Promotion of health, wellbeing and thriving among children and adolescents: shaping psychological mindsets and the use of third wave CBT approaches

Perkins, Amorette (2020) Promotion of health, wellbeing and thriving among children and adolescents: shaping psychological mindsets and the use of third wave CBT approaches. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Background: Currently, up to 20% of young people worldwide have a diagnosable mental health condition, and an even greater proportion have subclinical symptoms and/or are at risk of developing difficulties. Universal approaches to treatment, prevention, and the promotion of positive wellbeing for youth are of growing interest.

Method: A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to determine the effectiveness of third wave cognitive behavioural therapies (CBT) for children and adolescents. Therapies reviewed were transdiagnostic and applicable across the continuum from ill-health to thriving. An empirical study explored the feasibility of a randomised controlled trial (RCT) for a psychologically-based mindset intervention, incorporating constructs from third wave CBT, as a universal promotive mental health tool in UK educational settings.

Results: Thirty RCTs across clinical and non-clinical settings were included in the meta-analysis. When all studies were included, behavioural difficulties/externalising problems (g=-.67), third wave processes (g=.67), and wellbeing/flourishing (g=.65) yielded significant effects. When analysing only studies rated moderate-high quality, significant effects were found for emotional symptoms/internalising problems (g=-0.34), interference from difficulties (g=-0.82), third wave processes (g=0.53), wellbeing/flourishing (g=0.51), and quality of life (g=0.49). Behavioural difficulties/externalising problems ceased to be significant, while physical health/pain was consistently non-significant. The empirical study suggested that the mindset intervention and research design were feasible. Minimum recruitment targets were met (N=80). Student feedback was positive and participants appeared to understand the intervention content. Data were indicative of possible intervention effects for primary outcomes of personality mindset and psychological flexibility. Secondary outcomes of self-compassion, self-esteem, low mood, and anxiety also yielded some promising results. Maintenance was difficult to evaluate due to sample attrition.

Conclusions: Third wave CBT and psychological mindset interventions may be applicable to improve mental health and/or promote thriving among young people. There were notable limitations to both papers. Implications and directions for future research were discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2020 13:16
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2020 13:16


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