Publication Date


DOI (Digital Object Identifier)



Leadership and Higher Education


Doctor of Education (Ed.D)

Dissertation Chair

Ronald Morgan

Committee Members

Philip Mirci

Rod Goodyear


philosophy, religion and theology; education; California; code of ethics; educational justice; educational psychologists; ethic of advocacy; ethic of presence; focus group on accountability; licensed ed psychologists


Educational Leadership | Educational Psychology


This study utilized a simple descriptive survey that collected narrative responses relating to ethical dilemmas encountered in the practice of educational psychology, and the use of and helpfulness of existing ethics codes for the profession.

The 28 respondents frequently described dilemmas related to fiscal or policy limitations, competing priorities or interests, disagreements with colleagues, compliance issues, and competing responsibilities to various clients. Issues pertinent to independent practice also were mentioned, such as private evaluation of a child within the employing district's geographical boundaries. Participant narrative responses to the open-ended ethics question were reviewed and then categorized into "Underlying Moral Principles for a California Code of Ethics."

The survey responses suggest that there is an actual or perceived gap in the information available to guide California's Licensed Educational Psychologists (LEPs) in ethical decision-making. This establishes the need for a problem-solving model that addresses California's cultural, linguistic and social diversity, its laws, and the impact of dwindling funding on schools, students, and practitioners. A code of ethics designed for California's LEPs would help to fill any such gaps and provide guidance that fits California's regulatory structure as well as its population's specific needs.


© 2011 Julia Marty Johnson

All Rights Reserved

ISBN: 9781267331908