Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Social Work

Major Professor

Karen M. Sowers

Committee Members

William R. Nugent, Stan L. Bowie, Bob Rider, Matthew Theriot


Abstract The purpose of this study was to determine the differences in academic achievement, behavioral health outcomes and attendance in poor, rural children receiving physical and mental health services regularly as opposed to those children not receiving the intervention. The intervention was a school-based health and mental health clinic located on the school’s campus. This study was analyzed by providing descriptive information for several variables including the number of suspensions per year, number of times corporal punishment was used as a means of correction, educational outcomes, total number of clinic visits per year, attendance percentages per year, and number of teacher and parent referrals to the school clinic. Data for this study were presented in multiple charts and graphs and schools are compared using descriptive information. The results suggested that as the number of clinic visits increased across the three year period, the numbers of, and rates of, corporal punishment in the clinic school decreased. In contrast, the available data suggested that across the first two years the numbers of, and rates of, corporal punishment increased in the control school. Further, in the majority of subject areas, the percentage of students’ proficiency levels in the clinic school increased across time and the percentages exceeded these in the control school. These findings were consistent with the hypotheses that there will be improvements in the behavioral outcomes associated with the presence of the clinic in the school. Unfortunately there were not enough data to conduct a test of statistical significance of the differences between schools for the third year.

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