Empirically based school interventions targeted at academic and mental health functioning

Kimberly E. Hoagwood*, S. Serene Olin, Bonnie D. Kerker, Thomas R. Kratochwill, Maura Crowe, Noa Saka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

195 Scopus citations


This review examines empirically based studies of school-based mental health interventions. The review identified 64 out of more than 2,000 articles published between 1990 and 2006 that met methodologically rigorous criteria for inclusion. Of these 64 articles, only 24 examined both mental health and educational outcomes.The majority of school-based mental health intervention studies failed to include even rudimentary measures of school-related outcomes. Analysis of the 24 studies yielded several key findings: The types of mental health outcomes most frequently assessed included self-, peer-, teacher-, or parent-reported measures of social competence, aggression, or problem behaviors. Academic scores and school attendance were the types of educational outcomes most frequently assessed. The majority of interventions focused on elementary students, had a preventive focus, and targeted prosocial, aggressive, and antisocial behaviors. Only 15 of the 24 studies demonstrated a positive impact on both educational and mental health outcomes, I I of which included intensive interventions targeting both parents and teachers. The studies that had an impact only on mental health outcomes tended to be less intensive with more limited family involvement. This review discusses the implications of these findings for school-based mental health services and identifies directions for future research.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)66-92
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


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