Master of Arts
King, Colin B.
The purpose of the present scoping review was to provide a summary of (a) treatment components included in classroom and small group school-based interventions targeting anxiety or test anxiety, and (b) the frequency in which feasibility is considered within these evaluations, based on the framework proposed by Gadke and colleagues (2021). 105 articles were included in the analysis with 80 studies examining school-based anxiety interventions and 25 articles focusing on test anxiety. While cognitive behavioural therapy was the most common type of intervention, a variety of intervention types and treatment components emerged in the analysis. Furthermore, the social validity/acceptability feasibility dimension was frequently evaluated in anxiety and test anxiety intervention evaluations, but other dimensions (i.e., practicality and integration) emerged in a small number of studies. The variance among intervention types and treatment components may be reflective of the variability among within school environments. Information specific to dimensions of feasibility may offer valuable information for researchers and educators implementing and evaluating school-based anxiety and test anxiety interventions. Finally, the present scoping review provides an excellent foundation for future research to continue examining the relative efficacy of school-based anxiety and test anxiety interventions and their individual treatment components.
Summary for Lay Audience
Schools have long been valued as a platform for providing mental health support for children and youth (School Mental Health Ontario, 2023a). As anxiety is the leading mental health concern among children and youth in Canada (Canadian Mental Health Association, 2016), many school-based anxiety interventions have been developed. However, fewer studies have teased apart the specific pieces, or treatment components, that are included in these interventions. This approach can provide insight into the components that have the greatest benefit for students (Erhardt, 2019) and help create targeted training programs for teachers looking to deliver these interventions to their students. Additionally, it is important to consider the feasibility of the intervention which involves examining the relevance of the intervention for the people involved (e.g., students, teachers) and whether the intervention can realistically be introduced and maintained in a school setting (Gadke et al., 2021). With this in mind, the present review sought to provide a summary of (a) the treatment components included in classroom and small group school-based anxiety and test anxiety interventions, and (b) explore the frequency in which feasibility is considered within the studies.
Of the 105 articles included in the review, 80 included school-based interventions targeting anxiety while 25 evaluated interventions targeting test anxiety. While some intervention types and treatment components showed up frequently across the studies, there was also a large amount of variability in intervention types and treatment components. Just as every school is made up of a unique population of students, teachers and class settings, this variety of interventions and treatment components may reflect the variety of mental health needs within and between schools. Additionally, many studies included feasibility information with feedback from students and teachers regarding the relevance and usefulness of the intervention. Finally, the current review provides a strong foundation to support future researchers looking to further evaluate school-based anxiety and test anxiety interventions and their treatment components.
Pittman, Lindsay B., "A Scoping Review Examining Treatment Components of Classroom and Small Group School-Based Anxiety and Test Anxiety Interventions" (2023). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 9590.