Behavioral Health in Urban Schools Program

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Dr. Eiraldi is professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine and the program director of the Behavioral Health in Urban Schools Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

The focus of his work for the past fifteen years has been the development and testing of training strategies for the implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs) by school-based counselors and teachers in urban schools. His studies involve the integration of mental health interventions within school-wide, multi-tier support frameworks, such as Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports. He has also examined the effectiveness of the train-the-trainer strategy with community mental health schools’ therapists.

Examples of interventions used in Dr. Eiraldi’ s studies include EBPs for externalizing behavior problems (e.g., disruptive behavior, verbal and physical aggression), and internalizing problems such as anxiety (e.g., social anxiety, phobias), and depression (e.g., sad mood, withdrawal).

Most of his research is based on implementation science approaches, such as hybrid implementation-effectiveness designs and mixed-methods strategies. The outcomes of interest include the assessment of perceived feasibility, appropriateness, and acceptability of the training strategy; implementation fidelity, penetration, cost-effectiveness of the interventions; and student outcomes, such as changes in mental health status and academic engagement.

Dr. Eiraldi and his team have also investigated the assessment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and models for identifying and addressing barriers and facilitators in parental help-seeking behavior and service utilization by children and their families.

His research studies have been funded by CDC, NICHD, NIMH, and AHRQ. Through the course of various research and training projects, he has developed strong partnerships with the School District of Philadelphia, the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services of the City of Philadelphia, numerous mental health agencies in Philadelphia, and schools across the state of Pennsylvania.

Research Highlights

  • Ongoing funding from CDC, NICHD, NIMH, and AHRQ
  • Strong partnerships with School District of Philadelphia, Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services of the City of Philadelphia, schools across the state of Pennsylvania, and numerous Philadelphia mental health agencies
  • Multiple initiatives involving training and direct services to under-served children and families