here

Report
Friends For Life
A resilience building and well-being programme for students
National Behaviour Support Service
NCSE Conference
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Overview
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Introduction
NBSS Model of Support
Friends For Life
NBSS Research
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NBSS Mission Statement
‘Promoting and Supporting Behaviour for Learning’
The NBSS promotes and supports positive
behaviour for learning through the provision
of a systematic continuum of support to
school communities, grounded in evidencebased practice.
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NBSS Model of Support
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NBSS Model of Support draws
extensively from:
• Positive Behavioural Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
Sugai & Horner, 2002
• Response to Intervention (RtI)
Fuchs & Fuchs, 2006
• Comprehensive, Integrated Three – Tier Model of
Prevention (CI3T)
Lane, Kalberg, & Menzies, 2009
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Student Behaviour Plan
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Childhood Anxiety
• When rates of specific phobias are included, the overall rates of
anxiety disorders increase to 18.8% among 11-13 year old.
RCSI Report: Cannon, Coughlan, Clarke, Harley, Kelleher, 2013
• Anxiety constitutes one of the most prevalent forms of
psychological distress in childhood and youth.
Educational Psychology, Albano, Chorpita & Barlow, 2003
• Anxiety is the most common psychological disorder in school-aged
children and adolescents. Prevalence rates in Ireland estimate that
18.7% of children suffer from some form of mental health issue or
psychological disorder, including anxiety severe enough to cause
impairment.
Barnardos Report: Tomorrow’s Child, 2008
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Managing Anxiety
Even when students are predisposed to
anxiety, they can learn to manage it more
effectively.
(Dr. Alish Rodgers, 2012)
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International Research
The World Health Organisation has cited
‘Friends for Life 'as the only evidence-based
programme effective at all levels of
intervention for anxiety in children.
(WHO, 2004)
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The ‘FRIENDS’ Programmes
The ‘FRIENDS’ programmes were developed by Professor Paula Barrett for
children aged 4 years right through to adults. Each programme is similar in
theoretical principles. However, each programme is age appropriate and has
additional techniques for each stage of development.
Fun Friends (4 to 7 years)
Friends for Life (8 to 11 years)
My Friends Youth (12 to 15 years)
Adult Resilience - Strong not
Tough (16+)
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Why ‘FRIENDS’?
The ‘FRIENDS’ programmes were created to:
• Develop life skills to cope with challenging situations
• Build life-long emotional resilience
• Build life-supporting social networks and positive role
models
• Promote self-confidence and empathy
• Reduce bullying and teach constructive peer relationship
skills
• Develop social skills
• Improve academic performance
• Empower students, parents and teachers
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Resilience
Oxford Dictionary
• Ability to overcome adversity; to achieve
positive outcomes regardless of life events or
circumstances
It is important to:
• Normalise emotions
• Recognise that emotions vary across cultures
and age groups
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The Theory Behind the Friends
Programmes
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Behaviour Theory
Our response to an event is based on our environment or the
experience itself.
CBT Theorists
We respond to ‘cognitive representations’: i.e. we respond to how we
think about an event rather than to the environment or to the event
itself.
“We develop a characteristic way of making sense of events and
responding to events based on our cognitive structures.”
(Kendal)
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The ‘FRIENDS’ Acronym
Feelings
Remember to relax (have quiet time)
I can do it! I can try my best!
Explore solutions and Coping Step Plans
Now reward yourself! You’ve done your best!
Don’t forget to practice!
Smile! Stay calm!
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‘FRIENDS for Life’ Programme Outline
Session
Session 1
Session 2
Session 3
Session 4
Session 5
Session 6
Session 7
Session 8
Session 9
Topic covered
Introduction to ‘FRIENDS for Life’
Introduction to feelings, our own and others
The relationship between thoughts and feelings
Emotional recognition, relaxation.
Developing positive self-talk
Challenging negative/unhelpful thoughts
Developing coping problem-solving skills
Coping step plans and praising self for success
Role play and practice using the ‘FRIENDS for Life’ skills
Session 10 Review and party – recap on what has been learned.
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Session 3: what happens to our bodies when we are stressed
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Session 3: what happens to our bodies when we are stressed
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Session 4: Creating our own relaxation menu
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‘FRIENDS for Life’
National Project
NBSS in collaboration with NEPS and SPHE Support Service
Research Questions:
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Is the ‘FRIENDS for Life’ programme effective in reducing
anxiety levels?
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Does the ‘FRIENDS for Life’ programme have a positive impact on
student behaviour?
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Can the ‘FRIENDS for Life’ programme be effectively delivered
through the Post-Primary School Curriculum?
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National Project Design
Measures - Screening Tools Used
Anxiety: The Spence Children’s Anxiety Scale (Parent and Student
Version). T-score of 60 and above indicates ‘elevated’ anxiety
symptoms and T-score of 59 and below indicates ‘normal’ anxiety
symptoms.
Behaviour: Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (Teacher &
Student Version).
Statistical Analysis
Parents, Students, Teachers completed pre and post measures.
Scores were analysed using a T-Test.
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Facilitators, Students, Parents
42 teachers attended a three day training session
499 First Year students were screened in 14 post-primary schools, with
parental consent
244 First Year students selected by the Pastoral Care Team/Student Support
Team/Care Team
All parents of students in anxiety ‘elevated’ range invited to meet with
project psychologist before and after FRIENDS programme
12 schools - small group format /2 schools - universal format
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Results on Anxiety Levels
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‘Elevated’ Anxiety Level Range
100
80
60
40
20
0
Before
After
1 in every 5.3 students rated themselves within the ‘elevated’ range before the FFL
Programme (N=94, 63 females, 31 males)
1 in every 9.8 students rated themselves within the ‘elevated’ range after the FFL
Programme (N=51, 38 females, 13 males)
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Anxiety Results: Student
Questionnaire
55
54
53
52
51
50
49
48
47
46
45
Total
Anxie ty
p<.000
Panic
p<.000
Se paration Fe ars of
Anxie ty
Physical
p<.000
Injury
p<.000
Social
Fe ars
p<.000
© National Behaviour Support Service
O bse ss. Ge ne ralise d
C ompulsive Anxie ty
p<.001
p<.01
Themes of Worries
• Test/Schoolwork
• Bullying
• Loss/Death
• Other Fears (e.g. empty streets, clowns, empty
streets)
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Anxiety Results:
Universal and Small Group
• Universal Schools: There was a significant reduction in anxiety
levels according to the student questionnaire after the
‘FRIENDS for Life’ programme (p=.01)
• Small Groups: There was a significant reduction in anxiety
levels according to the student questionnaire after the
‘FRIENDS for Life’ programme (p<.000)
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Student Voice
Students reported a significant reduction in their overall
stress, emotional stress, peer difficulties, behaviour
difficulties and attention deficit hyperactivity difficulties
following the completion of the ten session programme.
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Anxiety Results:
Parent Questionnaire
• Parents completed the Spence Children’s Anxiety Scale
(Parent Version) both before and after the programme.
• The parents recorded a significant reduction in their
child’s ‘Total Anxiety’ levels after the ‘FRIENDS for Life’
programme (p<.000).
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Behaviour Results:
Student Questionnaire (SDQ)
Results
Reduction
(Yes/No)
Significance
Level
Overall Stress
p<.000
Emotional Stress
p<.000
Difficulties with Peers
p<.000
Behaviour Difficulties
p<.004
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Difficulties
p<.03
There was no significant increase or decrease in relation to Pro-Social Behaviour
(p=.61).
There was no significant increase or decrease in relation to any of the Teacher SDQ
scores following the FFL programme.
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Qualitative Findings
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Student Voice
How did the
‘FRIENDS for Life’
programme
help you?
Family
‘It makes you closer to
your family, they help
you cope with
things better’.
‘It helped me because
I can do it at home with
my mam and my family.’
‘I spend more time with
my family.’
‘I talk to my family more.’
Red/Green Thoughts
‘I put green thoughts
in my head to make
me feel better.’
‘I now know that I am
in charge of my feelings.’
‘The programme made
me forget about my red
Thoughts.’
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Coping Skills
‘When I get annoyed
I now relax and
explore my solutions.’
‘I feel more confident and
staying in my house by
myself is not
a bother anymore.’
‘I know how to deal with
things that I don’t like.’
‘If I am in trouble or if I
have any worries I do a
coping step plan.’
Parent Voice –
Qualitative Findings
• ‘’Before the programme he used to ring to go home ‘sick’ at least
once a week – usually on a Monday and Tuesday after the
weekend. He was complaining of ongoing stomach aches. This
happened twice at the beginning of the programme but since the
third week of the programme there have been no phone calls
from the school asking me to collect him!’’
• ‘’She is a lot less anxious now. She uses her ‘breathing technique’
a lot now. I think the best bit about it was the ‘normalising
experience of it.’’
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Teacher Voice - Methods
• Fidelity Checklist after each session 1-10.
• Review document at the end of the ten sessions.
• The instruments were designed to yield
quantitative and qualitative data.
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Did the programme have significant or important
impacts for your students?
‘’I really believe that this programme was a huge help. It also
opened up the whole issue of anxiety and depression. Talking
about options, about being in control of your feelings and
about helpful self talk was brilliant.’’
‘’Students’ who previously seemed anxious seemed relaxed,
less stressed.’’
‘’ Quieter students began to use their loud and brave voice
without having to be reminded.’’
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‘’Boys got opportunity to learn language – emotional
literacy.’’
‘’ Gave me huge insight into world of 12/13 years. How
streetwise but innocent.’’
‘’Students’ physical demeanour changed – better eye
contact with teachers, initiated conversations. Students
who previously seemed anxious seemed relaxed, less
stressed.’’
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Have you enjoyed teaching the programme?
“Yes, I loved it – it was collaborative. You feel that you are
making a difference and teaching something valuable.”
“Yes, huge learning but very demanding and exhausting
work.”
“A real pleasure to watch them grow – a rare opportunity to
work closely with a valued colleague – learned from her. Have
now excellent relationships with FRIENDS girls.”
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Suggestions for ways the implementation of
FRIENDS could be improved?
Time:
“The programme needs to be incorporated into the timetable
from the beginning of the year which means during school
planning in August.”
“More time. It needs to be less rushed. Whole year to do it.
Every student.”
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Practicalities
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Ten sessions
Double class if possible
Trained facilitator
Positive environment
Parental involvement
Parental consent
Booster session
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Works Best When...
• Each student has a workbook
• Implemented weekly
• Facilitators model the skills taught in the
programme
• Flexible, fun and creative
• Parents involved in homework activities
• Encourage practice of skills
• Whole school support
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Department of Education & Skills
• Well-Being in Post-Primary Schools
• Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and PostPrimary Schools
• JCT Framework
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nbss.ie
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