The Center for Media & Health (CMH) in the Netherlands interviewed Dr. Arvind Singhal (University of Texas at El Paso) about Positive Deviance. The CMH and the University of Texas at El Paso are collaboration partners in the following project:
Positive Deviance (PD): Identifying and amplifying existing wisdom: Utilizing the Positive Deviance Approach to enhance psychological resilience amongst adolescents vulnerable to depression and anxiety
In the Netherlands many adolescents suffer from anxiety disorders and depression. Although various depression treatment and prevention programs have been developed for adolescents, those with a lower socioeconomic background and from minority immigrant groups (VMBO schools) are not adequately reached. Together with its collaboration partners the GGD Rotterdam Rijnmond, the Trimbos-Institute and the University of Texas in El Paso, the Center for Media & Health implements a research project on the “positive deviants” at VMBO schools in Rotterdam. The central question is: Why do some schools, having the same background and resources available, perform better against all odds than other schools? Based on the Youth Monitor Research (Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire) schools will be indentified which represent a positive exception (SDQ larger than 10). Together with parents, pupils, staff members of the schools and the whole community, research will be conducted on the questions (1) what exactly makes the positive difference and (2) how these insights can be used to inspire other schools to enhance the mental resilience of young people who are vulnerable to depression and anxiety disorders.