Designing Group-Centered Motivational Interventions

Many factors can hinder children’s education and development, including family and home environment, poverty, neighborhood influences, discrimination, and the uneven quality of schooling (Black & Krishnakumar, 1998). When children find themselves classified as failures, or consider themselves to be unsuccessful, they become vulnerable to developmental problems and mental disorders (Nelson et al., 2003.) A growing body of evidence shows that prevention programs can enhance a child’s ability to learn and promote mental health and wellness (Brooks-Gunn, 2003; Greenberg et al., 2001; Nelson et al., 2003; Prilleltensky et al., 2001).

Schools that stress group prevention programs have higher academic achievement, a lower dropout rate, reduced absenteeism and truancy, and fewer behavior problems, such as rejection, teasing, bullying, and fighting (Adelman & Taylor, 2006; Buhs et al., 2006). Group interventions are the most frequently used technique in school-based mental health preventive programs (Noam & Hermann, 2002). Group interventions enhance a child’s ability to learn and improve overall mental wellness, which is important in school-based settings (Sandler et al., 2005).

Prevention-focused counseling programs create a climate of healthy well-being and an atmosphere conducive to change (Weissberg, Kumpfer, & Seligman, 2003). Group interventions are the best prevention-oriented counseling approach for school-based settings (Slavin, 2002).


Prevention Program Group Process Cohesive Group Academic Failure Extrinsic Motivator 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

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