Searchable Title

Preliminary analysis of validation evidence for two new scales assessing teachers' confidence and worries related to delivering mental health content in the classroom. Copyright: Creative Commons License.

Searchable Authors

Brooke Linden
Heather Stuart

Reference Type

Journal Article

Authors, Section

Linden, B.; Stuart, H.

Title, Section

Preliminary analysis of validation evidence for two new scales assessing teachers' confidence and worries related to delivering mental health content in the classroom. Copyright: Creative Commons License.

Publication Year

2019

Journal Title

BMC psychology

Volume

7

Issue

1

Pages

32

Availability

online

DOI

10.1186/s40359-019-0307-y

Abstract

BACKGROUND: While mental health challenges in the classroom have increased over the past several years, existing research suggests that many educators feel unprepared to broach the topics of mental health and mental illness with their students. This paper outlines the development and gathering of preliminary evidence of validity for two new scales designed to assess teachers' confidence and worries related to delivering mental health content in the classroom. METHODS: Content evidence was collected through the use of two methods: a focus group held with members of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario, and a consensus survey conducted among a sample of educational experts recruited from an Ontario university. Internal structure evidence was derived from the initial intake survey of an evaluation of a new online guide designed to give elementary school teachers the tools and knowledge to develop lesson plans related to mental health. Internal consistency reliability of test scores was estimated with Cronbach's alpha. RESULTS: Both scales loaded on a single dimension with all items loading strongly (factor loadings greater than .60). Cronbach's alpha coefficients of .96 for scores on the Teacher Confidence Scale and .93 for scores on the What Worries Me Scale estimated strong internal consistency reliability. CONCLUSIONS: We identified two unidimensional scales measuring concerns educators may have about discussing the topic of mental health in a classroom setting. The Teacher Confidence Scale for Delivering Mental Health Content contains 12 items measuring educators' confidence in delivering mental health related materials in the classroom. The What Worries Me Scale contains 11 items. These scales may be useful for evaluating programs, educational workshops, and other initiatives aimed at improving teachers' abilities to provide mental health content in the classroom.

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