EDP 6233: Mental Health Services in Schools (Guerra)

This guide is designed to give students assistance in school pyschologist interventions for Dr. Guerra's class.

NASP Case Study

  • Why is collecting background information important?

Using the medical model as a guide, no evidence-based intervention is introduced until adequate background data has been collected.

  •  What kind of information should I collect?

Background information may vary depending on the age of the individual; however it will always begin with basic family and demographic information.

  • How should I organize the background information?
  • Background Information/Developmental History: divide this into subsections, something like:
    • Family and Demographic Information – ethnicity, marital status, children, family history of medical and psychiatric problems, and traumatic events in the family system.
    • Social/Relationship History – significant relationships with others, friends, social support
    • Educational History – highest level of educational achievement, any problems in school, any special services provided, special education testing
    • Occupational History – how many jobs and how long at each, reasons for leaving jobs, satisfaction with current job, job-related stressors
    • Medical History – present health, any health concerns or chronic illness, changes in sleep or appetite patterns, complications surrounding pregnancy/birth, history of head injury, present and previous use of medications, last physical examination
    • Previous Psychological/Psychiatric Services – what were the issues at the time, what did the services involve, what were the results

          For any identified areas of concern, include complete information on history, frequency, intensity, duration, antecedents and consequences, etc.

  • Behavioral Observations: physical appearance, hygiene, abnormal behaviors or verbalizations, affect, attitude, attention level, activity level, degree of cooperation, social skills, etc. Describe any behaviors that contribute to your understanding of the client.
  • Summarize: one paragraph in which you integrate all of the information gathered to this point, describe current level of functioning and psychosocial stressors, provide an overall picture of the client and your hypotheses about what factors are contributing to the presenting problem or concern. Be sure to identify areas of strength as well.  (Sullivan, 2017)


  • When do I know that I have collected sufficient information?

Once you begin to collect redundant data, you may determine that sufficient data has been collected.

  • How do I determine that I have developed an effective background section?

An effective background section provides detailed information about the client.  Demographic information is included along with all pertinent information that describes contributing factors to the identified concern. The goal is better understand contributing features associated with the presenting problem.



The PDF below explores Problem Identification and answers the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of the Problem Identification section?
  • Where do I gather information from?
  • How do I decide what the problem is?
  • How do I state the problem?
  • How do I depict the discrepancy in performance?
  • How do I graph my baseline data?


The PDF below explores Problem Analysis and answers the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of the Problem Analysis section?
  • How do I discriminate if the problem behavior is due to a skill or performance deficit?
  • Do I need additional hypotheses?
  • How do I test each hypothesis?
  • Why do I need to include a conclusive statement?


The PDF below explores Intervention and answers the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of the Intervention section?
  • What kind of evidence-based intervention do I use?
  • Who needs to agree on the intervention?
  • What components are needed in an intervention?
  • What type of skills or performance goals are needed?
  • How do I show progress?
  • How do I ensure the efficacy of the intervention?

Evidenced-Based Interventions for School-Age Children - Academic and Social Cognitive Skill Development

Evidence-Based Interventions Utilized by EDP 6233


The PDF below explores Evaluation and answers the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of the Evaluation?
  • How should I depict the target behavior on a graph?
  • How do I ensure adequate intervention data is collected and demonstrates level and/or trend under intervention conditions?
  • How do I know that the intervention was effective?
  • What do I do if the intervention was not effective?
  • How can I generalize outcomes to other settings?
  • What follow-up strategies do I need?