A Supportive Beliefs Intervention to Facilitate the Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices Within a Multi-Tiered System of Supports

Clayton R. Cook, Aaron R. Lyon, Dajana Kubergovic, Diana Browning Wright, Yanchen Zhang

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80 Scopus citations


The current study represents a preliminary examination of school-level beliefs and attitudes as they relate to the implementation of universal evidence-based practices (EBPs) within a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) targeting student’s social, emotional, and behavioral problems. This study was organized around three primary objectives: (a) assess coaches’ perceptions of the utility and importance of targeting educator beliefs to improve adoption and use of EBPs, (b) demonstrate the association between educator beliefs and degree of MTSS implementation, and (c) conduct a preliminary pre–posttest of a supportive belief intervention (SBI) to enhance educators’ beliefs and examine whether changes in beliefs were associated with improved implementation. To accomplish these objectives, data were collected from 62 elementary schools across five school districts involved in a collaborative consultative partnership to design and implement a school-wide MTSS framework. Collectively, the results provided preliminary support for the importance of beliefs: (a) coaches reported beliefs were critical to implementation and facilitative of their roles working with teachers, (b) educator beliefs predicted initial implementation fidelity on a global measure of MTSS practices and specific measure of school-wide positive behavior interventions and supports, and (c) the SBI was associated with significant changes in educator beliefs and these changes were associated with improved implementation. The implications, limitations, and future directions of this research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-60
Number of pages12
JournalSchool Mental Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This publication was made possible in part by funding from Grant Number K08 MH095939, awarded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to the second author. Dr. Lyon is an investigator with the Implementation Research Institute (IRI), at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis, through an award from the National Institute of Mental Health (R25 MH080916) and the Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Services Research & Development Service, Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Evidence-based practices (EBPs)
  • Implementation
  • Multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS)
  • Social, emotional, and behavioral (SEB)


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