Cultivating cognitive-coping behaviours: an evaluation of a CBT-based positive health intervention’s impact on pupil resiliency

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Martin-Hodgins, Nicola
Issue Date
Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The aim of this mixed method enquiry is to examine the key-learnings of a positive Health CBT-based school intervention from pupils’ perspectives and to assess the effectiveness of the intervention on pupil’s resiliency outcomes. To date studies have analysed the effectiveness of the Friends for life intervention by documenting decreases in anxiety levels (Barret and Turner, 2001; Henefer and Rogers, 2013; Rodgers, 2010). Few studies have investigated the effectiveness of this CBT-based intervention via investigation of changes in children’s resiliency processes. The positive correlation of resilience to mental health is well documented (Eppler, 2008; Ungar, 2008; Zautra, Hall & Murray, 2010). It is integral to deepen understanding on the role of resilience in the cultivation and maintenance of positive health school-based interventions. In response this study adopts a resilience-based framework to investigate the effectiveness of the CBT-based FRIENDS for life (Barrett, 2004) intervention. Concurrently this investigation responds to Irish research (Crosbie et al, 2011; Rodgers, 2010; Ruttledge et al., 2016) that indicates the need for additional investigations documenting pupils’ perspective on the effectiveness of CBT-based interventions alongside Eriksson et al (2010) call for more studies exploring gender difference in protective factors (resilience) in childhood research. With cognizance of gender, this study uses the Child and Youth Resiliency Measures (CYRM-28; Ungar & Liebenberg, 2011) to investigates pupil’s overall resilience outcomes and the three subscales of individual traits, relationship with caregivers and sense of belonging. Results indicate statistically significant difference in levels of resiliency post 10-week CBT-based intervention.