Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (D.N.P.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing

First Advisor

Cynthia Coviak

Second Advisor

Shawn Bultsma

Third Advisor

Geraldine Terry

Fourth Advisor

Martha Hayden


There is a growing incidence of suicide and suicide attempts in the adolescent population. This is largely impacted by the increasing rates of mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression as well as instigating factors such as negative behaviors and stressful life events. In order to prevent these rates from continuing to rise, it is imperative that mental health promotion interventions be implemented in young children in order to facilitate positive behaviors and coping skills that can be used when stressors occur. The purpose of this scholarly project was to implement the cognitive-behavioral therapy intervention, the Creating Opportunities for Personal Empowerment (COPE) for Children, as a pilot program in a classroom of 2nd grade students.

Twenty-five students, ages six to eight, participated in this project. Sixteen of the participants completed all seven sessions of the COPE intervention. In order to measure effectiveness and feasibility of the program, several measurement tools were used, including a Participant Information Tool, Rating of the Sessions, PBIS Classroom Clip Chart Analysis, information from letters from the students, and immediate and long-term Post-COPE Evaluation Questionnaires. In addition, the staff involved in the classroom provided feedback regarding the program. Analysis of the data showed that there was an increase in positive behaviors in the classroom after the completion of the program that was maintained long-term. In addition, the students provided positive feedback regarding the specific sessions as well as their overall perception of the program. Students stated they would recommend the program to other students and were able to recall specific strategies and skills that they learned during the program immediately after the program and at the long-term evaluation. This project supports the use of the COPE for Children program in an elementary school setting in order to promote mental health and facilitate positive behaviors.

Included in

Nursing Commons