School‐based prevention of anxiety using the “My FRIENDS” emotional resilience program: Six‐month follow‐up

Ana Kozina
Published Online:
04 Dec 2018

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Anxiety‐related problems are common in childhood and adolescence and, if left untreated, may hold short‐term and long‐term negative consequences for psychosocial functioning and other domains. In addition to having negative individual‐level consequences, anxiety‐related problems may have a negative impact at the school level. Because almost all children and adolescents attend school, school plays a significant role in development as a socialisation agent and provides an ideal venue for the delivery of prevention and intervention programs. Here, we present the first evidence regarding the effectiveness of the My FRIENDS emotional resilience program as a method of reducing anxiety among students in Slovenia and the feasibility of implementing the program at the national level. Grade 8 students (N = 78) were assigned either the intervention condition, the My FRIENDS program, or a no‐treatment control condition. We measured general anxiety and its components using the AN‐UD (Lestvica anksioznosti za učence in dijake) anxiety scale and internalising difficulties using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire at preintervention, postintervention, and 6‐month follow‐up assessments. Students in the intervention condition reported lower amounts of general anxiety and its cognitive component of worrying, and fewer internalising difficulties at the postintervention and follow‐up assessments.

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