The overall goal of this proposed Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01) is for the candidate, a child clinical psychologist, to become an independent investigator who conducts research designed to improve school-based mental health services for ethnic minority children and families. The candidate has a strong background in studying developmental psychopathology in ethnic minority populations, and is seeking this award in order to gain essential skills in mental health services research and community-partnered research methods. To accomplish these goals, the candidate's immediate career development plan consists of coursework and mentorship focused on implementation research, community partnered research methods, school organization and policy, and mixed methods in mental health services research. Key mentors include Dr. Kimberly Hoagwood at Columbia University and Dr. Jeanne Miranda at the UCLA Health Services Research Center. The research plan is designed to enhance the compatibility between evidence-based treatment (EBT) for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and urban school settings by partnering with school stakeholders. Although schools have been touted as ideal settings to reach underserved, ethnic minority youth, implementation of EBTs has been extremely limited. One reason for the low rates of implementation is that schools find it difficult to devote resources to programs that stretch beyond their educational mission. The purpose of this research is to develop a model for increasing the fit between an evidence based treatment for trauma-related PTSD symptoms and the goals and priorities of school stakeholders (e.g., parents, teacher, administrators, school clinicians). This involves examining adaptations that are made when an intervention is adopted by a school system, aligning mental health intervention implementation with effective practices schools can use to support students'learning, and ensuring that both mental health outcomes and school- relevant functioning outcomes (e.g., classroom/home behavior, attendance, school performance, social competence) are addressed and assessed.
The aims are to: 1) Use a community partnered research model with the school community to more effectively align EBT for PTSD with school-community priorities and structures, 2) Document and explore the utility of using a community partnered research approach with school staff and parents, and 3) Pilot a mental health service delivery model for adolescents exposed to violence that improves the "fit" between and EBT for PTSD and school priorities. This research has important implications for serving youth exposed to community violence with limited access to care. It will also inform how EBTs are developed and disseminated into non-specialty mental health settings, like schools.
There is a high level of unmet need for mental health care among children, and schools are the most common source of mental health services among children and adolescents. However, uptake of evidence-based treatments (EBTs) in schools has been limited. This application will produce a framework, using community partnership methods, for enhancing the compatibility between an evidence-based treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the priorities of school stakeholders, ultimately promoting the adoption and implementation of EBTs in schools.
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