This 10-month mixed methods case study utilized a sample of 27 teachers, the school administrator, and 281 low-income, Latinx children and their parents living in northern California to test the hypothesis that a school-based universally designed mental health program (The Glen Project) can strengthen students’ developmental asset attainment and positively impact the school environment within the first year of program implementation. The study utilized triangulated data to ascertain the effects of two program levels, (a) mental health and (b) school support services. All services were site-based and meant to target a wide variety of students and their families. Findings from the study reported that the Glen Project increased the developmental asset attainment in 7 out of 8 thriving indicators thus empowering the child within his/her environment. Data collected from the school administrator highlighted that the project positively impacted the school climate because parents, students, and teachers felt more connected to the school, and student referrals were down for (a) discipline (35%), (b) academics (66%), and (c) suspensions (51%). School climate survey data revealed that teacher perceptions changed from negative to positive in all three climate categories (a) relationships, (b) organizational attributes, and (c) personal development. The study concludes that an eco-developmental approach to school-based, universal mental health is a promising means to nurture connections in all systems of a child’s ecology.
Bowen, C. M. (2023). The Glen Project: A transformational ecology model of school-based universal mental health development. Children and Youth Services Review, 149, 106950. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2023.106950