Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Psychological and Social Foundations

Major Professor

Shannon Suldo, Ph.D.

Committee Member

John Ferron, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Brittany Hearon-Wade, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jonathan Lee, Ph.D.


Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Secondary Education, Mental Health


Students enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) courses and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs represent a unique group of adolescents given the high demands of their rigorous coursework and the elevated stress they experience compared to peers in the general education (Suldo & Shaunessy-Dedrick, 2013). These students are often missed in traditional screening procedures that tend to identify students struggling academically or exhibiting disruptive behaviors. Fortunately, Shaunessy-Dedrick and colleagues (2021) developed a comprehensive school-based intervention program, including universal (Tier 1) and selective (Tier 2) components, which aims to support the well-being of AP/IB students. The Tier 2 component of this program (i.e., the Motivation, Assessment, and Planning [MAP] intervention; O’Brennan et al., 2020; Suldo et al., 2021) is grounded in motivational interviewing (MI) techniques and involves 1-2 individualized meetings between AP/IB students and MAP coaches to help students create a goal and action plan aligned with targets promoted in the universal program. This study examined the level of goal attainment reported by 9th grade AP/IB students following participation in two MAP meetings (N= 114) and explored factors that may predict students’ level of goal attainment following the first MAP meeting. Using hierarchical linear model (HLM) procedures, results indicated that students generally experienced high levels of goal attainment following MAP Meeting One. In addition, students’ level of emotional risk (as indicated by school satisfaction [β = .19, p = .03]) and student-reported therapeutic alliance (β = .59, p = .02) were found to be significant predictors of their goal attainment following MAP Meeting One. The remaining variables included in the HLM model (i.e., gender, GPA, perceived stress, coach-reported therapeutic alliance, and MAP coaches’ perceptions of MI-adherence) were not found to be significant predictors of AP/IB students’ goal attainment. Of note, the bivariate correlation between one indicator of goal attainment (i.e., average percentage of action plan completed) and MAP coaches’ reports of MI adherence during MAP Meeting One was statistically significant (r = .26, p < .01), indicating that coach perceptions of their level of MI-adherent behaviors in the first meeting had a small, positive relationship with the student’s ultimate progress in the subsequent weeks with carrying out action plan developed collaboratively in that meeting. In a second HLM model, academic and emotional risk was entered as a single dichotomous variable to determine whether the presence of dual risk factors (academic and emotional risk) versus a single risk factor (academic or emotional risk) predicted AP/IB students’ goal attainment following MAP Meeting One. Results indicated a non-significant relationship between the presence of dual risk factors and students’ goal attainment (β = -.27, p = .13). Implication for practice, study limitations, and directions for future research are discussed.