Enhancing resiliency and promoting prosocial behavior among Tanzanian primary-school students: A school-based intervention

Published on 2018-08-09T12:00:00Z (GMT) by
<div><p>Children in Sub-Saharan Africa are living under chronic adversity due to poverty, serious health issues, physical and sexual abuse, and armed conflicts. These highly stressful conditions have deleterious effects on their mental health and socio-emotional adjustment. Since many children lack adequate access to mental health care, culturally adapted school-based resiliency programs could provide a resource to scaffold their development and promote their mental health. This study evaluated the efficacy of a universal school-based intervention in enhancing the resiliency of Tanzanian primary school children and cultivating prosocial behaviors. A total of 183 students from grades 4 to 6 were randomly assigned to either the 16-session “ERSAE-Stress-Prosocial (ESPS)” structured intervention or to a Social Study curriculum (SS) active control group. The original ESPS program was adapted by Tanzanians mental health professionals who modified the program based on local idioms of distress and indigenous practices. Students' resilience was evaluated before, after and 8 months following the intervention by assessing social difficulties, hyperactivity, somatization, level of anxiety, prosocial behaviors and school functioning as well as academic achievements and disciplinary problems. There was significant improvement on all outcome measures for the ESPS group compared to the control group post-intervention and at the 8-month follow up. The ESPS intervention was equally effective on most measures for students experiencing different adversity levels. The results indicate that a culturally adapted universal school-based intervention can be effective in enhancing Tanzanian students' resiliency and promoting prosocial behaviors. Should these results be replicated and found enduring, the modified ESPS could be a valuable mental health-promoting intervention in other low-income countries.</p></div>

Cite this collection

Berger, Rony; Benatov, Joy; Cuadros, Raphael; VanNattan, Jacob; Gelkopf, Marc (2018): Enhancing resiliency and promoting prosocial behavior among Tanzanian primary-school students: A school-based intervention. SAGE Journals. Collection.