Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Proactive screening for treatable conditions is not a new concept. Instead, screening has been present in the United States since at least the early 1900s. Accordingly, many schools actively screen for academic problems, yet the same attention is not paid to mental health. Past research estimates that one out of five children in the U.S. has a mental health disorder. However, recent research conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic has found these numbers to be increasing. Additional estimates suggest that only one-third of children with a mental health disorder receive treatment. Schools have a role to play in addressing the identification and treatment of youth with mental health problems. This role begins with addressing the needs of all students through universal mental health screening. The current study compared three different self-reported universal mental health screeners (one commercially available [BASC-3 BESS] and two freely available [YIEPS and SDQ Impact Supplement]). Screeners were evaluated using various analytical measures to determine the proportion of students identified, accuracy in identification (using a criterion measure), and the psychometric properties of the screeners such as reliability and validity. Results found the three screeners to be comparable in performance, which has important implications regarding cost-effectiveness of screening. That is, if the freely available measures have similar identification rates to the commercially available measure (i.e., BASC-3 BESS), what is the benefit to paying for the service offered by the BASC-3 BESS?



Committee Chair

Long, Anna C. J.

Available for download on Wednesday, June 03, 2026