Volume 6, Issue 4 (Winter 2012)
Mental Health Screening and Academic Outcomes in Elementary School
Julia I. Juechter, Bridget V. Dever, & Randy W. Kamphaus
ABSTRACT: Research has consistently illustrated the negative relationship between behavior problems and academic achievement (Arnold, 1997; Reinke, Herman, Petras, & Ialongo, 2008). This study examined the predictive validity of an emotional and behavioral screener as related to academic outcomes. Parents and teachers completed screeners for children in grades kindergarten through 5. Results showed that teacher ratings of behavior on a brief screening instrument were significant predictors of both math and reading achievement, even when controlling for demographic variables such as gender, ethnicity, and mother’s education level. Further, using an omnibus rating scale as a second gate measure, analyses of internalizing versus externalizing behavior revealed that teacher ratings of externalizing behavior were significant predictors of academic achievement. Parent ratings of externalizing behavior, as well as teacher and parent ratings of internalizing symptoms, were not significantly correlated with math and reading achievement scores.