Student Research 2010
2010 Research Grant Results
Name: Natalie Romer Enrulat
Title: Mental Health Screening within a Tiered Model: Investigation of a Brief Strength-Based Approach
Research Proposal: In the United States, approximately one in five children has a diagnosable mental health problem, and one in ten children experience problems so severe as to impact their daily functioning. Even more concerning is that less than half of these children diagnosed with a disorder receive the therapeutic services they require. As a result, schools often function as "de facto" mental health systems for children attempting to meet the mental health needs of students.
This is one of the first studies to investigate a solely strength-based approach to mental health screening based on a three-tiered model of service delivery. Strength-based assessment is an approach that addresses special education and mental health needs by assessing the student's strengths as a foundation on which to build effective interventions, rather than focusing on "what's wrong". This study evaluates the classification accuracy and other forms of validity of a universal screening approach using a very brief (12 items) strength-based self-report measure, the Social-Emotional Assets and Resilience Scales (student short forms) (SEARS; Merrell, 2011), in identifying middle school students who are at-risk or in need of intensive social-behavioral and mental health intervention.
Hypothesis or Questions:
- Do reported levels of internalizing and externalizing symptoms on the Youth Self-Report (YRS; Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001) effectively and accurately discriminate between students identified as not at risk and at-risk based on the proposed strength-based approach to mental health screening?
- Do scores from the Behavioral and Emotional Screening System Teacher Version (BESS; Kamphaus & Reynolds, 2007) effectively and accurately discriminate between students identified as not at risk and at-risk based on the proposed strength-based approach to mental health screening?
- What is the degree of similarity between student and teacher ratings of a given student using respective versions of a strength-based rating scale (SEARS-Short Forms; Merrell, 2011)?
- What is the degree of difference between strength-based rating scale scores (SEARS-Short Forms; Merrell, 2011) and primarily problem-based rating scale scores (BESS; Kamphaus & Reynolds, 2007; YSR; Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001)?
- Are there significant group differences between the At-Risk and Not-At Risk group according to academic functioning, number of absences, number of office discipline referrals (ODR), gender, and disability status?