Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Psychological and Social Foundations

Major Professor

Kathy L. Bradley-Klug


interdisciplinary partnership, intervention, prevention, students, youth


Collaboration between school- and community-based mental health professionals has the potential to result in early identification of and intervention for youth with mental health problems; however, the limited research in this area suggests that collaboration does not often occur between these professionals (Walsh, 2011). The purpose of this investigation was to collect survey data from a national sample of school psychologists in order to examine the collaborative practices of school psychologists and community-based mental health professionals on behalf of youth with mental health problems. Survey data from 327 members of 11 professional state organizations of school psychology were collected and analyzed. Data indicate that all respondents communicated and 77% collaborated with community-based mental health professionals at least once during the 2011-2012 school year. The primary purpose of this communication was to obtain or provide information to community-based professionals. Respondents communicated and collaborated most commonly with community-based counselors and therapists and least commonly with neurologists. Barriers to collaboration included a lack of time, inaccessible community-based professionals, and obtaining parent consent to collaborate. Significant relationships were found in communication and collaboration frequencies and number of professional development hours received related to mental health, as well as between collaboration frequency and the primary professional role of the school psychologist. Significant relationships were not found between communication or collaboration frequencies related to the highest degree earned or the years experience of the school psychologist, the socio-economic status of the student population, the number of students served, or the number of schools served by the school psychologist. Furthermore, significant results were not obtained for predicting collaboration frequency by the percentage of students with internalizing or externalizing problems. Implications of these findings are discussed in relation to strategies and policy recommendations for professional organizations and supervisors of school- and community-based mental health professionals to foster systems-level interdisciplinary collaboration for the promotion of mental health and wellness in youth.