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Volume 35, Issue 1 (2006)

Evidence for Population-Based Perspectives on Children's Behavioral Adjustment and Needs for Service Delivery in Schools

pp. 31—46

Abstract. American schoolchildren show tremendous academic as well as intra- and interpersonal behavioral differences in the classroom. Current service delivery models within schools may be insufficient to meet the demand and diversity of students’ needs, especially in schools serving students placed at risk by adverse life circumstances, such as poverty. This article presents empirical findings about the range of normal behavioral variability within schools serving students at risk.Our findings suggest that a population-based perspective on behavioral adjustment captured this variability and was useful in predicting children’s educational risk status. Our data are best explained by a model associating behavioral risk and educational status that aligns with prevention-oriented service delivery approach specifying the needs for universal, selected, and indicated interventions in schools. We discuss our findings relative to the needs for schools to afford timely and efficient use of academic supports and mental health resources in schools serving children placed at risk.

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