Using Friends to Combat Internalizing Problems among Primary School Children in Hong Kong

By Siu, Angela F. Y. | Journal of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies, March 2007 | Go to article overview

Using Friends to Combat Internalizing Problems among Primary School Children in Hong Kong


Siu, Angela F. Y., Journal of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies


Abstract

The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of FRIENDS, a well-validated emotional resiliency program, to reduce internalizing problems among primary school children aged 8-10. 47 children who reached at least the cutoff point for internalizing score, as measured using a standardized test on child behaviour, were allocated to either the intervention or the wait-list control condition. All children completed measures on internalizing symptoms and self-esteem both before and after an 8-week FRIENDS intervention or wait period. Results showed that children from the FRIENDS program showed significantly higher self-esteem and fewer internalizing symptoms when compared to those in the waitlist group. Modifications done on adapting FRIENDS to culturally and contextually appropriate content for Hong Kong children with internalizing problems were discussed. Limitations of this study were also addressed.

Key words: FRIENDS, internalizing problems, school children.

INTRODUCTION

Children's behaviour problems were broadly classified into two groups: externalizing behaviours and internalizing behaviours (Achenbach, 1991; Cocchetti & Toth, 1991). Externalizing behaviour patterns were directed towards the social environment and could be characterized as an under-controlled and outer-directed mode of responding. Examples included aggression, disruption, impulsivity/hyperactivity. In contrast, internalizing behaviour patterns were directed towards the individual and represent an over-controlled and innerdirected pattern of behaviours. Examples of these behaviours included social withdrawal, depression and anxiety. Algozzine (1977) characterized externalizing behaviours as "disturbing" to others in the social environment and internalizing behaviours as "disturbing" to the individual. As such, internalizing behaviour problems were not identified as frequently as those with externalizing behaviour because of its covert and non-intrusive nature. Compared to externalizing behaviour, internalizing behaviour problems often went unnoticed (Kauffman, 2001). In addition, children with internalizing problems tended to be impaired in various social and school activities, as well as in their perceived self-competence (e.g., Messer & Beidel, 1994; Silverman & Ginsburg, 1998). This impairment could hinder children's readiness for learning (Pianta, 1997) and could increase the risk for suicide attempts (Lewinsohn, Rohde, & Seeley, 1998). Furthermore, these internalizing problems might intensify over time and were likely to develop into psychiatric conditions (Kendall & Chu, 2000; Lewinsohn, et al., 1998). For example, internalizing problems in childhood might play a causal role in the development of depressive disorders and anxiety disorders (e.g., Seligman & Ollendick 1998), conduct disorders as well as substance use disorders (e.g., Cheng & Myers, 2005). Failure to intervene early with effective treatments might render the child vulnerable to impairments in a wide range of functioning and result in deleterious effects on the person's long-term emotional development. For instance, a longitudinal study found that children with anxiety disorders faced a two- to four-fold increased risk for having an adult anxiety disorder (Pine, Cohen, Gurley, Brook, & Ma, 1998). Increased understanding on how to treat these disorders in children was therefore imperative not just because of the frequency with which these disorders were encountered, but because, when present, they engender significant immediate distress and impairment and could often lead to lifelong difficulties in overall functioning.

Internalizing problems among children in Hong Kong also reached an alarming point. A recent report released by Health, Welfare and Food Bureau of HKSAR (Apple Daily, October 8, 2004) estimated that about 5 to 10 percent of children is suffering from anxiety disorders while 2 percent is suffering from depressive disorders. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Using Friends to Combat Internalizing Problems among Primary School Children in Hong Kong
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.