A growing number of school-aged children experience or are at risk for a myriad of psychological and behavioral problems such as anxiety and depression that interfere with their interpersonal relationships, school performance, and potential to become productive citizens -hence the importance of school prevention. This study assessed the effectiveness of the Spanish version of the FRIENDS for Life program [AMISTAD para siempre], a social and emotional program that uses cognitive-behavioral techniques to prevent anxiety and depression. Eight schools from a northern city in Mexico were randomly selected and assigned to either an intervention or standard curriculum instruction. Fifteen teachers implemented the intervention, and 16 served as control. Participants were 1,030 fourth and fifth grade students (ages 8-13). The impact of the program was evaluated immediately after the intervention and after 6 months. The program showed a positive effect by reducing symptoms and risk for depression and increasing the proactive coping skills of the overall sample. Suggestions for further research and implications for practice are offered.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology