Graduation Year

2007

Document Type

Ed. Specalist

Degree

Ed.S.

Degree Granting Department

Psychological and Social Foundations

Major Professor

George M. Batsche, Ed.D.

Keywords

Education, School psychology, School counseling, School social work, Educational administration

Abstract

Key stakeholders in schools must be educated about the importance of increasing access to mental health services in schools. School-based mental health services are designed to increase children's competence and help them meet the societal expectations of school success. The present study examined types of mental health services provided to students in school districts throughout Florida; the extent to which those services were provided to children and families; the beliefs of student services directors and supervisors regarding qualifications of school mental health service providers to provide mental health services; and their beliefs about the impact of mental health services on student academic and behavioral outcomes. Participants in this study included 90 student support services administrators (student services directors, supervisors of psychology, social work, and counseling).

Descriptive analyses revealed that the three most commonly provided mental health services were consultation, normative assessment, and authentic assessment. Interestingly, no mental health service providers (school psychologists, school counselors, school social workers) were considered by student services directors and supervisors as qualified to highly qualified to provide intervention services with minimal to no supervision. Results of this study suggest that student services directors and supervisors have significantly different perceptions about the level of qualifications of mental health providers to provide mental health services. Specifically, the type of credential (teaching only vs. student support) which the director or supervisor held impacted their beliefs about the school psychologists level of qualification to provide mental health services.

Finally, directors and supervisors, combined, had significantly different ratings about the types of mental health services which impacted academic and behavioral outcomes. Directors and supervisors ratings of impact of mental health services on academic and behavioral outcomes were moderated by the type of credential held. Implications of such results may be that mental health providers are only encouraged to provide those services which they are perceived to be qualified to provide; training programs may need to develop models which promote collaboration and partnership amongst mental health professionals to increase shared skills; and administrators may place an emphasis or de-emphasis on mental health services based on credential and training background.

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