Date of Conferral







Jesus Tanguma


Over 18 million children in the US have mental health problems and 70% receive the care in the education sector. The Collaboration of Care (CoC) approach is widely used to address these needs. However, the body of knowledge to date does not focus on relationships between the use of a CoC in a school environment nor examines school-based outcomes. This study examined a specific CoC, called the Collaboration of Services for Youth (COSY), to see if there was a positive association between participation in COSY and changes in attendance, behavior, and academic performance among 52 public-school students, ages 5-16, and if there was an association with student age. Theoretical foundations for this study included the biopsychosocial model, fundamental aspects of cognitive behavioral therapy, the cognitive development theory, and Erikson’s eight stage theory of development. A 2 x 2 x 2 chi-squared test was used on four out of six variables and factorial ANOVAs with repeated measures was used to analyze academics. This study found that participation in a collaborative program was significantly associated with a 60% reduction of referrals for behavioral problems and improvement in academic test scores for the sample. While there were no pre/post COSY differences for the older students, there was a statistically significant increase in absences from pre to post COSY for the younger students. Results of this study can inform stakeholders of this school district, and others, about possible effectiveness of this type of collaboration program to be useful for future planning and implementation in the educational setting leading to positive social change.