The Effects of Practitioner-Delivered School-Based Mental Health on Aggression and Violence Victimization in Middle Schoolers
- 1 Downloads
The negative consequences for victims and perpetrators of school violence are significant, multifaceted and, if left unchecked, can have personal costs that may last well into their adult lives. Universal violence preventive interventions may not be sufficiently effective in mitigating problems among middle school youth who exhibit risk of violent behavior. School-based mental health (SBMH) approaches show promise for reducing problems among the minority of youth responsible for violence perpetration, although the impact of teacher-delivered SBMH has been somewhat limited. The present study examines the impact of practitioner-delivered SBMH in middle school settings, with (a) a three-armed randomized controlled trial (RCT) comparing Expanded SBMH and Enhanced SBMH to Standard SBMH and (b) a separate quasi-experiment comparing the three SBMH arms in the RCT to a separate set of non-randomized, non-SBMH schools. SBMH schools who expanded their services saw decreases in aggressive behavior and victimization, across both study structures, that were either statistically significant, meaningful based on Cohen effect size conventions or both. These results suggest that the expansion of practitioner-delivered mental health services to youth who are at risk of violence perpetration, but would otherwise be ineligible for, or unable to afford, services achieves a significant impact on the larger school environment.
KeywordsSchool-based mental health Aggression Victimization Practitioners Middle school
Funding for the project was provided by Grant Number 2015-CK-BX-0010 by the National Institute of Justice under the Comprehensive School Safety Initiative (James V. Trudeau, PI)
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
The research was approved by an institutional review board. We warrant that the material contained in the manuscript represents original work, has not been published elsewhere and is not under concurrent consideration for publication elsewhere. Further, we have complied with the American Psychological Association Ethical Standards in the treatment of the participants.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in this study.
- Achenbach, T. M. (1991). Integrative guide for the 1991 CBCL/4-18, YSR, and TRF profiles. Burlington: Department of Psychiatry, University of Vermont.Google Scholar
- Batsche, G. (2014). Multi-tiered system of supports for inclusive schools. In Handbook of effective inclusive schools: Research and practice (pp. 183–196).Google Scholar
- Cowan, K. C., Vaillancourt, K., Rossen, E., & Pollitt, K. (2013). A framework for safe and successful schools [Brief]. Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.Google Scholar
- DeRosa, R., Habib, M., Pelcovitz, D., Rathus, J., Sonnenklar, J., Ford, J., Sunday, S., Layne, C., Saltzman, W., Turnbull, A., & Labruna, V. (2006). Structured psychotherapy for adolescents responding to chronic stress (unpublished manual).Google Scholar
- Elliott, D. S., Hamburg, B. A., & Williams, K. R. (Eds.). (1998). Violence in American schools: A new perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Fabelo, T., Thompson, M. D., Plotkin, M., Carmichael, D., Marchbanks, M. P., & Booth, E. A. (2011). Breaking schools’ rules: A statewide study of how school discipline relates to students’ success and juvenile justice involvement. New York: Council of State Governments Justice Center.Google Scholar
- Farrell, A. D., Sullivan, T. N., Esposito, L. E., Meyer, A. L., & Valois, R. F. (2005). A latent growth curve analysis of the structure of aggression, drug use, and delinquent behaviors and their interrelations over time in urban and rural adolescents. Journal of Research on Adolescence,15(2), 179–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Franklin, C., Kim, J. S., Beretvas, T. S., Zhang, A., Guz, S., Park, S., ... & Maynard, B. R. (2017). The effectiveness of psychosocial interventions delivered by teachers in schools: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review,20(3), 333–350.Google Scholar
- Hoagwood, K. E., Jensen, P. S., Acri, M. C., Olin, S. S., Lewandowski, R. E., & Herman, R. J. (2012). Outcome domains in child mental health research since 1996: Have they changed and why does it matter? Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,51(12), 1241–1260.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Linehan, M. M. (2018). Cognitive-behavioral treatment of borderline personality disorder. New York: Guilford Publications.Google Scholar
- Saavedra, L. M., Morgan-López, A. A., Yaros, A. C., Buben, A., & Trudeau, J. V. (2019). Provider resistance to evidence-based practice in schools: Why it happens and how to plan for it in evaluations (RTI Press Publication No. RB-0020-1905). Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI Press. https://doi.org/10.3768/rtipress.2019.rb.0020.1905.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Sanchez, A. L., Cornacchio, D., Poznanski, B., Golik, A. M., Chou, T., & Comer, J. S. (2018). The effectiveness of school-based mental health services for elementary-aged children: A meta-analysis. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,57(3), 153–165.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Shadish, W., Cook, T., & Campbell, D. (2002). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for generalized causal inference. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
- Sullivan, T. N., Farrell, A. D., & Kliewer, W. (2006). Peer victimization in early adolescence: Association between physical and relational victimization and drug use, aggression, and delinquent behaviors among urban middle school students. Development and Psychopathology,18(1), 119–137.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Sullivan, T. N., Helms, S. W., Bettencourt, A. F., Sutherland, K., Lotze, G. M., Mays, S., et al. (2012). A qualitative study of individual and peer factors related to effective nonviolent versus aggressive responses to problem situations among adolescents with high incidence disabilities. Behavioral Disorders,37(3), 163–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Trudeau, J. (2004). Safe schools/healthy students initiative: School violence and safety. Draft report submitted to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.Google Scholar
- Trudeau, J., Williams, J., Murray, S. (2010). Safe schools/healthy students initiative cross-site evaluation: Final report. Prepared for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice.Google Scholar
- U.S. Department of Education. (2014). Guiding principles: A resource guide for improving school climate and discipline. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education.Google Scholar