Get(ting) to the Start Line – the evaluation of an innovative intervention to address adolescents’ school-related stress and anxiety
journal contributionposted on 07.01.2020, 13:39 authored 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.
Youth Sport Trust
- Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences