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PSYC*3690 Article 2.pdf

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PSYC 3690
Benjamin Gottlieb

Article #: 2 Title: Prevention of Behavioural and Social Problems 2. Prevention of Behavioural and Social Problems PRIMARY - SELECTIVE Introduction - between 17-22% of youth up to age 18 develop a clinical disorder - 12-53% who have one disorder also have at least one other co-occurring disorder - 15-25% of young people could profit from intervention because they experience interpersonal deficits, sadness, or lack of self-control/confidence - most clinically distressed youth (70-90%) never receive formal treatment and when they do it may be too brief - young people are increasingly becoming either victims or perpetrators of crime and violence - many youth never develop a strong sense of psychological well-being, high self- esteem or the coping and social skills that are within their potential Primary Prevention Programs - evaluated 17 controlled outcome studies of primary prevention mental health programs - most obtained positive outcomes - both academic functioning and social competencies are important predictors for future adjustment and interventions have achieved positive effects in these dimensions - mental health programs seem able to both reduce risk and increase protection (competencies) Person-Centered Programs - intervention to prevent aggressive behaviour among multiethnic, inner-city children - demonstrated the preventative values of the Good Behaviour Game (GBG), which uses group contingencies to modify childrenʼs classroom behaviour - when a child violated one of the rules, that childʼs team received a tally or checkmark - children won the game when their team did not exceed a specified number of tallies - advantage is its flexibility - believed to work because the procedure provides an effective group contingency for enhancing childrenʼs self-control and prompts children to help others control their behaviour - GBG had a significant positive effect on levels of affressive behaviour - had long-term positive effects on those at highest risk - did not affect girlsʼ aggressive behaviour Mental Health Promotion - several person-centred programs have chosen various mental health promotion strategies - e.g. rational emotive therapy (RET) emphasizes the important of controlling or correcting irrational cognitions that can produce negative feelings and behaviour - affective education has also been used successfully, it is a wide range of interventions that teach children how to become more aware of their own and othersʼ feelings and how to understand the possible intentions that guide behaviour - personal causation training is a form of affective education and was evaluated on Africa-American elementary students, it was designed to help children understand their strengths and weaknesses and set realistic goals - program produced positive changes in childrenʼs personal responsibility and goal- setting behaviour, as well as school absences and tardiness and improvement in boysʼ language and arithmetic skills - interpersonal problem-solving training is another widely used promotion strategy - they generally focus on training children on one or more of: (1) how to recognize the existence of interpersonal problems, (2) how to develop multiple possible solutions to these problems, and (3) how to think through the consequences of different strategies before acting - outcomes have been mixed Transition Programs - 4 categories of transition programs have achieved positive outcomes: 1. First-Time Parents - a successful program was the Pittsburgh First-Born Project which combined home visits and clinic group meetings - led to a significant improvement in childcareʼs overall psychosocial functioning - a Dutch home visiting program taught new mothers how to monitor their infantʼs signals and respond appropriately, the intermediate goal was to promote secure infant attachment which would lay groundwork for a good parent-child relationship - programs mothers were significantly more responsive, stimulating, soothing and attentive 2. School Entry and Change - many children will experience some problems dn. some never seem to make good adjustment - the School Transition Project (STP) suggests that the adjustment process of transfer students depends on both individual (academic and emotional adjustment, coping skills) and environmental factors (stressful life events) and their interaction - important component was orientation and peer buddies - also an informational component for staff - also school and home-based tutoring program - has worked with several groups
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