Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education

First Advisor

Dane C. Joseph, PhD

Second Advisor

Karen Buchanan, EdD

Third Advisor

Susanna Thornhill, PhD


The aim of this study was to explore the psychometric properties of the Mental Health Literacy Scale (MHLS) with K-12 educators, including the exploration of an education-modified version of the MHLS, and a between groups comparison of practicing educators. A tool that is reliable and easy to administer could help assess staff mental health literacy needs and guide district professional development. In this study, the MHLS was found to have several strong scales. The disorder recognition scale, information seeking knowledge scale, and the attitudes scale, which demonstrated better reliability and factorability when divided into two sub-scales, all demonstrated good to excellent reliability. The education-modified version of the MHLS did not demonstrate any practical difference in factor structure or reliability from the standard MHLS. The education-modified MHLS may be a viable option for quickly assessing educator mental health literacy given the limited time schools have available for making effective professional development decisions. Between groups comparisons of MHLS scores revealed no significant differences between classified and certified staff, as well as no significant differences between general and special educators. Comparison of the mean MHLS score to other research studies utilizing the MHLS demonstrated that the sample of educators had the lowest mean score out of any previous samples. These results merit further investigation into how to support all school district staff and provide them with the tools and professional development required to successfully identify and support students with mental health needs.

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