Primary school-based screening for childhood mental health problems and intervention delivery: a qualitative study of parents in challenging circumstances


Few children with mental health problems access evidence-based interventions. Primary schools may be an ideal setting to improve access to treatment through screening and intervention programmes, but some families’ circumstances and experiences may increase barriers to benefiting from this approach. Interviews were carried out with parents of children living in potentially challenging circumstances, including foster and military-connected families. We aimed to explore parent perceptions of a school-based screening/intervention programme and potential barriers to uptake. Parents described that due to their past experiences, that they might not trust or engage with a school-based screening/intervention. Nonetheless, parents considered that the delivery of a sensitive school screening/intervention programme might provide an opportunity for schools to strengthen their relationship with families. These findings highlight the need for future school-based screening/intervention programmes for child mental health to consider the needs of families of children from varied circumstances, and ensure steps are taken to promote trust.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
College of Health & Life Sciences > Aston Institute of Health & Neurodevelopment (AIHN)
College of Health & Life Sciences
Additional Information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( This paper represents independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and hosted by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust (NIHR; RP-PG-0218-20010). CC was supported by the Oxford and Thames Valley NIHR Applied Research Collaboration. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mental health,child,intervention,parent,school,screening,Developmental and Educational Psychology,Clinical Psychology,Psychiatry and Mental health
Publication ISSN: 1741-2692
Last Modified: 01 May 2024 16:45
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2022 09:35
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://www.tan ... 52.2022.2122285 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2022-10-31
Accepted Date: 2022-10-01
Authors: Williamson, Victoria
Larkin, Michael (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-3304-7000)
Reardon, Tessa
Ford, Tamsin
Spence, Susan H.
Morgan, Fran
Cathy, Creswell



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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