Semester of Graduation

Spring 2020


Master of Arts (MA)



Document Type



The mental health of students continues to be an overlooked topic. Although research surrounding school-based mental health has increased, this increase in research has yet to translate effectively to practice. Past studies have questioned teachers regarding their perceptions of mental health and school-based mental health services. A significant limitation to past research is the absence of a consistent scale used to measure teacher perception. This inconsistency across studies in terms of the measurement tools used (e.g., surveys versus focus groups) limits the ability to compare the findings across research. The purpose of the current study was to develop and establish initial validation for a scale that measured teacher attitudes toward addressing mental health in schools. The scale was developed based on the tripartite attitude construct. Each item was written towards one of the attitude components (e.g., cognition, affect, or behavior). It was hypothesized that three distinct factors would form and measure the three different attitudinal components related to school-based mental health. This hypothesis was not supported. Instead, a two-factor model formed with one primary factor that included a mix of cognitions, affects, and hypothetical/intended behaviors related to school-based mental health (general attitudes toward addressing mental health in schools). The secondary factor included items that reflected actual behaviors (actual behaviors associated with addressing mental health in schools). Implications for the future of the TATAMS measure are discussed.

Committee Chair

Gresham, Frank