Authors: Alyssa Clare
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Joni Splett
College: College of Education
Approximately 80% of children with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges are not adequately identified, leading to a gap between necessary services and those received (State et al., 2011). The purpose of the MTSS-MH project is to identify the efficiency of universal mental health screening in schools using progress monitoring and analysis of teachers’ perceptions on screening. The Teacher Perceptions of Screening and Mental Health Practices Survey is expected to assess each school’s organizational climate and teachers’ perceptions on how accurately their schools utilize screening and interventions. Data analyses were run in this validity study to measure the survey’s internal reliability. The internal reliability of the survey was indicated moderate to high reliability (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.787). We also ran -way ANOVAs to assess the differences between the mean answers to survey questions. Results indicate that the TPSMHPS survey is a valid measure of teachers’ perceptions to mental health screening, as it is shown to utilize correct constructs to assess perceptions. This survey can be utilized in future studies as a tool for improving identification-to-intervention procedures for students with social, emotional, and behavioral problems.
Alyssa, very nice presentation. Mental health is such an important area of research, and I appreciate that you and your colleagues are considering teacher perceptions. I’m curious to see further work on this topic.
Thank you for your comment! I appreciate you taking the time to review my research, and I agree that mental health is extremely important in our school systems. I am very fortunate to be able to conduct my research in this field.
Greetings, Alyssa. I was very impressed with your presentation. Your results indicate that we are making steady progress with addressing mental health in schools. I was wondering if you could elaborate more on the sample you used for this study. For instance, I was curious about what type of schools (primary, secondary, etc) were included in your study.
Greetings! Thank you for your kind words! Our sample size consisted of 262 educators in six elementary schools (Grades K-5) in a school district in the Southeastern United States. The six schools involved in the project were recruited because they were implementing universal screening with the Behavioral Assessment System for Children–Third Edition, Behavioral and Emotional Screening System, Teacher Form, and their extant school records data also included intervention receipt data that was used in the larger MTSS-MH project. Those respondents’ demographics are broken down further in the table on the poster. Thank you for your question!
Alyssa, I thought your presentation and research was very well put together and thought provoking. I am absolutely interested in further research to this topic and hope your findings can be used to help mental health care in schools.
Great presentation Alyssa! Do you have any other research questions with these data? What other analyses do you think we should consider?
Hello! Thank you for your questions! Our data has shown that the survey questions assessed for the four subscales did not produce significant differences between the six schools. I am curious to see if this indicates that this survey is a valid measure that can be used in other geographical areas in the United States, rather than just in the Southeastern region. I am also curious to see the differences in answers for teachers based on their years in schooling, as I feel that school mental health is becoming more apparent and discussed in recent years and different schools yielded statistically similar results. A possible research question could be, “how has the training and education on mental health resources for teachers who recently received their degrees changed from teachers who have been employed for many years? ” Thank you!
Alyssa, thank you for doing further research on this topic. So many students suffer from mental health and the source of the issue is often times school stresses in itself, so great job!
Thank you for your comment! I completely agree!
Great presentation! Thank you for taking the time to research mental health and share that research with the public! What did you find most interesting in conducting your research?
Hello! While reviewing the literature, I found it interesting that limited progress has been made for serving children who have an emotional and behavioral disorder, even though literature has shown that at least 20% of students encounter behavioral and/or mental health problems in elementary school. However, in order to adequately assess the reliability and validity of new interventions for these EBD students, it is imperative that implementation data is obtained using trustworthy measures and correct interpretation of results. That is why I chose to conduct my research on validating the survey used as a measure in the MTSS-MH project!
This is such an important topic in education! Improving testing strategies will help foster a better learning environment and create more equitable learning opportunities for all students. I am very excited to see your next steps toward eliminating mental and social barriers in education.
Thank you for your kind words and insight! I completely agree, and I am also looking forward to continuing research in this field!
I think your research is very interesting in insightful! It is great to see that more research is being done to help those with emotional, behavioral, or social challenges. I think this is so important, especially in the education field. Great job!
Hello! Thank you for your comment! I am very fortunate to be able to conduct my research at the University of Florida!
Extremely interesting,, and well done – I have been concerned about ‘teacher perception’ since I taught high school chemistry back in 1984-88 – when I asked, “What training is available on recognizing and dealing with mental illness in the classroom” (as “mainstreaming” had just begun) I was given a pamphlet and told to read it.
Obviously, there needs to be more “influence of perception” through training,, education and experience – however, you did a solid job of explaining the importance of perception on impact. I liked this presentation a lot! Thank you!
Mark S. Long, MS
Director, UF Innovate | Incubation Services
Thank you for your comment and for sharing your experience! I agree, and I look forward to seeing the importance of mental health awareness and intervention implementation expand with new evidence-based practices and trainings!
Wonderful job Alyssa!
Thank you Katie!
Hi Alyssa, important work that you’re doing. Have you considered doing more research on a specific age group or separating them by age group?
Hello! Thank you for your comment! I most definitely am interested in how educators of different age groups and teaching experiences answered the survey! Once no significant differences between schools were observed for the survey questions, I did wonder if significant differences between other factors, such as age, teaching experience, and gender, may arise if ANOVAs were rerun using these constructs. It is definitely something I look forward to exploring!
Very interesting topic! I think it is very important that teachers are able to identify/perceive students with social, emotional and behavior problems as schools could offer early outreach programs.
I completely agree! Thank you for your comment!
Hi Alyssa, this is incredibly interesting. Mental health awareness is something close to my heart and I’m glad someone is investigating this field!
Thank you Emily!