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Jayman, Michelle; Ohl, Maddie; Hughes, Bronach; Fox, Pauline
Languages: English
Types: Unknown
Subjects: Education, Mentalhealth, psychology
Background: Poor mental health in childhood and adolescence is associated with a range of negative outcomes. The unique role of schools to support pupils with psychological difficulties has been increasingly recognized (Layard and Clark, 2014; Fazel et al, 2014). However, gaps in school-based research have provoked a demand for real-world evaluations to provide models of good practice (DH, 2013; Fazel et al, 2014). Pyramid is a targeted, school-based intervention which promotes the socio-emotional well-being (SEWB) of vulnerable pupils. Evidence from primary school evaluations has demonstrated improvements in vulnerable children’s SEWB (Ohl et al 2008, 2012; McKenna et al, 2014).\ud Aim(s): To examine the impact of Pyramid on adolescent pupils (aged 11-13), including secondary effects on school performance. To explore intervention facilitators which bring about change. \ud Methods: The impact of the Pyramid intervention on 45 pupils from six secondary schools was examined through a mixed-methods design. Quantitative measures included cross-informant Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaires (SDQ: Goodman, 1997, 1998). Qualitative data was collected from focus groups.\ud Results: Teacher–rated SDQ results demonstrated improvements in the intervention group’s socio-emotional competencies compared to a comparison group. A thematic analysis of the qualitative data supported the findings and also identified potential causal mechanisms facilitating change. Moreover, secondary outcomes on school performance were elicited.\ud Conclusion: These findings will contribute to ongoing research on a larger cohort and provide preliminary support for Pyramid as a developmentally appropriate model for vulnerable young people in early secondary education. The supplementary impact of Pyramid on school performance warrants further investigation.
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