Centre for Community Child Health

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Cool Little Kids

  • One in seven school aged children experience “internalising problems” reflecting inner distress. Childhood internalising problems, also known as anxious or emotional problems, can have longer-term consequences in adolescence and adulthood on mental health, relationships, education and employment opportunities.

    Cool Little Kids is a population-level randomised controlled trial of a parenting program aiming to prevent shy / sensitive preschool children from developing anxious and emotional problems during the transition to school.

    Aims

    The Cool Little Kids population randomised trial aims to test whether screening preschoolers for temperamental inhibition (shyness) and then offering parents of shy children the Cool Little Kids parenting program, prevents children from developing anxious and emotional disorders as they make the transition into school.

    Methodology

    In February 2011, the study began with 133 preschool services from Banyule, Boroondara, Frankston and Wyndham local government areas. Parents with children in these preschools were invited to complete a brief questionnaire screening for child temperamental inhibition (or shyness), a known potential risk factor for child anxiety problems. Parents of shy children were invited into the randomised trial. Half of these parents were invited to attend the parenting program to support shy / sensitive children. The other half received usual care (i.e., any services already available in the community).

    In 2012, this opportunity was extended to all preschools in eight local government areas (Banyule, Boroondara, Frankston, Kingston, Knox, Maroondah, Whitehorse and Wyndham).

    Families will be followed-up one and two years later to investigate whether the parenting program prevented anxious and emotional problems developing in young children.

    One in seven school aged children experience "internalising problems" reflecting inner distress. Childhood internalising problems, also known as anxious or emotional problems, can have longer-term consequences in adolescence and adulthood on mental health, relationships, education and employment opportunities.

    Cool Little Kids is a population-level randomised controlled trial of a parenting program aiming to prevent shy / sensitive preschool children from developing anxious and emotional problems during the transition to school.

     Methodology:

     Population-level randomised trial

     Date:

     2010 - 2014

     Funding:

     National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

     Contacts/ Staff involved:

    Dr Ruth Beatson

    Project Manager

    coollittlekids.study@latrobe.edu.au

    (03) 9479 1257

    In December 2012 the project moved into offices at La Trobe University (School of Psychological Science).                                                                   

    Publications 

    Bayer, J.K., Rapee, R.M., Hiscock, H., Ukoumunne, O.C., Mihalopoulos, C., Clifford, S., & Wake, M. (2011). The Cool Little Kids randomised controlled trial: Population-level early prevention for anxiety disorders. BMC Public Health, 11:11. Available for download at http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/11/11

    Bayer JK, Rapee RM, Hiscock H, Ukoumunne OC, Mihalopoulos C & Wake M. 2010. Translational research to prevent internalizing problems early in childhood. Depress Anxiety (epub before print).

    Presentations

    Bayer, J.K., Rapee, R.M., Hiscock, H., Ukoumunne, O.C., Mihalopoulos, C., Wake, M., & Beatson, R. (2012). Cool Little Kids randomised controlled trial: Population-level early prevention for anxiety disorders. International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development 2012 Biennial Meeting (Edmonton, Canada)

    Bayer, J.K., Rapee, R.M., Hiscock, H., Ukoumunne, O.C., Mihalopoulos, C., & Wake, M. 2010. Translational research to prevent anxiety disorders in young children. World Conference of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapy (Boston, Mass. USA).

    Bayer, J.K. (2010). Developing prevention for early childhood mental health problems (Keynote). Australian Rotary Health District Conference (Chinchilla Qld).   Health District Conference (Chinchilla Qld)

 

Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

The Centre for Community Child Health is a department of The Royal Children’s Hospital and a research group of Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.