Validation of Intervention Selection Profile (ISP)

The overarching purpose of this project is to support the development and validation of the Intervention Selection Profile (ISP), a suite of brief problem identification tools. For students in need of Tier 2 support, the ISP will allow educators to quickly and easily collect data indicative of each student’s concerns, including the function of problem behaviors and deficits in positive skills. Results can then be used in selecting and adapting appropriate interventions.

SMHC Researchers: Stephen Kilgus (Principal Investigator), Nathaniel von der Embse, & Katie Eklund

Research Partners: Wes Bonifay, Dan Maggin, & Chris Riley-Tillman

Research Funding: Institute of Education Sciences (R305A170284) & Society for the Study of School Psychology (SSSP)

Development and Evaluation of Teachers and Parents as Partners (TAPP) for Middle School Students

TAPP is a family-school partnership intervention designed to support middle school students with or at risk for social behavior problems. TAPP is grounded in the problem-solving model, which includes a scope and sequence designed to identify pivotal social behavior concerns, design and implement behavior support plans at home and at school, strengthen the home-school connection, and build parent and teacher knowledge and skills in evidence-based practices. 

SMHC Researcher: Andy Garbacz (Principal Investigator)

Research Partners: Tom Kratochwill, Randy Kamphaus, John Seeley, & Beth Stormshak

Research Funding: Institute of Education Sciences (R324B160043


Project PROMOTE (Providing Research-based training On Mental health for Organizations, Teachers, and Educators) is a three-year project funded by SAMHSA that trains middle school teachers to identify mental and behavioral health risk in the classroom. The project utilizes Youth Mental Health First Aid, paired with training in universal screening and verbal de-escalation to improve the assessment to intervention process. 

SMHC Researchers: Nathaniel von der Embse (Principal Investigator)

Research Partners: Shannon Suldo

Research Funding: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Refinement of the Resilience Education Program (REP)

REP is a novel school-based Tier 2 intervention intended for students at risk for internalizing problems (e.g., anxiety and depression). Through REP, students receive cognitive-behavioral instruction regarding coping and problem-solving skills. Students also receive daily feedback and reinforcement through Check In/Check Out (CICO). A series of pilot studies have yielded promising evidence. The purpose of this project is to support continued development and refinement of REP. 

SMHC Researchers: Stephen Kilgus (Principal Investigator), Katie Eklund, & Andy Garbacz

Research Partners: Tim Lewis & Barb Mitchell

Research Funding: Institute of Education Sciences (R324A190129)

Project Website

Efficacy of Check-in/Check-out (CICO)

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of Check-in/Check-out (CICO) for improving social, emotional, and academic behavior of elementary school students at risk for emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD). CICO is a manualized Tier 2 behavioral intervention commonly implemented within a multi-tiered framework and designed to improve the social and behavioral performance of students with emerging problem behavior. CICO efficacy will be evaluated relative to business-as-usual Tier 2 treatment within a four-year cluster randomized controlled trial.

SMHC Researchers: Stephen Kilgus & Katie Eklund

Research Partners: Tim Lewis (Principal Investigator), Barb Mitchell, & Howard Wills

Research Funding: Institute of Education Sciences (R324A190046)

Development of Trauma-informed Assessment to Intervention Model (T-AIM)

The purpose of this project is to develop an integrated model of trauma informed assessment to intervention practices at Tier I and Tier II within a large urban school district. Researchers have developed data-based consultation practices to inform a continuum of service delivery from universal practices to targeted groups interventions. 

SMHC Researchers: Nathaniel von der Embse

Research Partners: Devereux Center for Effective Schools & University of Pennsylvania 

Research Funding: Scattergood Foundation & National Institute of Justice

Development and Evaluation of FOCUS

FOCUS is a universal mental health promotion program that aligns and integrates mental health support for children in rural communities. FOCUS is being iteratively developed with stakeholders in rural communities. Once fully developed, the FOCUS program will connect mental health support from stakeholders within a statewide network, including families, organizations, communities, universities, and schools. In the FOCUS program, stakeholders collaborate to implement systems and practices to promote mental health and reduce the risk of later mental health concerns. 

SMHC Researcher: Andy Garbacz

Research Partners: Craig Albers (Principal Investigator), Bonnie Doren, Melinda Leko, & Andrea Ruppar

Research Funding: University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education Grand Challenges Transform Competition

Universal Screening for Social-Emotional and Behavioral Risk

The purpose of this research is to generate solutions for evidence-based universal screening in schools. We have completed a series of studies that collectively support the psychometric defensibility of the Social, Academic, and Emotional Behavior Risk Screener (SAEBRS) suite of tools. We have also generated recommendations for the procedures through which screenings should be conducted, including those specific to optimal informants, screening frequency, and teacher training. Finally, we have completed multiple meta-analyses synthesizing the literature related to screener reliability and validity.

SMHC Researchers: Stephen Kilgus, Katie Eklund, & Nathaniel von der Embse

Research Funding: University of Missouri Research Council, Pennsylvania Department of Education, & Society for the Study of School Psychology (SSSP)


Family-Centered Intervention in Schools to Reduce Social and Behavioral Problems from Early Elementary School to Adolescence

The purpose of this project is to examine the long-term efficacy of the Kindergarten Family Check-Up (FCU), a school-based, family-centered intervention intended to prevent student social and behavioral problems. This project follows two cohorts of students and families who participated in an initial efficacy study of Kindergarten FCU, whether they received FCU or business-as-usual services, to (1) collect follow-up data on all students when they are in Grade 4 and (2) re-randomize students to receive the middle school booster or not. Re-randomization will result in the following four conditions: services as usual, Kindergarten FCU only, middle school booster only, and Kindergarten FCU plus middle school booster. The middle school booster will be implemented during Grade 5 as students prepare for the transition to middle school.

SMHC Researcher: Andy Garbacz

Research Partners: Beth Stormshak (Principal Investigator) & Laura Lee McIntyre

Research Funding: Institute of Education Sciences (R324A180037

Evaluation of Embedding Family-School-Community Engagement in Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

The purpose of this project is to evaluate the effect of aligning and integrating family-school-community engagement in the systems and practices of PBIS. Families, educators, and community stakeholders work as partners to promote parent and educator implementation of effective parenting and home-school-community coordinated support to enhance children’s social-emotional competencies reduce the risk of later social-emotional and behavioral concerns. Stakeholders work as partners to implement strategies and examine their utility.

SMHC Researcher: Andy Garbacz

Research Partners: Katie Lawlor & Phoebe Jordan

Research Funding: University of Wisconsin-Madison WARF Fall Competition

Development and Validation of Family-School-Community Assessments

The purpose of this research is to develop a suite of measures to assess family-school-community collaboration in school and community systems and practices that promote social-emotional competencies and mental health. Outcomes will include tools, scoped and sequenced recommendations for their use, and approaches to train families, educators, and community stakeholders in their use.

SMHC Researcher: Andy Garbacz

Research Partners: Devon Minch, Mark Weist, & the Family-School-Community Alliance

Research Funding: National Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, Wisconsin Center for Education Research

Building Partnerships to Promote Mental Health for Children in Rural Communities

The overarching purpose of this project is to strengthen statewide connections to promote children’s mental health in rural communities. A needs assessment includes examining mental health needs, school mental health practices, and interconnections across mental health service networks. Needs assessment data are guiding iterative development of a scoped and sequenced approach to connect support for children’s mental health in rural Wisconsin communities. 

SMHC Researcher: Andy Garbacz (Principal Investigator)

Research Partners: Craig Albers & Brad Carl

Research Funding: Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Seed Grant