As part of our study "InSel," we aim to develop a tailored training program for teachers focused on identifying internalizing symptoms in students. Internalizing symptoms, such as social withdrawal or feelings of sadness and anxiety, often go unnoticed in children. Detecting signs of a potential condition is crucial to providing timely assistance to the affected children.
Children often lack the ability to attribute symptoms like sadness or insomnia to mental health issues. They depend on their caregivers to recognize the presence of internalizing symptoms and assess if further investigation is needed. As parents, you spend the most time with your child and witness their development from birth. Hence, you have the opportunity to perceive behavioral abnormalities and recognize potential warning signs early on.
Teachers also play a crucial role in identifying internalizing symptoms, as some symptoms manifest primarily in the school context. Due to their daily interaction with many children of the same age, teachers have a broad comparative basis to realistically assess symptoms.
Therefore, our primary objective is to determine the extent to which teachers' judgments, in addition to children's self-assessment and your assessment as parents, contribute to identifying internalizing symptoms. We are also interested in understanding the factors (such as school or class size, the child's gender) influencing the development of internalizing behaviors and how teachers' assessments are influenced by these factors. Subsequently, we aim to develop training based on these findings, assisting teachers in early recognition of internalizing symptoms and providing knowledge on how to handle them.