Teacher School Mental Health Literacy Survey: A Validation Study

  • Courtney R. Mastrorio University of Florida
  • Kathryn M. Trainor University of Florida
  • Joni W. Splett University of Florida
Keywords: mental health, school, teachers, students


Since teachers play an instrumental role in identifying students with social-emotional or behavioral (SEB) concerns, there is a need to assess and improve teachers’ knowledge in relation to children’s mental health.  This study examines the psychometric properties of one such measure Teacher School Mental Health Literacy Survey (TSMHLS) within a sample of pre-service teachers (n = 38.) The survey assesses the mental health literacy of teachers as it relates to students and within the classroom context. Data analyses were run to explore the internal reliability, discriminant validity, and feasibility of the survey. Analyses indicate moderate to high reliability (Cronbach’s alpha=.743), providing psychometric support for the use of the TSMHLS with pre-service teachers. Pre-service teachers’ discrimination between clinical symptomology and typical development was significant, providing further support for the survey’s use in understanding pre-service teachers’ knowledge of SEB concerns. Finally, feasibility was assessed through average completion time for the online survey (24 minutes), and results indicate that the survey could be feasibly implemented during pre-service teacher training. These findings lend support to the TSMHLS as an appropriate measure to evaluate pre-service teachers’ knowledge of student mental health.


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Social & Behavioral Sciences, Business, Education