Building psychological strengths & improving outcomes in school children with single-session interventions.

Cassidy, Joseph (2020) Building psychological strengths & improving outcomes in school children with single-session interventions. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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There is increasing recognition that mental health problems first emerge in childhood and that research and clinical practice should focus on prevention, early intervention and improving young people’s access to support. Single-session interventions (SSIs) have shown promise in community health settings, including with youth samples. However, there has been a recent drive to integrate mental health strategies into educational settings such as schools. As such, there is a need to explore how SSIs might contribute to this goal.

First, a systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted, drawing papers from three leading databases in psychology, medicine and education. This summarised current evidence of the effectiveness of SSIs, delivered in educational settings, on youth internalizing problems. Second, an empirical study explored how a mindset SSI might be trialled in primary schools. The study explored the intervention’s feasibility and acceptability to children in Year 5 and 6 (aged 9-11 years old), their parents and teachers.

Meta-analyses of 8 studies (n=2,082) estimated a medium effect of SSIs in educational settings for reducing depressive symptoms (g = -0.44, 95% CI -0.93 – 0.05) and for reducing anxiety symptoms (g = -0.62, 95% CI -1.35 – 0.11). The empirical study indicated that a single-session, mindset intervention is feasible to implement in UK primary schools and acceptable to pupils, parents and teachers. It also suggests that the intervention shows promise as a strategy for the prevention of mental health problems in children.

Taken together, these papers suggest that SSIs may be a viable, cost-effective means of prevention or intervention for youth mental health problems – even when delivered in educational settings. They highlight the infancy of research in this field, the significant variety between models of intervention and the need for future studies to consolidate or build upon existing evidence.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2020 11:17
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2020 11:17


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