Date of Conferral



Doctor of Social Work (DSW)


Social Work


Mary Larscheid


School social workers employ a variety of interventions to meet the needs of students, staff, and families. Serving as the vital link between the school, student, and community, school social workers are well positioned for leadership opportunities. Yet, school social workers continue to be marginalized and under recognized for their leadership capabilities and unique contributions to interdisciplinary collaboration in the school setting. Informed by transformational leadership theory and self-efficacy theory, this study was conducted to examine the relationship between leadership self-efficacy and perceptions of interdisciplinary collaboration of school social workers as measured by the leader efficacy questionnaire and the index of interdisciplinary collaboration. For this quantitative, cross-sectional, email-based survey study with a correlational design, self-reported information was gathered from 144 school social workers representative of the 11 states involved in the Midwest School Social Work Council. A Pearson correlation found a statistically significant positive relationship between leadership and interdisciplinary collaboration. Findings from multiple linear regression revealed that, controlling for the effects of school social work experience, leadership was found to significantly predict interdisciplinary collaboration. Level of experience was not found to impact interdisciplinary collaboration. The results from this study contribute to the foundation of knowledge related to school social work leadership, having implications for social work education and social change. Furthermore, the results support the need for increased social work education and training related to leadership and interdisciplinary collaboration, specifically contextualized to school social work practice.

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Social Work Commons