Context Matters: Schools and the "Research to Practice Gap" in Children's Mental Health

By Ringeisen, Heather; Henderson, Kelly et al. | School Psychology Review, Spring 2003 | Go to article overview

Context Matters: Schools and the "Research to Practice Gap" in Children's Mental Health


Ringeisen, Heather, Henderson, Kelly, Hoagwood, Kimberly, School Psychology Review


Abstract. Reviews have identified mental health interventions that are relevant to schools; unfortunately, this research pays insufficient attention to the school context. Several aspects of school context likely influence the ability of schools to change current practices or adopt new ones. Relying on an organizational framework, a three-level model of school context particularly relevant to the delivery of mental health interventions: (a) individual, (b) organizational, and (c) state or national-level factors are described. This article argues that effective school-based mental health care will result from the marriage of system reform efforts, capacity building, and the delivery of empirically driven intervention strategies.

**********

In language, a word's content may be less important than the context in which it is embedded. For instance, request a "pop" across most of the United States and you will receive some form of carbonated beverage. Request a "pop" in southern Georgia and you will likely be met with a strange look or possibly a jab to the jaw. Even beyond language, context must be understood prior to interpretation. The public education and mental health systems have unique histories, distinct value sets, principles, and beliefs, as do the traditions of academic research and community practice. When these worlds are brought together, contextual differences become especially important.

In the last 20 years there has been tremendous growth in knowledge about how best to identify and treat behavioral and emotional disorders of childhood (e.g., Lonigan, Elbert, & Johnson, 1998). In addition, available service models for children diagnosed with emotional disturbances have shifted from those predominantly available in inpatient hospitals, residential centers, or outpatient centers to alternative service delivery approaches available in community settings. This growth in empirical knowledge and focus on community-based care has resulted in increased attention to the different worlds of research and practice. In fact, research has demonstrated that child mental health interventions used in everyday clinical practice are not only different from those studied in academic settings, but also potentially less effective (Weisz, Donenberg, Han, & Weiss, 1995; Weisz, Weiss, & Donenberg, 1992). Spurred by the release of the Institute of Medicine Report (1998), Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1999), and the Surgeon General's Conference on Children's Mental Health (U.S. Public Health Service, 2000), overcoming this gap between research and practice in children's mental health has become a national priority.

The mental health research literature describes multiple interventions with potential school application; these interventions range from those targeting select students to broad school-wide prevention programs. Recent reviews have documented efficacious psychopharmacologic (e.g., Vitiello, Jensen, & Bhatara, 1999; Weisz & Jensen, 1999); psychosocial (e.g., Lonigan, Elbert, & Johnson, 1998; Weisz & Jensen, 1999); integrated community and preventive services (e.g., Burns, Hoagwood, & Mrazek, 1999; Greenberg, Domitrovich, & Bumbarger, 2001); and school-based interventions (e.g., Rones & Hoagwood, 2000). Certain approaches appear helpful for individual children with Serious Emotional Disturbances (or SED) (e.g., cognitive problem solving, social skills training, classroom behavior management) and other school-wide programs reduce child disruptive behaviors and/or improve social/emotional health (e.g., PATHS, Kusche & Greenberg, 1995). Unfortunately, the literature on "evidence-based practices" in children's mental health pays insufficient attention to features of the school context that might influence intervention delivery. This literature also tends to neglect outcomes of relevance to schools, such as academic achievement or special education referral patterns (Rones & Hoagwood, 2001). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Context Matters: Schools and the "Research to Practice Gap" in Children's Mental Health
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.