The social problem being addressed through this project includes several challenges faced by our nation's schools, namely increasing numbers of disciplinary referrals, suspensions, and expulsions (Marchant, Anderson, Caldarella, Fisher, Young,Young, 2009). Further research states that "more and more children entering school are unprepared to learn, unable to cope with the social tasks involved in making friends and getting along with others, and unaware of their negative social effect on others," (Marchant et al., 2009, p.131). Only about 20% of children and adolescents with a psychiatric disorder in the United States receive any kind of mental health services (Fritz, 2007). Yet current research shows that “Children and youth with emotional and behavioral problems have poorer academic outcomes than children with other disabilities” (Cooper, 2008 p.4). Early identification and prevention measures focused on addressing antisocial behaviors can help to stave off secondary adverse effects for example reduced mental health, social rejection and social maladjustment (Marchant et al., 2009).

For the purpose of this project I researched programs where mental health screenings were conducted in school settings. Proactive screening would provide schools, students and families with a process to provide early identification which reduces the likelihood that emotional and behavioral problems will develop and/or become more pronounced, (Marchant et al., 2009). Schools have been focusing on a service delivery model which approaches student behavior within a three tier model referred to as Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS). Mental health screening would be considered a universal measure , or a tier one intervention. Data would be used for developing a baseline, and subsequent screenings and other data collected could be used for progress monitoring. Below is a representation of a logic model for the implementation of screening in a school setting.


Michelle Alvarez

Date of Degree




Document Type

Other Capstone Project


Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License