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CFS faculty among recipients awarded $2 million 4-year grant to address chronic school absenteeism

Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Funds Stepped Care Approach for Addressing Youth-Motivated School Refusal Behaviors (STAY) Intervention
Rose Iovannone, PhD Kimberly Crosland, PhD, BCBA-D Alison Salloum, PhD Shannon Suldo, PhD Jeffrey M. Williams, PhD

Rose Iovannone, PhD: Principal Investigator

Kimberly Crosland, PhD: Co-Principal Investigator

Alison Salloum, PhD: Co-Principal Investigator

Shannon Suldo, PhD: Co-Principal Investigator

Jeffrey M. Williams, PhD: Co-Investigator

CFS Associate Research Professor Rose Iovannone, PhD will serve as Principal Investigator on a $2 million 4-year grant to address chronic school absenteeism of students in grades 3-8 with and at risk for disabilities.  CFS Professor Kimberly Crosland, PhD, BCBA-D will serve as Co-PI, along with Alison Salloum, PhD, USF Professor in the School of Social Work and Shannon Suldo, PhD, Professor from the USF College of Education, Educational and Psychological Studies. CFS Associate Research Professor Jeffrey M. Williams, PhD will serve as Co-Investigator.


The Stepped Care Approach for Addressing Youth-Motivated School Refusal Behaviors (STAY) intervention, an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) funded research grant, will integrate cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) strategies with functional behavior assessments (FBA). CBT strategies that are best matched to the function of school-refusal behavior will be selected and implemented, making it a tailored, individualized approach.  School-based behavioral health educators (e.g., school psychologists, behavior analysts/interventionists, social workers, counselors, etc.) will be trained and coached by the STAY research staff to implement the intervention independently. 

The project activities will be implemented in partnership with a minimum of three area school districts in Florida. Project activities will occur within three phases. 

  • Year 1 will be spent developing and refining the STAY intervention based on stakeholder feedback, expert consultants, and a family council.
  • Year 2 will test the feasibility of STAY and additional refinements will be made based on the data and user feedback.
  • Years 3 and 4 will conduct an underpowered randomized control trial.

“The project is anticipated to result in a fully developed intervention that is feasible for use in school settings and shows initial effectiveness in reducing student school absenteeism,” said Dr. Iovannone.

For additional information, contact Rose Iovannone