Graduation Year

2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Psychological and Social Foundations

Major Professor

George Batsche, Ed.D.

Keywords

Mental well-being, School psychologist, School counselor, School social worker, School mental health

Abstract

Latest research on the mental health status of children indicates that schools are key providers of mental health services (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2003). The push for school mental health services has only increased as stakeholders have begun to recognize the significance of sound mental health as an essential part of academic success (Adelman & Taylor, 2002). However, while schools are recognized as playing an important role in the delivery of mental health services, it is not well understood about the types of mental health services provided, qualifications of providers, and the link to student outcomes (United States Department of Health and Human Services, 2003). The present study examined Florida school mental health service providers' perceptions about the types of mental health services provided in schools and school mental health service providers' qualifications to provide such services.

Additionally, the study investigated the agreement about providers' qualifications to provide mental health services between providers, supervisors, and directors. Finally, this study investigated the perceptions of providers regarding the impact of mental health services on student outcomes. Results revealed that school mental health service providers considered several services, such as family counseling and mental health consultation, to be school mental health services. Services typically not viewed as mental health services were assessments, consultation improving academic concerns, early-intervention, universal screenings, and specialized intervention. School psychologists were the only mental health professional to receive a unanimous agreement from school mental health providers that they were most qualified of the three professionals to deliver a service (e.g., assessment).

Additionally, with the exception of school psychologists, there was no consistency reported between administrators and school mental health service providers about providers' qualifications to deliver services. The following variables moderated perceptions about the qualifications of school mental health service providers: school level, SES status of school, and degree level. Lastly, school level and SES status of the school did not moderate perceptions about the impact of mental health services on academic and behavioral outcomes.

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