posted on 2022-02-07, 18:37authored byVictor A. Lugo, Carla Wood, Kelly Farquharson
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate advocacy engagement and self-efficacy of school-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and their perceptions of key issues in education and challenges to advocacy.
Method: A 75-item survey was used to solicit information about advocacy-related experiences of 194 school-based SLPs. The survey included subsections on advocacy engagement, identity, training, and self-efficacy and solicited open-ended responses regarding perceived issues and hindrances.
Results: Results demonstrated low percentages of respondents had received training in advocacy (15%) and participated in an event (14%). A high percentage of respondents (45%) reported feeling ill-equipped to advocate but viewed their role as advocates to be important. Overall, respondents self-rated as moderately efficacious advocates. Age and perceived advocacy importance were significant predictors of self-efficacy. Frequently cited issues in education included lack of resources and support for educators and students, teachers’ rights, and mental health. Common challenges to advocacy included time constraints, lack of knowledge and support, and fear of retaliation.
Conclusions: Based on reported challenges to advocacy, more research is necessary to further investigate the extent these factors influence engagement and self-efficacy. As SLPs in this study viewed their advocacy role to be important but perceived themselves to be unprepared, additional training and professional development opportunities could support the degree to which SLPs engage in advocacy and perceive themselves to be effective advocates.
Supplemental Material S1. Advocacy engagement and self-efficacy survey items.
Supplemental Material S2. Distribution of responses on questions related to self-efficacy.
Lugo, V. A., Wood, C., & Farquharson, K. (2022). Advocacy engagement and self-efficacy of school-based speech-language pathologists. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2021_LSHSS-21-00137
Research reported in this article was supported by Grant H325D190011, funded by the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education.