Harlacher, J. E. (2008). Social and emotional learning as a universal level of support: Evaluating the follow-up effects of Strong Kids on social and emotional outcomes. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Oregon, Eugene.




This study examined the initial and follow-up effect of Strong Kids for Grades 3-5, a social and emotional learning (SEL) curriculum, among a sample of 106 third and fourth graders. Students were assigned by classroom to either the treatment or wait-list condition and completed questionnaires on SEL knowledge (Strong Kids Knowledge Test) and perceived use of SEL skills (the Coping Scale, Social and Emotional Assets and Resiliency Scale) across 3 assessment periods (pre-testing, post-testing, and followup). The classroom teachers also completed a social functioning questionnaire (the School Social Behavior Scales- 2nd edition) on each student at each assessment period. The classroom teachers implemented 12 weekly lessons across a 3-month time period and 1 booster session approximately 1 month after the last lesson. They also promoted generalization of SEL skills by providing praise and pre-correction to students on the SEL skills they were learning. Analyses revealed that the treatment group had greater positive gains across all of the dependent measures from pre-test to post-test. These gains maintained at the 2-month follow-up period, providing preliminary evidence of the preventative quality of SK. The results are discussed within the broader framework of a three-tiered model of support for SEL, and the possibility of using SK as a universal level of support within school.