Self-Concept Intervention for Urban High School Students Grant

Self-Concept Intervention for Urban High School Students .


  • Project Summary/AbstractHigh school graduation is among the strongest empirical predictors of healthy trajectories foradolescents, predicting education attainment1,2, career outcomes3-5, and justice systeminvolvement6. For diverse, low-income youth, cumulative risk exposure interferes with academicsuccess in high school, and resources are insufficient to mitigate these risks. Academic successis strongly influenced by self-concept7,8, and threats to self-concept can have a significant andlasting impact on performance. Previous research has shown that brief, theoretically precise“wise” interventions can positively impact self-concept, and subsequent student outcomes8. Forthe past year we have partnered with Hialeah-Miami Lakes High School to develop a schoolmental health model with components at both universal (self-guided writing intervention toinfluence self-concept) and targeted (peer mentoring around self-concept, goal setting andproblem solving) levels. We will examine the universal component that utilizes non-academicself-concept (each student’s self-selected strengths and values) as a potential lever for change.Specifically, we will refine and deliver (via within-classrooms, randomized controlled design) abrief, resource-minimal, self-concept intervention designed to improve academic outcomes forvulnerable adolescents (Research Aim 1), and we will examine impact of the intervention viaintent-to-treat analyses and test a detailed model of causal risk factors via mediation andmoderation (Research Aim 2). Incoming 9th grade high school students (n = 205; 72% Latino,23% African American, 80% low-income), will complete a brief, self-guided writing interventionduring class time, in ten minute increments, once per week, over the first six weeks of school.Latent growth curve analyses will examine impact on academic success, as measured by globalGPA, at the end of each academic quarter (Hypothesis #1). Structural equation modeling willexamine reduced mental health symptoms and improved academic self-concept asmechanisms of change (Hypothesis #2). Dr. Geoffrey Cohen will consult on wise interventionsfor academic success (Training Goal #1). Dr. Stefany Coxe will consult on developing advancedquantitative skills for longitudinal, clustered data analysis. Findings will inform design andexamination of a multi-level school mental health model for self-concept intervention atuniversal, targeted and indicated levels via a post-doctoral NRSA application. The proposedtraining goals and research aims will prepare me for a career as an independent investigatorfocused on healthy trajectories through academic success for vulnerable youth, focusing onresource-minimal, wise intervention tools that are feasible, effective, and sustainable.

date/time interval

  • August 9, 2016 - August 8, 2018

administered by

sponsor award ID

  • 1F31HD087066-01A1



  • Academic achievement
  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Development
  • African American
  • Attention
  • Collaborations
  • Communities
  • Community based prevention
  • Consult
  • Data
  • Data Analyses
  • De
  • abstracting
  • academic intervention
  • base
  • biopsychosocial
  • career
  • causal model
  • college
  • design