Category: Dissemination / Implementation

Symposium

A Meta-Analysis of School-Personnel Delivered Mental Health Services

Friday, November 17
10:15 AM - 11:45 AM
Location: Aqua 310, Level 3, Aqua Level

Keywords: Child | School | Psychotherapy Outcome
Presentation Type: Symposium

Among youth in need of mental health intervention, only about 36-44% receive necessary care (Merikangas, et al., 2011; Olfson, Druss, M.D., &. Marcus, 2015). With 75% of these youth receiving interventions in school-based settings (Farmer, et al., 2003), educators and school staff have quickly become leading frontline mental health service providers. As a result, implementation research evaluating the effectiveness of school-based mental health programs holds substantial implications for understanding the quality and potential of services received by the majority of treated youth. Unfortunately, while the value of providing mental heath services in schools is apparent, there is still not a clear understanding of the effectiveness of mental health services delivered primarily by school personnel (Rones & Hoagwood, 2000). Moreover, the effectiveness of school-based interventions at different levels of Response to Intervention (RTI; a leading public health-based approach to providing emotional and behavioral support to school children through universal prevention, selective prevention and targeted intervention) is also understudied.


The current meta-analysis assessed the effectiveness of services overall, at different levels of RTI, and for internalizing and externalizing problems separately. We used random-effects meta-analytic procedures to quantitatively evaluate the overall effect of mental health services delivered by school personnel on youth mental health problems, as well as potential moderators of treatment response. Forty-three controlled trials evaluating 49,260 elementary school-aged children met selection criteria (mean sample grade=2.86, 60.32% male, 52.22% minority youth). Overall school-based services delivered by school personnel demonstrated a small-to-medium effect (Hedges’ g=.39) for reducing mental health problems, with the largest effects found for targeted interventions (Hedges’ g=.76), followed by selective prevention (Hedges’ g=.67), and then universal prevention (Hedges’ g=.29). Across trials, services targeting externalizing problems had medium effects (Hedges’ g=.49) and those targeting internalizing problems had small effects (Hedges’ g=.29). Moderators such as SES, ethnicity and mean grade were also assessed. Findings will be discussed in terms of understanding which youth respond best to which school-based mental health problems when delivered by school-based personnel.

Amanda L. Sanchez

Doctoral Student
Florida International University

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Danielle Cornacchio

Doctoral Student
Florida International University

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Bridget Poznanski

Doctoral Student
Florida International University

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Alexandra M. Golik

Research Coordinator
Florida International University

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Tommy Chou

Doctoral Student in Clinical Psychology
Florida International University

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Jonathan S. Comer

Director of the Mental Health Interventions and Technology (MINT) Program; Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry
Florida International University

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