on the pressure to engage in unethical practice, additional pressures related to Covid-19, and to the relatively new area of research involving Social Justice Theory as it applies to school psychology. Several recommendations applicable for school psychology training programs, school districts, and administrative training programs have also been provided.

Keywords: Social Justice Theory, marginalized students