Universal classroom-based interventions are a useful method to increase the mental health and resilience in children. Resilience describes the process that leads to a positive development despite adversities. It comprises the seven resources access to material resources, relationships, identity, power and control, cultural adherence, social justice and cohesion. Yet there is a paucity of studies evaluating interventions that enhance resilience in children exposed to adverse childhood experiences.
This systematic review investigates whether universal classroom-based interventions can increase the seven resilience-related resources in children that live in adverse environments. Search strings were formulated based on an adapted version of the PICO criteria. The risk of bias of the individual studies was assessed using the ROBINS-I tool.
Seventeen studies were included in the review, of which 15 found an increase in resilience. The resource power and control was targeted in every intervention. Not one intervention included all seven resources. Intervention outcomes related mostly to just two of the resources (power and control and identity) and were rarely linked to what was being trained in the intervention.
The results of this review show that classroom-based interventions are suitable for promoting resilience in children living in adverse environments. Yet more high-quality studies are needed that evaluate the effectiveness of universal interventions on children living in adverse environments and specifically the effectiveness of training each of the seven resources. Future developments of school-based interventions should be careful to target and assess all resilience-related resources.
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