Adolescent Self-Esteem and Cognitive Skills Training: A School-Based Intervention

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Barrett, PM
Webster, HM
Wallis, JR
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1999
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Abstract

We developed and evaluated a school-based psychosocial prevention program for adolescents, focusing on self-esteem, negative cognitive processes, and peer isolation. Fifty-one tenth-grade students between the ages of 13–16 were recruited and randomly allocated to one of three groups; Social Cognitive Training group (SCT), Attention Placebo Comparison Group (APC) and a Waitlist Control group (WL). A pre-post design using two types of measures: specific measures of the target skills (self-esteem, self-statements) and impact measures (quality of peer relationships, acceptability of intervention for adolescents and teachers) evaluated the effectiveness and social validity of the intervention. Multivariate Analyses of Variance showed significant improvements on measures of target skills for the SCT group in contrast to the comparison conditions on reported self-esteem, and self statements, however mixed results were found on the impact measures. While the SCT group was rated as highly acceptable and useful by both adolescents and teachers, student self report ratings of quality of peer relationships showed little change across the study period. We discussed our findings in terms of the effectiveness of group based cognitive interventions in developing adolescent self-esteem and social competence, and the ecological validity of implementing programs within naturalistic settings.

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Journal of Child and Family Studies

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8

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2

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Linguistics

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