Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. David Cowden

Second Advisor

Dr. Carol F. Sheffer

Third Advisor

Dr. Timothy M. Catalina


Head Start mental health services have the goal of primary prevention. The principal vehicles for achieving primary prevention are education and consultation. In St. Clair County, Michigan, the Blue Water Clinic's Early Intervention Program provides Blue Water Head Start participants with mental health services.

This study was concerned with mental health consultation as a service delivery vehicle for achieving the goal of primary prevention. More precisely, aspects of primary prevention were investigated particularly as they relate to the Blue Water Clinic's Early Intervention Program and the Blue Water Head Start Program and specifically, to two mental health consultation approaches used with Blue Water Head Start teachers.

The purpose of this experimental study was to investigate the effect of a prescriptive approach to mental health consultation on the adjustment of preschool children enrolled in the Blue Water Head Start Program, St. Clair County, Michigan. It was hypothesized that there would be a difference in adjustment between groups of Head Start children whose teachers were exposed to a prescriptive approach as opposed to those who were exposed to a traditional non-prescriptive approach to mental health consultation.

Adjustment was measured by changes in adjustment ratings on the Child and Adolescent Adjustment Profile (CAAP). CAAP data were collected by 14 Head Start teachers on 196 children enrolled in the 1984-85 Blue Water Head Start Program.

Results of the hypothesis testing indicated that there were differences in measured adjustment of preschool children between the two mental health consultation approaches. The prescriptive consultation approach was less effective in producing positive change in adjustment than the non-prescriptive approach in the areas of peer relations and hostility.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access