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.
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.
This study uses data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study–2 to examine the rates at which youth with emotional disturbances received services during and up to 8 years after high school. Parents’ efforts to obtain services, information sources accessed, problems encountered, and the perceived sufficiency of services to meet youths’ needs are described. Findings show a drop in receipt rates for several services in the first 2 years post high school, relative to those received during high school, and a continued decrease thereafter. An increase in the reported effort to obtain services accompanied this decline in receipt rates. Implications for transition planning to build a better bridge from high school to the adult service systems are discussed and aspects of a research agenda are outlined.