Postnatal depression affects around 70,000 women and their families in the UK each year. Popular interventions have improved mothers’ mental health but don’t always improve developmental outcomes for infants. The Mellow Babies program offers a fresh approach.
Randomized controlled trials can provide strong evidence of whether complex social and psychological interventions are effective. But inadequate information in RCT reports makes it harder to trust the results. An international initiative is seeking to change this.
Some people respond well to cognitive behavioral therapy. Some don’t. A recent study found that kids with anxiety who responded well to CBT were still doing better up to two decades later than kids who didn’t respond well to treatment in childhood.
Kids innately want to “do good,” according to a team of Dutch researchers. A cognitive behavioral program called TIGER - widely used in the Netherlands - aims to tap this internal motivation. Now the first test of the program in mental health centers suggests that it helps 8- to 11-year olds with problem behavior.
Zippy may be the world’s most famous stick insect. The starring character in a program that teaches coping skills to six- to eight-year-olds, he and his friends feature in classrooms in two dozen countries. The most recent evaluation from Norway finds modest positive results of the program, although different outcomes for boys and girls mean there’s still more to learn.
Children exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV) in the first four years of their life are more likely to display aggressive behavior several years later, even after the exposure has ended.
Schools around the world have increasingly adopted policies and practices designed to prevent bullying. However, failure to recognize differences between the experiences and reactions of students risks making interventions less effective than intended.
A cognitive behavioral therapy program for first-year secondary school students reduced their anxiety levels, but did not help them adjust better to school, a new study finds.
When children are terrified of leaving their parents, who should be the focus of treatment – kids, parents, or both? A new study turns up a surprising result: in a randomized trial, there was little difference between treating the children alone and treating both parents and kids.
Introducing teachers to evidence-based classroom management techniques can help children to behave better and increase their readiness to learn. But continued coaching in the months after training leads to more faithful implementation.
Children who have been physically abused are known to run greater risks of psychological and behavioral problems, including early pregnancy. But why does this happen? New research suggests girls’ early experiences of maltreatment may disrupt their hormonal responses to stress, prompting precocious sexual behavior.
Increasing children’s willingness and ability to learn at the start of their education can have lasting, positive effects on their whole school career. But could their motivation be increased just by giving them a group identity related to learning?
Up to a quarter of children grow up with mentally ill or addicted parents, making them vulnerable to a range of psychological, social and cognitive problems. Attending a support group can help these children to reduce their negative thoughts and improve their social skills, a new study claims.
The ability to identify young people prone to risky health and sexual behaviors could help reduce the likelihood of negative life outcomes, and ultimately costs for public health services. A recent study of teenage girls in the UK revealed that those who saw their world as chaotic and uncontrollable were more likely to be involved with alcohol, drugs, and risky sex.
Prevention scientists have speculated that children’s genes play a part in determining how receptive they will be to early intervention. A long-term study of programs for reducing impulsive and aggressive behavior among American schoolchildren provides hard evidence that this may, indeed, be the case.
When transferring an evidence-based intervention program across national frontiers, a simple language translation may not be enough. Results from a substance use prevention program in Mexico suggest that wider cultural adaptations are necessary to maximize effectiveness.
Play, reading, and storytelling help children learn. Knowing which groups in society who are less likely to engage in these activities could help target preventative programs that promote reading and play.
Research from the United States shows that parent training programs can result in big improvements in parents’ skills and children’s behavior. Now, a version of the Incredible Years program translated to Portugal shows similarly impressive preliminary results.
Surveys suggest as many as one in five young people are affected by internet ‘cyberbullying’ – on-line abuse whose most serious consequences for victims extend to depression, self-harm and even suicide. Results from the first-known trial of a prevention program, conducted in Germany, reveal a promising approach to tackling a growing social menace.
Resources may be scarce and policy makers might have to make difficult decisions about what to buy. But a more rational strategy that invests early for later benefits would make sometimes nitpicking and frequently complicated comparisons between the value of one "flagship" prevention program and another irrelevant.
The family systems approach that underpins parenting programs such as Multisystemic Therapy, Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care and Functional Family Therapy may have a value in the treatment of juvenile sex offending, psychologists at the Medical University of South Carolina suggest.
Nick Axford explains the differences between English and Welsh approaches to implementing and evaluating Sure Start – and considers the lessons for the future.
Results of introducing an American parenting program to parts of Wales under the aegis of the well-established UK prevention initiative, Sure Start, have been so encouraging that they pose important challenges to makers of UK policy.
A popular program for helping children with language learning difficulties is found to have no impact and even detrimental effects in some cases.
Introduction of year-round schooling with shorter breaks to limit the damage holidays do to the education of poorer children has failed a test in Ohio. "Year-round calendars do not fix the problem of summer learning," the research team reports. "They simply sweep it under the rug of fall, winter, and spring."
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There is more to the international transfer of prevention programs than just hitting the “copy and paste” buttons. The introduction of the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program to Ireland offers insights into how to succeed.
Few people working with children will have heard the term “prevention scientist,” let alone know what one is or does. Yet this relatively new breed of researcher is behind the growing list of evidence-based programs being promoted in western developed countries. A new publication puts them under the microscope.
Crime and antisocial behavior prevention efforts have flourished over the last 10 years in the US. This progress can and should be used to help communities improve the life chances of their young people, a recent update urges.
Given the well-known barriers to implementing evidence-based programs, is it better to identify their discrete elements and trust practitioners to combine them in tailored packages depending on the needs of the child and family in question?