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Evaluations of The Art Room

Our latest findings show how we’re helping children transform their lives. In 2015/16, 58% of children attending The Art Room presented with severe emotional and behavioural difficulties according to the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Following participation in The Art Room, children’s emotional problems, conduct problems, hyperactivity and peer relationship problems had reduced significantly and there was an improvement in their behaviour towards others too.

The children we worked with:

  • 1,168 children aged between 5 and 15 years
  • Many of the children we worked with had special educational needs, a developmental disorder, difficulties in their home life, personality problems and/or poor mental health.  58% have severe mental health difficulties

    The difference we made:

    • 65% of all children – and 73% of children with severe mental health difficulties – experienced an improvement in their emotional wellbeing, behaviour and/or relationships after spending time in The Art Room
    • the percentage of children meeting ‘clinical caseness’ (clinical criteria for referral to child and adolescent mental health services), as defined as a total difficulties score >14 and an impact score of >2, was reduced by 61.42% following participation in The Art Room intervention

    These quantitative outcomes are backed up by hundreds of anecdotal reports from teachers nationwide who have described significant improvements in emotional and peer-to-peer conduct and hyperactivity, as well as an increase in positive, pro-social behaviour.

    An independent evaluation

    An independent quantitative evaluation by the University of Oxford also demonstrated a positive impact.

    The researchers, Melissa A. Cortina, DPhil, MSc and Mina Fazel, MRCPsych, DM used questionnaires on psychological functioning to assess students before and after attending The Art Room. Teachers completed the SDQ and children completed the sMFQ.

    Students showed a significant reduction in emotional and behavioural problems (teacher-reported SDQ scores) and clinical caseness. There was also a significant improvement in their mood and feelings (child-reported sMFQ), with an 87.5% improvement in those students who were depressed at baseline.

    The report concluded that the Art Room intervention certainly is improving students’ emotional and behavioural problems and promoting prosocial behaviour at school.