Developing an integrated screening and progress monitoring tool for internalizing problems in middle school students
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Screening adolescents for internalizing problems is an important public health endeavor. Often, individuals who have tested positive in a screening system are able to receive early interventions that can reduce the overall disease-burden associated with their internalizing problems. Furthermore, effective progress monitoring tools can often help increase the chances an individual responds to the early intervention. Unfortunately, many current screening and progress-monitoring tools for adolescent internalizing problems lack utility in many contexts because they are burdensome for individuals to complete. The present study developed a single-item scale for adolescent internalizing problems in a manner where the scale could be efficiently applied to screening and progress monitoring contexts. Although investigating the scale's progress monitoring utility was outside the present study's scope, 27 middle school teachers and 543 middle school students participated in the present study by completing several measurements to explore initial evidence of the single-item scale internalizing scale's construct validity and screening utility. Results showed evidence for construct validity through good estimates of concurrent, predictive, and discriminate validity. Results also supported using the scale as a screening tool for some manifestations of depressive symptoms. Limitations and implications for future research are also discussed.