College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Summer 8-22-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Antonio J. Polo, PhD

Second Advisor

Kathryn Grant, PhD

Third Advisor

Megan Greeson, PhD


Despite evidence of equal or greater need for mental health services among youth from racial and ethnic minority (REM) and low-income backgrounds, these youth are less likely to receive treatment when it is needed. When they do receive care, it is typically not evidence-based. To address these disparities, advocates and scholars have promoted the use of evidence-based interventions (EBIs) in schools serving REM and low-income youth. However, challenges with the implementation of EBIs in schools have limited their uptake and impact in this setting, especially for this student population. Implementation science offers new ways of examining the process of bringing EBIs to schools in order to understand what factors contribute to or impede their success. This case study examines the implementation process for EBIs in the context of one of the nation’s largest school districts using the Exploration, Preparation, Implementation, and Sustainment (EPIS) framework. Interviews with 13 stakeholders in the school system (7 clinicians, 6 administrators) were used to understand: 1) which barriers and facilitators impact the implementation process across various stages, and 2) how student racial, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds impact the implementation process in elementary and middle schools. A hybrid deductive-inductive qualitative content analysis revealed several barriers and facilitators that appeared across different EPIS phases and that were endorsed by both clinicians and administrators. The results largely corroborated findings from prior implementation studies in schools, while filling in important gaps on administrator perspectives and the impact of student sociodemographic factors. Implications and recommendations for implementation programs in school districts are discussed.

SLP Collection


Included in

Psychology Commons