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Evaluation of an Anxiety-prevention and Positive-coping Program (FRIENDS) for Children and Adolescents of Non-English-speaking Background

  • Paula M. Barrett (a1), Robi Sonderegger (a2) and Noleen L. Sonderegger (a3)

Abstract

This study aimed to (a) appraise the efficacy of a well validated Anglo-Australian anxiety-prevention and stress-resiliency program (FRIENDS) for use with culturally diverse migrant groups residing in Australia, (b) examine the social validity of FRIENDS, and (c) obtain information from both participants and facilitators regarding how the program can best be modified for specific use with non-English-speaking background (NESB) clients. To test the efficacy of the intervention, pre- and post-intervention evaluation of internalising symptoms and coping ability were compared with waiting-list control groups (matched according to ethnic group, gender, and school level). One hundred and six primary and ninety-eight high school students differentiated by cultural origin (former-Yugoslavian, Chinese, and mixed-ethnic) and school level (primary and high school), completed standardised measures of internalising symptoms and were allocated to either an intervention (n = 121) or a waiting-list (n = 83) condition. Both groups were readministered the assessment package for comparison following a 10-week treatment or waiting period. Consistent with a recent pilot study, pre/post-assessment indicated that participants in the intervention condition exhibited lower anxiety and a more positive future outlook than waiting-list participants. Participating students reported to be highly satisfied with the intervention. Despite the overall success of FRIENDS, the program may be enhanced by culturally sensitive supplements so that the program is more applicable for use with NESB participants. Suggestions for treatment program modifications of FRIENDS are discussed.

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*Address for correspondence: Dr Paula Barrett, School of Applied Psychology, Faculty of Health Science, Psychology Building Mt Gravatt, Griffith University, Nathan QLD 4111, Australia.

Evaluation of an Anxiety-prevention and Positive-coping Program (FRIENDS) for Children and Adolescents of Non-English-speaking Background

  • Paula M. Barrett (a1), Robi Sonderegger (a2) and Noleen L. Sonderegger (a3)

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