Semester of Graduation

Fall 2023


Master of Arts (MA)



Document Type



Schools have been identified as a prime location for the identification and treatment of mental health difficulties among youth (NASP, 2021). The proposed study aimed to contribute to existing research on school-based mental health screening in several ways. First, there are limitations in the research on the efficient and effective screening of students for social, emotional, or behavioral dysfunction; these students may be in need of school mental health services. The dual-factor model of mental health considers psychopathology alongside subjective well-being, working to enhance school-based mental health screening and ultimately the provision of services. This model emphasizes the importance of life satisfaction, as both life satisfaction and psychopathology may impact academic and emotional functioning (Antaramian et al., 2010; Suldo & Shaffer, 2008). There is little existing literature exploring gifted student mental health screening and the role of their academic achievement and engagement in their functioning. The proposed study aimed to measure student mental health within a dual-factor model among high school students using an online self-report questionnaire (N = 383). Results demonstrated that when compared to non-gifted students, gifted students displayed statistically significant differences in mental health. Non-gifted students had significantly higher rates of internalizing, externalizing, and overall behavioral emotional risk, while gifted students displayed significantly higher rates of personal adjustment. Of note, there were no significant differences in gifted and non-gifted students’ subjective well-being. Most students in the sample were classified into the complete mental health group (47.7%), followed by troubled (25.0%), symptomatic but content (12.8%) and vulnerable groups (8.1%). Academic achievement was found to be a significant predictor of mental health group membership, with higher achievement predicting a higher chance of belonging to the complete mental health group (i.e., low psychopathology and high subjective well-being). Overall, the current study contributes to the importance a dual-factor model of mental health for school screening of all students, which can be used to best identify and target students’ interventions for increasing mental health and in turn, increase their academic achievement.



Committee Chair

Clark, Kelly N.

Available for download on Sunday, October 18, 2026