Formative Evaluation of a Framework for High Quality, Evidence-Based Services in School Mental Health

Mark Weist, Nancy Lever, Sharon Stephan, Eric Youngstrom, Elizabeth Moore, Bryan Harrison, Laura Anthony, Kenneth Rogers, Kimberly Hoagwood, Aya Ghunney, Krystal Lewis, Kerri Stiegler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to test a three component framework for enhancing quality in school mental health (SMH), focusing on quality assessment and improvement (QAI), family engagement/empowerment, and modular evidence-based practice (EBP) implementation in three established SMH programs. The study involved a 2-year, multisite (Delaware, Maryland, Texas) formative evaluation with clinicians randomly assigned to participate in either the QAI (target) intervention or a Wellness Plus Information (WPI, comparison) intervention. As hypothesized, clinicians who participated in the QAI condition demonstrated significantly greater implementation of quality indicators and greater implementation of EBP as compared to clinicians in the WPI condition. However, contrary to original hypotheses, findings did not reveal differences between the conditions in knowledge or attitudes toward EBP, clinician self-efficacy, or student psychosocial outcomes. Implications for future research on quality improvement in SMH are discussed, with an emphasis on the need to examine the impact of increased implementation and resource support to SMH clinicians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-211
Number of pages16
JournalSchool Mental Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Children
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Implementation support
  • Quality
  • School mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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