Systematic screenings to prevent the development of learning and behavior problems: Considerations for practitioners, researchers, and policy makers

Kathleen Lynne Lane, Wendy Oakes, Holly Menzies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations


In this article, we discuss the importance of systematic screenings to monitor K-12 students' behavioral and academic performance, with an emphasis on the need to identify and support students with emotional and behavioral disorders before they develop significant learning and behavior problems requiring special education services under the category of emotional disturbances. We emphasize the importance of conducting systematic screenings across the K-12 grade span within the context of comprehensive, integrated, three-tiered models of prevention. We provide brief descriptions of some of the current tools available to assess academic and behavioral performance patterns over time and present a balanced discussion of the benefits and challenges associated with the screening. Specifically, we describe how these measures can be used to (a) assess overall levels of performance within and across the school years and (b) identify students who may require secondary and tertiary levels of prevention beyond primary prevention efforts. We conclude with responsibilities that come with conducting screenings, with specific considerations for practitioners, researchers, and policy makers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-172
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Disability Policy Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes



  • emotional and behavioral disorders
  • systematic screening
  • three-tiered models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Law

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