This learning experience changed the way I think of myself and my actions as a researcher, a Center leader, a child advocate, and human being. I wanted to share with you, our readers, how I hope this powerful experience will alter my research and practice from this day forward.
Measuring the Impact of Trauma-Focused, Cognitive Behavioral Group Therapy with Middle School Students
This study examines differential effects of the Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) program on behavioral and academic outcomes of middle school students. Researchers administered screenings to grade 6 students to assess traumatic stress and then randomized those with elevated levels to the CBITS treatment ( n = 150) or comparison group ( n = 143). Analyses examined the overall impact of CBITS and differential effects among subpopulations of students who reported clinically significant externalizing ( n = 73) or internalizing behavior ( n = 181) at baseline. Results demonstrated that relative to counterparts in the comparison group, externalizers in CBITS reported significantly reduced post-traumatic stress, anxiety, anger, internalizing and externalizing problems, and total behavior problems, and they also significantly improved scores on a standardized literacy assessment at posttest. Students with internalizing behavior problems showed differential academic effects at 1-year follow-up; those in CBITS did significantly better on standardized math tests but significantly worse on a reading subtest than their counterparts.
We intended to inform the teachers about the symptoms and consequences of students’ traumatic stress, the group process, and ways they could support both the study and their students. In the middle of the presentation, when I was describing the effects of trauma on students’ academic performance…
This study examines the prevalence of trauma experiences and traumatic stress in a diverse group of Asian American middle school students from a large urban school district. Descriptive statistics document the mean number of self-reported trauma experiences and posttraumatic stress subscale scores and how these rates differ by students’ gender and Asian ethnic subgroups (including Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Samoan, Southeast Asian, and Other). Furthermore, we assess the degree to which 1 or more traumatic events is associated with students’ self-reported symptoms of severe traumatic stress and the types of traumatic events that are the most powerful predictors of elevated stress. These in-depth findings underscore the need for routine, school-based screening to identify and bring culturally competent, trauma-informed support and interventions to Asian American middle school students experiencing traumatic stress. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)
This report presents findings from a descriptive study that examined the development and early implementation of Kindergarten Entry Assessments (KEAs) in 12 districts across four Race To the Top-Early Learning Challenge grantee states (Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington) in the 2014-15 school year. The study consisted of document reviews, telephone interviews with state agency respondents and local preschool directors, and in-person interviews with district administrators, principals, kindergarten teachers, and other KEA assessors.
Factors Affecting Mental Health Service Utilization among California Public College and University Students: Who Accesses Resources and Who Doesn’t?
Unmet need for mental health treatment among college students is a significant public health issue. Despite having access to campus mental health providers and insurance to cover services, many college students do not receive necessary services. This study examined factors influencing college students’ use of mental health services.
Online survey data for 33,943 students and 14,018 staff and faculty at 39 college campuses in California were analyzed by using logistic regressions examining the association between students’ use of mental health services and student characteristics, campus environment, and the presence of a formal network of campus mental health clinics.
Nineteen percent of students reported current serious psychological distress in the past 30 days, and 11% reported significant mental health-related academic impairment in the past year. Twenty percent reported using mental health services while at their current college, 10% by using campus services and 10% off-campus services. Students on campuses with a formal network of mental health clinics were more likely than students at community colleges to receive mental health services (odds ratio [OR] range=1.68-1.69), particularly campus services (OR=3.47-5.72). Students on campuses that are supportive of mental health issues were more likely to receive mental health services (OR=1.22), particularly on campus (OR=1.65). Students with active (versus low) coping skills were consistently more likely to use mental health services.
Establishing more campus mental health clinics, fostering supportive campus environments, and increasing students’ coping skills may reduce unmet need for mental health services among college students.
Abundant evidence demonstrates that traumatized adolescents are at increased risk of a host of negative psychoeducational and functional outcomes, but demographic disparities are often seen in access to and use of mental health services and supports. In light of this, the current study examines the prevalence of trauma experiences and traumatic stress in middle school students from a large urban school district serving a high proportion of diverse immigrant and low-income families. Descriptive statistics document the mean reported number of trauma experiences and posttraumatic stress subscale scores by participants’ sociodemographic variables. Inferential statistics report significant differences associated with race/ethnicity, gender, and type of trauma—including exposure as a victim or a witness. Results show complex and significant racial/ethnic group differences in the experience and symptomatology of trauma among the entire screened sample as well as the subset of youth with elevated distress. Furthermore, findings document the predictive value of particular trauma events related to early adolescents’ severity of self-reported traumatic stress. These in-depth findings underscore the need for routine, school-based screening to identify and bring culturally competent, trauma-informed support and interventions to middle school students experiencing traumatic stress.
Evaluation of California’s Statewide Mental Health Prevention and Early Intervention Programs: Summary of Key Year 2 Findings
This report summarizes key findings from the second year of an evaluation of the California Mental Health Services Authority’s statewide prevention and early intervention programs.
California College and University Collaborations: Facilitators, Challenges, and Impact on Student Mental Health
Reports on an evaluation of student mental health collaboration activities among California higher education systems, community agencies, and county mental health.