Gueldner, B. A. (2006). An investigation of the effectiveness of a social-emotional learning program with middle school students in a general education setting and the impact of consultation support using performance feedback. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Oregon, Eugene.

 

ABSTRACT

 

This study investigated the efficacy of the Strong Kids curriculum, a promising social and emotional learning program developed from research-based resiliency intervention tools and evidence-based instructional models for enhancing children’s assets and mental health. Three groups of sixth grade students in a general education middle school setting were studied. Students in the first treatment group received Strong Kids and the teacher received intensive consultation support (n = 39). The students in the second treatment group also received Strong Kids, but the teacher did not receive additional consultation support (n = 40). The third group was comprised of students in a control group (n = 46). A unique feature of this study was the use of consultation support that utilized performance feedback with principles of motivational interviewing. Teachers’ attitudes toward the curriculum were also evaluated., as was the fidelity with which they implemented the curriculum according to the manualized treatment directions. Results of this study indicated a significant and large increase in knowledge of social-emotional concepts and coping skills for the treatment groups, as evidenced by significant gains from pretest to posttest, as well as by significant differences between the treatment and control groups on these variables at postest. Internalizing symptoms were generally not affected by the intervention, nor were office disciplinary referrals with the exception of minor infractions. Teachers in the two treatment groups delivered the Strong Kids curricula with a high degree of treatment fidelity. Overall, teachers had a positive attitude toward social-emotional learning and the curriculum, indicating a relatively strong degree of social validity for the Strong Kids curriculum.