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Behavioral Research and Evaluation

The Office of Behavioral Research & Evaluation (OBRE) is an interdisciplinary center for research and evaluation.


  • History of OBRE

    History of OBRE

    In 2000, David Saarnio, Ph.D., a professor of psychology, started an evaluation/research office that was funded by a Federal Safe Schools Healthy Students (SSHS) grant awarded to all of the school districts in Jonesboro (Jonesboro, Nettleton, Valley View, and Westside). A major goal of the office was to provide research and program evaluation experiences to students.

    During the course of the SSHS evaluation project, the office contracted with other organizations in the community to provide evaluation services (e.g., for a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant to Westside School District). There was a clear need to create an official entity to promote and continue the efforts of the office. Therefore, in 2005, the Office of Behavioral Research & Evaluation (OBRE) was officially formed as an interdisciplinary center for research and evaluation. OBRE is co-directed by Saarnio and Christy Brinkley, Ed.S., a graduate of both the research office and the School Psychology program at ASU.

  • What does OBRE do?

    What Does OBRE Do?

    OBRE works with regional and state organizations to provide a multitude of services in several areas, including:

    • program evaluation,
    • cultural competence assessment,
    • capacity building,
    • needs assessment and asset mapping,
    • focus groups and individual interviews,
    • school safety,
    • positive behavior intervention systems,
    • cost-benefit analyses, and
    • evidence-based practice in children's mental health and behavior.
  • Collaborations

    Collaborations

    Community-Based Collaborations

    Mid-South Health Systems/Counseling Services of Eastern Arkansas

    • Program Evaluation of ACTION for Kids project, a system of care funded by SAMHSA [2005-2011]

    Better Life Counseling Center

    • Program Evaluation for the Building Healthy Marriages project, a capacity-building grant [2007-2008]

    Fitness Bootcamp Unlimited

    • Grant writing for the Fitness Bootcamp Unlimited Energy Program for Families project [2008]

    Jonesboro Parks and Recreation

    • Developed, collated, analyzed, and reported on the Community Input Survey [2002]
    • Consulted on future survey of City residents [2008]

    Craighead County Juvenile Department

    • Worked with representatives from the department in a variety of manners (e.g., to help determine cost savings of ACTION for Kids as related to juvenile justice costs [ongoing], the help develop an evaluation plan for the Craighead County Juvenile Detention Center therapist [August 2008])

    City of Jonesboro, Community Development Research Department

    • Provided research services [2007]

    School Based Collaborations

    Jonesboro, Nettleton, Valley View, Westside

    • Assisted in grant writing and performed Program Evaluation for the Safe Schools Healthy Students Grant [2000-2003]
    • Provided Program Evaluation for the Craighead County School Based Mental Health Project [2006-2007]

    Westside School District

    • Assisted in grant writing and performed Program Evaluation for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant [2002-2004]

    Jonesboro Public Schools

    • Provided assistance with data collations, analysis, and reporting of the School Based Mental Health Program [2007]

    Arkansas State University

    • Providing external evaluation on No Child Left Behind Grants:
      • Get A Clue with Jannie Trautwein [2007-2008]
      • Together We Teach with Natalie Johnson-Leslie [2008-2009]

    Cross County Schools

    • Data Analysis and Reporting services for the Positive Action program.

    Faith-Based Collaborations

    Deliverance Family Worship Center

    • Grant writing and program evaluation of the JAMMIN program, an afterschool tutoring and mentoring program [2006-2007]
    • Grant writing and program evaluation of the HOPE project, a capacity building project [2006-2007]
    • Assisted in various other grant writing projects [ongoing]

    CityYouth Ministries

    • Grant writing and program evaluation of CityYouth's Fitness Bootcamp Unlimited Energy Program, funded by the Arkansas Blue & You Foundation [project beginning January, 2009]

    Phillips County Ministerial Alliance

    • Assisted in several grant writing projects (e.g., Community Abstinence Program and Juvenile Diversion Program) [ongoing]
  • Conference Presentations

    Conference Presentations

    22nd Annual Research Conference in Tampa, FL (March 1-4, 2009)

    2010 Georgetown Training Institutes in Washington, DC (July 16, 2010)

  • ACTION for Kids

    Arkansans Collaborating to Improve Our Network (ACTION for Kids)

    Overview of Program:

    ACTION for Kids is a project designed to help children with severe emotional disturbances in Craighead, Lee, Mississippi, and Phillips counties. The program works through the implementation of a System of Care (comprehensive individualized services) for youth and families. It is funded by a 6-year, $6.5 million grant awarded to the State of Arkansas by the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

    Program Vision Statement:

    To create accessible, integrated, and functional communities of care for Arkansas children and youth with emotional and behavioral concerns that are both family-driven and youth-guided to ensure a meaningful outcome for each child and family.

    Program Mission Statement:

    ACTION for Kids will serve as a catalyst for change in the state of Arkansas by developing a community based, culturally competent wraparound infrastructure that is family driven and youth guided to provide individualized services that are supported by empirical evidence and delivered in the least restrictive environment for children with serious emotional disturbances.