Evaluation of a tier 2 internalizing intervention : the resilience education program
The current study intended to evaluate a tier 2 internalizing intervention that was developed for the school setting. The Resilience Education Program (REP) includes five cognitive-behavioral instruction lessons for use in a small group setting to address internalizing concerns such as depressed mood and anxiety. Additionally, REP uses a Check-In/Check-Out reinforcement-based mentorship program for students, in order to address performance and skill deficits in internalizing behavior. An underpowered waitlist randomized controlled trial research design was conducted in which students in grades 4-7 were randomly assigned to treatment or waitlist control groups. Participants’ internalizing behavior and proximal outcomes as reported by teacher and self-report measures in the treatment group (N = 21) were compared to participants’ outcomes in the waitlist control group (N = 17) while controlling for pre-test measures and demographic variables. Primary findings from MANCOVA analyses indicated that there were not statistically significant differences in youth self-reported or teacher-reported internalizing concerns between the intervention and waitlist group. Despite the lack of statistical significance, main effects were associated with large effect sizes, reflecting the pre-post differences in subscale scores. A large effect size was also found for the proximal intervention outcomes including coping skills, perceived control of one’s internal states, and social support, according to intervention status. There were positive findings regarding the acceptability of the REP intervention as a tier 2 intervention to address internalizing risk in the school setting. Limitations and future directions for this area of research are discussed.