Universal emotional health screening at the middle school transition

Ann Vander Stoep, Elizabeth McCauley, Kelly A. Thompson, Jerald R. Herting, Elena S. Kuo, David G. Stewart, Cheryl A. Anderson, Siri Kushner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


This article describes the implementation of the Developmental Pathways Screening Program (DPSP) and an evaluation of program feasibility, acceptability, and yield. Using the Mood and Feelings Questionnaire (MFQ) and externalizing questions from the Youth Self Report (YSR;Achenbach, 2001), universal classroom-based emotional health screening was implemented with students as they began middle school. Of all sixth graders enrolled in four participating Seattle schools, 861 (83%) were screened. Students who screened positive for emotional distress (15% of students screened) received onsite structured clinical evaluations with children's mental health professionals. Seventy-one percent of students who were evaluated were found to be experiencing significant emotional distress, with 59% warranting referral to academic tutoring, school counselor, and/or community mental health services. Successful implementation of in-class screening was facilitated by strong collaboration between DPSP and school staff. Limitations of emotional health screening and the DPSP are discussed, and future steps are outlined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-223
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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