Can we improve children’s mental health with Why Try Program?

Miloseva, Lence and Vukosavljevic-Gvozden, Tanja and Milosev, Vladimir (2014) Can we improve children’s mental health with Why Try Program? In: The Eight International Scientific Conference Special Education and Rehabilitation Today, 07-09 Nov 2014, Belgrade, Serbia.

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The WhyTry Program is a strength-based approach aiming to help young people overcome their challenges and improve outcomes by emphasizing their self-determination and strengths when solving problems. They are taught social and emotional principles through a series of 10 pictures reinforced by music, videos and physical activities teaching a discrete principle.
Aim of the study: The goal of the paper is to try answering the research questions about the possibility of developing a more positive perception of their future, and improving classroom behavior, attendance, and grades by participating in the program. Differences from pre- to post-intervention in the areas of attendance, grades, office disciplinary referrals, and students’ scores on behavioral rating scales were measured. Pupil and teacher perceptions of motivation were also examined.
Materials and methods:
A mixed-methods design was utilized to examine effects of WhyTry Program. Pre-intervention data were collected for pupils’ attendance, grades, office disciplinary referrals, and behavioral rating scales, after which, the WhyTry Program was implemented. Following the intervention, the same type of data was collected. The pilot project took place at three primary schools in Stip, R. Macedonia from February-June 2014, for 8 weeks. The population of pupils, 7th and 8th grades, selected to participate in the program had to meet one or more of the following criteria by the end of the first semester of the school year: failing three or more classes, having seven or more absences, displaying inappropriate behaviors indicated by two or more behavior incident reports. A convenient, purposeful sampling method was used to randomly select 38 pupils from a pool of 76 who met participation criteria. Data measurement tools used for pretest and posttest were WhyTry Measure and Behavior Rating Index for Children (BRIC).
Results: The results indicated that there are significant differences on two measures: WhyTry Program Measure (t= -.2.98, p=0.02) and BRIC (t=2.60, p= 0.01). The three areas on WhyTry Program Measure (My Belief) in which the pupils` showed the most improvement were self-control, perseverance, and using support network. The pupil behaviors listed on the BRIC that were most improved included: feeling happy and relaxed, paying attention in class, finishing a job or task, controlling their temper and decreasing behavioral problems in classroom. Phenomenological methods drove the qualitative data collection and analysis through observations, student interviews, and teacher interviews. Conclusions:
The present study showed similar results and outcomes compared to other research studies of the Why Try Program, such as increased grade point average, decreased behavior problems, improved self-efficacy, increased willingness to persevere, and pupil’s positive perception of future. The future direction should be to expand the implementation of Why Try Program in R. Macedonia and compare results to other studies.

Key words: improve; children; mental health; Why Try Program.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Medical and Health Sciences > Basic medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Medical Science
Depositing User: Lence Miloseva
Date Deposited: 25 Dec 2014 11:44
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2015 12:20

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