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The Efficacy of Technology-Delivered Mental Health Services in Rural Nebraska: Addressing the Needs of Students, Families and Schools
Principal Investigator: Amanda Witte
Funding Agency: Office of Research and Economic Development—Layman Award
Award Date: May 1, 2019
End Date: Oct 31, 2020
Rural America affords children notable opportunities for positive lifetime trajectories. However, children’s behavioral problems are distinct in rural America where, relative to their urban counterparts, children are more likely to have a mental health problem and demonstrate significant difficulties. Because mental health services are sparse in rural communities, schools are often called upon to provide support to students and families But those schools tend to lack the necessary infrastructure, such as specialized staff, to effectively meet student needs.
This project explores rural children’s behavioral and mental health needs through Conjoint Behavioral Consultation, an evidence-based, family-school program designed to establish parent-teacher relationships to help ensure children’s academic success. Because CBC often is not feasible in rural communities, where access to highly trained specialists is limited or non-existent, distance technology offers potential as a new method of delivering CBC that bypasses many of the barriers facing rural communities.
This study explores the potential efficacy, feasibility and acceptability of CBC delivered via distance technology — “tele-CBC” — for rural students struggling with significant behavioral problems. The technology-mediated, school-based programs aim to create effective family-school partnerships that emphasize rural communities’ strengths, increase access to mental health services and have the potential to alleviate rural student behavioral problems. Data collected in this project will be used to expand research into large-scale educational interventions.
A recent project explored the effectiveness of a technology-delivered intervention for rural students struggling with significant behavioral problems.