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Investigating the effectiveness of universally implemented interventions to reduce anxiety and promote resilience in childhood

Investigating the effectiveness of universally implemented interventions to reduce anxiety and promote resilience in childhood
Investigating the effectiveness of universally implemented interventions to reduce anxiety and promote resilience in childhood
Theoretical perspectives on risk and resilience are important in understanding anxiety in children and adolescents, and the development of intervention approaches. A systematic review of the literature was conducted using a manual search and electronic databases PsychInfo, Medline, Embase and Web of Science. Key research studies evaluated universal school-based interventions aimed at reducing anxiety and depression, including those with active, passive or no control groups, and with participants aged 3 – 17 years old. The results indicated that universal interventions, delivered by teachers or mental health professionals, can be effective in reducing anxiety, with a small mean effect size (d = 0.23). Most programmes were brief (i.e., 8 - 10 weeks) and targeted children > 9 years old. Implications for future research include the inclusion of younger populations, multiple informants for outcome measures, and a theory based approach to understanding the factors associated with positive change.
The empirical study explored the impact of a universal cognitive behavioural programme for young children in reducing anxiety (and associated behaviours), improving attention and peer relationships. The study also looked at whether attentional control (AC) was important in understanding change. Sixty children (aged 4 – 5 years) attending a mainstream school received the 12-week intervention. Children completed a computer task to assess AC and completed a sociometric status measure before and after the intervention. Teachers completed measures to assess children’s anxiety and peer relationships. The results showed that anxiety reduced (p <.05), and peer problems and pro-social behaviour improved (p < .001) following the intervention. AC also improved (p <.05), and this change was associated with an increased number of reciprocal friendships. The findings add to the literature on the effectiveness of universal interventions in reducing internalising difficulties, and offer some insight into the factors involved in understanding positive outcomes.
Adams, Sophie
a8eb8ffe-7c02-43c5-a0f1-a737954ea778
Adams, Sophie
a8eb8ffe-7c02-43c5-a0f1-a737954ea778
Hadwin, Julie
a364caf0-405a-42f3-a04c-4864817393ee

Adams, Sophie (2013) Investigating the effectiveness of universally implemented interventions to reduce anxiety and promote resilience in childhood. University of Southampton, Psychology, Doctoral Thesis, 141pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Theoretical perspectives on risk and resilience are important in understanding anxiety in children and adolescents, and the development of intervention approaches. A systematic review of the literature was conducted using a manual search and electronic databases PsychInfo, Medline, Embase and Web of Science. Key research studies evaluated universal school-based interventions aimed at reducing anxiety and depression, including those with active, passive or no control groups, and with participants aged 3 – 17 years old. The results indicated that universal interventions, delivered by teachers or mental health professionals, can be effective in reducing anxiety, with a small mean effect size (d = 0.23). Most programmes were brief (i.e., 8 - 10 weeks) and targeted children > 9 years old. Implications for future research include the inclusion of younger populations, multiple informants for outcome measures, and a theory based approach to understanding the factors associated with positive change.
The empirical study explored the impact of a universal cognitive behavioural programme for young children in reducing anxiety (and associated behaviours), improving attention and peer relationships. The study also looked at whether attentional control (AC) was important in understanding change. Sixty children (aged 4 – 5 years) attending a mainstream school received the 12-week intervention. Children completed a computer task to assess AC and completed a sociometric status measure before and after the intervention. Teachers completed measures to assess children’s anxiety and peer relationships. The results showed that anxiety reduced (p <.05), and peer problems and pro-social behaviour improved (p < .001) following the intervention. AC also improved (p <.05), and this change was associated with an increased number of reciprocal friendships. The findings add to the literature on the effectiveness of universal interventions in reducing internalising difficulties, and offer some insight into the factors involved in understanding positive outcomes.

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Published date: June 2013
Organisations: University of Southampton, Psychology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 363630
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/363630
PURE UUID: a1c2551a-2aac-4bd2-b336-b6ac38d30ed0

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Date deposited: 31 Mar 2014 10:54
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 04:32

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Contributors

Author: Sophie Adams
Thesis advisor: Julie Hadwin

University divisions

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