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School-based mental health programming is a viable intervention because it can provide evidenced-based-treatment (EBT) while avoiding the typical service barriers. In this study, 119 students (ages 10 to 12) were randomly assigned to participate in either a 24-session Coping Power Program (CPP) or a control group. Using the Behavior Assessment Scale for Children-2 (BASC-2), teachers reported significant improvements over time for all students (Attention Problems, Hyperactivity, Externalizing Problems, and Withdrawal, and Study Skills). However, teachers reported that students participating in the CPP showed significantly greater improvement than controls (Learning Problems, School Problems, Behavior Symptom Index, Social Skills, and Adaptive Skills). Effect sizes ranged from small (.19 for Withdrawal) to large (.76 for Adaptive Skills). Teacher reports showed greater improvement by the more experienced group leaders. Results validate the use of this EBT as a viable protocol. The improvement in both groups may suggest a spillover effect for untreated controls. The differential effect of group leader suggests that clinical experience may enhance EBT.


Originally published in the Journal of Applied School Psychology, Vol 25, (2), 183-196.

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