Building Emotion and Affect Regulation (BEAR): Preliminary Evidence from an Open Trial in Children’s Residential Group Homes in Singapore
- 414 Downloads
The Building Emotion and Affect Regulation (BEAR) program is a theory-based group intervention for enhancing resilience in children, with a focus on strengthening emotion regulation. The BEAR is a 6-session protocol for children aged 7–12 who have been subject to traumatic life events.
This paper presents the guiding principles of the BEAR program, evaluates its feasibility and presents the preliminary evidence from an open trial among children in residential group homes in Singapore.
Ten BEAR groups (N = 73, mean age = 10.52, SD = 1.53) were conducted and evaluated with questionnaires for children, facilitators and caregivers before and after the intervention.
The BEAR program was well received by children, caregivers and facilitators. The children reported high enjoyment of the program, learning positive coping strategies, and elevated help-seeking behavior. Facilitators indicated that the content of the program was well understood by the children, and that the children cooperated well and showed high levels of competence in performing the tasks. Additionally, there were minimal signs of distress during the sessions. The caregivers reported an increase in emotion regulation, (p < 0.001, Cohen’s d = 0.437) and positive coping (p = 0.003, Cohen’s d = 0.389), as well as a decrease in general distress among the participants (p = 0.036, Cohen’s d = 0.266).
This study demonstrated the feasibility of the BEAR intervention in children’s residential group homes in Singapore and provided promising preliminary evidence for positive outcomes. There is a need for randomized controlled studies and further evidence from implementation of the BEAR program in other cultural contexts.
KeywordsEmotion regulation Resilience Children Group intervention Residential group homes
We are very grateful to the dedicated team of the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) of Singapore for their contribution to the training of the BEAR program. Special appreciation goes to Jason Nga Yong Kwang and Ashley Ng Li Pin for their assistance in implementation and data collection. We thank Tomer Miron for joining us as a co-trainer in Singapore and sharing his clinical experience. The project was supported by the Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma and the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) in Singapore
- American Psychiatric Association. (2011). Resilience for teens: Got bounce? http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/bounce.aspx.
- DeRosa, R., & Pelcovitz, D. (2009). Group treatment of chronically traumatized adolescents: Igniting SPARCS of change. In D. Brom, R. Pat-Horenczyk, & J. Ford (Eds.), Treating traumatized children: risk, resilience and recovery (pp. 225–239). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Eisenberg, N., Smith, C. L., Sadovsky, A., & Spinrad, T. L. (2004). Effortful control. In K. D. Vohs & R. F. Baumeister (Eds.), Handbook of self-regulation: Research, theory, and applications (pp. 259–282). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Fonagy, P., & Target, M. (2003). Evolution of the interpersonal interpretive function. September, 11, 900–1113.Google Scholar
- Ford, J. D., & Russo, E. (2006). A trauma-focused, present-centered, emotional self-regulation approach to integrated treatment for post-traumatic stress and addiction: Trauma affect regulation: Guidelines for education and therapy (TARGET). American Journal of Psychotherapy, 60, 335–355.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Ford, D. J., Steinberg, K., Halbach-Moffitt, K., & Zhang, W. (2008). Breaking the cycle of trauma and criminal justice involvement: The mothers overcoming and managing stress (MOMS) study. www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/222910.pdf.
- Gross, J. J., & Thompson, R. A. (2007). Emotion regulation: Conceptual foundations. Handbook of Emotion Regulation, 3, 24.Google Scholar
- Gurwitch, R. H., & Messenbaugh, A. (2001). Healing after trauma skills: A manual for professionals, teachers, and families working with children after trauma/disaster. Oklahoma City: Children’s Medical Research Foundation.Google Scholar
- Kagan, R. (2007). Real life heroes practitioners manual. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Kinniburgh, K. J., Blaustein, M., Spinazzola, J., & Van der Kolk, B. A. (2005). Attachment, self-regulation, and competency. Psychiatric Annals, 35(5), 424–430.Google Scholar
- Lahad, M. (1993). BASIC Ph: The story of coping resources. In M. Lahad & A. Cohen (Eds.), Community stress prevention (pp. 117–145). Kiryat Shmona: Community Stress Prevention Center.Google Scholar
- Linehan, M. (1993). Cognitive behavioral treatment of borderline personality disorder. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Luthar, S. S. (2006). Resilience in development: A synthesis of research across five decades. In D. Cicchetti & D. J. Cohen (Eds.), Developmental psychopathology: Risk, disorder, and adaptation (2nd ed., pp. 739–795). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Masten, A. S. (2011). Resilience in children threatened by extreme adversity: Frameworks for research, practice, and translational synergy. Development and Psychopathology, 23, 141–154.Google Scholar
- Medical University of South Carolina. (2005). TF-CBT web. Retrieved from: http://tfcbt.musc.edu/.
- Meichenbaum, D. (2009). Bolstering resilience: Benefiting from lessons learned. In D. Brom, R. Pat-Horenczyk, & J. D. Ford (Eds.), Treating traumatized children: Risk, resilience and recovery (pp. 183–188). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Miller, A. L., Rathus, J. H., & Linehan, M. (2007). Dialectical behavior therapy with suicidal adolescents. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Pat-Horenczyk, R., & Berger, R., Kaplinsky, N. & Baum. N. (2004). The journey to resilence: Coping with ongoing stressful situations. Protocol for guidance counselors (adolescents version). Unpublished Manuscript.Google Scholar
- Southam-Gerow, M. A. (2013). Emotion regulation in children and adolescents: A Practitioner’s Guide. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Troy, A. S., & Mauss, I. B. (2011). Resilience in the face of stress: Emotion regulation as a protective factor. In S. Southwick, D. Charney, M. Friedman, & B. Litz (Eds.), Resilience to stress (pp. 30–44). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Van der Kolk, B., & d’Andera, W. (2010). Toward a developmental trauma disorder diagnosis for childhood interpersonal trauma. In R. Lanius, E. Vermetten, & C. Pain (Eds.), The impact of early life trauma on health and disease. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar