Fostering Resilient Rural Elementary Schools through an Evidence-Based, Multicomponent System Supporting Teachers and Students across the Risk Spectrum

The prevalence of behavioral health problems among elementary students has escalated during the pandemic, especially in underserved, rural schools, where there is limited accessibility to evidence-based (EB) behavioral health and resilience-oriented interventions. This pilot study advances strategic solutions by examining implementation of two multicomponent interventions. The first universal, multicomponent intervention draws upon a NIH-funded program of research on the PROSPER Partnership Delivery System for community-school teams implementing evidence-based school and family interventions. In this project a community-school team will support sustained implementation of teacher consultation with the Classroom Check-up, for all students at all risk-levels. The second multicomponent intervention adds an EB family program (Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, PCIT) targeting students at highest risk for poor behavioral and academic outcomes. Although both multicomponent interventions are expected to show positive outcomes (PK-2nd grade), the multicomponent approach with PCIT is hypothesized to show stronger outcomes. Following the preventive intervention development model for behavioral disorders promoted by the Institute of Medicine-National Research Council (2009), this pilot study will set the stage for a randomized-controlled trial of intervention efficacy. It has two aims: (1) conduct an exploratory comparative evaluation of teacher/classroom outcomes (e.g., teacher-student interactions, teacher burnout, professional sense of efficacy) and student outcomes (e.g., academic performance, engagement, and disruptive behaviors) and (2) conduct an implementation process evaluation of observed multicomponent intervention implementation fidelity and key implementer perceptions of intervention acceptability and feasibility, including comparisons with previously established implementation standards and a descriptive analysis of changes in perceptions over time.


Principal Investigator: Ashley Scudder

Co-Principal Investigator: Richard Spoth

Funder: Iowa Center for School Mental Health, University of Iowa