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A single case cohort analysis : the Vision 180 Program for Aboriginal children at risk for academic vulnerability and mental health concerns

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Increased risks in behavioural difficulties have been found for Aboriginal children that contribute to academic vulnerability and mental health concerns. This study examined the relation between an after-school-program (i.e., Vision 180), levels of academic vulnerability (i.e., student school attendance and student tardies), and mental health concerns, in an experimental intervention study of Aboriginal elementary school children, aged 9-11. Vision 180 Program was designed to strengthen urban children’s commitment to school activities and school attendance. A withdrawal design across one cohort (N = 18) was used. The design included seven phases: baseline, intervention, withdrawal, intervention, withdrawal, intervention, and withdrawal (i.e., ABABABA design). Consistent with a withdrawal design, onset and subsequent withdrawal of the intervention was made. Withdrawal phases occurred due to natural breaks in Vision 180 programing, scheduled by the elementary school, and not by experimental manipulation. Visual and statistical analysis was used to evaluate experimental effect (i.e., decrease in desired behaviors when intervention was withdrawn and increase when re-instated). Results reveal that implementation of the intervention was associated with no statistically significant improvement in academic vulnerability for Aboriginal children in a school-based environment. The social validity of the intervention, however, was rated highly by parents indicating that parents were able to observe positive behavioural changes associated with the intervention. Inception of this project came from collaboration with a First Nations group, who identified these topics as problem areas for children in their community. Knowledge translation was upheld through collaboration between the community and this researcher.
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    A SINGLE CASE COHORT ANALYSIS: THE VISION 180 PROGRAM FOR ABORIGINAL CHILDREN AT RISK FOR ACADEMIC VULNERABILITY AND MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS  by  Natasha Alexandria Wawrykow B.A., University of Victoria, 2010 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (Counselling Psychology) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) October, 2014 ©  Natasha Alexandria Wawrykow, 2014  ii   Abstract Increased risks in behavioural difficulties have been found for Absrcinal children that contribute to academic vulnerability and mental health concerns. This study examined the relation between an after-school-program (i.e., Vision 180), levels of academic vulnerability (i.e., student school attendance and student tardies), and mental health concerns, in an experimental intervention study of Absrcinal elementary school children, aged 9-11. Vision 180 Program was designed to strengthen urban children’s commitment to school  activities and school attendance. A withdrawal design across one cohort (N = 18) was used. The design included seven phases:  baseline, intervention, withdrawal, intervention, withdrawal, intervention, and withdrawal (i.e.,  ABABABA design ). Consistent with a withdrawal design, onset and subsequent withdrawal of the intervention was made. Withdrawal phases occurred due to natural breaks in Vision 180  programing, scheduled by the elementary school, and not by experimental manipulation. Visual and statistical analysis was used to evaluate experimental effect (i.e., decrease in desired  behaviors when intervention was withdrawn and increase when re-instated). Results reveal that implementation of the intervention was associated with no statistically significant improvement in academic vulnerability for Absrcinal children in a school-based environment. The social validity of the intervention, however, was rated highly by parents indicating that parents were able to observe positive behavioural changes associated with the intervention. Inception of this  project came from collaboration with a First Nations group, who identified these topics as  problem areas for children in their community. Knowledge translation was upheld through collaboration between the community and this researcher.  iii Preface Inception of this research topic came from collaboration between the author and a local First  Nations group, who identified these topics as problem areas for children in their community. The research design for this study was constructed from collaboration between the author, Dr. L. Miller, and Dr. J. Lucyshyn. My contribution to this research study included collaborating with the local First Nations group, design of study research questions, contacting and collaboration with the participating elementary school, data collection, data analysis, and primary writer of this master’s thesis . Ethics approval for this study was granted by the University of British Columbia: Behavioural Research Ethics Board, under certificate number: H13-03357  iv Table of Contents Abstract .......................................................................................................................................... ii   Preface ........................................................................................................................................... iii   Table of Contents ......................................................................................................................... iv   List of Figures ............................................................................................................................. viii   Acknowledgements ...................................................................................................................... ix   Dedication ...................................................................................................................................... x   Chapter 1: Introduction ............................................................................................................... 1   Chapter 2: Review of the Literature ........................................................................................... 6   Academic Vulnerability .................................................................................................... 6   School-Based Interventions for Academic Vulnerability ................................................. 7   After-school programs. ....................................................................................... 9   School readiness. .................................................................................. 9   Social skills. ........................................................................................ 10   Academic achievement. ...................................................................... 10   School attendance. .............................................................................. 11    Nutrition and physical health. ............................................................ 11   Perceptions regarding school. ............................................................. 11   Anxiety in Children ........................................................................................................ 12   School-Based Interventions for Anxiety ........................................................................ 13   Cultural Responsiveness ................................................................................................. 15   Research principles. .......................................................................................... 15  
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