Tran, O. K. (2007). Promoting social and emotional learning in schools: An investigation of massed versus distributed practice schedules and social validity of the Strong Kids curriculum in late elementary aged students. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Oregon, Eugene.




This study investigated Strong Kids: Grades 3-5, as a universal program to understand how to best implement

social and emotional learning programs for optimal outcomes. Specifically, student and teacher outcomes were evaluated using Strong Kids in massed and distributed practice schedules with two differing experimental conditions: a massed practice schedule of two lessons per week for 6 weeks where there was less rest time between lessons, and a distributed practice schedule of one lesson per week for 12 weeks where there was more rest time between lessons. Evidence for social validity is also limited. A large sample of 4th and 5th grade students in 10 general education classrooms participated. Pre and post measures were conducted to examine student outcomes. Social validity through teacher interviews and student surveys were evaluated. Results of this study indicated statistically significant increases in knowledge of social and emotional concepts and decreases in internalizing symptoms from both treatment groups. Effect size analyses indicated the magnitude of the treatment effect on knowledge was large and the magnitude of the treatment effect on symptoms was small. The pacing of the Strong Kids lessons was not a significant factor in group differences. Overall, students had significant changes in knowledge and symptoms regardless of treatment condition. Teachers and students indicated strong user satisfaction and social validity of the Strong Kids curriculum. The distributed condition of the 12 weeks schedule practice was viewed as having greater feasibility than the massed condition of 6 weeks. Implications for practice, applicability, continued refinement of the Strong Kids curriculum, study limitations, and future research efforts are discussed.