Department of Educational Psychology


Document Type


Date of this Version

September 2000


Published in Journal of School Psychology 38 (2000), pp. 377–382. Copyright © 2000 Society for the Study of School Psychology. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. Used by permission.


School psychologists work in dynamic contexts, and the conceptual and empirical bases that shape and inform the field are broad and diverse. As a profession, school psychology is concerned with providing services to a broad constituency base, with children and youth at the center. Because the work of school psychologists concerns helping children, there is a huge professional and ethical responsibility to ensure that what we do or the treatments we recommend have the greatest potential to result in the greatest amount of good. It is therefore important to understand the extant intervention literature base including its conceptual underpinnings, data-based findings, and contexts to which results can be generalized to benefit the children we serve. Therein lie the strengths of the emerging literature on empirically supported treatments (ESTs). Hughes, in her article, “The Essential Role of Theory in the Science of Treating Children: Beyond Empirically Supported Treatments,” [this issue] raises a variety issues around ESTs that warrant consideration by theoreticians and empiricists alike. However, several issues can be raised as evidence of a need to refocus the discussion back to the science–practice link.