Using FRIENDS to combat anxiety and adjustment problems among young migrants to Australia: A national trial.
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The primary objectives of this study were: (i) to evaluate the capacity of a well- validated anxiety prevention and emotional resiliency program (FRIENDS) to reduce psychological distress in young culturally diverse migrants of non-English speaking background (NESB), and (ii) to determine whether any change in psychological symptoms and emotional resilience would be maintained over time. Three hundred and twenty-four students differentiated by cultural origin (former- Yugoslavian, Chinese, and mixed-ethnic) and educational level (elementary and high school), were recruited from different Australian states and allocated to either an intervention or wait-list condition. All students completed standardized measures of self-esteem, internalizing symptoms, and future outlook both before and after a 10-week FRIENDS intervention or wait period. One hundred and thirty-nine participants from Queensland were also assessed six months following completion of the FRIENDS program to determine its long-term effects. Consistent with previous trials involving culturally diverse populations, NESB participants who underwent FRIENDS training exhibited significantly greater self- esteem, fewer internalizing symptoms, and a less pessimistic future outlook than wait-list participants at both post- and six months follow-up assessment intervals. This study provides empirical evidence for the utility of the FRIENDS program as a resource for therapists and schools working with young culturally diverse migrant populations.
Clinical Child Psychology & Psychiatry
Copyright 2003 Sage Publications. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. First published in Clinical Child Psychology & Psychiatry. This journal is available online: http://ccp.sagepub.com/content/vol8/issue2/