School-based health centers, academic achievement, and school discipline

:A systematic review of the literature

Published in the Journal of Children and Youth Services Review 118 (2020) 105467 – September 11, 2020

School-based health centers (SBHCs) mitigate the long-term effects of poor health on children and adolescents. Although varied in staffing patterns and services provided, SBHCs aim to advance health equity among populations with histories and ongoing experiences of oppression. Reforms in education policy and the growing recognition of the role schools have in social mobility and economic prosperity beg the question of whether SBHCs demonstrably promote educational success alongside improved health outcomes. However, the current literature to elucidate the relationship between SBHCs and educational outcomes is limited. The purpose of this systematic review was to examine the recent evidence linking SBHCs and educational outcomes. Following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines, this review explored and summarized studies examining SBHCs and educational outcomes. A total of 16 articles met the criteria for inclusion. School attendance was the most commonly observed academic outcome, while school discipline outcomes were understudied. Each publication included varying amounts and types of information delineating SBHC characteristics. The findings of this systematic review indicate that despite the expansion of SBHCs, there remains limited research studying the relationship between SBHCs and educational outcomes. Future research will benefit from accessing data for a broader array of outcome variables. Given the heterogeneity of SBHCs, it will be important for future studies to describe the delivery model, provider teams, types of service, and funding structures of SBHCs in detail.

Click here to read the full journal article.

This is article was authored jointly by Casey L. Thomas, Student & PhD CandidateStephen Phillippi, Professor & Program Director/ChairAshley Wennerstrom, Associate Professor, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans, School of Public Health, Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, and Olga Acosta Price, George Washington University, Milken Institute School of Public Health, Department of Prevention and Community Health, Washington, DC.
Accepted 9 September 2020;Available online 11 September 2020