INTERPROFESSIONAL PERCEPTIONS AND VERBAL INTERACTION DURING MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAM STAFF CONFERENCES

MARK FRANCIS CORSO, Fordham University

Abstract

One of the mandates of PL 94-142, the Education of Handicapped Children Act of 1975, is that children be evaluated by a multidisciplinary team for determination of handicapping condition. There are few studies, however, that investigate the workings of the team as it goes about this task. The present study involved the tape recording of child study team case conferences which were scored by Bales' SYMLOG method. The team members were also administered the Interprofessional Perception Scales developed by Golin and Ducanis (1981) which determined if team members held different perceptions than their colleagues on a number of professional issues.^ It was hypothesized that teams that held perceptions of items in consonance (i.e., Accord, Agreement, and Understanding) would have better patterns of communication as determined from SYMLOG (friendly, instrumentally controlled, and dominant) than teams which held dissonance on interprofessional perceptions. It was found that when teams perceived themselves in harmony on the scale of items of a professional nature at the direct perception level, the content of the staffings showed significance with regard to friendly comments.^ Individual items from the IPS were also found to correlate with style of staffing. At Level I, the direct perception level, the items of "trust of other team members' professional judgments," and a lack of "defensiveness about one's professional prerogatives" were the items which strongly correlated with the friendly dimension. In addition, the item of "having good relations with other professions" was significantly correlated with the instrumentally controlled dimension of SYMLOG.^ At Level II, where team members predicted whether their colleagues would agree or disagree with their evaluation of items, it was found that as there was greater disagreement on the perception of "utilization of skills of colleagues," more instrumentally controlled comments were made at team staffings.^ After supplemental analyses of dialogue content, it was concluded that communication during team staff conferences was highly task oriented with data presented in a dogmatic manner and strong independence of disciplines maintained with style of interaction more influenced than quality of decision making. ^

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Special education

Recommended Citation

CORSO, MARK FRANCIS, "INTERPROFESSIONAL PERCEPTIONS AND VERBAL INTERACTION DURING MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAM STAFF CONFERENCES" (1987). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8715794.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8715794

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