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‘What Works for Children?’ has produced summaries of research evidence on some specific interventions, which we call EvidenceNuggets. The nuggets present the available evidence on specific interventions covering:

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
Mentoring
Parenting
Home visiting
Breakfast clubs
Traffic calming


   

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy can be effective in managing behavioural problems and conduct disorder in pre-adolescence

This EvidenceNugget was updated in 2006.

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  • In the UK, 6.9% of boys and 2.8% of girls from 5 to 10 years of age exhibit conduct disorder.

  • 40% of 7 to 8 year olds diagnosed with conduct disorder become persistent offenders as teenagers; over 90% of persistent offenders had conduct disorder as children.

  • Cognitive behavioural therapies (CBT) emphasise the process of learning in improving and maintaining behaviour. The client is encouraged to identify connections between thoughts and their responses to social situations.

  • CBT often involves problem solving skills training. This type of training has been widely evaluated and there is evidence for its efficacy in the short term in treating aggression and conduct disorders in children.

  • CBT may be appropriate for children whose families are unable to participate in parenting programmes, and is often delivered to groups at school or in other community setting

 

 

One-to-one mentoring programmes and problem behaviour in adolescence

This EvidenceNugget was updated in 2006.

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  • There are several models of mentoring. This Evidence Nugget reports on one-to-one mentoring, delivered by a volunteer and organised by a dedicated mentoring project or scheme.

  • One-to-one mentoring programmes can have different aims ranging from being a preventative measure to helping young people change their disruptive behaviour. This nugget focuses on the latter.

  • A review of 55 individual mentoring evaluations found that overall the programmes had a small but beneficial effect on problem and high-risk behaviour, when measured by the young people's own report.

  • Many evaluations have reported positive experiences by young people who sustain their relationship with their mentor. Little research has looked at why so many mentoring relationships break down, and the effect this has on the young people.

  • Increasingly mentors are used as part of a multi-component project where mentoring is one part of a range of tailor-made packages for young people. Research indicates that these programmes are more successful than those delivering mentoring on its own.

  • Some research has found that mentoring can cause harm, particularly when relationships break down and when delivered to young people who exhibit personal vulnerabilities.


 
 

Group-based parenting programmes can reduce behaviour problems of children aged 3 - 10 years

This EvidenceNugget was updated in 2006.

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Behaviour problems in young children can be associated with a range of problems later in life. Group-based parenting programs can reduce behaviour problems amongst children and reduce the chances of later difficulties.

  • Most children experience behaviour problems as a normal part of their development and grow out of them.

  • Behaviour problems persisting from early childhood have been associated with later difficulties including criminal behaviour, drug and alcohol misuse, mental health problems, relationship breakdowns and poor work histories.

  • Parenting and family interaction have been reported to account for as much as 30-40% of the variation in anti-social behaviour in children.

  • Group-based parenting programmes have been shown to reduce behaviour problems in children aged 3-12 years.

  • Some parenting programmes have been found to work effectively in a routine NHS context, with standard referrals to child mental health services and regular clinic staff carrying out the interventions.

  • The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) issued guidance in July 2006 recommending the implementation of group-based parenting programmes for children with conduct disorder. For families with particularly complex needs individual programmes are recommended.
 
 

Home visiting can substantially reduce childhood injury

This EvidenceNugget was updated in 2004 and published as part of the NCB Highlight series of research summaries.

More information on the series is available from:

www.ncb.org.uk/Page.asp?originx907pi_62797383270444y66w4179751801

view and download the print version here  PDF file logo

further resources with weblinks updated in 2006 are available here

Home visiting programmes have been advocated as a means to improve the health of disadvantaged children. There is evidence that structured home visiting may reduce the risk of childhood injury.

  • Home visits can reduce the risk of accidental injuries in the home by around 26%. 

  • Home visits may also encourage parents to reduce home hazards.

  • The evidence for effectiveness of home visiting comes from studies of families with low-income and/or in high-accident areas. 

  • Evidence is unclear on whether the effectiveness of home visiting in reducing injuries varies when provided by professionals, semi-professionals or specially trained community volunteers.
 
 

Breakfast Clubs and school fruit schemes: promising practice nugget

This EvidenceNugget was updated in 2004 and published as part of the NCB Highlight series of research summaries. Weblinks were updated in 2006.

More information on the series is available from:

www.ncb.org.uk/Page.asp?originx907pi_62797383270444y66w4179751801

view and download the print version here PDF file logo

further resources with weblinks updated in 2006 are available here

Supplementing children's diets through breakfast clubs and fruit schemes may improve child nutrition and school performance.

  • Poor diet in childhood is associated with poor child and adult health.
     
  • Missing breakfast may have adverse health effects in the long term, and adverse educational and social effects in the short term.
     
  • Eating breakfast has been associated with improved academic outcomes, improved concentration, increased school attendance, decreased school lateness and improved mood at school.
     
  • Breakfast schemes can provide a safe place for children to meet their friends before school.
 
 

Area-wide traffic calming schemes reduce childhood injuries from road accidents and respond to children's own views of what is important

This EvidenceNugget was updated in 2004 and published as part of the NCB Highlight series of research summaries.

More information on the series is available from:

www.ncb.org.uk/Page.asp?originx907pi_62797383270444y66w4179751801

view and download the print version here  PDF file logo

further resources with weblinks updated in 2006 are available here

Traffic calming schemes can reduce child injuries due to road accidents by slowing traffic. This reduces the severity of injury in the event of a collision and makes it easier for the driver to avoid accidents. Since poorer children are more likely to be injured in a road traffic accident, this is an intervention with the potential to reduce inequalities in child health.

  • Child pedestrian injury - arising from road accidents - is a leading cause of accidental death.

  • Children in poor neighbourhoods are five times more likely to be injured by a car than those in affluent areas.

  • Traffic calming is designed to control traffic in urban residential areas.

  • Traffic calming schemes can reduce childhood injuries from road accidents by up to 15%.

  • Introducing traffic calming to your local area is likely to be an effective measure in reducing inequalities in child health.

  • Children have themselves called for safer streets in many consultations.
 
 
page last updated 07/11/2006
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