Initiative Description: Students attended 13 biweekly one-hour group sessions of a modified version of FRIENDS, a cognitive-behavioral anxiety intervention program. Didactic lessons were taught by the group leaders, then students participated in activities and role-plays to practice the new skills. Students were given weekly homework assignments. FRIENDS is an acronym for the skills it teaches, which stands for: F— Feeling worried?; R—Relax and feel good; I—Inner thoughts; E—Explore plans; N—Nice work so reward yourself; D—Don’t forget to practice; and S—Stay calm, you know how to cope now.
Study Results:Both intervention & control groups improved standardized reading achievement scores. Additional gains observed only in the intervention group were increased standardized mathematics achievement scores.
Reference: Cooley-Strickland, M. R., Griffin, R. S., Darney, D., Otte, K., & Ko, J. (2011). Urban African American Youth Exposed to Community Violence: A School-Based Anxiety Preventive Intervention Efficacy Study. Journal of Prevention & Intervention in the Community, 39(2), 149–166. https://doi.org/10.1080/10852352.2011.556573
Level of Evidence: Excellent