Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Dodie Limberg


This dissertation contains two studies that examine family therapy services within public schools related to behavioral or discipline concerns. Both studies stem from an ecological and family systems theoretical framework in examining relationships between the student, family, and school systems. The first study is a scoping review on family therapy within a school context related to a behavioral or discipline concern and provided by a clinical mental health counselor or family therapist. This scoping review summarized both empirical and conceptual literature by type and degree of school context, type of behavioral issue addressed, interventions, and outcomes measured or contributions. The second study explored the relationships between discipline risk as determined by a predictive analytics program of students recommended for expulsion who were also referred to a family therapy program within a school district during the 2021-2022 school year. The second study also explored if there is a relationship between student characteristics and service utilization of family therapy services required by the district as a component to disciplinary processes. Both studies have implications for school officials and educators, family therapy providers, and counselor educators to inform policy, program and intervention implementation, training, and research.


© 2023, Cara Melinda Thompson