Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 23–30 | Cite as

The Impact of School Mental Health Services on Out-of-School Suspension Rates

  • Eric J. Bruns
  • Elizabeth Moore
  • Sharon Hoover Stephan
  • David Pruitt
  • Mark D. WeistEmail author


The current study investigated whether the presence of school-based mental health clinicians in an urban school district was associated with reduced out-of-school suspension rates. Forty one elementary schools with expanded school mental health (ESMH) programs were compared to 41 schools without ESMH programs. Correlational analyses revealed associations between suspension outcomes and several school-level demographic variables including school attendance rate, percent of students in poverty, and percent of nonwhite students in the school. After controlling for these variables, however, results of stepwise linear regressions demonstrated no significant differences between ESMH and non-ESMH schools on suspension outcomes. Results of the current study suggest that the presence of ESMH clinicians will not necessarily impact suspension rates in an elementary school. Targeted and well-implemented approaches to address behaviors that lead to suspension, or school- and system-level policies to provide alternatives to suspensions, will likely be a better route to achieving this outcome.

Key words

expanded school mental health behaviors suspension 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric J. Bruns
    • 1
  • Elizabeth Moore
    • 1
  • Sharon Hoover Stephan
    • 1
  • David Pruitt
    • 1
  • Mark D. Weist
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.University of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimore
  2. 2.Division of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryUniversity of MarylandBaltimore

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