The efficacy of a pilot prevention program for children and caregivers coping with economic strain

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Abstract

Poverty and economic stress are risk factors for child psychopathology; however, primary and secondary control coping can buffer children against the negative effects of these risks. A 4-week (12 h) pilot prevention program aimed at enhancing coping skills and preventing symptoms of psychopathology among children growing up in poverty was evaluated using a multiple baseline design. Participants were 24 children (ages 8-12) and their primary caregivers. Attrition was low and parent-reports of program satisfaction were high. Children's ability to generate positive coping thoughts and high quality solutions to problems improved from pre- to post-intervention. At the post-intervention measurement, parents' and children's involuntary engagement stress responses had declined and parents' secondary control coping had increased. Children's internalizing and externalizing symptoms also decreased from pre- to post-intervention, according to parent-reports. Results provide preliminary evidence for the feasibility and efficacy of the intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-228
Number of pages13
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Volume34
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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