Mental Health Research in K–12 Schools: Translating a Systems Approach to University–School Partnerships


concerning this article should be addressed to Lisa M. Hooper, Department of Educational Studies in Psychology, Research Methodology, and Counseling, University of Alabama, PO Box 870231, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 (e-mail:


The authors discuss the challenges that researchers from university and community systems face in gaining access to and partnering with K–12 school systems to conduct research. Borrowing from Szapocznik, Hervis, and Schwartz's (2003) brief strategic family theory and therapy and Bronfenbrenner's (1979, 1986) ecological systems theory, the authors outline a model for diverse research communities in the United States that can be used by counselors and other mental health services researchers who plan to conduct research in K–12 schools.