The Evidence Portal

Resilience Builder Program (RBP)

About the program

RBP is a group-based intervention which seeks to help children build social competence and emotion regulation skills. The program involves several components including:

  • interactive didactic component
  • free play
  • behavioural rehearsal
  • self-regulation exercises.

Examples of didactic topics included leadership, personal space, initiating and maintaining conversations, and stress management. Between sessions, the RBP emphasizes skill generalization through weekly assignments for children to practice the skills learned in the natural home and school environments, and a success journal for children to describe their efforts to use skills. Parents/guardians are given weekly letters that review each session’s skills and provide strategies to generalize these skills through practice at home during the week.

Who does it work for?

RBP is designed for 9-12 year old children. The RBP has only been evaluated in the USA. A randomised control trial (Rich et al. 2021) with 67 participants (38 in the intervention and 29 in the control group).

Study participants included children aged 9-12 years. 10 was the average age of participants. Participants identified as African American (78%), Hispanic (18%) and Bi-racial (3%). Majority of participants (73%) participated in National School Lunch Program (NSLP) that provides free and reduced meal services.

RBP has not been evaluated in Australia or with Aboriginal Australians.

What outcomes does it contribute to?

Positive outcomes:

  • RBP participants were more likely to report reduction in negative emotions
  • RBP participants were more likely to report increase in emotional control

No Effect:

  • No demonstrated impact of RBP on increasing positive emotions

How effective is it?

Overall, RBP had a mixed effect on client outcomes.

How strong is the evidence?

Mixed research evidence:

  • At least one high-quality randomised controlled trial (RCT)/quasi-experimental design (QED) study reports statistically significant positive effects for at least one outcome, AND
  • An equal number or more RCT/QED studies of similar size and quality show no observed effects than show statistically significant positive effects, AND
  • No RCT/QED studies show statistically significant adverse effects.

How is it implemented?

RBP is delivered in small groups of 6 children within a school setting. Sessions last approximately 1 hour and occur weekly for 12 weeks.

Each session is led by licensed psychologists and graduate students trained in the intervention.

How much does it cost?

The costs for RBP were not reported in the study.

What else should I consider?

RBP is delivered by 2 trained facilitators, generally with professional backgrounds in medical or allied health.

Where does the evidence come from?

1 RCT conducted in the USA with a sample of 67 people (Rich et al. 2021)

Further resources

Rich, BA, Shiffrin, ND, Cummings, CM, Zarger, MM, Berghorst, L, & Alvord, MK 2019, ‘Resilience-based intervention with underserved children: Impact on self-regulation in a randomized clinical trial in schools’, International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, vol. 69, pp. 30-53, DOI 10.1080/00207284.2018.1479187.

Last updated:

09 Dec 2022

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