Guzder, J.; Paisley V. J.; Robertson-Hickling Hilary A.; Hickling, Fredrick W.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Promoting Resilience in High-risk Children in Jamaica: A Pilot Study of a Multimodal Intervention
Journal Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Date of Publication
OBJECTIVE: To assess the effectiveness of a multimodal afterschool and summer intervention called the Dream-A-World (DAW) Project for a cohort of school-aged Jamaican children from an impoverished, disadvantaged inner-city community in Kingston, Jamaica. Children were selected by their teachers based on severe disruptive disorders and academic underachievement and compared with a matched control group. The pilot was a child focused therapeutic modality without parental intervention for disruptive conduct and academic failure. METHOD: A group psychotherapeutic intervention of creative arts therapies and remedial academic support adapted for the Jamaican context was implemented with 30 children from an inner-city primary school. The intervention was implemented over 2½ years spanning grade three to six with evaluation of outcomes using the ASEBA Teacher Report Form (TRF) and end of term grades for the intervention group versus matched controls who were offered usual school supports. RESULTS: The intervention group made significant improvements in school social and behavior adjustment measured by the TRF, with more successful outcome amongst boys for behavioral gains. No significant improvements were made by the girls. Limitations of cohort size, lack of parent data and questions of gender disparities in outcome were unresolved interpretative issues. CONCLUSION: This multi-modal mental health and academic intervention for high-risk children living in an impoverished, violent neighbourhood, improved global functioning of boys more than girls, and raised questions for design of further preventive planning.....