Book of beasties: the mental wellness card game – a pilot study

Jayman, Michelle and Ventouris, Annita (2019) Book of beasties: the mental wellness card game – a pilot study. In: Researching Education and Mental Health: Where are we now?, 12 July 2019, UWL, St Mary's Road, London. (Unpublished)

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The incidence of emotional disorders in children and young people is an escalating concern (NHS Digital, 2018). Although schools play a pivotal role in promoting students’ wellbeing and supporting pupils with psychological difficulties (Department of Health & Department for Education, 2017), there are gaps in school-based research in the field. There is, therefore, a demand for real-world evaluations of interventions to provide evidence-based models of good practice.

Book of Beasties (BoB) is a mental wellness card game predominantly targeted at school-aged children (6-13 years). It aims to de-stigmatise the discourses surrounding mental health issues in schools by raising pupils’ emotional literacy whilst promoting positive models of mental health and wellbeing. BoB is a manualised game, delivered by trained facilitators to small groups (up to five children) and consists of five 60-minute, weekly sessions.

This mixed methods, exploratory, pilot study aims to investigate the social validity of BoB; the acceptability of and satisfaction with the sessions experienced by recipients and other stakeholders (teachers and parents/carers. It also aims to test the suitability of selected measures for assessing the impact the intervention has on the children who participate.

Participants comprised year 5 pupils (n=8) (Four pupils were allocated to the intervention group (IG) and four to the comparison group); parents/carers (n=8), and class teachers (n=2). Quantitative measures included: Emotional Awareness Questionnaire (EAQ-30-UK) (Reiffe, Oosterveld, Miers, Meerum Terwogt, & Ly, 2008); Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ-CA) (Gross & John, 2003); Mood Questionnaire (MQ) (Reiffe, Meerum Terwogt, & Bosch, 2004); and Parent-Rating Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (P-ERQ) (Guzenhauser, Suchodoletz & McClelland, 2017). Qualitative methods comprised observations; a focus group with IG children; and semi-structured interviews with parents/carers and class teachers.

Data analysis is expected to be completed by September 2019. It is anticipated that findings from this pilot research will help inform the design of a larger-scale, full evaluation of the Book of Beasties intervention with the potential to inform evidence-based policy and practice in the area of children’s and young people’s mental health.

Department of Health & Department for Education (2017). Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision: a green paper. London: Crown Publications
Gross. J.J. & John, O.P. (2003). Individual differences in two emotion regulation processes: implications for affect, relationships, and well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 348-362.
Guzenhauser, C., von Suchodoletz, A., & McClelland, M.M. (2017). Measuring cognitive reappraisal and expressive symptoms in children: A parent-rating version of the emotion regulation questionnaire. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 14 (4), 489-497. DOI: 10.1080/17405629.2016.1236018
NHS Digital (2018). National study of health and wellbeing: Children and young people. London: NHS Digital. Available via:
Rieiffe, C., Meerum Terwogt, M., & Bosch, J. (2004). Emotional awareness and somatic complaints in children. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 1, 37-47.
Rieffe, C., Oosterveld, P., Miers, A. C., Meerum Terwogt, M., & Ly, V. (2008). Emotion awareness and internalising symptoms in children and adolescents: The Emotion Awareness Questionnaire revised. Personality and Individual Differences, 45, 756-761

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Subjects: Education
Medicine and health > Mental health
Depositing User: Michelle Jayman
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2019 12:18
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:27

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