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An Evaluation of Direct Behavior Rating as a Screening Tool for Internalizing Problems


Studies have shown that mental health issues in students often impact their educational performance. Internalizing problems, such as behaviors related to depression and anxiety, are less likely to be referred for school support. However, only 12-13% of schools screen for mental health risks, and current screening tools for mental health may be burdensome to school districts due to costs and lengthy administration times. The present study evaluated the criterion-related validity and screening accuracy of data derived from Direct Behavior Rating Single Item Scales (DBR-SIS) to evaluate its use as an efficient screener for depression and anxiety in schools. The study included 6 middle school teachers who completed DBR-SIS, and 114 seventh and eighth grade students who completed self-report rating scales for depression and anxiety. Results showed adequate coefficients in support of criterion validity of DBR-SIS. Additionally, results included preliminary support for the use of DBR-SIS in screening for depression and anxiety.

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