This causal comparative study investigated the relationship of an identified disability (IDEA declared vs. non-declared) on success outcomes for sixth through twelfth grade at-risk students enrolled in a school-based mental health program. Outcome variables included: selected attendance, behavior, and achievement indicators for students who were enrolled in and received intensive school-based counseling.
Overall, after one year in the program, referrals for violent incidents significantly decreased for both groups of students while lack of respect incidents increased, indicating that staff changes in providing preventative strategies and approaches for working with students may have led staff to "catch" student behaviors at an earlier phase. IDEA declared students also had a significant decrease in suspensions. Although absences increased and instructional days decreased for both groups of students, a few of the non-declared students had more extreme changes. In-depth examination of the data showed that non-declared students, in particular Black and Asian students, had the most negative changes. Achievement data revealed that the majority of IDEA declared and non-declared students failed at pre and continued to fail at post.
This study adds to the limited base of research that on outcomes for students with and without disabilities. As school-based mental health counseling programs, coupled with strengths-based, multi-level counseling approaches expand across schools, it is important that we further the research base to determine what differences exist and what ramifications emerge for students based on disability, mental health problem, or ethnicity. Findings in this study of decreased referrals for severe behaviors for all students, decreased suspensions for IDEA declared students, and more extreme cases of negative outcomes for Asian and Black students without a disability, should be considered important factors in the continued effort to improve educational success for all students by supporting and promoting positive social emotional development and decreasing student risk factors.
|Advisor:||Newman, Dianna L.|
|Commitee:||Asaro-Saddler, Kristie, Lobosco, Anna|
|School:||State University of New York at Albany|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational psychology, Special education, Counseling Psychology|
|Keywords:||Achievement, At-risk students, Behavior and attendance, Disability, Mental health, School-based counseling|
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