Identifying High School Freshmen with Signs of Emotional or Academic Risk: Screening Methods Appropriate for Students in Accelerated Courses
- 177 Downloads
High school freshmen in accelerated courses have known risk and resiliency factors that should be considered within systematic efforts to monitor and promote student academic and emotional well-being. This study created and evaluated a multi-method approach to identify students in Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses with signs of risk mid-year in terms of stress, affective engagement, and academic performance. A total of 304 ninth grade students enrolled in AP/IB coursework and five AP/IB teachers at two public high schools in a southeastern state took part in the screening. Using the researcher-developed screening approach, a total of 117 students (38.5%) met criteria for risk in at least one academic or emotional area. These results were compared to those obtained using a teacher nomination form, which had been developed collaboratively by the teachers and researchers, that specified signs of emotional and academic risk. The teacher nomination procedure resulted in the identification of 39.3% of the at-risk student population (average sensitivity rate = 35.7% across teachers). Sensitivity of teacher nominations was higher when identifying academic risk (average = 59.9%) as compared to emotional risk (average = 27.9% and 39.6% of students with low school satisfaction and high stress, respectively). Findings support the collection of data from students (surveys of stress and school satisfaction) and school records (course grades) when identifying AP/IB students to consider for targeted services within a Multi-Tiered System of Supports.
KeywordsScreening Teacher nominations High school Accelerated courses Gifted students
The authors of this manuscript would like to acknowledge the assistance of the following members of their university research team: Camille Hanks, Amanda Moseley, and Kai Shum.
The research reported here was funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R305A150543 to the University of South Florida. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent the views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
Aside from support from the aforementioned research grant, each author declares that s/he has no additional conflict of interest.
Human Participants and/or Animals
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Albers, C. A., & Kettler, R. J. (2014). Best practices in universal screening. In P. L. Harrison & A. Thomas (Eds.), Best practices in school psychology: Data-based and collaborative decision making (pp. 121–131). Bethesda, MD: NASP Publications.Google Scholar
- Brent, D. A., Brunwasser, S. M., Hollon, S. D., Weersing, V. R., Clarke, G. N., Dickerson, J. F., et al. (2015). Effect of a cognitive-behavioral prevention program on depression 6 years after implementation among at-risk adolescents: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA Psychiatry, 72, 1110–1118. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.1559.CrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Christner, R. W., Mennuti, R. B., & Pearson, L. M. (2009). Cognitive-behavioral therapy approaches in a school setting. In R. W. Christner & R. B. Mennuti (Eds.), School-based mental health: A practitioner’s guide to comparative practices (pp. 181–200). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Colangelo, N., Assouline, S. G., & Gross, M. U. M. (2004). A nation deceived: How schools hold back America’s brightest students (The Templeton National Report on Acceleration). Iowa City, IA: University of Iowa. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED535138.
- College Board (2018). AP students. Retrieved from https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/exploreap.
- Cooney, S. M., Kratochwill, T., & Small, S. A. (2010). Youth policy and politics in the United States: Toward an increased focus on prevention. In B. Doll, W. Pfohl, & J. Yoon (Eds.), Handbook of youth prevention science (pp. 445–460). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Doll, B., Cummings, J. A., & Chapla, B. A. (2014). Best practices in population-based school mental health services. In P. L. Harrison & A. Thomas (Eds.), Best practices in school psychology: Systems-level services (pp. 149–163). Bethesda, MD: NASP Publications.Google Scholar
- Goodman, R. (1997). The strengths and difficulties questionnaire: A research note. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 38, 581–586. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.1997.tb01545.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Grant, K. E., Compas, B. E., Thurm, A. E., McMahon, S. D., & Gipson, P. Y. (2004). Stressors and child and adolescent psychopathology: Measurement issues and prospective effects. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 33, 412–425. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15374424jccp3302_23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO, 2016). General regulations: Diploma Programme. Retrieved from https://ibo.org/globalassets/publications/become-an-ib-school/dp-general-regulations-sept-16-en.pdf.
- International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO, 2018). What is the DP? Retrieved from http://www.ibo.org/programmes/diploma-programme/what-is-the-dp/.
- Kilgus, S. P., & Eklund, K. R. (2016). Consideration of base rates within universal screening for behavioral and emotional risk: A novel procedural framework. School Psychology Forum, 10, 120–130.Google Scholar
- Kilgus, S. P., Eklund, K., von der Embse, N. P., Taylor, C. N., & Sims, W. A. (2016). Psychometric defensibility of the Social, Academic, and Emotional Behavior Risk Screener (SAEBRS) Teacher Rating Scale and multiple gating procedure within elementary and middle school samples. Journal of School Psychology, 58, 21–39. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsp.2016.07.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- McDougal, J., Bardos, A., & Meier, S. (2011). Behavioral intervention monitoring and assessment system (BIMAS). Toronto: Multi-Health Systems.Google Scholar
- Merikangas, K. R., He, J. P., Burstein, M., Swanson, S. A., Avenevoli, S., Cui, L., et al. (2010). Lifetime prevalence of mental disorders in US adolescents: Results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication-Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A). Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 49, 980–989. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2010.05.017.CrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDE). (2005). Response to intervention: Policy considerations and implementation. Alexandria, VA: Author. Available at http://www.5.nasdse.org.
- Neihart, M., Reis, S. M., Robinson, N., & Moon, S. (2002). The social and emotional development of gifted children: What do we know?. Waco, TX: Prufrock.Google Scholar
- Papandrea, K., & Winefield, H. (2011). It’s not just the squeaky wheels that need the oil: Examining teachers’ views on the disparity between referral rates for students with internalizing versus externalizing problems. School Mental Health, 3, 222–235. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12310-011-9063-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Raines, T. C., Dever, B. V., Kamphaus, R. W., & Roach, A. T. (2012). Universal screening for behavioral and emotional risk: A promising method for reducing disproportionate placement in special education. Journal of Negro Education, 81, 283–296. https://doi.org/10.7709/jnegroeducation.81.3.0283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Reynolds, C. R., & Kamphaus, R. W. (2015). BASC-3 behavioral and emotional screening system manual. Circle Pines, MN: Pearson.Google Scholar
- Rohde, P., Stice, E., Shaw, H., & Gau, J. M. (2015). Effectiveness trial of an indicated cognitive-behavioral group adolescent depression prevention program versus bibliotherapy and brochure control at 1- and 2-year follow-up. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 83, 736–747. https://doi.org/10.1037/ccp0000022.CrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Sailor, W., Doolittle, J., Bradley, R., & Danielson, L. (2009). Response to intervention and positive behavior support. In W. Sailor, G. Dunlap, G. Sugai, & R. Horner (Eds.), Handbook of positive behavior support. Issues in clinical child psychology (pp. 729–753). Boston: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-09632-2_29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Schwartz, J. A., & Beaver, K. M. (2015). Making (up) the grade? Estimating the genetic and environmental influences of discrepancies between self-reported grades and official GPA scores. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 44, 1125–1138. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-014-0185-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Shaunessy, E., Suldo, S. M., Hardesty, R. B., & Shaffer, E. S. (2006). School functioning and psychological well-being of International Baccalaureate and general education students: A preliminary examination. Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, 17, 76–89. https://doi.org/10.4219/jsge-2006-683.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Simonsen, B., Myers, D., & Briere, D. E., III. (2011). Comparing a behavioral check-in/check-out (CICO) intervention to standard practice in an urban middle school setting using an experimental group design. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 13, 31–48. https://doi.org/10.1177/1098300709359026.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Spalding, A., Eden, A., & Heppner, R. (2012). Implementing the AP for all movement in two Florida high schools. In B. Smeardon & K. Borman (Eds.), Pressing forward: Increasing and expanding rigor and relevance in America’s high schools (pp. 49–82). Charlotte, NC: Information Age. https://doi.org/10.1080/13632750802442201.Google Scholar
- Splett, J. W., Trainor, K. M., Raborn, A., Halliday-Boykins, C. A., Garzona, M. E., Dongo, M. D., et al. (2018b). Comparison of universal mental health screening to students already receiving intervention in a multitiered system of support. Behavioral Disorders, 43, 344–356. https://doi.org/10.1177/0198742918761339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Suldo, S. M., Dedrick, R. F., Shaunessy-Dedrick, E., Roth, R., & Ferron, J. (2015). Development and initial validation of the Student Rating of Environmental Stressors Scale (StRESS): Stressors faced by students in accelerated high school curricula. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 33, 339–356. https://doi.org/10.1177/0734282914552164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Suldo, S. M., Gormley, M. J., DuPaul, G. J., & Anderson-Butcher, D. (2014). The impact of school mental health on student and school-level academic outcomes: Current status of the research and future directions. School Mental Health, 6, 84–98. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12310-013-9116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Suldo, S. M., Parker, J. S., Shaunessy-Dedrick, E., & O'Brennan, L. M. (in press). Mental health interventions. In J. Fredricks, A. Reschly, & S. Christenson (Eds.), Handbook of student engagement interventions. Elsevier Press.Google Scholar
- Walker, H. M., Severson, H. H., & Feil, E. G. (2014). Systematic screening for behavior disorders (2nd ed.). Eugene, OR: Pacific Northwest Publishing.Google Scholar
- Weist, M. D., Eber, L., Horner, R., Splett, J., Putnam, R., Barrett, S., et al. (2018). Improving multitiered systems of support for students with “internalizing” emotional/behavioral problems. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 20, 172–184. https://doi.org/10.1177/1098300717753832.CrossRefGoogle Scholar