Pilot Study for the Fidelity, Acceptability and Effectiveness of a PBIS Program plus Mental Health Supports in Under-resourced Urban Schools

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This paper describes implementation (fidelity, perceived acceptability) and tier 1 and Tier 2 outcomes of school‐wide positive behavior interventions and supports approach including mental health supports at Tier 2 in two K‐8 urban schools. Interventions for Tier 2 consisted of three manualized group cognitive behavioral therapy (GCBT) protocols for externalizing behavior problems, depression, and anxiety. Tier 1 and Tier 2 interventions were implemented with fidelity but program feasibility for Tier 2 was in question because school personnel needed a great deal of external support to implement the interventions. Tier 1 interventions were associated with a decrease in office discipline referrals. Students participating in GCBT showed a significant decrease in mental health diagnostic severity at posttreatment. A discussion of perceived and actual implementation barriers and how they were addressed is provided. Implications for practice in low‐income urban schools are discussed.


Eiraldi R, McCurdy B, Schwartz B, Benjamin Wolk C, Abraham M, Jawad AF, Nastasi BK, Mautone J