The Centre for Applied Research and Assessment in Child and Adolescent Well-being (CARACAW) undertakes work to promote better understanding and improving social and psychological well-being of children, adolescents, and their families, through innovative research into public health, health services, policy and practice.
Research strengths of the Centre include longitudinal investigations into the development of mental (e.g., anxiety, depression, conduct disorder), genetic (e.g., Williams Syndrome), and neurodevelopmental (e.g., autism) disorders; randomised control trials of psychological interventions; academic procrastination; emotional regulation; mental health literacy; and cross-cultural studies.
The Centre has a pool of intellectual strength with skills in varying fields, including clinical, social and developmental psychology; epidemiology; qualitative and quantitative research methods; and various forms of psychological therapies.
Super Skills for Life is a programme which provides children and adolescents (for 6-18 year olds) with skills to:
- Enhance self-confidence, build emotional resilience, and improve social skills and competence.
- Cope with stressful situations such as the transition from primary to secondary school.
- Super Skills also covers techniques to improve healthy life style such as healthy eating, physical exercise, and sleep hygiene.
Super Skills comprises 8 group sessions (45 minutes per session) which can be delivered in a group of 6 – 8 children/adolescents weekly or twice a week.
Super Skills has five core principles: (1) it is based on a transdiagnostic approach by targeting common core risk factors of comorbid disorders; (2) it is based on the principles of CBT to help children develop skills to cope with anxiety-provoking situations; (3) it uses video feedback with cognitive preparation to help children enhance their self-perception; (4) it uses the principle of behavioural activation by having children increase their activity levels and participate in positive and rewarding activities, which in turn can help to improve their mood and overall self-esteem; (5) finally, it teaches children basic skills to use during social interactions to help increase their experience of successful outcomes from the interactions.