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The effectiveness of nurture groups: a systematic review

Schlösser, Annette; Hughes, Naomi Katherine


Naomi Katherine Hughes


Children with emotional difficulties often experience problems at school in terms of academic progress and within peer relationships. They are also more likely to continue to experience emotional problems in their adult lives. Nurture groups (NGs) were developed in the 1960s by the educational psychologist Majorie Boxall and their aim is to improve the emotional well-being of children who are struggling, through providing them with reparative attachment experiences. This review aims to evaluate the effectiveness of NGs. Eleven papers examining the effectiveness of NGs were included, as well as two papers which explore the particular communication styles adopted by NG teachers. There was evidence that NGs are effective in improving the emotional well-being of children, but there is a need for higher quality and longitudinal research. There is a paucity of research into secondary school NGs. The review highlighted the NG teachers’ use of more positive verbal and non-verbal behaviour. Implications for future research are discussed.


Schlösser, A., & Hughes, N. K. (2014). The effectiveness of nurture groups: a systematic review. Emotional and behavioural difficulties : the journal of the Association of Workers for Children with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, 19(4), 386-409.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 1, 2014
Online Publication Date Mar 7, 2014
Publication Date Oct 2, 2014
Deposit Date May 11, 2018
Print ISSN 1363-2752
Electronic ISSN 1741-2692
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 4
Pages 386-409
Keywords Nurture group; Emotional difficulties; Children; School; Intervention; SEBD
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