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Get(ting) to the Start Line – the evaluation of an innovative intervention to address adolescents’ school-related stress and anxiety

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journal contribution
posted on 07.01.2020, 13:39 by Lorraine CaleLorraine Cale, Jo Harris, Oliver HooperOliver Hooper
There are growing concerns over young people’s mental health, the academic pressures they face, and the association between school-related stress and health. Given this, alongside the known benefits of physical activity for psychological health, the need for school-based interventions with a physical activity focus seems justified. This paper reports on findings from the evaluation of a pilot of ‘Get to the Start Line’, an innovative school-based programme designed to address adolescents’ school-related stress and anxiety. The research adopted a mixed-methods approach and a pre- and post- design. Six schools from the East Midlands, UK, and selected year 11 pupils (aged 15–16) identified as experiencing examination-related stress and anxiety, participated in the programme. The programme was coordinated by a school champion (a staff member), delivered by an athlete mentor, and comprised six workshops. Data were collected from school champions and athlete mentors via an online survey following each workshop, and via semi-structured focus groups and interviews with pupils and school champions, respectively, pre-, mid- and post-intervention. Schools also provided relevant pupil data. The findings revealed the programme to be positively received by most pupils and to result in positive outcomes such as reported reductions in examination-related stress and anxiety for some, and fewer pupil well-being referrals. However, various challenges and limitations of the programme were identified, and recommendations were made for its future development. Therefore, whilst some of the findings were encouraging, further research into the implementation and impact of this and other such programmes is needed.

Funding

Youth Sport Trust

History

School

  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

European Physical Education Review

Volume

26

Issue

3

Pages

642 - 663

Publisher

SAGE Publications

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Authors

Publisher statement

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

Acceptance date

27/12/2019

Publication date

2020-08-18

Copyright date

2020

ISSN

1356-336X

eISSN

1741-2749

Language

en

Depositor

Prof Lorraine Cale. Deposit date: 4 January 2020