A Universal Mental Health Promotion Program that Demonstrates Psychosocial Benefits for Elementary School Students Who Perceive Low Emotional Self-Efficacy

Mei Ling Lin, Yok Fong Paat, Alyse Cooper, Cayla Molina, Emma Smith, Kristina Millar, Cecilia Fierro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Using a quasi-experimental design with no control groups, this pilot study aimed to test the effectiveness of a universal mental health promotion program for elementary school students in an underserved United States-Mexico border community. A total of eighty-five fifth and sixth grade students participated in this program and completed the emotional domain of the Self-Efficacy Questionnaire for Children before and after the intervention. Preliminary program benefits were identified among students who perceived low emotional self-efficacy prior to program participation. The program satisfaction rate was over 60%. About 70% of the participants expressed both confidence and competence in using calming tools for future stressful events. This study supports the use of occupational- and activity-based programs in public elementary schools that serve predominantly Hispanic students from low socioeconomic households. Implications for future occupational therapy practice and research are discussed.

Keywords

  • elementary schools
  • Emotional self-efficacy
  • Hispanic children
  • mental health services
  • school-based occupational therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Occupational Therapy

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