WWC review of this study

Early childhood mental health consultation: Results of a statewide random-controlled evaluation.

Gilliam, W., Maupin, A., & Reyes, C. (2016). Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 55(9), 754–761.

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    139
     Students
    , grade
    PK

Reviewed: February 2018

At least one finding shows promising evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Behavior outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Preschool Expulsion Risk Measure (PERM): Classroom Disruption subscale

Early Childhood Consultation Partnership (ECCP) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
139 students

2.45

2.85

No

--
More Outcomes

Preschool Expulsion Risk Measure (PERM): Fear of accountability subscale

Early Childhood Consultation Partnership (ECCP) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
137 students

2.01

2.22

No

--

Preschool Expulsion Risk Measure (PERM): Hopelessness subscale

Early Childhood Consultation Partnership (ECCP) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
139 students

2.14

2.34

No

--

Preschool Expulsion Risk Measure (PERM): Teacher stress subscale

Early Childhood Consultation Partnership (ECCP) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
136 students

2.12

2.19

No

--
Social-emotional development outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Conners' Teacher Rating Scale--Revised Long Form (CTRS): Restlessness/Impulsivity subscale

Early Childhood Consultation Partnership (ECCP) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
128 students

57.08

63.97

Yes

 
 
21
 
Teacher instruction outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS): Emotional Support

Early Childhood Consultation Partnership (ECCP) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
86 classes

5.72

5.69

No

--
More Outcomes

Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS): Classroom Organization

Early Childhood Consultation Partnership (ECCP) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
86 classes

4.80

4.92

No

--


Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 26%
    Male: 74%
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    Connecticut
  • Race
    Asian
    2%
    Black
    10%
    Other or unknown
    27%
    White
    61%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    19%
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
    81%

Setting

The study examined preschool children and teachers in early care programs throughout the state of Connecticut.

Study sample

The study classrooms were mostly in community-based childcare centers (82 percent), with the rest in Head Start centers (13 percent) or public schools (5 percent). Children’s average age was 4 years 1 month (standard deviation of 0.79 years) at pretest. In total, 57 percent of the students in the intervention group and 66 percent of the students in the comparison group were white. The student sample was predominantly male; 72 percent of the students in the intervention group and 76 percent of the students on the comparison group were male. Teachers in the sample were predominantly female; 96 percent of the intervention group teachers and 98 percent of the comparison group teachers were female. Teachers were also primarily white (77 percent of the intervention group and 86 percent of the comparison group) and experienced (approximately 6 years of experience teaching in a classroom among intervention group teachers, on average, and 7 years of classroom teaching experience among comparison group teachers, on average).

Intervention Group

The study authors examined whether providing early childhood teachers with individualized consultation on classroom management and students’ behavioral challenges improved classroom environments and student behaviors. The program, called the Early Childhood Consultation Partnership (ECCP), supports teachers at Connecticut childcare and education centers serving children from infancy through age 5. A mental health clinician provides consultation over an 8-week period, for 4–6 hours per week, with one follow-up visit in week 12. The study authors randomly assigned 176 teachers who requested consultation to receive services immediately (intervention condition) or to receive services after the study ended (comparison condition). The teacher assessments were focused on two students in each classroom, who were identified by teachers prior to random assignment as having the most problematic behavior.

Comparison Group

The comparison condition was business as usual. Teachers in the comparison condition were eligible to receive the ECCP services after study completion (after 3 months).

Support for implementation

The authors do not discuss details about the implementation of the ECCP program. The study received information about implementation from the developer and referred to the manual for the ECCP program. The authors note that the intervention is based on the Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (ECMHC) approach. ECMHC is intended to be a fluid intervention that can vary depending on the needs of individual teachers and on the skills and focus of the consultants who provide support.

 

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