College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Summer 8-23-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Kathryn E. Grant, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Antonio Polo, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Bernadette Sanchez, Ph.D.


The goal of this study was to identify the barriers and facilitators of successful mental health and/or behavioral programs implemented within inner-city schools. The impetus for this study came from prior meta-analytic research which demonstrated programs being offered within inner-city schools, as a whole, showed very low effect sizes, with many of the programs offered to youth within these settings showing iatrogenic effects. The use of qualitative methods, specifically a phenomenological approach, provided an in-depth understanding of 1) service providers' experience(s) delivering mental health and/or behavioral programs in inner-city schools; and, 2) low-income, urban youths' experience(s) with receiving school-based mental health and/or behavioral programs. The current study's research findings, which provide perspectives from both service providers and youth, was integrated and discussed in the context of: 1) factors that serve as barriers to successful program implementation and/or program outcomes, 2) factors that serve as facilitators of successful program implementation and/or program outcomes,3} impact of the program, 4) recommendations/implications for service providers who deliver programs in these settings, and 5) recommendations/implications for researchers who develop/adapt programs for implementation in these settings. Limitations of the current study and areas for future research were also discussed.