Date of Award

1-29-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Educational and School Psychology

First Advisor

Joseph F. Kovaleski, D.Ed.

Second Advisor

Mark J. Staszkiewicz, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Roger L. Briscoe, Ph.D.

Abstract

This study explored the mental health needs and services of children and adolescents within Pennsylvania school communities; this included a focus upon evidence-based counseling approaches. Relationships were analyzed between population density, SES status, grade level and the type of mental health issues serviced. Survey data from 314 respondents were used to answer questions regarding school mental health and behavioral service provisions in Pennsylvania. Respondents' indicated their current type of involvement, perceived areas of qualification for roles in SBMH services and use of EBT approaches within current SBMH programs. Findings suggested that CBT and SFBT were selected for use more than the remaining options. Findings revealed a positive relationship between services for substance abuse/use and SES; as SES increased, so did the report of services provided for these substance abuse/use issues. For all other variables regarding type of services provided, the patterns of findings reported above did not support the hypothesis that the type of problems receiving services would be related to the demographic indicator variables. There were no significant predictabilities of type of EBT based upon the predictor variables. Overall findings suggested that level of education of the respondent was not a significant predictor of job duties and responsibilities, services provided, or the time reportedly spent in counseling. Data showed that over half of the respondents indicated qualification to identify and counsel for both behavioral and mood issues at both elementary and secondary levels. This supports hypothesis that areas of qualification to service mental health issues reported by the respondents would be associated with issues presently serviced by their district or school SBMH service program. Group counseling was less likely to be received in high SES areas and those having higher school psychologist-to-student ratio. SES and student-to-school psychologist ratio did not have significant correlation with case management for students with chronic health issues. Discussion specified the implications and importance of further research in the development of comprehensive SBMH services, involvement of school psychology, and the future of EBTs in mental health in schools.

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