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Concept Paper

Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Resilience-Focussed Interventions: A Conceptual Analysis to Inform Future Research

by 1,2,3,4
1
School of Psychological Sciences, College of Engineering, Science and Environment, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
2
Priority Research Centre for Health Behaviour, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
3
Hunter New England Population Health, Hunter New England Local Health District, Wallsend, NSW 2287, Australia
4
Hunter Medical Research Institute, New Lambton Heights, NSW 2305, Australia
Academic Editors: Tara Powell, Kate M. Wegmann, Kevin Tan and Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7315; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18147315
Received: 21 May 2021 / Revised: 25 June 2021 / Accepted: 6 July 2021 / Published: 8 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trauma, Coping, and Resilience in Adolescents)
Internationally, the mental health of children and adolescents is undoubtedly an important construct of theoretical, clinical, and policy level concern. Worldwide, five mental disorders (depression, alcohol misuse, bipolar affective disorder, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder) represent half of the 10 leading causes of disability and premature death; with mental disorders accounting for 15–30% of disability adjusted life years in the first three decades of life. This provides a solid rational founded in implications for population health as to why reducing and preventing mental health problems in children and adolescents deserves attention. Past research has indicated interventions focussed on building resilience through strengthening protective factors may offer the potential to address mental health problems in children and adolescents, and in particular aid in reducing such problems during times of increased risk or adversity. With childhood and adolescence being critical periods of development, there is a need to reflect on the strengths and limitations of resilience-focussed interventions and anticipated future needs of the world’s youth. This conceptual analysis identifies a number of future research directions that may meaningfully add to the evidence base and improve implementation, evaluation, and impact of resilience-focussed interventions. These largely relate to refining the understanding of how resilience protective factors relate to mental health problems in children and adolescents. Important issues and potential opportunities to improve the related research field include improved reporting of intervention content; improved measurement of resilience protective factors in intervention trials; continued reporting and review of evidence of association between protective factors and mental health outcomes; and incorporation of mediation analysis within intervention trials. There is a need for further intervention studies in this space to be conducted as rigorous trials of resilience-focussed approaches based on such evidence of association, with clearly posited mechanisms of change, and inclusive of analysis of differential intervention effects. The suggested implications for research made in this conceptual analysis will aid in improving the quality of the evidence base relevant to the fostering of resilience and prevention of mental health problems in children and adolescents. View Full-Text
Keywords: resilience; mental health problems; implementation; evaluation; children and adolescents resilience; mental health problems; implementation; evaluation; children and adolescents
MDPI and ACS Style

Dray, J. Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Resilience-Focussed Interventions: A Conceptual Analysis to Inform Future Research. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 7315. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18147315

AMA Style

Dray J. Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Resilience-Focussed Interventions: A Conceptual Analysis to Inform Future Research. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(14):7315. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18147315

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dray, Julia. 2021. "Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Resilience-Focussed Interventions: A Conceptual Analysis to Inform Future Research" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 14: 7315. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18147315

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