We use research to inform the current state of knowledge on the best practices to develop, build, and maintain resilience and self-control among children and adolescents. We are actively collecting data from youth, parents, and educators to continuously assess and refine our intervention. As an important part of research, our objective is to spread the word on our findings and build upon our work.
Resilience Builder Program® in Schools
We studied the effectiveness of the Resilience Builder Program® in schools serving students who often lack access to mental health interventions. The children were randomly assigned to one of two groups, the first participating immediately in the Resilience Builder Program® and the second going through it after the first group had finished. Those who completed the curriculum reported improvements in important components of resilience, including feeling a greater sense of mastery and more connected to others. Parents and teachers also noticed significant improvements. Teachers noted better performance in study skills, interpersonal skills, classroom engagement and academic motivation–all key to thriving in the classroom. Students also said they felt their study skills and classroom engagement had improved.
Resilience Builder Program® in Private Practice
Since 2009, Alvord, Baker & Associates, LLC, a private mental health practice in Maryland, has been involved in a collaborative research effort with Dr. Brendan Rich, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology of the Catholic University of America. Their ongoing studies are investigating the effectiveness of the Resilience Builder Program® for youth 7-12 years old with psychological, self-regulation and social skill deficits. Preliminary results find significant improvement in multiple domains following participation in this 12-week therapy.
For example, in youth with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), results found that parents and children reported significant reductions in problem behavior, hyperactivity, inattention, and emotional problems, and improved social functioning and emotion regulation, while parents and teachers reported significant improvements in resilience. In youth with anxiety disorders, following participation in the Resilience Builder Program®, parents and teachers reported significant improvements in social functioning, parents reported reduced depression, and teachers reported improved emotional problems and emotion regulation. In youth with autism, following participation in the Resilience Builder Program®, youth displayed significant improvements in social skills, communication, emotion regulation, and autism-related symptoms. When administered to at-risk youth in schools, a randomized-control trial found that compared to youth who did not receive intervention, youth who received the Resilience Builder Program® displayed significant improvements in their emotional control and decreases in negative emotion.
Overall, research provides preliminary support for the effectiveness of the Resilience Builder Program® with children with ADHD, anxiety, and autism for improving social, emotional, and behavioral functioning according to multiple informants and in multiple environments.