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Advances in School Mental Health Promotion



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The current educational policy context in the United States necessitates that school-based programs prioritize students’ academic outcomes. This review examined the quantitative research on school mental health (SMH) early interventions and academic outcomes for at risk high school students. Seven articles met the inclusion criteria for this review. All articles were examined according to study design and demographics, early intervention characteristics, and outcomes. Of the studies included, most were conducted in urban settings, involved the implementation of group-based early intervention strategies, and monitored GPA as a distal academic outcome. Counselors were frequent implementers of these early interventions. A meta-analysis found no statistically significant effect on the academic outcomes most commonly assessed in the studies (i.e., GPA, attendance, and discipline). Findings suggest the need for more rigorous research in this area. Implications for SMH early intervention research and practice are discussed.