Isava, D. M. (2004). An investigation of the impact of a social-emotional learning curriculum on problem symptoms and knowledge gains among adolescents in a residential treatment center. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Oregon, Eugene.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of a the Strong Teens social-emotional learning curriculum on a group of adolescents (N = 36) with severe and chronic social, emotional, and behavioral problems in a residential treatment center. The Strong Teens curriculum was part of a comprehensive mental health and educational plan provided to these adolescents. The study focused on important changes in both self-reported and adult reported decreases of problem symptoms and knowledge gains in resiliency and social-emotional skills. Using a pretest-posttest intervention design, results indicated that participation in the Strong Teens curriculum along with other treatment components were associated with some statistically significant and clinically meaningful changes in the desired directions on the target variables. Participants from a matched control group who did not participate in Strong Teens but received other treatment components also evidenced some statistically significant and clinically meaningful changes in the desired directions on the target variables. The study advances current intervention for high-risk adolescents with severe or chronic social, emotional, and behavioral problems. The results are promising because they indicate that the Strong Teens curriculum may be implemented with some success to a high-risk clinical adolescent population as one of several components in a comprehensive and intensive treatment plan. Replication and expansion of the study results may be beneficial to mental health professionals and the juvenile justice system when intervening with adolescents.