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Comparing informants for mental health screening at the preschool level


Universal screening for mental health in preschools provides the opportunity for early identification and early intervention, but guidance regarding which informants to use is needed. Preschoolers’ (N = 535) parent and teacher reports across two screening forms were analyzed to determine similarities and discrepancies for classification results and screener scores. The analyses also examined whether an additional rater provided incrementally valid information to the prediction of longitudinal kindergarten outcomes. Parents’ and teachers’ screening scores were significantly correlated across forms by rater and across raters. However, categorical classification results indicated that teachers were more likely than parents to rate preschoolers in at-risk ranges across forms. Finally, hierarchical regression analyses revealed that teacher ratings were predictive of kindergarten social–emotional, cognitive, and academic outcomes and that the addition of parent ratings did not significantly improve prediction of outcomes. Implications are discussed in the context of multiple raters within multiple-gating screening procedures. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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