The Aussie Optimism project is conducted by the School of Psychology at Curtin University and supported by the Child Health Promotion Research Centre. The purpose of this study was to develop a universal school-based version of the Aussie Optimism Program and to evaluate its effectiveness in a randomised prevention trial. The Universal Aussie Optimism Program was designed to fit with primary school terms and the Western Australian health education curriculum outcomes.
The Aussie Optimism Program is an Australian adaptation of the Penn Prevention Program (Jaycox et al., 1994), a selective intervention designed to prevent depression in 10 – 13 year old children with elevated risk factors. It was proposed to develop the program further for universal application in WA primary schools, to add a family module for parents, and to complete a randomised field trial to assess its impact in preventing anxiety, depression and promoting healthy self perceptions and self concept.
As this project is completed, dissemination of the results has begun. The results have been presented at several national and international conferences, and articles have been published in journals including the International Journal of Mental Health Promotion and the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. Furthermore, on the basis of the results of this project, an ARC Linkage Grant was awarded for the diffusion and dissemination of the program in educational settings, beginning in 2004.
Australian Research Council
For further information about this project please contact Associate Professor Clare Roberts at Curtin University.