Honors Program

University Honors

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Jodi Polaha

Thesis Professor Department

Family Medicine

Thesis Reader(s)

Katie Baker, Karen Schetzina


Behavioral problems exhibited in early childhood can predict continued behavioral difficulties into adolescence and adulthood and can result in poor social functioning and health outcomes. Early identification of these concerns is necessary in order to connect families with appropriate interventions that thwart a negative trajectory. In pediatric offices, developmental screeners and pediatric surveillance are efficient and reliable methods of assessing behavioral concerns, which can help to quickly connect families with services. This study examines two methods of screening for behavioral concerns and the impact on on-site behavioral health referrals for children 4 and 5 years of age at a local pediatric clinic. In 2014, children were screened using the PEDS Developmental Questionnaire (PEDS) and referred to the on-site Behavioral Health Consultant (BHC). In 2015, children were screened using the Pediatric Symptom Checklist-17 (PSC-17) and referred to either the BHC or another new, on-site evidenced-based intervention called the Family Check Up (FCU). This study evaluates and compares the reach, effectiveness, and adoption of the two methods across both years. The results suggest that both screeners had the same rate of identification of behavioral concerns; however, the PSC-17 appears to improve rates of referrals to the BHC and the FCU.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Withheld

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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