Universal Monitoring/Screening in Practice

Universal screening is increasingly becoming part of prevention and early intervention best practice in schools. Although the number of schools engaging in universal screening has increased over the past decade, emotional and behavioral problems are often their primary focus. Problem-focused screening, however, does not address positive contributions to mental health and is useful for only a small percentage of students. Conversely, the information obtained when assessing for strengths is relevant for all students. The inclusion of a strength-based approach in school-based universal mental health screening serves to broaden educators’ understanding of mental health and can inform reactive and proactive interventions that address problems and enhance strengths. 

Key References

Dowdy, E., Furlong, M. J., Raines, T. C., Price, M., Murdock, J., … Bovery, B. (2014). Enhancing school-based mental health services with a preventive and promotive approach to universal screening for complete mental health. Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation, 25, 1–20. doi:10.1080/10474412.2014.929951

Dowdy, E., Williams, L., Dever, B., Moore, S., Kamphaus, R., Raines, T., & Furlong, M. J. (2016). Universal self-report screening in high school to predict internalizing symptoms. School Psychology Review, 45, 458–476. https://doi.org/10.17105/SPR45-4.458-476

Moffa, K., Dowdy, E., & Furlong. M. J. (2016). Exploring the contributions of school belonging to complete mental health screening. Australian Educational and Developmental Psychologist. doi:10.1017/edp.2016.8

Moore, S. A., & Widales-Benitez, O., & Carnazzo, K. W., Kim, E. K., Moffa, K., & Dowdy, E. (2016). Conducting universal complete mental health screening via student self-report. Contemporary School Psychology, 19, 253–267. doi:10.1007/s40688-015-0062-x

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