The prevention of childhood anxiety and promotion of resilience among preschool-aged children: a universal school based trial
Published on Apr 1, 2013in Advances in school mental health promotion
· DOI :10.1080/1754730X.2013.784616
This study is the first to examine the effectiveness of the Fun FRIENDS programme, a school-based, universal preventive intervention for early childhood anxiety and promotion of resilience delivered by classroom teachers. Participants (N ¼ 488) included children aged 4 ‐ 7 years attending 1 of 14 Catholic Education schools in Brisbane, Australia. The schools were randomly allocated to one of three groups, the intervention, active comparison and waitlist control group. Parents completed standardized measures of anxiety and behavioural inhibition (BI), resilience, social and emotional functioning and behaviour difficulties in addition to parental stress and anxiety, at pre- and post- and 12-month follow-up. Teachers also completed a parallel measure of social and emotional strength at the three time points. Comparable results were obtained for the intervention and comparison groups; however, the intervention group (IG) achieved greater reductions in BI, child behavioural difficulties and improvements in social and emotional competence. In addition, significant improvements in parenting distress and parent‐ child interactions were found for the IG, with gains maintained at 12-month follow-up. Teacher reports revealed more significant improvement in social and emotional competence for the IG. Clinical implications of the findings are discussed, along with limitations and directions for future research.