The perceptions of principals and teachers regarding mental health providers' impact on student achievement in high poverty schools

Teresa Perry

Abstract

This study examined the perceptions of principals and teachers regarding mental health provider's impact on student achievement and behavior in high poverty schools using descriptive statistics, t -test, and two-way ANOVA. Respondents in this study shared similar views concerning principal and teacher satisfaction and levels of support for the use of mental health services. They believed that principals were highly supportive of mental health services in their schools and they themselves were supportive of mental health services in their school. Respondents believed that teachers were not as supportive. Principals and teachers combined seemed to agree that mental health providers impact student emotional functioning. They were only modestly satisfied with the level of mental health services in their schools. Their rating of parent support for the mental health provider services was at a similar modest level. The findings of this study indicated that there were no significant differences between the perceptions of principals and teachers regarding mental health providers' impact on student achievement in high poverty schools. There were no significant differences between the professions (middle school principals and middle school teachers nor elementary school principals and elementary school teachers) with respect to their perceptions regarding mental health providers' impact on student achievement, but there were significant differences found in the level of school (elementary and middle) of the participants with respect to their perceptions regarding mental health providers' impact on student achievement. There was a significant difference between the perceptions of principals and teachers regarding mental health providers' impact on student behavior. There were no significant differences between the professions (middle school principals and middle school teachers nor elementary school principals and elementary school teachers) with respect to their perceptions regarding mental health providers' impact on student behavior. However, there were significant differences found in the level of school (elementary and middle) of the participants with respect to their perceptions regarding mental health providers' impact on student behavior. This study revealed that middle school principals and teachers believed that mental health providers had a greater impact on student achievement and behavior than elementary school principals and teachers.