The SBS@school+training: Stimulating secure middle childhood attachment development in children with emotion and behavior problems taking into account their well-being at school
The last decennia, there has been a significant increase in the number of youngsters that develop mental health problems. Once children develop a disorder in middle childhood, they are at elevated risk for mental health problems throughout further childhood and adolescence. The best strategy to reduce children’s vulnerability to develop mental health problems is stimulating their resilience by targeting mechanisms that stimulate healthy development. In middle childhood, one critical resilience factor is secure attachment, which reflects children’s ability to seek primary caregiver support during distress. As there is an international lack of evidence-based programs to stimulate middle childhood attachment development, we created the SBS-training: an intervention that is based on the vast knowledge our research lab has gathered on the specific characteristics of middle childhood attachment and its development. In an ongoing Red Noses project we are evaluating the SBS-training, yielding promising preliminary results. However, while treating children we also experience how school problems complicate the SBS-training process as they easily and recurrently raise conflict between child and parent. So we developed a school-based component that was added to the original SBS-training, resulting in the SBS@school+training. The goal of the current proposal is to test if the SBS@school+training is superior to the SBS-training to stimulate middle childhood attachment development.