Effectiveness of the Super Skills for Life programme in enhancing the emotional wellbeing of children and adolescents in residential care institutions in a low- and middle-income country: A randomised waitlist-controlled trial

Ramdhonee-Dowlot, Karishma and Balloo, Kieran ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1745-4653 and Essau, Cecilia A. (2021) Effectiveness of the Super Skills for Life programme in enhancing the emotional wellbeing of children and adolescents in residential care institutions in a low- and middle-income country: A randomised waitlist-controlled trial. Journal of Affective Disorders, 278. pp. 327-338. ISSN 0165-0327

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Abstract

Background: The present study examined the effectiveness of a transdiagnostic prevention programme, Super Skills for Life (SSL), among children and adolescents with emotional problems in residential care institutions (RCIs) in the low- and middle-income country of Mauritius using a randomised waitlist-controlled trial (RCT). SSL is based on the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy, behavioural activation, social skills training, and uses video-feedback and cognitive preparation as part of the treatment. Methods: The RCT involved 100 children and adolescents aged 9 to 14 years, from six RCIs, randomly allocated to either an SSL intervention group (IG) or a waitlist-control (WLC) group. A set of questionnaires measuring internalising and externalising problems, emotion regulation and self-esteem, and experimental tasks measuring attentional bias and inhibitory control, were completed at baseline, post-intervention and 3-month follow-up. Participants also completed a 2-min video speech task during the first and final sessions of the SSL intervention. Results: Children and adolescents in the IG showed significant improvements in internalising symptoms (e.g. anxiety and depression), externalising symptoms (e.g. conduct problems and hyperactivity), and inhibitory control, and an increase in adaptive (except putting into perspective strategy) and decrease in maladaptive emotion regulation strategies, at both post-intervention and follow-up. These findings were not replicated among children in the WLC. Limitations: The small sample size and lack of an active control group were the major limitations of this study. Conclusions: This study provides evidence for the effectiveness of a transdiagnostic prevention programme for emotional problems in RCIs in a low- and middle-income country.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2022 22:54
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2022 05:06
Uncontrolled Keywords: Anxiety/depression; Children/adolescents; Emotional problems; Low- and middle-income country; Residential care institutions; Super Skills for Life
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110319 Psychiatry (incl. Psychotherapy)
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111714 Mental Health
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420313 Mental health services
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520304 Health psychology
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520302 Clinical psychology
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3202 Clinical sciences > 320221 Psychiatry (incl. psychotherapy)
Funding Details:
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2020.09.053
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/46269

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