What about the 'R' in Riot?: A Comprehensive Examination of School Psychologists' Record Review Processes

Date of Award


Call Number


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


School Psychology

First Advisor

Wickerd, Garry Committee member

Second Advisor

Pratt, Jamie

Third Advisor

Wiley, Hilda


PsyD; File review; Psychoeducational; Record review; Report writing; School psychologist


The purpose of this dissertation is to describe a doctoral research study that comprehensively investigated school psychologists’ record review practices. Record reviews are part of the psychoeducational evaluation process, and there is relatively little previous research literature on this topic. The current study aimed to investigate the following areas within the scope of record reviews: specific records utilized, purposes behind the information gathered, when in the process the record review is conducted, time spent on record reviews, record review approaches, and the reasoning processes utilized. The survey was distributed to school psychologists across the United States via school psychology state associations and Facebook. Results were analyzed via measures of central tendency and dispersion, and revealed new insight into the current record review processes of school psychologists in the United States. Results indicated record reviews consume the second-most time out of the RIOT method process, and record reviews for behavioral/emotional referral concerns take the longest. Participants indicated using deductive reasoning during the record review, conduct the record review throughout the evaluation process as needed, and utilize the record review process to plan the assessment and uncover information about current and historical academic performance and service provision. Finally, participants indicated some records are core pieces of information for all types of evaluations and referrals, while some records are more relevant to certain types of referrals. Limitations of the study include respondent discontinuation of the survey, predetermined response options, and record review practices as reported, rather than as observed by the researchers. The results of this study have implications for future research on record reviews, trainers of school psychologists, and practicing school psychologists.