Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Melissa M. Pearrow

Second Advisor

Melissa A. Collier-Meek

Third Advisor

Jill S. Battal


Internalizing problems have high prevalence rates and can negatively impact student outcomes but research lags behind externalizing problems (Cook et al., 2015b). While internalizing problems are of particular concern in urban schools, interventions are often not culturally relevant for urban populations and schools are often under-resourced in the number of mental health professionals to deliver these interventions (Bradshaw et al., 2008). The current study explored a process of seeking stakeholder input through focus groups to inform the cultural adaptation of the Strong Kids curricula, an intervention targeting internalizing problems. The adapted intervention was then implemented with a sample of 43 student participants with a comparison of classwide and small group implementation with district outcomes. Results suggested large effects on students’ internalizing symptoms but no significant differences in outcomes between classwide and small group conditions. The small group and classwide conditions did, however, result in greater outcomes than universal programming alone. These findings suggest that behavioral health interventions can be implemented classwide to more equitably and efficiently meet the needs of students in under-resourced urban schools.


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