Behavioral Health

Poor social skills, emotional health issues, and behavioral health problems are on the rise among students in general education settings. Students with or at risk for emotional and behavioral disorders, with learning disabilities, and those who experience acute or chronic trauma often face serious behavioral and academic challenges. Some sources estimate that about one-third of students fail to learn because of psychosocial problems that interfere with their ability to engage in instructional activities.

By evaluating school-based behavioral health interventions and professional development efforts, SRI provides high-quality evidence and actionable recommendations for improving students’ behavior and academic competencies. Our goal is to help district and school personnel develop supportive environments and implement effective strategies and policies that promote positive behavior, enhance protective factors, increase academic engagement, and improve academic performance.


young girl reading a book

Through the Center, SRI conducted randomized trials of interventions for students with severe behavior problems in first through third grades.

high school students at graduation, throwing their hats in the air

SRI is evaluating the efficacy of a program promoting school success and completion for students at high risk of school failure and dropout.

young man rests his head against his arm in front of a brick wall

SRI is evaluating the effectiveness of a school-based intervention program for students who have witnessed or experienced traumatic events.

scientist working at a computer

SRI is investigating novel methods and treatments to improve cognitive deficits caused by diseases such as Alzheimer’s and depression.

twin boys

SRI established the Twin Research Registry as part of its scientific research and efforts to discover more about human behavior. Fraternal and identical twins and multiples of all ages are invited to join the Registry for consideration for research studies.

smiling young student studying with other students

SRI and partners examined the effectiveness of this program designed to help at-risk children get off to the best possible start in school.

Press Releases

writing on a math board

A new SRI-led study finds that people with autism spectrum disorders are significantly more likely to choose science majors, if they attend college.

SRI International, in partnership with University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Stanford University, is leading a three-year study of Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS), a school-based program that helps children cope with stress caused by exposure to trauma.

SRI In the News

A study by SRI International focusing on incoming middle school students will indicate if they're having symptoms of post-traumatic stress such as nightmares, flashbacks, fear, guilt, withdrawal, rage.

The violence on city streets takes its toll on the young. A new survey by SRI International shows that one out of six of the sixth grade students they looked at suffer from post-traumatic stress.

At Aptos Middle School in San Francisco, Calif., social workers and researchers are working with students who have Post-traumatic Stress Disorder or similar trauma induced problems.

This article reports that SRI education researchers at are testing the effectiveness of school-based group therapy to improve student coping skills and, in turn, academic performance for middle school students who have been exposed to traumatic events.


Using data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study–2, this study considers the influence of family socioeconomic status on the post–high school outcomes of youth with disabilities.

Blog Posts

DSM-5’s new Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis is a significant change that can lead to more individualized diagnostic approaches for people with ASD. It may increase the sensitivity and clarity of clinicians’ diagnoses as they consider the needs, symptoms, and severity of each patient.

Through twin studies, scientists understand the interplay between genetics and the environment in ways that the study of unrelated people–or even other types of siblings–is unable to do.