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Preliminary examination of the effects of the Strong Kids social emotional learning curriculum on grade… MacKay, Leslie 2007

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Preliminary Examination of the Effects of the Strong Kids Social Emotional Learning Curriculum on Grade 4 Students' Social Emotional Resiliency, Social Standing and Likeability by Leslie MacKay B. Sc. (Honours), Dalhousie University, 2004 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in The Faculty of Graduate Studies (School Psychology) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 2007 © Leslie MacKay, 2007 A B S T R A C T Within education there is a general agreement that it is important to foster children's social emotional development. Social1, emotional and behavioural skills can be taught directly to students through packaged SEL programs such as the Strong Kids social emotional learning curriculum. Preliminary studies conducted on Strong Kids have shown that knowledge of social emotional concepts and coping skills have improved and in some cases, decreases in internalizing symptoms have also been noted. Less is known, however, as to how the implementation of Strong Kids affects the broader social contexts in which children shape their social relationships with peers. The goal of the present study was to investigate the affect of Strong Kids on student's social and emotional knowledge, cognitive-behavioural symptoms, resiliency and social standing. In addition, satisfaction with the Strong Kids program was examined. A total of 101 grade 4 students from general education participated (47 boys, 54 girls). Using a pretest-posttest intervention design, results indicated that the treatment group significantly increased in knowledge about social emotional health over the control group, but level of decreased internalizing symptoms did not significantly differ between the two. In relation to student's classroom resiliency, there were no significant differences between the Strong Kids group and the control group. With regard to student's social standing, there were seven statistically significantly different results on the peer nomination scale, only one in favor of the Strong Kids group. The peer rating scales showed no significant differences between the Strong Kids and the control group. In the sections that follow, findings are discussed in relation to previous research, limitations and implications for practice and research are provided. Ill TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT » TABLE OF CONTENTS iii LIST OF TABLES v LIST OF FIGURES vii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS viii CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1 Limitations of Current Research 3 Purpose of the Study 4 CHAPTER 2: REVIEW OF LITERATURE 5 Peer Relations as a Context for Social Emotional Learning 5 Social Emotional Learning in Schools 6 Research on Packaged SEL Prevention Programs 11 Rationale for Proposed Study 15 CHAPTER 3: METHOD 17 Ethics Approval 17 Participants 17 Design 18 Measurement 18 Overview of Procedures 25 Data Analysis 27 CHAPTER 4: RESULTS 29 CHAPTER 5: DISCUSSION 64 Summary of Main Findings 64 Impact on Knowledge of Social Emotional Concepts and Skills 65 Impact on Symptoms of Emotional Stress and Negative Affect 66 Impact on Perception of Resiliency 67 Impact on Program Satisfaction 68 Impact on Social Relationships 69 Limitations 70 Implications 72 Conclusions 74 REFERENCES 75 APPENDIX A: Overview of Strong Kids Lessons 80 APPENDLX B: Strong Kids Knowledge Test 84 iv APPENDIX C: Strong Kids Symptoms Test 89 APPENDIX D: ClassMaps Test 90 APPENDIX E: Peer Nomination Questionnaire 93 APPENDIX F: Peer Rating Questionnaire 96 APPENDIX G: Strong Kids Satisfaction Survey 98 APPENDIX H: Ethics Certificate of Approval 100 LIST OF TABLES Table 2.1: Breakdown of Participation Numbers 18 Table 4.1: Means and Standard Deviations for Strong Kids Knowledge Questionnaire, Strong Kids Symptoms Questionnaire, ClassMaps, Peer Nominations, and Peer Ratings at Pre-Posttest for Within and Between Groups 31 Table 4.2: Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Knowledge of Social Emotional Skills as Measured by Strong Kids Knowledge Test 33 Table 4.3: Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Social Emotional Symptoms as Measured by Strong Kids Symptoms Test 35 Table 4.4: Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Believing In Me as Measured by ClassMaps 37 Table 4.5: Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Taking Charge as Measured by ClassMaps 38 Table 4.6: Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Following the Class Rules as Measured by ClassMaps 39 Table 4.7: Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on My Teacher as Measured by ClassMaps 40 Table 4.8: Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Talking with my Parents as Measured by ClassMaps 41 Table 4.9: Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on My Classmates as Measured by ClassMaps 42 Table 4.10: Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Kids in the Class as Measured by ClassMaps 43 Table 4.11: Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on I Worry That as Measured by ClassMaps 44 Table 4.12: Descriptive Statistics of Student Ratings from Strong Kids Satisfaction Survey 46 Table 4.13: Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Peer Nomination Question "Students you like to play with most" 50 vi Table 4.14: Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Peer Nomination Question "Students you like to play with least"... 51 Table 4.15: Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Peer Nomination Question "Students who hit, kick, or punch others at school" 53 Table 4.16: Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Peer Nomination Question "Students who get even by keeping people from being in their group of friends" 54 Table 4.17: Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Peer Nomination Question "Students who help others when they need it" 55 Table 4.18: Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Peer Noniination Question "Students who call others mean names" 57 Table 4.19: Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Peer Nomination Question "Students who are the most cooperative" 58 Table 4.20: Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Peer Nomination Question "Students who you can trust" 60 Table 4.21: Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Peer Rating Scale "Work with" 61 Table 4.22: Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Peer Rating Scale "Play with" 62 vii LIST OF FIGURES Figure 4.1: Illustration of the Significant Knowledge Gains for the Treatment Group from Pre- Posttest 34 Figure 4.2: Illustration of the Significant Symptoms of Distress and Affect Decreases from Pre- Posttest 35 Figure 4.3: Illustration of me Believing in Me Increase from Pre-Posttest 37 Figure 4.4: Illustration of the Concerns about Bullying increase from Pre-Posttest 44 Figure 4.5: Illustration of the Student Ratings from the Strong Kids Satisfaction Survey 47 Figure 4.6: Illustration of the Interaction Between Groups and Across Time for the "Students you like to play with most" Question 50 Figure 4.7: Illustration of the Increase Across Time for the "Students you like to play with least" Question 52 Figure 4.8: Illustration of the Increase Across Time for the "Students who get even by keeping people from being in their group of friends" Question 54 Figure 4.9: Illustration of the Interaction Between Groups and Across Time for the "Students who help others when they need it most" Question 56 Figure 4.10: Illustration of the Interaction Between Groups and Across Time for the "Students who call others mean names" Question 57 Figure 4.11: Illustration of the Interaction Between Groups and Across Time for the "Students who are the most cooperative" Question 59 Figure 4.12: Illustration of the Interaction Between Groups and Across Time for the "Students who you can trust" Question 60 Figure 4.13 Illustration of the Decrease in Ratings Across Time for the "Play with" Scale 63 V l l l ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS First and foremost, I would like to thank my Research Supervisor, Dr. Ruth Ervin, for her never-ending support, patience and expertise. I would also like to thank Dr. Kadriye Ercikan and Dr. Kent Mcintosh for sitting on my Thesis Research Committee and Dr. Joe Lucyshyn for acting as my Departmental Examiner. Thank you for working within my strict time lines. In addition, many thanks to Jennifer Tong and all of the students who participated in my research project. Without the children, this project would not have existed. Finally, I would like to acknowledge my family. Throughout this process they have been a great support, and shown me nothing but love, I thank you. i CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION In general, schools and school systems can be viewed as interventions designed to alter children's development across a number of domains important to society (Deno, 2002). In addition to emphasis on promoting attainment of important academic skills (e.g., literacy), a broader educational mission for schools is to educate students to become knowledgeable, responsible, socially skilled, healthy, caring, and contributing citizens (Greenberg, Weissberg, O'Brian, Zins, Fredericks, Resnik, Elias, 2003). In recent years, there has been growing awareness within education that it is important to foster children's social emotional development, as social and emotional skills play an important role in influencing non-academic outcomes (e.g., children's health, safety) and also play a critical role in improving children's academic performance (Doll, Zucker, & Brehm, 2004; Zins, Bloodworth, Weissberg, Walberg, 2004). Studies have shown, for example, that changes in achievement in later grades can be better predicted by knowing children's social competence than by knowing their achievement in earlier years (e.g., Mitchell & Elias, 2003; Zimbardo, 2000). When schools address students' social emotional needs, schools are providing students with learning environments in which they are less likely to behave in ways that harm then-health, academic performance, and ability to stay in school (Elias, Zins, Graczyk, & Weissberg, 2003). From a public health prevention standpoint, efforts to teach social emotional skills to children may help to prevent mental health problems and provide early intervention for problems that are begirining to emerge (Greenberg, et al., 2003; Elias, et al., 2003). In other words, these efforts help to reduce "risk factors" associated with negative later life outcomes. These efforts also could be viewed from a promotion standpoint, wherein, emphasis is placed on building skills that are known to assist in overcoming adversity and increase "resilience" or resistance to adverse conditions (Merrell, 2003). 2 Within the research literature, several risk and protective factors have been identified as important later life outcomes (Doll & Lyon, 1998). Protective factors are associated with the development of competence in spite of adversity (Alvord & Grados, 2005). These factors include good intellectual ability, easy-going temperament, positive social relationships, high expectations for the self, and achievement orientation (Alvord & Grados, 2005). Risk factors, or factors that increase vulnerability to negative outcomes, include poverty, uncaring parental environments, abuse or maltreatment, and family conflict (Doll & Lyon, 1998). Research indicates that early prevention and intervention to prevent problems and foster the development of competence are critical to successful later life outcomes (Doll & Lyon, 1998). By identifying students at risk early, interventions can be designed to enhance the child's protective factors and build their resiliency (Merrell, 2003). Not all factors are easily amenable to change, but research shows that addressing factors that are alterable improves outcomes for children at risk (Alvord & Grados, 2005). Some potentially alterable variables, which are addressed in a number of social emotional intervention programs available to schools, include strategies designed to improve peer relationships, social emotional competence, social problem solving skills and prosocial behavior. Social and emotional competence, the capacity to recognize and manage emotions, solve problems effectively, and establish and maintain positive relationships with others (Ragozzino, Resnik, Utne-O'Brian, & Weissberg, 2003), is one alterable variable (i.e., can be taught to children) that may help to curtail risk and improve resilience in overcoming later life adversities. Social emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which we learn to recognize and manage emotions, care about others, make good decisions, behave ethically and responsibly, develop positive relationships, and avoid negative behaviours (Elias, et al., 2003). Through the process of SEL, it is possible that social emotional competence can be improved (Elias, et al., 2003) In recent years, the development of packaged SEL curricula (e.g., Strong Kids, Second Step) and 3 the critical evaluation of them have made it easier for schools to address the important social and emotional needs of their students. SEL not only has been shown to play an important role in influencing non-academic outcomes (e.g., children's health, safety), but also in improving children's academic performance (Zins, et al., 2004). It is proposed that SEL provides children with basic skills for success in life (Ragozzino et al., 2003). To guide intervention research (Graczyk, Domitrovich, Small & Zins, 2006), it is important not only to consider whether an intervention is effective (empirical evaluation), but also why this is so (theoretical mechanisms). The majority of research studies on SEL programs within school settings focus on prevention and early intervention (Quinn & Poirier, 2004). The ultimate goals of prevention science are to affect the incidence and prevalence of problems in populations, thus adoption of a functional contextualist theoretical framework would support effective implementation of this research-based, prevention practice (Biglan, 2004). From a functional contextualist standpoint, emphasis is placed on the identification of variables that allow one not only to predict behaviour but also to influence it through manipulation of environmental variables. The ultimate goal of the functional contextualist is to minimize the incidence and prevalence of problems of human behaviour and maximize the prevalence of healthy and productive lives (Biglan & Hayes, 1996), and the worthiness of an analysis is evaluated in terms of its contribution to public health, education or prevention science. Limitations of Current Research Thus far, preliminary research on SEL programs suggests that these programs are useful in improving students' social emotional competence, social problem solving skills, and prosocial behaviors (Beland, 1998; Frey, Hirschstein, & Guzzo, 2002; Greenberg, Kusche, Cook & Quamma, 1998; Grossman, Neckerman, Koepsell, Liu, Asher, & Beland, 1997; Taub, 2002). Also, some preliminary studies have shown reduced hyperactive-disruptive behavior and improved classroom behavior as a result of participation in SEL programs (Conduct Problems 4 Prevention Research Group, 1999). More positive teacher-rated behaviors related to emotional adjustment and teacher and parent-rated social competence have been reported (Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group, 1999; Greenberg et al., 1998). In addition, increases in observed positive social interactions in the classroom and playground as well as reductions in aggressive interactions with peers have been observed (Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group, 1999; Taub, 2002). Less is known, however, as to how the implementation of SEL programs affect the broader social contexts in which children continue to shape their social emotional development. Thus, there is a need for more research that examines the impact of SEL programs on students' social relationships with peers. Purpose of the Study As researchers and educators work together to improve students' social emotional competence through SEL programs, it is important to consider the impact of such endeavors on the peer relations that play a role in the ongoing shaping of social emotional development. The present study aims to provide preliminary data on this topic. In the sections that follow, the research literature is reviewed on the importance of peer relations and the efficacy and effectiveness of SEL programs. Following the literature reviews, a rationale is provided for studying the effects of one SEL program on the peer relations of grade 4 students. 5 CHAPTER 2: REVIEW OF LITERATURE Peer Relations as a Context for Social emotional Learning Positive interactions with peers provide a context for the development of interactive social skills such as cooperation and problem solving (Bagwell, Coie, Terry & Lochman 2000). In contrast, early peer rejection has been found to predict delinquency and psychological maladjustment in later childhood and adolescence (e.g., Bagwell, et al., 2000). Children who are not accepted by their peers do less well academically (Wetzel & Asher, 1995). There is also a growing body of literature that demonstrates an association between peer rejection in childhood and later adjustment problems in adolescence and adulthood (Farmer, Pearl & VanAcker, 1996). In one longitudinal study, for example, peer rejection was associated with aggressive behaviour, and youth who were rejected (or engaged in early disruptive behaviour) were at increased risk for later delinquency and antisocial behaviour (Dishion, Patterson, Stoolmiller, & Skinner, 1991). Other studies (e.g., Bagwell, et al., 2000; Farmer & Hollowell, 1994; Maag, Vasa, & Reid, 1995) revealed that rejected children were not as well accepted socially by classmates and likely to remain unaccepted by peers as they move into new settings. In addition, rejected children exhibit aggressive and disruptive behaviour, experience academic failure, loneliness, depression, victimization by peers, and social dissatisfaction. A social influence model of delinquent and antisocial behaviour suggests that an active process of seeking social reinforcement leads to those at-risk for delinquency to associate with one another and favorable attitudes to delinquent behaviour are fostered (Dishion, et al., 1991). Rejection by the peer group for their antisocial behaviour may lead to the exclusion of at-risk youth from some cliques and promote the development of deviant groups by default. In these relationships, delinquent behaviour is both maintained and promoted (Dishion, et al., 1991). In addition to general negative outcomes associated with early peer rejection, some research has demonstrated that aggression and peer rejection were significant predictors of 6 adolescent disorders such as substance use, delinquency, disruptive behavior and conduct disorder (e.g., Coie, Lochman, Terry & Hyman, 1992). In an analysis of the behavioural characteristics of fourth and seventh grade students, Cairns and colleagues (1988) reported that aggressive students tended to affiliate with each other. Interestingly, aggressive students did not differ from non-aggressive controls with regard to (a) frequency of being identified as a member of a peer cluster, (b) number of reciprocated "best friends" nominations, or (c) centrality within the social network. These findings suggest that aggressive students do affiliate with peers who support or complement their social behaviour even though they may not be well accepted by their classmates in general. Further, according to George and Hartmann (1996), most youth with rejected status tend to associate with peers who have less favorable social and behavioural characteristics. Social Emotional Learning in Schools Recently, there is a general agreement that it is important for schools to foster childrens' social emotional development (e.g., Doll & Lyon, 1998), with growing recognition that the educational environment is full of opportunities to promote personal and social, as well as academic competence. Social and emotional skills, such as the ability to manage one's emotions, solve problems effectively, and work cooperatively with others, are currently recognized as fundamental aspects of academic success (Elias, et al., 2003). In addition, many students with mental health concerns and/or deficiencies in their social emotional competence also have difficulty learning and/or disrupt the learning of others, making social emotional skills important targets for educators (Greenberg et al., 2003). Schools represent potentially protective environments, where children are encouraged to develop social competence, problem-solving and academic skills, and individual talents. This protective environment is particularly relevant for students who are at risk for academic and social emotional hardships, due to an accumulation of multiple risk factors (i.e., family discord, poverty, or child maltreatment) (Doll & Lyon, 7 1998). Thus, schools are ideal locations for the implementation of interventions designed to foster students' social emotional well being. Within school settings, instruction can be provided in many different ways to develop, encourage, and support students' social emotional learning and subsequent success in school. Social, emotional and behavioural skills can be taught directly to students (Eisenberg, Wentzel & Harris, 1998; Greenberg, et al., 1998). This can be accomplished via packaged SEL programs. There are a number of well-designed, evidence-based SEL programs available to schools that provide systematic classroom instruction. Packaged programs are usually flexible in form of delivery. Often, lessons can be taught in script-form or modified by the instructor to better suit the individual students. The material can be incorporated into already existing curriculum or taught as specific lessons. Some curriculums are specific in the material taught. For example, Second Step (Committee for Children, 1997) is a violence prevention program that targets material specific to changing behaviors and attitudes that contribute to violence. Other programs are meant to teach a number of constructs. Strong Kids (Merrell, Carrizales, Feuerborn, Gueldner, & Tran, 2006), for example, is a program that emphasizes a range of skills (i.e., prosocial behaviour, emotional resilience, and coping skills). From a public health prevention standpoint, SEL services can be provided across a continuum of primary, secondary and tertiary prevention (Merrell & Buchanan, 2006). Primary prevention is delivered to all students prior to risk with the focus of reducing risk and promoting health. Primary prevention can be most effective when educators take advantage of the many opportunities in which prevention can be implemented in the normal school curriculum (Meyers & Nastasi, 1999). Secondary prevention is targeted toward students who are identified as at-risk for the development of problems with the intention of reducing the development of more severe problems and disorders. Tertiary prevention, on the other hand, is a more intensive effort 8 directed at children who are already experiencing problems. The focus is to curtail more negative outcomes after problems are identified (Meyers & Nastasi, 1999). Unfortunately, traditional identification, intervention policy, and practice to address social and emotional health tends to be reactive, only targeting children at the tertiary level of prevention once significant behaviour problems are well established, entrenched across environments, and therefore more difficult to impact (Conroy, Hendrickson & Hester, 2004). In contrast, preventative programs designed to proactively promote important social emotional outcomes may help to promote resilience and curtail negative outcomes (Merrell & Buchanan, 2006). Preventive approaches represent a change for educators who are more apt to use remediation than prevention (Meyers & Nastasi, 1999). Packaged SEL Prevention Programs Available to Schools Within the literature on SEL, two well-known, evidence-based examples of packaged SEL programs that have empirical support and are available to schools include Second Step (Committee for Children, 1997) and Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS; Kusche & Greenberg, 1994). In addition to a number of other acknowledgements, both the PATHS and Second Step programs have received outstanding recognition from Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Adnmiistration (SAMHSA), and Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), with the highest possible rating awarded to both programs from each organization (http://www.charining-bete.com/prevention-programs/pams/results-recogmti http://www.cfchildren.org/cfc/aboutf/awardsendorse). Strong Kids (Merrell, et al., 2006) is a third, less well-known SEL program that shows promising preliminary results. In this section, a brief description for each evidence-based SEL program is provided, with a more detailed description of Strong Kids, as this is the program targeted for the present study. 9 Second Step. Second Step (Committee for Children, 1997) is a violence prevention curriculum designed to develop students' social and emotional skills, while teaching children to change behaviours and attitudes that contribute to violence. It is designed to deter aggression and promote social competence of children. Children are taught critical skills including how to deal with emotions, resist impulsive behaviour, resolve conflict, solve problems, and understand consequences of their actions that can help prevent violent behaviour and improve their success in school and throughout their lives (Committee for Children, 1997). Second Step draws from social learning theory as it emphasizes the importance of observation, self reflection, performance, and reinforces the acquisition and maintenance of prosocial behaviours. Other conceptual frameworks applied include social information-processing and cognitive behavioural therapy (Frey, et al., 2002). The program targets children from preschool through ninth grade and focuses on teaching specific skills such as empathy, impulse control, problem solving, anger management and perspective taking. This is done through group discussions, role playing, and teacher modeling; in addition, students are given the opportunity to solve real classroom problems. PATHS. PATHS (Kusche & Greenberg, 1994), also a prevention program, is intended to enhance skills in emotional literacy, positive peer relations, and problem solving, and prevent behavioural and emotional problems in young children. A basic premise of PATHS is that a child's coping, as reflected in his or her behavior and internal regulation, is a function of emotional awareness, affective-cognitive control and behavioral skills, and social-cognitive understanding (Kusche & Greenberg, 1994). It is intended for use with children from pre-kindergarten to grade 6. PATHS was developed for use in the classroom setting and also includes generalization activities to improve critical thinking skills, and enhance the classroom climate. PATHS lessons include instruction in identifying and labeling feelings, expressing feelings, managing feelings, understanding the difference between feelings and behaviors, 10 controlling impulses, reducing stress, self-talk, reading and interpreting social cues, understanding the perspectives of others, having a positive attitude toward life, self-awareness, and nonverbal communication skills. Strong Kids. Strong Kids Social emotional Learning Curriculum (Merrell, et al., 2006) is another curriculum available to schools. It was developed as part of 'The Oregon Resiliency Project' (ORP; http://orp.uoregon.edu/), a research, training, and outreach effort. Strong Kids was developed using evidence-based concepts, instructional strategies, and activities. It is a specific social and emotional learning program that is prevention-based and intended to explicitly teach prosocial behaviour, emotional resilience, and coping skills to children and adolescents in grades four to eight or approximately ages 9- to 14-years-old. The Strong Kids curriculum is a brief and practical program that has been designed for the purpose of promoting social and emotional resilience. Although effective promotion of these competencies may have broad benefits, emotional resilience and the various cognitive and behavioural strategies included in the Strong Kids curriculum may especially be key components in helping to prevent and reduce the severity of depression, anxiety, and related social and emotional problems (Merrell, et al., 2006). Because Strong Kids is designed to be both a prevention and early intervention program, it has a wide range of applications, and may be used effectively with high functioning, typical, at-risk, or emotionally disturbed children. Strong Kids is a highly structured and partially scripted curriculum, designed to cover very specific objectives and goals. The curriculum is easily adapted for students with a wide range of needs, and contains several suggestions for such amendments. The maximum duration of the curriculum is 12 weeks (if lessons are taught once a week), and the average length of each lesson is approximately 45 to 50 minutes. There are 12 sequenced lessons with a different topic taught each week. Group leaders can follow the script and examples directly or modify the lessons to utilize creativity. See Appendix A for an overview of the 12 Strong Kids lessons. 11 Research on Packaged SEL Prevention Programs It is important to establish whether interventions designed to promote SEL improve children's success in school and in life (Zins, et al., 2004). Preliminary research on SEL programs suggests a number of positive outcomes (e.g., Grossman, et al., 1997; Gueldner, 2006; Zins, et al., 2004). For example, children who participated in PATHS or Second Step prevention programs have shown significant improvements in social problem solving (e.g., Beland, 1998; Frey, et al., 2002; Greenberg et al., 1998; Taub, 2002) and decreases in physical aggression (Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group, 1999; Grossman, et al., 1997). Participants of Second Step also showed significant improvements in verbal perspective-taking (Beland, 1998) and prosocial behaviour (Grossman, et al., 1997). Other positive outcomes include reduced hyperactive-disruptive behavior (Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group, 1999) and more positive teacher-rated behaviors related to emotional adjustment and teacher-rated social competence (Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group, 1999; Greenberg et al., 1998; Ialongo, Poduska, Werthamer, & Kellam, 2001). Preliminary research also indicates that interventions fostering pro-social behaviors in the classroom frequently lead to improvements in academic performance, whereas, interventions designed exclusively to improve academic achievement do not show subsequent increases in pro-social classroom behaviours (Doll, et al., 2004; Mitchell & Elias, 2003; Zimbardo, 2000). Zimbardo (2000), for example, found that changes in achievement around grade 8 could be better predicted from knowing children's social competence five years earlier than from knowing their third grade academic achievement. Mitchell and Elias (2003) had similar results, predicting third grade achievement most strongly from social competence in second grade in an urban sample. 12 Preliminary Research on Strong Kids Packaged SEL Prevention Program To date, seven prelirninary studies have been conducted on Strong Kids to evaluate the efficacy of the social emotional learning curriculum in increasing students' knowledge of healthy social emotional behavior and decreasing their symptoms of negative affect or emotional distress. In general, initial studies indicate that the Strong Kids program produced significant increases in knowledge of social emotional concepts and coping skills (Berry-Krazmien & Torres-Fernandez, 2007; Brown, 2006; Faust, 2006; Feuerborn, 2004; Gueldner, 2006; Merrell, et al., 2006; Merrell, Juskelis & Tran, 2004). In some cases, decreases in problem symptoms were also noted (Merrell, Juskelis & Tran, 2004; Feueborn, 2004; Brown, 2006; Merrell, et al., 2006). An initial research study by Feuerborn (2004) investigated the effectiveness of the Strong Kids curriculum in increasing student's knowledge of healthy social emotional behavior and decreasing symptoms of negative affect among upper elementary and middle school students. Two treatment groups (n = 7 per group) received the curriculum. One group consisted of typical general education students (the middle school group), and one was comprised of students considered to be "at-risk," (the upper elementary age group). Students in matched control groups did not receive any specialized instruction or intervention. Results showed that participants in the Strong Kids intervention groups demonstrated statistically significant gains in social emotional knowledge and significant reductions in internalizing problem symptoms in comparison with the matched control groups. Brown (2006) examined the effects of the Strong Kids curriculum on elementary-age (grades 3-5) students (N = 22) who had been identified as at risk for internalizing behavior problems (e.g., depression). Pre, post and follow-up assessments measured student's internalizing behaviors and their knowledge of emotional and social skills. The results of this study suggest that the Strong Kids curriculum may be effective in increasing knowledge of 13 healthy social emotional functioning and reducing internalizing symptoms of students at risk for internalizing behavior problems. Another study evaluated the effectiveness of the Strong Kids curriculum in promoting social emotional resiliency among 40 fifth grade students (22 male and 18 female) (Faust, 2006). A pre/post-test design with a non-equivalent control group was used. Faust (2006) examined whether students who participate in Strong Kids exhibit a greater increase in knowledge about social emotional health in addition to a greater decrease in symptoms of internalizing problems. Pre/post-test surveys measured knowledge of social emotional health and internalizing symptoms. Results indicated that the treatment group significantly increased in knowledge about socio-emotional health, but level of depressive symptoms did not significantly decrease (Faust, 2006). Gueldner (2006) investigated the efficacy of the Strong Kids curriculum with three groups of sixth grade students in a general education middle school setting. A unique feature of this study was the use of consultation support that utilized performance feedback with principles of motivational interviewing. 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). Results of this study indicated a significantly 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 post-test. Internalizing symptoms were generally not affected by the intervention, nor were office disciplinary referrals with the exception of minor infractions. Overall, teachers had a positive attitude toward social emotional learning and the curriculum, 14 indicating a relatively strong degree of social validity for the Strong Kids curriculum (Gueldner, 2006). Merrell, Juskelis, Tran, and Buchanan (2006) conducted two large pilot studies to evaluate the impact of the Strong Kids social emotional learning curricula in increasing students' knowledge of healthy social emotional behavior, and decreasing their symptoms of negative affect and emotional distress. The first study included 120 middle school students (in grade 5) from a general education student population. The second study included 65 general education students in grades 7-8. Social emotional knowledge and levels of negative emotional symptoms were assessed using experimenter-developed self-report measures, in pretest-posttest intervention designs. Both studies showed that following participation in the curriculum, students evidenced statistically significant and clinically meaningful changes in the desired directions on the target variables. To examine the impact of Strong Kids for students with emotional-behavioral difficulties, Berry-Krazmien and Torres-Fernandez (2007) evaluated Strong Kids curriculum with twelve 12-to-15 year old students from two emotional support classrooms at a residential treatment facility. Results indicated that by the end of the final session, students demonstrated significant increases in knowledge about healthy and unhealthy ways to express feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. However, no significant changes in the self-report of externalizing and internalizing symptoms were found. In general, previous studies evaluating the Strong Kids curriculum have shown promising results, yet it is important to note that there are a number of limitations inherent in the research on the Strong Kids curriculum to date. Several research studies, for example, did not use a control group to strengthen their conclusion that the Strong Kids curriculum specifically contributed to their significant results (Berry-Krazmien & Torres-Fernandez, 2007; Brown, 2006; Merrell, et al., 2006). In addition, there are differing conclusions regarding the subsequent 15 decreases of internalizing symptoms after completion of the Strong Kids curriculum. Three studies found significant decreases in internalizing symptoms after completion of the Strong Kids curriculum (Brown, 2006; Merrell, et al., 2006; Feuerborn, 2004). Two of these studies were comprised of populations either identified as or at risk for emotional and behavioural problems (Brown, 2006; Feuerborn, 2004). In addition, only one study conducted a follow up assessment on the retention of social emotional knowledge and continued reduction internalizing symptoms measures (Brown, 2006). Finally, majority of the studies have limited their scope of evaluation of outcomes to assessment of students' knowledge of healthy social emotional behaviour and symptoms of negative affect or emotional distress. Gueldner (2006) added the distinctive feature of consultation support. Results indicated significant increases in knowledge of social emotional concepts and coping skills regardless of the consultation services. Rationale for Proposed Study Although preliminary research on Strong Kids has been promising, more research is needed to systematically evaluate the potential impact of Strong Kids on the contexts in which students shape their social and emotional development (i.e., peer relations). To date, the effects of Strong Kids on social relationships have not been examined. The purpose of the present study was to contribute to the literature on SEL programs by assessing the impact of the Strong Kids curriculum on indicators of students' social emotional risk and resilience and determine the change in social standing of students who received Strong Kids versus those who did not. All previous studies have shown that knowledge of social emotional concepts and coping skills have improved and some studies have shown decreases in internalizing symptoms, but no studies to date have examined the effects on broader measures of resilience. Additionally, student's interaction with others in the classroom and/or how students are perceived by their classmates has not been examined in prior studies. It was anticipated peer relations in the classroom would be impacted by the Strong Kids curriculum. 16 Summary of the Purpose of Present Study The primary goal of the proposed research project was to assess the impact of the Strong Kids curriculum on indicators of students' social emotional risk and resilience and to determine the change in social standing of students who received Strong Kids versus those who did not. Specifically, the proposed study systematically addressed the following research questions: 1 .What is the impact of Strong Kids on indicators of students' social and emotional behaviour and symptoms of emotional distress? Specific Hypotheses: Students who participate in Strong Kids will: a) increase their knowledge of healthy social and emotional behaviour (e.g., understanding feelings). b) decrease reported symptoms of emotional distress (e.g., feelings of anxiety, depression, aggression). c) increase their endorsement of self-reported social emotional resiliency characteristics (e.g., relationships with others, ability to follow class rules, how they feel about their school work) on a measure of classroom resilience 2. What are students' overall perceptions of participation in the Strong Kids social and emotional learning curriculum? Specific Hypotheses: Students who participate in Strong Kids will: a) feel they have benefited from participation in the program 3. What is the impact of Strong Kids on social standing and likeability? Specific Hypotheses: Students who participate in Strong Kids will: a) improve their social standing and rating of likeability as a result of participation. 17 CHAPTER 3 : METHOD Ethics Approval Approval to collect data for this study was obtained in March, 2006 from the Behavioural Research Ethics Board of the Office of Research Services and Administration at the University of British Columbia. Participants The Catholic Independent School system had identified four grade 4 classrooms in two schools to participate in the preliminary evaluation of Strong Kids so no formal recruitment of participants occurred as part of this research project. The two schools were located in British Columbia. One school was located within a metropolitan area and the other within a suburban area. All children in the fourth grade at each school were included in the study if (a) their parent or legal guardian signed a statement of informed consent, and (b) the children assented to participation. A total of 102 students were eligible to participate. The participation rate was 98% for those who participated in Strong Kids (50 of 5l) to 100% (51 out of 51) of those in the control group, with an overall participation rate of 99 % (101 of 102). At School A, there were 22 students (i.e., 12 boys and 10 girls) who were eligible to participate in Strong Kids and 21 (i.e., 12 boys and 9 girls) who did so. There were 22 students (i.e., 14 boys and 8 girls) at School A, who were eligible and participated as controls. At School B, there were 29 students (i.e., 11 boys and 18 girls) who were eligible and participated in Strong Kids. There were 29 students (i.e., 10 boys and 19 girls) at School B, who were eligible and participated as controls. See Table 2.1 below for participation numbers. 18 Table 2.1 Breakdown of Participation Numbers School A School B TOTAL Bovs Girls Boys Girls Treatment 12 9 11 18 50 Control 14 8 10 19 51 TOTAL 43 58 101 To ensure that each classroom within School A and School B had the same chance of being selected to receive the Strong Kids curriculum, one classroom in each school was randomly assigned to pilot Strong Kids and the other to serve as a control. Design The goal of this study was to assess the impact of the Strong Kids curriculum on indicators of students' social emotional risk and resilience and to determine the change in social standing of students who received Strong Kids versus those who did not. The design included three phases: (a) pre-test measures (b) Strong Kids curriculum and (c) post-test measures. Only participants in the experimental group received the Strong Kids curriculum (see chart below). Measures were administered to all participants prior to the implementation of Strong Kids, and post-test measures were given again after the completion of the intervention. Pre-test Measures Strong Kids Curriculum Post-test Measures Experimental Groups V Control Groups X Measurement Two separate sets of assessment measures were used to evaluate the impact of Strong Kids. The first set of measures focused on assessment of the impact of the Strong Kids curriculum on students' social emotional knowledge (Strong Kids Knowledge Test), symptoms 19 of emotional distress and negative affect (Strong Kids Symptoms Test), classwide perceptions of the classroom ecology relative to factors of social emotional resiliency (ClassMaps), and satisfaction with the Strong Kids program (Strong Kids Satisfaction Survey). The second set of assessment procedures were used to evaluate impact on social relations and peer networks. Peer Nomination and Peer Rating scale were administered to assess students' sociometric status and peer relations. Measures of SEL Knowledge, Symptoms, Perceived Resilience, and Satisfaction with Strong Kids Social emotional knowledge. To assess students' knowledge related to the curriculum, Strong Kids Knowledge Test was actaiinistered. This self-report test was designed to be used along with the curriculum as a pre-test/post-test or experimental measure of change in social emotional knowledge associated with being exposed to Strong Kids. The Knowledge Test includes 20-items designed to measure students' knowledge of healthy social emotional behaviour specifically taught within the Strong Kids curriculum. The 5 true-false and 15 multiple choice items were each scored as correct or incorrect, using a scoring key provided. Correct responses were each assigned 1 point, with a maximum of 20 points for completing all test items correctly. Pilot research to date has been sensitive to intervention effects on social emotional knowledge. The internal consistency reliability has ranged from .60 to .79 depending on the population (Casto-Olivo, 2006; Feuerborn, 2004, Gueldner, 2006; Isava, 2006). The Knowledge Test was adniinistered at the beginning of Lesson 1, and then again at the end of Lesson 12 for those students in the two classrooms receiving the Strong Kids curriculum and on the corresponding day for students in the two control classrooms. Students completed the 20-item battery in an average of about 15 minutes. See Appendix B for the Strong Kids Knowledge Test. 20 Symptoms of emotional stress and negative affect. To assess students' self-perceived emotional stress and negative affect, the Strong Kids Symptoms Test was administered. This self-report test was also designed to be used along with the curriculum as a pre-test/post-test measure. It consists of 10-items designed to measure emotional distress, negative affect, and associated cognitive-behavioural symptoms. Each item is rated along a four-point Likert scale ranging from 0 (never true) to 3 (often true), with the higher numerical values associated with increased distress or negative affect. Pilot research to date has been sensitive to intervention effects on social emotional symptoms. The internal consistency reliability has ranged from .68 to .79 depending on the population (Feuerborn, 2004; Isava, 2006; Tran, 2007). The Symptoms Test was administered at the beginning of Lesson 1, and then again at the end of Lesson 12 for those students in the two classrooms receiving the Strong Kids curriculum and on the corresponding day for those students in the two control classrooms. Students completed the 10-item battery in an average of about 10 minutes. See Appendix C for the Strong Kids Symptoms Test. Both the Knowledge and Symptoms Tests provide an efficient and effective means of measuring important changes that may occur as a result of teaching the Strong Kids curriculum (Merrell, et al., 2006). Perceptions of Resiliency. To assess students' self-perceptions of resiliency, ClassMaps was administered. ClassMaps (Doll, et al., 2004) is a self-report measure of classroom resilience. There are eight subscales that measure characteristics of resiliency: academic efficacy (Believing in Me), self-determination (Taking Charge), behavioural self-control (Following Class Rules), teacher-student relationship (My Teacher), peer friendships (My Classmates), home-school involvement (Talking with My Parents), peer conflict (Kids in this Class) and concerns about bullying (I Worry That). ClassMaps was completed by all participating students. There are 55 items scored on a Likert-type scale ranging from 0 (never) to 3 (always). Preliminary studies 21 with ClassMaps indicated good reliability evidence, with Cronbach's alpha for the subscales ranging from 0.86 to 0.96 (Doll, Kurien, LeClair, Spies, Champion, & Osborn, manuscript submitted for publication). Students took approximately 20 minutes to complete this measure. See Appendix C for ClassMaps. Program Satisfaction. To assess social validity for Strong Kids and to assess students' satisfaction with the curriculum after participation, Strong Kids Satisfaction Survey was administered. The purpose was to evaluate whether Strong Kids was a program that the students enjoyed and learned from. Only the students who participated in Strong Kids answered the anonymous Strong Kids Satisfaction Survey after the curriculum was completed. Students provided ratings from a scale of 0 to 4, with higher numbers indicating positive perception. Only item number 17 was on a scale of 1 to 3, with 3 being most positive. There were 17 questions in total, this took about 10 minutes to complete. See Appendix G for the Strong Kids Satisfaction Survey. Measures of Peer Relations A variety of procedures can be used to measure social relationships. Research-based measures include peer nominations and ratings. Together, these sociometric techniques allow researchers to assess the popularity, peer acceptance or rejection among specific groups of children (i.e., peers within a classroom). The peer nomination procedure directly evaluates various aspects of social status of people within the peer group and produces a measure of popularity. Alternatively, the peer rating method reflects a student's overall acceptance by every other student and produces a measure of average likeability. These measures reveal a broad picture of the social relationships among children within a classroom, and they also are highly predictive of future social and emotional outcomes of these individuals (Merrell, 2002). Further, sociometric techniques are extremely useful for peer-relations research, because they can be used to examine the social relationships within a classroom and to identify children who are not well 22 accepted by their peers and who may benefit from intervention (Bell-Dolan & Wessler, 1994). Standardized sociometric assessment procedures have been shown to have favorable technical properties and should be viewed as potentially useful methods of assessing peer relations and social status (Merrell, 2002). With respect to their research base, sociometric measures (i.e., peer nominations and peer ratings) of a classroom's peer relationships are among the oldest measures of a classroom's ecological system (Doll, et al., 2004). The constructs that are measured are central to and highly predictive of fiiture social and emotional outcomes (Merrell, 2002). Sociometric techniques measure concepts such as social status, popularity, peer acceptance or rejection and reputation, which are related to each other. Sociometric measures are especially suitable for describing the social climate of a classroom. The peer nomination procedure is the most widely used approach to assess sociometric status (Doll, et al., 2004). This procedure directly evaluates the ongoing social dynamics of a group. Data on various aspects of social status of people within the peer group are obtained directly from its members, rather than through observations or ratings by impartial outside evaluators (Merrell, 2002). Students are asked to identify classmates that best fit within specific categories or dimensions (e.g., "students who help others when they need it", "students who call others mean names"). Collecting both positive and negative nominations has advantages not shared by the use of positive nominations alone (Bell-Dolan, Foster & Sikora, 1989). When used in combination with positive nominations, negative nominations can provide more detailed information about the subtle dynamics of social status within a group (Merrell, 2002). Negative peer nominations can be used to help identify specific patterns of social rejection by the students within classrooms (e.g., "Students who break the rules and do things they're not supposed to"). Using both positive and negative nominations is an ethically sound sociometric research procedure and 23 can yield useful data (Bell-Dolan & Wessler, 1994). There is no empirical evidence that negative nomination procedures produce adverse side effects or are harmful to individuals who participate in the assessment (Yugar & Shapiro, 2001; Merrell, 2002). Bell-Dolan, Foster, and Skiora (1989) found that using positive and negative nominations had no effects on school-age children's social interactions or reports of negative mood state or loneliness. "Because the efficiency of peer nomination assessments will decrease markedly when negative nominations are not used, it is imperative that they be included in the assessment process" (McConnell & Odom, 1986, p. 233). Another sociometric assessment technique used is the peer rating method. It reflects a student's overall acceptance by every other student (Doll, et al, 2004) and provides complete information about how much each child likes every other child in the class (Parker & Asher, 1993). This sociometric assessment is conceptually and psychometrically quite different from peer nominations. In the peer rating procedure, each child is provided with a class roster, and asked to rate each class member on how much they like to work with and how much they like to play with that peer. Because each student is rated by all his or her classmates, a broader picture of his or her social status is obtained. In addition to having measurement qualities that differ from peer nomination procedures, peer rating methods may measure a different construct (Merrell, 2002). Peer ratings are thought to produce a measure of average likeability, whereas peer nominations are thought to produce a measure of popularity. Although likeability and popularity are similar, there are some subtle yet important differences between these constructs. For example, using the peer rating method, a child might receive scores that indicate an average amount of likeability, yet it is possible that they might not receive any positive nominations. In this case, if the sociometric interpretation was based on the peer nomination data alone, the child might be considered to be socially isolated or neglected, which might not be the case. By combining the nomination and the rating 24 procedures in conducting a sociometric assessment, the obtained data may be more powerful in differentiating popular/well-liked/accepted and unpopular/un-liked/accepted children (Merrell, 2002) Both peer ratings and nominations have been shown to be stable over time and across situations (Doll, et al., 2004). Results from a previous study also indicated that the nomination procedure and rating procedure were similarly very easy to implement and the students seemed to understand all the procedures and thought the experience was fun (Yugar & Shapiro, 2001). Both nominations and peer rating procedures were used in this study. Social standing as a function of peer perception. To assess students' social standing, the peer nominations procedure was administered by questionnaire, wherein all participating children were asked to identify classmates that best fit within eight specific categories or dimensions. For each of the eight questions, the participants were given a roster with the names of all their classmates (to ensure that all peers within the class had an opportunity to be nominated) and were asked to circle those classmates that best fit within the given category (e.g., students who help others when they need it). For all questions, students could nominate as many or as few peers as they chose. The eight peer nomination scale items were: a) students you like to play with the most, b) students you like to play with the least, c) students who hit, kick or punch others at school, d) students who get even by keeping people from being in their group, e) students who help others when they need it, f) students who call others mean names, g) students who are the most cooperative, and h) students you can trust. See Appendix D for the Peer Nomination Questionnaire. Rating dimensions of likeability. The Peer Rating procedure was administered by questionnaire. Each child was provided with a roster that had the names of all the students in the class. Each student was asked to rate each class member on how much they like to "work with" and how much they like to "play with" that peer, using a 5-point scale for each, ranging from 1 25 (not at all) to 5 (very much). Scores from this measure in conjunction with the peer nomination measure provide information about children who were popular, rejected, average, neglected, or controversial. See Appendix E for the Peer Rating Questionnaire (Merrell, 2002). Overview of Procedures Social emotional learning is provided in the Independent Catholic Schools' regular curriculum to all students. The school system chose to pilot Strong Kids as a systematic way to provide this instruction to four grade 4 classrooms. The current study was part of a larger investigation additionally examining the academic and behavioural outcomes of the Strong Kids curriculum. All participating students were asked to complete all measures, with consent. Prior to conducting the study, a consent form and letter describing the study were sent out to the parents of all potential participants by their respective school administrators. After consent was granted, the co-investigators obtained written assent from each child prior to participation. Confidentiality was assured, and subjects were told that they could decline to answer any question or withdraw at any point in the study. Data Collection Procedures Collection of pre-intervention measures was the first step in this study. Two graduate students in school psychology attending UBC, trained in data collection, administered the measures and taught the Strong Kids curriculum. All participants in all four classrooms were asked to complete two sets of self-report measures. This occurred over two sessions held three days apart. Data collection was administered in a group format. Before administration of the surveys, students were assured that their answers would be kept confidential and they were asked to not disclose their answers to their peers. During the sessions, instructions were given about how to complete the questionnaires. Additionally, written instructions were provided. One administrator 26 read the instructions and questions aloud to the class while the other administrator scanned the room for potential problems and provided mobile monitoring to assist students as needed. In the first session, the participants were asked to complete two measures related to social emotional knowledge, risk, and resilience. First they were given the Strong Kids Unit Test, then the ClassMaps questionnaire. Together, these took approximately 40 minutes to complete. In the second session, the students were given the two sociometric measures. Peer nominations were collected first, followed by peer ratings. Together, this session took about 45 minutes. Approximately one week after completion of the Strong Kids program, participants in all four classrooms were again asked to complete the assessment measures to determine whether changes occurred in the children's knowledge of social emotional risks and resilience after experiencing the Strong Kids curriculum and whether changes had occurred with respect to student's sociometric status. A satisfaction questionnaire was also given to students who participated in Strong Kids. There was a slight risk that the subjects may have experienced increased emotional stress as a result of filling out the questionnaires, as some dealt with emotions and friendships. Before the questionnaires were distributed, the children were informed of the content involved and were encouraged to talk to their teacher, principal, or the graduate students running the Strong Kids program if they felt uncomfortable and/or had any questions or concerns. Intervention Procedures As described earlier, of the four classrooms selected to participate in this research project, two were randomly assigned to participate in the Strong Kids curriculum and two classrooms were assigned as controls. Approximately two weeks after the initial assessments were completed; students in the participating classrooms took part in the 12 session Strong Kids curriculum. Students in the control classrooms continued with their regularly scheduled curriculum during these periods. 27 It was possible that some children who participated in the Strong Kids curriculum may have felt a little shy or uneasy at the beginning of the program. To help reduce the chance of any problems or conflicts between group participants, the Strong Kids curriculum took place within the classroom with the teacher present for the duration of all sessions, and there were always two trained school psychology research assistants present during the program. Because students were asked to share stories about when they felt a strong emotion, personal and sensitive information was likely to arise, which could have lead to some emotional stress or gossiping among the students. However, during the first lesson, it was emphasized that students could choose to stop sharing their feelings or their story if they began to feel uncomfortable. Respect for others and confidentiality was discussed during the assent process and also throughout the lessons. Those who participated in Strong Kids were involved in a great deal of social emotional learning, from which we intended them to benefit from. The findings of the effectiveness of Strong Kids will be shared with the Catholic Independent Schools. If the results indicate that Strong Kids is beneficial, all Grade 4 students may receive the program in the future. Procedural Integrity A total of 25% of the Strong Kids lesson plans were randomly selected for evaluation (procedural integrity). A checklist with all the steps involved in the Strong Kids curriculum was used by the two trained data collectors to determine if the steps in the process were followed correctly by each administrator. Procedural integrity was found to be at 96% of the steps across the 12 lesson plans. Data Analysis Pre-post data were collected on students' social emotional knowledge, risk, and resilience, and sociometric status from four classrooms. Data were analyzed to determine changes that occurred in social emotional knowledge, symptoms of emotional stress and negative affect, perceived resiliency, program satisfaction, and social status and likeability as a result of participation in Strong Kids. All data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences, version 15.0 (SPSS). A number of mixed between-with subjects analysis of variances (ANOVAs) were conducted for all dependent measures for student's knowledge of social emotional skills, student's self-report of internalizing symptoms, perceptions of resiliency, and sociometric standing. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze student satisfaction with Strong Kids. 29 CHAPTER 4: RESULTS This chapter presents results examining the effects of the Strong Kids curriculum on grade 4 students' social emotional knowledge, symptoms and resilience in addition to their peer relationships. Results are reported in order of research questions proposed. Descriptive and statistical analyses are reported to answer the research questions. In addition to addressing the specific research questions, effect sizes (ES) were calculated to measure the magnitude of the treatment effect for dependent measures from pretest to posttest. The following research questions were addressed in this chapter: 1 .What is the impact of Strong Kids on indicators of students' social and emotional behaviour and symptoms of emotional distress? Specific Hypotheses: Students who participate in Strong Kids will: a) increase their knowledge of healthy social and emotional behaviour (e.g., understanding feelings). b) decrease reported symptoms of emotional distress (e.g., feelings of anxiety, depression, aggression). c) increase their endorsement of self-reported social emotional resiliency characteristics (e.g., relationships with others, ability to follow class rules, how they feel about their school work) on a measure of classroom resilience 2. What are students' overall perceptions of participation in the Strong Kids social and emotional learning curriculum? Specific Hypotheses: Students who participate in Strong Kids will: a) feel they have benefited from participation in the program 3. What is the impact of Strong Kids on social standing and likeability? Specific Hypotheses: Students who participate in Strong Kids will: a) improve their social standing and rating of likeability as a result of participation. 30 Statistical Analyses Two-way, mixed between-within subjects analyses of variances (ANOVAs) were conducted to examine the effects of the Strong Kids curriculum across an eight week time period. The within-subjects factor was Time (pretest and posttest), and the between-subjects factor was Group (Control, Treatment). The ANOVAs were conducted for all quantitative dependent measures for student's knowledge of social emotional skills and specific curriculum content, students' internalizing symptoms, student's social emotional resiliency, and students' social standing. Descriptive statistics for these measures are reported in Table 4 .1. Table 4.1 Means and Standard Deviations for Strong Kids Knowledge Questionnaire, Strong Kids Symptoms Questionnaire, ClassMaps, Peer Nominations, and Peer Ratings at Pre-Posttest for Within and Between Groups Treatment Con t ro l Pretest Posttest Pretest Posttest Dependent Measures M S D M S D M S D M S D Strong K ids Knowledge Test 11.49 3.16 13.85 3.37 11.86 3.39 11.30 3.39 Strong K ids Symptoms Test 12.42 4.12 11.08 5.07 12.16 4.52 10.68 5.85 ClassMaps Bel ieving in me 11.26 3.55 12.08 3.72 11.31 3.50 12.10 3.03 Taking charge 14.24 2.47 13.92 2.66 14.26 2.42 14.24 2.16 Fol lowing class rules 9.52 3.35 9.24 3.29 9.10 3.14 9.16 2.87 M y Teacher 16.49 4.36 15.90 5.22 16.32 3.72 16.40 4.56 M y classmates 14.18 3.39 14.24 4.21 13.73 3.85 14.39 3.56 M y parents 13.92 5.08 14.10 5.01 14.32 4.39 14.56 5.06 I worry that 14.20 7.16 16.54 6.22 14.66 6.69 15.56 7.12 K ids in the class 9.82 3.36 9.68 3.30 7.96 3.37 8.74 3.19 31 Peer Nominations % % % % Students you like to play with most 25.62 12.88 22.83 10.65 21.68 9.95 23.19 12.01 Students you like to play with least 33.39 15.35 38.52 15.10 30.00 11.10 37.36 16.56 Students who hit, kick or punch others at school 8.94 13.01 9.50 18.75 9.60 18.52 9.47 19.46 Students who get even by keeping people from being.. . 7.25 8.46 8.68 8.20 9.24 9.28 12.02 9.64 Students who help others when they need it 32.55 21.56 30.43 19.23 27.06 13.86 27.06 13.86 Students who call others mean names 9.55 13.50 10.88 15.39 13.66 16.94 18.93 20.97 Students who are most cooperative 29.33 20.50 26.67 18.45 22.95 14.90 26.09 13.61 Students who you can trust 21.04 15.77 25.09 18.70 23.19 11.46 21.04 15.77 Peer Ratings Work with 2.62 .63 2.58 .70 2.54 .54 2.56 .63 Play with 2.68 .62 2.60 .63 2.66 .49 2.56 .60 The omnibus or overall F test was used to test the null hypothesis to determine if there were differences in the means of the dependent variables for the two groups. To determine the statistical significance between groups, Wilks' lambda was used as it is the most commonly reported statistic (Grimm & Yarnold, 1998). Level of Significance and Magnitude of Treatment Effects for Dependent Measures For the purposes of this study, level of significance (alpha) was established at p < .05. Effect sizes (ES) were calculated to measure the relative magnitude of the treatment effect for dependent measures from pretest to posttest. Partial Eta squared was used to determine the effect size for all analyses. Values can range from 0 to 1. Cohen (1988) defined a small effect size = .01, moderate effect = .06, and a large effect = .14. 32 Effect of Strong Kids on Knowledge of Healthy Social emotional Behavior To answer research question 1 a): What is the impact of Strong Kids on indicators of students' knowledge of healthy social and emotional behaviour? Descriptive statistics were generated to describe the mean differences between the treatment and control groups before and after the Strong Kids curriculum (see Table 4.1). In addition, a two-way, mixed between-within subjects ANOVA was conducted to evaluate the effect of the Strong Kids curriculum on knowledge of social emotional coping skills. The dependent, repeated measures variable was the Strong Kids Knowledge Test. The within-subjects factor was Time (pretest and posttest), and the between-subjects factor was Group (Control, Treatment). The Time by Group interaction effect and Time and Group main effects were tested using the multivariate criterion of Wilks' Lambda (A). Results indicate that the treatment group had a significant increase in knowledge from pre to posttest (approximately 2 points). For the Strong Kids Knowledge Test, the ANOVA revealed a significant interaction between Group and Time, A = .82, F (1, 93) = 20.58, p < .01, indicating a difference in knowledge of social emotional skills between groups and across time. There was large effect size of the interaction (partial eta squared = .18) and the observed power using Wilks' Lambda was .99, suggesting a very low chance of making a Type II error; that is, failing to reject a false null hypothesis. A significant main effect was found for Time on Knowledge from pre- posttest, A = .93, F (1,93) = 7.40, p < .01. The effect size was .07 and the observed power was .77. Table 4.2 shows the results of the ANOVA. Figure 4.1 provides an illustration of the significant knowledge gains for the Treatment group from pre- posttest. 33 Table 4.2 Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Knowledge of Social Emotional Skills as Measured by Strong Kids Knowledge Test Source df F n P Between Subjects Group 1 3.43 .04 .07 Error Between 93 Within Subjects Time 1 7.40* .07 <.01 Group 1 3.43 .04 .07 Time * Group 1 20.58* .18 <.01 Error Within 93 *p<.05 Figure 4.1: Illustration of the Significant Knowledge Gains for the Treatment Group from Pre-Posttest Effect of Strong Kids on Reported Symptoms of Emotional Distress To answer research question 1 b): What is the impact of Strong Kids on reported symptoms of emotional distress? Descriptive statistics were generated to describe the mean 34 differences between the treatment and control groups before and after the Strong Kids curriculum (see Table 4.1). In addition, a two-way, mixed between-within subjects ANOVA was conducted to evaluate the effect of the Strong Kids curriculum on symptoms of social emotional coping skills. The dependent, repeated measures variable was the Strong Kids Symptoms Test. The within-subjects factor was Time (pretest and posttest), and the between-subjects factor was Group (Control, Treatment). The Time by Group interaction effect and Time and Group main effects were tested using the multivariate criterion of Wilks' Lambda (A). For the Strong Kids Symptoms Test, the ANOVA revealed a non-significant interaction between Group and Time, A = 1.00, F (1, 96) = 0.08, p = .78, indicating no difference in reported symptoms of emotional distress between groups and across time. The effect size <.01 and the observed power was .06. A significant main effect was found for Time on Symptoms from pre- posttest, A = .92, F (1, 96) = 8.77, p < .01. The effect size was .08 and the observed power was .84. Table 4.3 shows the results of the ANOVA. Figure 4.2 provides an illustration of the significant symptoms of distress and affect decreases from pre- posttest. Table 4.3 Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Social Emotional Symptoms as Measured by Strong Kids Symptoms Test Source df F n P Between Subjects Group 1 .08 .001 .77 Error Between 96 Within Subjects Time 1 8.77* .08 <.01 Group 1 .08 .001 .77 Time * Group 1 .08 .001 .78 Error Within 96 35 *p<.05 Figure 4.2: Illustration of the Significant Symptoms of Distress and Affect Decreases from Pre-Posttest Estimated Marginal Means of MEASURE_1 Treatment/Control! Group Control Strong Kids; time Effect of Strong Kids on Classroom Resiliency To answer research question 1 c): What is the impact of Strong Kids on self-reported social emotional resiliency characteristics? Descriptive statistics were generated to describe the mean differences between the treatment and control groups before and after the Strong Kids curriculum (see Table 4.1). In addition, eight two-way repeated measures ANOVA were conducted to evaluate the effect of the Strong Kids curriculum on social emotional resiliency. The dependent, repeated measures variables were the ClassMaps subscales. The within-subjects factor was Time (pretest and posttest), and the between-subjects factor was Group (Control, Treatment). The Time by Group interaction effect and Time and Group main effects were tested using the multivariate criterion of Wilks' Lambda (A). (1) Academic Efficacy (Believing in Me) 36 For the Believing in Me subscale, the ANOVA revealed a non-significant interaction between Group and Time, A = 1.00, F (1,95) = .03, p = .87, indicating no reported differences between groups and across time. The effect size was <.0l and the observed power was .05. A significant main effect was found for Time on the Believing in Me subscale from pre- posttest, A = .92, F (1, 95) = 8.21, p < .01. The effect size was .08 and the observed power was .81. Table 4.4 shows the results of the ANOVA. Figure 4.3 provides an illustration of the Believing in Me increase from pre- posttest. Table 4.4 Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Believing In Me as Measured by ClassMaps Source df F n P Between Subjects Group 1 .02 .00 .89 Error Between 95 Within Subjects Time 1 8.21* .08 <.01 Group 1 .02 .00 .89 Time * Group 1 .03 .00 .87 Error Within 95 *p<.05 37 Figure 4.3: Illustration of the Believing in Me Increase from Pre- Posttest Estimated Marginal Means of MEASURE.! Treatment/Control Group Control Strong Kids i H time (2) Self-determination (Taking Charge) For the Taking Charge subscale, the ANOVA revealed a non-significant interaction between Group and Time, A = 1.00, F (1, 96) = .46, p = .50, indicating no reported differences between groups and across time. The effect size was <.01 and the observed power was .10. A non significant main effect was found for Time on the Taking Charge subscale from pre-posttest, A = .99, F (1,96) = 0.62, p = .43. The effect size was <.01 and the observed power was .12. Table 4.5 shows the results of the ANOVA. 38 Table 4.5 Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Taking Charge as Measured by ClassMaps Source df F n P Between Subjects Group 1 .29 .003 .59 Error Between 96 With in Subjects Time I .62 .006 .43 Group 1 .29 .003 .59 Time * Group 1 .46 .005 .50 Error Within 96 *p<.05 (3) Behavioural Self-control (Following Class Rules) For the Following Class Rules subscale, the ANOVA revealed a non-significant interaction between Group and Time, A 1 - .99, F (1, 96) = 1.00, p = .32, indicating no reported differences between groups and across time. The effect size = .01 and the observed power was .17. A non significant main effect was found for Time on the Following Class Rules subscale from pre- posttest, A = 1.00, F (1, 96) = 0.23, p = .63. The effect size was <.01 and the observed power was .08. Table 4.6 shows the results of the ANOVA. 39 Table 4.6 Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Following the Class Rules as Measured by ClassMaps Source d f F n P Between Subjects Group 1 .24 .003 .62 Error Between 96 Wi th in Subjects Time 1 .23 .002 .63 Group 1 .24 .003 .62 Time * Group 1 .99 .01 .32 Error Within 96 *p<.05 (4) Teacher-student Relationship (My Teacher) For the My Teacher subscale, the ANOVA revealed a non-significant interaction between Group and Time, A = .99, F (1,95) = 1.34, p = .25, indicating no reported differences between groups and across time. The effect size = .01 and the observed power was .12. A non significant main effect was found for Time on the My Teacher subscale from pre- posttest, A = .99, F (1, 95) = 0.74, p = .39. The effect size was <.01 and the observed power was .14. Table 4.7 shows the results of the ANOVA. 40 Table 4.7 Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on My Teacher as Measured by ClassMaps Source df F n P Between Subjects Group 1 .26 .003 .61 Error Between 95 Within Subjects Time 1 Group 1 .26 .003 .61 Time * Group 1 1.34 .01 .25 Error Within 95 *p<.05 (5) Home-school Involvement (Talking with My Parents) For the Talking with My Parents subscale, the ANOVA revealed a non-significant interaction between Group and Time, A = 1.00, F (1, 96) = .04, p = .85, indicating no reported differences between groups and across time. The effect size was < .01 and the observed power was .05. A non significant main effect was found for Time on the Talking with My Parents subscale from pre- posttest, A = .99, F (1,96) = 0.57, p = .45. The effect size was <.01 and the observed power was .12. Table 4.8 shows the results of the ANOVA. 41 Table 4.8 Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Talking with my Parents as Measured by ClassMaps Source df F n p Between Subjects Group 1 .60 .01 .44 Error Between 96 Within Subjects Time 1 .57 .01 .45 Group 1 .06 .01 .44 Time * Group 1 .04 .00 .85 Error Within 96 *p<.05 (6) Peer Friendships (My Classmates) For the My Classmates subscale, the ANOVA revealed a non-significant interaction between Group and Time, A = .98, F (1, 95) = 1.89, p = .17, indicating no reported differences between groups and across time. The effect size = .02 and the observed power was .27. A non significant main effect was found for Time on the My Classmates subscale from pre- posttest, A = .98, F (1, 95) = 1.52, p = .22. The effect size = .02 and the observed power was .23. Table 4.9 shows the results of the ANOVA. Table 4.9 Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on My Classmates as Measured by ClassMaps Source df F n P Between Subjects Group 1 .01 .00 .94 Error Between 95 Within Subjects Time 1 1.52 .02 .22 Group 1 .01 .00 .94 Time * Group 1 1.89 .02 .17 Error Within 95 *p<.05 (7) Peer Conflict (Kids in this Class) For the Kids in this Class subscale, the ANOVA revealed a non-significant interaction between Group and Time, A = -97, F (1,96) = 3.13, p = .08, indicating no reported differences between groups and across time. The effect size = .03 and the observed power was .42. A non significant main effect was found for Time on the Kids in this Class subscale from pre- posttest, A = .99, F (1, 96) = .76, p = .38. The effect size was <.01 and the observed power was .14. Table 4.10 shows the results of the ANOVA. 43 Table 4.10 Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Kids in the Class as Measured by ClassMaps Source df F P Between Subjects Group 1 8.45* .08 .01 Error Between 96 Within Subjects Time 1 .79 .01 .38 Group 1 8.45* .08 .01 Time * Group 1 3.13 .03 .08 Error Within 96 *p<.05 (8) Concerns about Bullying (I Worry That) For the I Worry That subscale, the ANOVA revealed a non-significant interaction between Group and Time, A = .98, F (1, 96) = 2.25, p = .14, indicating no reported differences between groups and across time. The effect size = .02 and the observed power was .32. A significant main effect was found for Time on the I Worry That subscale from pre- posttest, A = .89, F (1, 96) = 11.51, p < .01. The effect size was .12 and the observed power was .92. Table 4.11 shows the results of the ANOVA. Figure 4.4 provides an illustration of the concerns about bullying increase from pre- posttest. 44 Table 4.11 Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on I Worry That as Measured by ClassMaps Source df F n P Between Subjects Group 1 .14 .001 .71 Error Between 96 Within Subjects Time 1 11.51* .12 <.01 Group 1 .14 .001 .71 Time * Group 1 2.25 .02 .14 Error Within 96 *p<.05 Figure 4 .4: Illustration of the Concerns about Bullying increase from Pre- Posttest Estimated Marginal Means of MEASURE.! T r 1 2 time Social Validity of the Strong Kids Curriculum To address the second question of this research study, "What are student's overall perceptions of participation in the Strong Kids social and emotional learning curriculum?" a quantitative measure was provided to students. Students completed the Strong Kids Satisfaction Survey at posttest only. Results indicate that participating students rated the Strong Kids curriculum positively. Students appear to feel that they learned a lot of skills from Strong Kids and have a better understanding of emotions and how to deal with anger. Additionally, students rated highly that they will use these new skills in the future. Furthermore, students felt that the instructors were knowledgeable and supportive on the skills being taught. Table 4.12 provides descriptive statistics for items from the Satisfaction Survey for the treatment group. Figure 4.5 provides an illustration of the student ratings from the Strong Kids Satisfaction Survey. 46 Table 4.12 Descriptive Statistics of Student Ratings from Strong Kids Satisfaction Survey Item Response N O No not sure Yes Y E S n % n % n % n % n % 1. Strong Kids was fun. 2 4 3 6 9 18 18 36 18 36 2.1 Learned a lot from Strong Kids. 1 2 3 6 7 14 12 24 27 54 3.1 feel that I can understand emotions better... 2 4 6 12 5 10 14 28 23 46 4.1 feel like I can handle anger better after... 3 6 2 4 11 22 13 26 21 42 5.1 feel that I can understand other people's emotions... 4 8 1 2 10 20 15 30 20 40 6.1 feel that I can understand negative thoughts... 2 4 2 4 10 20 13 26 23 46 7.1 think more positively because of... 2 4 8 16 11 22 8 16 21 42 8.1 feel like I can solve arguments and... 3 6 7 14 13 26 11 22 16 32 9.1 feel like I can handle being worried... 4 8 4 8 12 24 16 32 14 28 10.1 feel like I can handle stress better... 6 12 5 10 4 8 15 30 20 40 11.1 feel I can continue to use... 3 6 3 6 7 14 13 26 24 48 12.1 think what I learned in Strong Kids. . . 3 6 2 4 11 22 10 20 24 48 13.1 feel stronger because of Strong Kids. 6 12 4 8 8 16 16 32 16 32 14.1 would recommend Strong Kids to... 3 6 1 2 11 22 14 28 21 42 15. The Strong Kids leaders were... 0 0 2 4 5 10 9 18 34 68 16. The Strong Kids leaders knew a 0 0 1 2 5 10 9 18 35 70 lot... 17. Strong Kids was: Too long Too short Just right n % n % N % 12 24 2 4 36 72 Figure 4 .5 : Illustration of the Student Ratings from the Strong Kids Satisfaction Survey Strong Kids was Fun Learned A Lot 40 S 30 J 2 20 4 10 0 NO no sort of yes YES Raspons no sort of yes Response YES Understand Emotions Better Handle Anger Better 50 « 40 S 3 0 fe 20 10 -| 0 • . 11 NO no sort of yes YES Response Understand Other People's Emotions Better 50 -j 40 4 | 30 £ 20 0. 10 1 I I NO no sort of yes YES Response Think More Positively no sort of yes YES Response no sort of yes YES Response Understand Negative Thoughts & Can Handle them Better 50 -j 40 -• 30 -£ a 20 -a. 10 • 0 - l l NO no sort of yes YES Response Solve Arguments & Conflicts Better no sort of yes YES Response Figure 4.5 Con t . Handle Being Worried Better 40 -. NO no sort of yes YES Response Can Use What I Learned in the Future 60 -, Response Feel Stronger Because of Strong Kids 40 -I NO no sort of yes YES Response Handle Stress Better 50 . NO no sort of yes YES Response What I Learned Will Help me in the Future NO no sort of yes YES Response Recommend Strong Kids to my Friends 40 -I NO no sort of yes YES Response Leaders were Caring & Leaders Knew A Lot of Information Suppoertive 80 i Response Response 49 Effect of Strong Kids on Social Standing To answer research question 3: What is the impact of Strong Kids on social standing and likeability? Descriptive statistics were generated to describe the mean differences between the treatment and control groups before and after the Strong Kids curriculum (see Table 4.1). Social standing as a function of peer perception. For the peer nomination scale, eight two-way repeated measures ANOVA were conducted to evaluate the effect of the Strong Kids curriculum on each question in the peer nomination scale. The raw nominations scores were first converted into percentages based on classroom numbers (i.e., for each student nomination category, the percentage of the class that was nominated was recorded) and then analyzed. The dependent, repeated measures variables were the eight specific peer nomination questions. The within-subjects factor was Time (pretest and posttest), and the between-subjects factor was Group (Control, Treatment). The Time by Group interaction effect and Time and Group main effects were tested using the multivariate criterion of Wilks' Lambda (A). (1) Students you like to play with the most For the Students you like to play with the most question, the ANOVA revealed a significant interaction between Group and Time, A = .94, F (1,99) = 6.17, p <.05, indicating a difference in "like to play with the most" nominations students received between groups and across time. The effect size was .06 and the observed power was .69. A non significant main effect was found for the Students you like to play with the most question from pre- posttest, A = .99, F (1, 99) = .55, p = .46. The effect size was .01 and the observed power was .11. Table 4.13 shows the results of the ANOVA. Figure 4.6 provides an illustration of the interaction between groups and across time for the "Students you like to play with most" question. 50 Tab le 4.13 M i x e d 2 - W a y A N O V A for the Interact ion E f fec ts o f G r o u p and T i m e o n Peer N o m i n a t i o n Ques t ion "Students y o u l i ke to p lay w i t h m o s t " Source df F n P Between Subjects Group 1 .73 .01 .40 Error Between 99 Within Subjects Time 1 .55 .01 .46 Group 1 .73 .01 .40 Time * Group 1 6.17* .06 <.05 Error Within 99 *p<.05 F igure 4 .6 : I l lustrat ion o f the Interact ion Be tween Groups and A c r o s s T i m e for the "Students y o u l i ke to p lay w i t h m o s t " Ques t ion 51 (2) Students you like to play with the least For the Students you like to play with the least question, the ANOVA revealed a non significant interaction between Group and Time, A = .99, F (1, 99) = 1.09, p =.30, indicating no reported differences between groups and across time. The effect size was .01 and the observed power was . 18. A significant main effect was found for the Students you like to play with the least question from pre- posttest, both groups increased in nominations over time. A = .74, F (1, 99) = 33.99, p <.05. The effect size was .26 and the observed power was 1.00. Table 4.14 shows the results of the ANOVA. Figure 4.7 provides an illustration of the "Students you like to play with least" increase from pre- posttest. Table 4.14 Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Peer Nomination Question "Students you like to play with least" Source df F n P Between Subjects Group 1 .70 .01 .40 Error Between 99 Within Subjects Time 1 33.99* .26 <.05 Group 1 .70 .01 .40 Time * Group 1 1.09 .01 .30 Error Within 99 *p<.05 Figure 4.7 "Students you like to play with least" increase from pre- posttest. 52 40.00 [Treatment/Control Group Control Strong Kids 28.00 H time (3) Students who hit, kick, or punch others at schools For the Students who hit, kick, or punch others at schools question, the ANOVA revealed a non significant interaction between Group and Time, A = 1.00, F (1, 99) = .23, p = .64, indicating no reported differences between groups and across time. The effect size was .00 and the observed power was .08. A non significant main effect was found for the Students who hit, kick, or punch others at schools question from pre- posttest, A = 1.00, F (1,99) = .09, p = .77. The effect size was .00 and the observed power was .06. Table 4.15 shows the results of the ANOVA. 53 Table 4.15 Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Peer Nomination Question "Students who hit, kick, or punch others at school" Source df F n P Between Subjects Group 1 .01 .00 .93 Error Between 99 Within Subjects Time 1 .09 .00 .77 Group 1 .01 .00 .93 Time * Group 1 .23 .00 .64 Error Within 99 *p<.05 (4) Students who get even by keeping people from being in their group of friends For the Students who get even by keeping people from being in their group of friends question, the ANOVA revealed a non significant interaction between Group and Time, A = .99, F (1,99) = .92, p = .34, indicating no reported differences between groups and across time. The effect size was .01 and the observed power was .16. A significant main effect was found for the Students who get even by keeping people from being in their group of friends question from pre-posttest, both groups increased in nominations over time. A = .92, F (1, 99) = 8.91, p <.05. The effect size was .08 and the observed power was .84. Table 4.16 shows the results of the ANOVA. Figure 4.8 provides an illustration of the "Students who get even by keeping people from being in their group of friends" increase from pre- posttest. 54 Table 4.16 Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Peer Nomination Question "Students who get even by keeping people from being in their group of friends" Source df F n P Between Subjects Group 1 2.67 .03 .11 Error Between 99 Within Subjects Time 1 8.91* .08 <.05 Group 1 2.67 .03 .11 Time * Group 1 .92 .01 .34 Error Within 99 *p<.05 Figure 4.8 "Students who get even by keeping people from being in their group of friends" increase from pre- posttest. 13.WH 55 (5) Students who help others when they need it For the Students who help others when they need it question, the ANOVA revealed a significant interaction between Group and Time, A = .93, F (1,99) = 7.06, p <.05, indicating a difference in "students who help others when they need it" nominations students received between groups and across time. The effect size was .07 and the observed power was .75. A non significant main effect was found for the Students who help others when they need it question from pre- posttest, A = 1.00, F (1,99) = .29, p = .59. The effect size was .00 and the observed power was .08. Table 4.17 shows the results of the ANOVA. Figure 4.9 provides an illustration of the interaction between groups and across time for the "Students who help others when they need it most" question. Table 4.17 Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Peer Nomination Question "Students who help others when they need it" Source d f F n P Between Subjects Group 1 .69 .01 .41 Error Between 99 With in Subjects Time 1 .29 .00 .59 Group 1 .69 .01 .41 Time * Group 1 7.06* .07 <.05 Error Within 99 *p<.05 56 Figure 4.9: Illustration of the Interaction Between Groups and Across Time for the "Students who help others when they need it most" Question 33.0CH 32.00-e O 31.00-1 a I w O 30.00H IB 29.00-1 I 28.00H 27.00H Treatment/Control Group Control — — Strong Kids time (6) Students who call others mean names For the Students who call others mean names question, the ANOVA revealed a significant interaction between Group and Time, A = .96, F (1, 99) = 4.47, p <.05, indicating a difference in "Students who call others mean names" nominations students received between groups and across time. The effect size was .04 and the observed power was .55. A significant main effect was found for the Students who call others mean names question from pre- posttest, A = .89, F (1, 99) = 12.48, p <.05. The effect size was .11 and the observed power was .94. Table 4.18 shows the results of the ANOVA. Figure 4.10 provides an illustration of the interaction between groups and across time for the "Students who call others mean names" question. 57 Table 4.18 Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Peer Nomination Question "Students who call others mean names' Source d f F n P Between Subjects Group 1 3.52 .03 .06 Error Between 99 With in Subjects Time 1 12.48* .11 <.05 Group 1 3.52 .03 .06 Time * Group 1 4.47* .04 <.05 Error Within 99 *p<.05 Figure 4.10 Illustration of the interaction between groups and across time for the "Students who call others mean names" question. 13.00H 12.00H w i mm & as c (0 i. 10.0CH O 9.00-8.00-7.00-Treatment/Control Group Control — — Strong Kids time 58 (7) Students who are the most cooperative For the Students who are the most cooperative question, the ANOVA revealed a significant interaction between Group and Time, A = .94, F (1, 99) = 6.75, p <.05, indicating a difference in "students who are the most cooperative" nominations students received between groups and across time. The effect size was .06 and the observed power was .73. A non significant main effect was found for the Students who are the most cooperative question from pre- posttest, A = 1.00, F (1,99) = .05, p = .83. The effect size was .00 and the observed power was .06. Table 4.19 shows the results of the ANOVA. Figure 4.11 provides an illustration of the interaction between groups and across time for the "Students who are the most cooperative" question. Table 4.19 Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Peer Nomination Question "Students who are the most cooperative" Source df F n P Between Subjects Group 1 1.08 .01 .30 Error Between 99 Within Subjects Time 1 .00 .00 .98 Group 1 1.08 .01 .30 Time * Group 1 6.00* .06 <.05 Error Within 99 *p<.05 59 Figure 4.11: Illustration of the Interaction Between Groups and Across Time for the "Students who are the most cooperative" Question 30.00-28.00- i Xi e 8. 8 o g 26.00- • a as | c « |! 24.00-22.00-I I 1 2 time (8) Students who you can trust For the Students who you can trust question, the ANOVA revealed a significant interaction between Group and Time, A = .88, F (1,99) = 13.98, p < .05, indicating a difference in "students who you can trust" nominations students received between groups and across time. The effect size was .12 and the observed power was .96. A non significant main effect was found for the Students who you can trust question from pre- posttest, A = 1.00, F (1, 99) = .47, p = .49. The effect size was .01 and the observed power was .10. Table 4.20 shows the results of the ANOVA. Figure 4.12 provides an illustration of the interaction between groups and across time for the "Students who you can trust" question. a. Treatment/Control Group Control — — Strong Kids 60 Table 4.20 Mixed 2-Way ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Peer Nomination Question "Students who you can trust" Source d f F n p Between Subjects Group 1 .22 .00 .64 Error Between 99 Within Subjects Time 1 .47 .01 .49 Group 1 .22 .00 .64 Time * Group 1 13.98* •12 <.05 Error With in 99 *p<.05 Figure 4.12: Illustration of the Interaction Between Groups and Across Time for the "Students who you can trust" Question 26.00H 20.00-t time Treatment/Control Group Control Strong KWs Rating dimensions of likeability. For the peer rating scales, two 2-way repeated measures ANOVA were conducted to evaluate the effect of the Strong Kids curriculum on ratings of how much, overall, the students liked to work with and play with each other. The dependent, repeated 61 measures variables were the work with a play with rating scales. The within-subjects factor was Time (pretest and posttest), and the between-subjects factor was Group (Control, Treatment). The Time by Group interaction effect and Time and Group main effects were tested using the multivariate criterion of Wilks' Lambda (A). (1) "Work with" Rating For the "Work with" rating scale, the ANOVA revealed a non significant interaction between Group and Time, A = 1.00, F (1,99) = .39, p = .54, indicating no reported differences between groups and across time. The effect size was .00 and the observed power was .09. A non significant main effect was found for the "Work with" rating scale from pre- posttest, A = L00, F (1, 99) = .06, p = .81. The effect size was .00 and the observed power was .06. Table 4.21 shows the results of the ANOVA. Table 4.21 Mixed 2-Wav ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Grout) and Time on Peer Ratine Scale "Work with" Source df F n P Between Subjects Group 1 .18 .00 .67 Error Between 99 Within Subjects Time 1 .06 .00 .81 Group 1 .18 .00 .67 Time * Group 1 .39 .00 .54 Error Within 99 *p<.05 (2) "Play with" Rating For the "Play with" rating scale, the ANOVA revealed a non significant interaction between Group and Time, A = 1.00, F (1, 99) = 2.95, p = .59, indicating no reported differences 62 between groups and across time. The effect size was .00 and the observed power was .08. A significant main effect was found for the "Play with" rating scale from pre- posttest indicating a decrease in "Play with" ratings over time for both the treatment and control groups, A = .90, F (1, 99) = 11.11, p <.01. The effect size was .10 and the observed power was .91. Table 4.22 shows the results of the ANOVA. Figure 4.12 provides an illustration of the decrease in ratings across time for the "Play with" scale. Table 4.22 Mixed 2-Wav ANOVA for the Interaction Effects of Group and Time on Peer Rating Scale "Play with" Source d f F n P Between Subjects Group 1 .05 .00 .82 Error Between 99 Time 1 11.11* .10 <.01 Group 1 .05 .00 .82 Time * Group 1 .30 .00 .59 Error Within 99 *p<.05 Figure 4.13: Illustration of the Decrease in Ratings Across Time for the "Play With" Scale Treatment/Control Groui Control 2.675- \ \ \ Strong Kids 2.65- \ \ (0 C CO £ — 2.625-10: C f T3 2.60-& (0: \ \ \ s E 3= 2.575- V 2.55-T r 1 2 Time 64 CHAPTER 5: DISCUSSION This chapter consists of a summary of the main findings of this study, its limitations, and implications for practice and future research. Summary of Main Findings The goal of the present study was to investigate the impact of the Strong Kids social and emotional learning curriculum on students' social and emotional knowledge, cognitive-behavioural symptoms, resiliency and social standing. In addition, satisfaction with the Strong Kids program and leaders was examined. This survey was completed at the end of the curriculum to assess social validity as it is an important component to intervention efficacy and success. The effects of the Strong Kids curriculum were examined in a general education setting with 4th grade students. It was anticipated that those students who received Strong Kids would become more knowledgeable of social emotional competence, decrease their internalizing symptoms, and broaden their acceptance of peers. Overall, students who participated in the Strong Kids curriculum demonstrated a statistically significant gain in knowledge of social and emotional skills and concepts at completion of the program whereas students in the control group did not. The magnitude of improved knowledge of social and emotional skills was large, indicating that Strong Kids had a meaningful effect on students' knowledge. In general, students reported that they were satisfied with the Strong Kids curriculum. Both groups (i.e., students who participated in the Strong Kids curriculum and those in the control group) showed a significant decrease in their reported symptoms of distress and affect, but no significant differences were found between the groups. In relation to student's classroom resiliency, there were no significant differences between the Strong Kids group and the control group on any of the eight subscales over time. A significant increase in academic 65 efficacy (i.e., 'Believing in Me' subscale) and concerns about bullying (i.e., 'I Worry That' subscale) was noted for both groups. With regard to student's social standing, there were seven statistically significantly different results on the peer nomination scale. The students who participated in Strong Kids showed a significant increase when nominating "Students who you can trust" compared to the control group. Students in the control group showed significant gains when nominating "Students you like to play with most", "Students who help others when they need it", and on "Students who are the most cooperative". Students in both the Strong Kids and control group increased on "Students you like to play with least", "Students who get even by keeping people from being in their group of friends", and "Students who call others mean names". The peer rating scales showed no significant differences between the Strong Kids and the control group on either the "Work with" or "Play with" rating. In the sections that follow, findings are discussed further in relation to previous research, and limitations and implications for practice and research are provided. Knowledge of Social Emotional Concepts and Skills In the current study, students who participated in the Strong Kids curriculum had statistically significant gains in healthy social and emotional knowledge of concepts and skills from pre to posttest. This finding is consistent with the curriculum's goal of promoting social and emotional wellness and prior empirical studies evaluating the efficacy of the Strong Kids curriculum on social and emotional knowledge and curriculum-related content (Berry-Krazmien & Torres-Fernandez, 2007 ; Brown, 2006 ; Faust, 2006 ; Feuerborn, 2004 ; Gueldner, 2006 ; Merrell, et al., 2006 ; Merrell, Juskelis & Tran, 2004) . The increase found in social emotional knowledge in the present study was large with a meaningful effect size at posttest (ES = .18). This indicates that students who participated in the 66 curriculum demonstrated a large increase in knowledge from pre to posttest, whereas the control group did not. Symptoms of Emotional Stress and Negative Affect One of the goals of the Strong Kids curriculum is to decrease internalizing symptoms (Merrell, et al., 2006). Internalizing symptoms often include problems related to anxiety, fear, shyness, low-self esteem, sadness, social withdrawal, depression, and somatic complaints. Results of the present study indicated that regardless of the group (Strong Kids or control) students had a significant decrease in internalizing symptoms as measured by the Strong Kids Symptoms Test. One potential reason for the decreased scores of both the control group and the Strong Kids group may be that some other factor influenced changes in reported symptoms (e.g., the school curriculum). Alternatively, there may be a potential for reactivity or increased awareness from taking the pretest measure. As with many studies that use pre- and posttest measures to evaluate change over time, it is possible that the pretest increased participants' sensitivity to the subject matter in the measure at posttest. Specifically, the area of social and emotional behaviors and internalizing symptoms may be sensitive for self-reporting as this measure assessed the participant's self-reflection of internalizing symptoms. At posttest, the participants may have reported in more positive ways, rather than their true behaviors or feelings. The scores at pretest may have been a more realistic reflection of how the students felt and at posttest they gave more socially desirable responses. It appears that the demonstrated effects of the Strong Kids Symptoms Test have been inconsistent across studies measuring internalizing symptoms and the Strong Kids curriculum. A number of studies using the Strong Kids curriculum indicated non significant effects (Berry-Krazmien & Torres-Fernandez, 2007; Faust, 2006; Gueldner, 2006) on the Strong Kids Symptoms Test. 67 Perception of Resiliency Results suggested that this broader measure of resiliency was not significantly affected by the curriculum, where changes were found in the Strong Kids Knowledge Questionnaire. The knowledge questionnaire most closely matched the material taught in the curriculum, so perhaps the subscales on the ClassMaps resiliency questionnaire measured constructs not directly taught in the curriculum. For example, one might not expect to see a change in perceived teacher-student relationship or home-school involvement as these concepts were not discussed in the Strong Kids curriculum. A number of curriculum lessons mdirectly addressed topics related to the ClassMaps resiliency measure but none were directly linked. The Strong Kids lessons 'Clear Thinking' and 'The Power of Positive TTiinking' were somewhat related to self-determination as measured by ClassMaps. For example, the lesson 'Clear Thinking' is designed to help students recognize positive and negative thought patterns and the 'The Power of Positive Thinking' lesson provides students with strategies to offset negative thought patterns; where self-determination on ClassMaps is measured through questions such as 'When the work is hard in this class, I keep trying until I figure it out'. In addition, the lessons 'Dealing With Anger', 'Solving People Problems', and 'Letting Go of Stress' could be applied to academic efficacy, behavioural self-control, peer friendships, peer conflict, and concerns about bullying. Even though the students acquired increased knowledge about social emotional resiliency as measured on the Strong Kids Knowledge Test, this did not seem to lead to an immediate change in student's self-reported perceptions of the social contexts as measured in the ClassMaps resiliency questionnaire. Previous research using ClassMaps has provided baseline measures of weaknesses in the classroom environment, supported problem-solving consultation, and prompted classroom meetings between teachers and students with the goal of improving the classroom's environment. Subsequently, classroom changes have been monitored through re-administration 68 of one or more subscales of the ClassMaps Survey (Doll, Kurien, LeClair, Spies, Champion, & Osborn, manuscript submitted for publication). Program Satisfaction In general, social validity was high, with students reporting that they were generally satisfied with the Strong Kids curriculum. Students also indicated they felt that the skills and concepts in the Strong Kids curriculum were important and useful in school and life. Students reported that they learned a lot of skills from Strong Kids and have a better understanding of emotions and how to deal with anger as a result of participating in the program. Students also indicated that they would use these new skills in the future. Furthermore, students reported that the instructors were knowledgeable and supportive in the skills being taught. This finding is encouraging given the potential relationship between perceived benefits, active engagement in an intervention, and subsequent positive outcomes. "When students acknowledge the benefits of intervention and actively engage in its activities, they are more likley to achieve positive outcomes" (Graczyk et al., 2006, p.269). Through observations while implementing the Strong Kids curriculum, it was noted that children were relatively hesitent to answer questions or share personal experiences before the introduction of a 'talking ball'. Only the student who held the 'talking ball' was allowed to speak, and when they were finished, they passed the 'talking ball' on to the next student who wanted to talk. When the 'talking ball was initiated, instructors perceived an increase in student participation. At this point, many children appeared excited to talk and have their peers listen. Social Relationships Little is known about the impact of SEL programs on the broader social contexts of children's social emotional development. More research is needed to systematically evaluate the potential impact on the social contexts or peer relationships in which students shape their social and emotional development. Through the use of SEL programs researchers and educators can 69 work together to improve students' social emotional competence as such programs may impact the ongoing shaping of peer interactions and social emotional development. This project examined the impact of the Strong Kids curriculum on student's social relationships with peers. Social standing was measured through peer nomination and peer rating scales. Although Strong Kids participants showed a statistically significant increase in nominations for "Students who you can trust" compared to the control group, students in the control group showed statistically significant gains for three positive nominations where the Strong Kids participants did not (i.e., "Students you like to play with most", "Students who help others when they need it", and "Students who are the most cooperative"). Students in both the Strong Kids and the control groups showed statistically significant increases on three of the four negative peer nominations from pretest to posttest ("Students you like to play with least, "Students who get even by keeping people from being in their group of friends" and "Students who call others mean names"). No significant differences were found between groups on the peer ratings of likeability (i.e., "Work with" or "Play with" ratings). A lack of significant results on the student's social standing measures may be due to the impact of other factors such as the specific classroom dynamic over time or the school curriculum in general. Limitations Several limitations should be considered when interpreting results from this study. The effect on internalizing symptoms was one of the research questions of this study and decreasing internalizing symptoms is a goal of Strong Kids in general. In this study, both the Strong Kids and the control group showed a decrease in internalizing symptoms at posttest. A number of studies that used a control group and also measured internalizing symptoms using the Strong Kids Symptoms Test did not find significant changes (Berry-Krazmien & Torres-Fernandez, 2007; Faust, 2006; Gueldner, 2006), although one previous study that used a control group did 70 report improvements for the Strong Kids group only (Feueborn, 2004). There appears to be an inconsistency in detecting internalizing effects. The Strong Kids Symptoms Test may be a measure that is not sensitive enough particularly for students in a general education setting. Tran (2007), for example, suggested that the measures used to assess internalizing problems should encompass a greater sensitivity to change for use with general education students. Another potential explanation of the inconsistency is that the intervention does not impact this construct directly and the positive results that have been found may be due to other variables. In general, social and emotional behaviors and internalizing symptoms are areas that can be sensitive for self-reporting. Although the questionnaires were anonymous, there is no guarantee that the responses provided by the students were not influenced by social desirability. The duration of this study was eight weeks, which may have been a sufficient amount of time for the participants to acquire the knowledge related to the material learned in Strong Kids, but an inadequate amount of time to actually change perceptions as was required to see significant changes on a few of the measures used (e.g., ClassMaps resiliency and peer rating). If Strong Kids was implemented over a longer period of time with opportunities for the participants to learn and re-learn the skills and concepts throughout the school year, a more meaningful change may have been detected. For example, if Strong Kids was implemented at the beginning of the school year, continued throughout the school year and posttest was conducted at the end of the school year, meaningful changes may be detected on all dependent measures. The repetitiveness of learning social and emotional resiliency skills over time may produce desirable outcomes. A number of other limitations should be considered. The curriculum was delivered by two graduate students. Although the teacher was present for all sessions in hopes of linking the curriculum to the class context, the use of external instructors as implementers of the program is 71 a potential limitation and may have impacted results. No direct measurement of social interaction was used. Students' perceptions of resiliency and perceptions of their classmates were measured through sociometric assessment and self report, but displays of actual behaviour were not observed. This study specifically targeted grade 4 students. Perhaps social relationships and status were already formed within the classroom as the study took place in the spring of the school year. Sociometric results may differ when evaluated earlier in the school year when peer relationships may be less solidified. The use of grade 4 students only could also limit comparisons to studies done with younger or older children. Finally, although this was a large sample of students, the sample population was from an Independent school system in one region of Canada where schools hold the promotion of social responsibility and social emotional development as a goal of education in general. Results should be interpreted with caution as findings may not generalize to other populations and students from other communities. Despite these limitations, the results from this study are both noteworthy and relevant in the realm of social and emotional learning and prevention efforts on student outcomes. This unique study extended research on Strong Kids and added to the social and emotional research literature by examining the effects on student's social relationships with peers. Implications of the findings of this study for future research and for practice are discussed in the remaining sections of this paper. Implications Implications for Future Research The Strong Kids curriculum intends to promote resiliency through teaching social and emotional concepts. Future research could look at varying how the curriculum is administered. For example, the length of administration or who administers program. In addition, 72 generalization components could be taught outside of the lessons to reinforce the concepts learned. The long-term maintenance or outcomes could be evaluated over time. Longitudinal studies of Strong Kids skills and concepts would be beneficial to ensure that the curriculums' concepts are effective outside of the instruction and over time. This study looked only at short term gains acquired from the Strong Kids curriculum. It may be beneficial to expand upon this and consider long-term maintenance of these skills, social emotional benefits, and changes in internalizing and externalizing symptoms over time. There has not been a study examining the longitudinal effects of Strong Kids; therefore, conclusions on the long term impact and effectiveness of this curriculum are limited at the present time. The methods and domains measured could be broadened to include direct observation, parent ratings, teacher ratings, or academic measures. This was the first study of the Strong Kids curriculum to measure constructs related to social relationships outside the material learned in the curriculum (e.g., generalized resiliency and social perceptions of classmates). Students' perceptions of resiliency and perceptions of their classmates were measured, but displays of actual behaviour were not. Unfortunately measurement of resilient behaviours was out of the realm of this project, but future research could evaluate the degree of change in students' overt behaviour. Replication and expansion upon this current study is necessary to further evaluate the link between a social emotional learning program and changes in the social relationships held between classmates. Future studies may consider in addition to student self-reports, parent and teacher ratings of student's symptoms, knowledge, and social functioning. Although this study did not measure student's academic success before and after participation in Strong Kids, future research could consider measuring this link. Studies in this area may provide more information and a better understanding of the impact of social and emotional learning on academics. It is hoped that the Strong Kids curriculum can improve 73 student's social emotional resiliency, which may increase student's availability for learning and result in improvements in academic achievement. Implications for Practice The Strong Kids curriculum was specifically designed with scripts and structured activities to reduce instructor workload, but allows for paraphrasing of these scripts which leads to flexibility in chosen activities so they are relevant to students needs, It also engages students to learn through interactive instruction. The results from this study show that students indicated strong user satisfaction of the Strong Kids curriculum. The goals of Strong Kids are to increase healthy social and emotional knowledge and decrease internalizing symptoms. The effectiveness of Strong Kids has been demonstrated to increase social and emotional knowledge and concepts in this and other studies. Participation in Strong Kids may benefit students by increasing the opportunity of healthy development through the learning and application of resiliency skills to cope with daily life stressors. Knowledge of social emotional concepts may increase as a result of participation in the Strong Kids curriculum. In addition, students rated the curriculum positively, but more research is needed before conclusions can be made regarding the potential effects of the program on social relationships, generalized perceived resiliency, and symptoms of emotional distress and negative affect. Conclusion This study contributes to the literature pertaining to the evaluation of programs designed to promote social and emotional learning in schools. In general, large gains were found regarding increases in participants' knowledge of social emotional skills and concepts, and this finding is consistent with previous literature on Strong Kids. Desirable results were also found in social validity from the participants who indicated strong satisfaction with the skills that they learned and the program overall. Students who received the curriculum did not report greater reductions 74 in symptoms of emotional distress or affect relative to students in the control group, and no differences were found between groups in perceptions of resiliency. With regard to student's social standing, there were four statistically significantly different results on the peer nomination scale, only one of which favored the Strong Kids group ('Students you can trust'). The peer rating scales showed no significant differences between the Strong Kids and the control group on either the "Work with" or "Play with" rating. Findings from this study should be interpreted in light of the limitations inherent in the methodology (i.e., internalizing symptoms can be sensitive for self-reporting, duration of this study was eight weeks, curriculum was delivered by two graduate students, no direct measurement of social interaction, specifically targeted grade 4 students). Despite these limitations, several implications for practice and future research are worthy of consideration. These could include, examining the long-term maintenance of the skills and concepts provided in Strong Kids and examining the effects of Strong Kids on academic performance. Teachers should continue to reinforce resiliency skills outside of the curriculum, allow students to learn and practice the skills as frequent as possible and model and coach healthy social and emotional behaviors in school settings. 75 References Alvord, M.K., & Grados, J.J. (2005). Enhancing resilience in children. 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The academic lives of neglected, rejected, popular, and controversial children. Child Development, 66(3), 754-763. Yugar, J.M. & Shapiro, E.S. (2001). Elementary children's school friendship: A comparison of peer assessment methodologies. School Psychology Review, 30(4), 568-585. Zins, J. E., Bloodsworth, M. R., Weissberg, R. P., & Walberg, H. J. (2004). Scientific base linking social and emotional learning to school success. In Building Academic Success on Social and Emotional Learning. New York, NY: Teachers College Press. 80 Appendix A Overview of Strong Kids Lessons Lesson 1: About Strong Kids: Emotional Strength Training In the first lesson, Emotional Strength Training, students are introduced to the Strong Kids curriculum. A general overview of the individual lessons and the overall curriculum is presented, providing students with curriculum information. Important terms such as emotion, self-esteem, depression, and anxiety are defined for the first time, and general behaviour expectations are outlined. Appropriate behaviours such as respect for others and confidentiality of shared information are discussed. The Symptom Checklist and Knowledge Tests are given to students for completion during this first lesson. Lessons 2 and 3: Understanding Your Feelings The second and third lessons, Understanding Your Feelings (Part I and Part 2) are intended to improve the emotional vocabulary, awareness, and resiliency of students. Students learn to identify different types of feelings and distinguish feelings as being comfortable and uncomfortable, and how one might express different feelings. The important skill of being able to understand and recognize one's emotions is discussed because all of us experience emotions at school, at home, at work, and at play. Being able to react in a positive way, even when the emotion is not a good feeling will allow the students to create and maintain positive relationships in school and throughout their lives. Students then have the opportunity to apply their new skills in application exercises, making it more likely that they will be able to generalize the new skills to other situations. Lesson 4: Dealing With Anger The fourth lesson, Dealing With Anger teaches students that everyone experiences anger in their lives. However, many students are not able to appropriately understand and deal effectively with their anger. Misunderstanding anger, and an inability to appropriately manage it, can often 81 manifest itself in inappropriate behaviours such as arguments and fights, depression, and severe frustration, each of which can have unfortunate consequences. This lesson teaches students to understand their anger through a Six Step Anger Model, and will teach four skills for helping them manage their anger. Lesson 5 : Understanding Other People's Feelings The purpose of the fifth Strong Kids lesson, Understanding Other People's Feelings, is to introduce students to the concept and practice of empathy and thus help them better understand others' feelings. This lesson will cover recognizing the emotions of others and sharing their perspectives, an essential skill in conflict resolution and compassion. Students will learn to see a clear link in how one's own actions can affect the emotions of other people. The lesson progresses to a role-play, in which students will experience how people may perceive the same situation differently. They will be asked to take the perspectives of others in order to gain a greater understanding of empathy. Lessons 6 and 7: Clear Thinking Individuals who are depressed and anxious are very likely to develop or have previously developed patterns of unrealistic, distorted, and otherwise maladaptive cognitions or thought. The Clear Thinking lessons (Part 1 and Part 2) are designed to help students to recognize positive and negative thought patterns and how they contribute to our moods, choices, and actions in positive and negative ways. The students are taught techniques for applying strategies to dispel negative thoughts as they occur in any common situations they may face. Lesson 8: The Power of Positive Thinking This lesson provides students with strategies to offset negative thought patterns that can surface as a result of any given daily interaction. For students prone to negative thinking, pessimistic feelings are redirected through exercises, examples, and scenarios designed to encourage a focus on the larger picture and foster optimistic thinking. The Power of Positive Thinking lesson is 82 designed to arm all students, not just those who may be prone to pessimism and spirals of negativity, with a way to tWnk about daily events optimistically so that reasonable attributions can be made. The method includes training students to spot the situations in which attribution can be an internal success, an external failure, or simply an opportunity to learn. Lesson 9: Solving People Problems The ninth Strong Kids lesson is designed to promote awareness of useful strategies for resolving conflict between and among peers. Interpersonal conflict can be connected to depression, anxiety, and negative thinking. Thus, learning appropriate and effective ways to resolve these conflicts may be a strong preventive factor for deterring emotional problems as well as social problems. As conflicts may occur daily and can be a source of stress and frustration for students, step-by-step outlines for resolving conflicts are presented. Practice exercises and role play situations are also used as examples and teaching tools. Lesson 10: Letting Go of Stress In Lesson 10, the students learn appropriate techniques to manage stress as important strategies to promote emotional resilience and prevent physical and emotional problems. Letting Go of Stress provides the foundation for teaching students about stress and relaxation; students begin to learn about themselves and how to deal with stress in an effective and healthy manner. Through the lesson and activities the students will learn how to identify stress in their own lives. An opportunity is provided for students to learn a few relaxation techniques that have been proven to be effective with many people as well as generate their own ways of coping with stress. Lesson 11: Behaviour Change: Setting Goals and Staying Active Behaviour Change is subtitled Setting Goals and Staying Active. Throughout our lives we are asked to achieve many goals. Frequently we are not taught the steps that are necessary to achieve these goals. There is empirical evidence to support the idea that students who are able to set and achieve goals independently perform better than those students who are told what goals to 83 achieve. There is also evidence that learning how to engage more consistently in appropriate positive activities can help to reduce symptoms of depression. The six steps outlined in this lesson are all necessary in order for the students to attain their goals as well as to identify their values in the different domains of their lives. Learning these steps and having immediate success by implementing them is crucial to the success of this lesson. This lesson will teach students the skills necessary to set realistic short and long term goals, to identify the key steps in attaining their goals and to apply the procedures to their own lives by increasing the amount of positive activities they are engaged in. Lesson 12: Finishing UP! The title of the final Strong Kids lesson, Finishing Up implies that this lesson is the final one in the curriculum, but also shows how we are striving to end on a positive or upbeat (Up) note, celebrating the accomplishments that have been made through involvement with the Strong Kids curriculum. This lesson provides the opportunity for students to review key points and terms from the lessons presented throughout the term. Issues of confidentiality are revisited and information for handling more critical emotional issues (utilizing appropriate resources) is covered. The Finishing Up lesson also provides an opportunity to assess students using follow up measures to be compared to the information gained from the pre-assessments administered during the first lesson. Appendix B Part Two: Strong Kids Knowledge Test Directions: This test has 20 questions about healthy and unhealthy ways to express feelings, thoughts, and behavior. Read each question carefully and pick what you think is the best answer. TRUE-FALSE. Read each sentence. If yon think it is true or mostly true, circle the T, which means "true." If you think it is false or mostly false, circle the F, which means "faJse." 1. T F Self-esteem is your feelings of worth for yourself. 2. T F When identifying a problem, it is important to describe how you feel and then listen to how the other person says they feel. 3. T F When most people feel embarrassed, they are likely to stand tall, smile, and talk to others. 4. T F Clenched fists and trembling or shaking hands are often signs of stress. 5. T F Your friend took the last ice cream bar at the class party and you hadn't gotten one yet. The best way to deal with mis is to first identify how you feel, figure out if you feel comfortable or uncomfortable, and then choose 3 positive ways to express your feeling. MULTIPLE CHOICE. Circle the letter that goes along with the best answer for each qoestion. 6. Devin's gym teacher tells him to try out for the basketball team. Dev in thinks that he is too short and won't make it, so he decides to not try out for the team. What thinking error is described here? a. Binocular vision b. Black and white thinking c. Making it personal d. Fortune telling Copyright O 2005, Kenneth W. Merrdl 7. An example of an emotion that is uncomfortable for most people is a. Excited b. Frustrated c. Curious d. Content 8. What is an emotion? a. A thought you have about a situation b. Your inner voice inside your head c. A memory you have about something mat happened to you d A feeling mat tells you something about a situation 9. Self-talk is a way to calm down after you get angry. Self-talk includes telling yourself a. I don't deserve mis b. 1 should get angry when something like this happens c. I can work through mis d. I need to stop getting angry so often 1 0 . Which of the following statements best describes empathy? a. Knowing how you are feeling b. Wondering why another person is feeling sad c. Understanding another person's feelings d. Thinking about another person 11. What is the meaning of the minking error dark glasses? a. Liking at the whole picture b. Seeing only the part mat makes you sad c. Trying to see things in a different way d. flunking about only the negative or bad parts of things 11. TTunking errors occur when a. You see things differently than what really happened b. You see both the good and bad of each situation c. You think something different than your friend d. You tell yourself you shouldn't try to do something Ospragfc C 33CS. Kenneth W. Merrell 13. Reframing is a way to a. See the whole picture b. Think about the tilings that make you smile c. Think about the situation more realistically d. Think about what you will do next 14. Why would you want to know how someone else is feeling? a. So you can leave them alone when they're angry b. To better understand that person's feelings c. To tell other people about mat person d. To act the same when you are together 15. What does the ABCDE plan for optimism help you to do? a. Look at bom sites of a situation b. View situations more positively c. Control your positive and negative thoughts d. Realize that you sometimes have no control over things 16. Conflict resolution is best described as a. Discussing a problem until mere is a winner and a loser b. Arguing with another person until they see your point and give in c. Problem-solving so you can reach an agreement d. Talking about the problem until something changes their mind 17. Which of the following is a positive way to express how scared you are for your parents to get your report card? a. Tell them why you are scared b. Hide your report card c. Tell your parents they are expecting too much from you d. Say that your grades were bad because other kids at school distracted you 18. Why is it important to make an agreement when you are trying to solve a problem? a. To understand what the other person is feeling b. To let the other person know what you think about the problem c. To make sure both people accept the solution to the problem & To solve the problem more quickly CagKiffife C 2005, Kenneth W. Merrell 19. Which of the following is one of the better ways to relax when you are feeling stressed? a. Crying b. Talking about the problem with a friend c. Complaining to your mom d. Ignore the problem 20. Which of the following is the better way to deal with feeling very angry when the person next to you in class keeps talking and annoying you? a. Yell at them and tell the to stop b. Call out to the teacher about the student c. Take their backpack to get even d. Stop, count to ten, and try to relax Ocvners C 2005, Kenneth W. Merrell STRONG KIDS Knowledge Test Answer Key Correct answers for each of the 20 items are in boldface and underlined type. The Strong KMs lesson to which the question corresponds is indicated in parentheses. 1. I (Lesson 1) 2. I (Lesson 9) 3. F (Lesson 2) 4. 1 (Lesson 10) 5. I (Lesson 3) 6. d (Lesson 6) 7. b Lesson 2) 8. d (Lesson 1) 9. c (Lesson 4) 10. c (Lesson 5) 11. d (Lesson 6) 12. a (Lesson 6) 13. c (Lesson 7) 14. b (Lesson 5) 15. b (Lesson 8) 16. c (Lesson 9) 17. a (Lesson 3) 18. c (Lesson 9) 19. b (Lesson 10) 20. d (Lesson 4) CsEvnshs C 2005, Kenneth W. Merrell Appendix C Part One: Strong Kids Symptoms Test { Directions: The following statements tell some ways that kids might sometimes feel I and things they might sometimes do. Read each of these statements and decide how I often they are true for you for the p a s t month. Ask yourself, is this Never True, Hardly I Ever True, Sometimes True, or Often True for me?" After you have decided how often "I the statement is true for you, make an X in the box that goes with that answer. There 1 are no right or wrong answers, just choose the answer that tells how you feel. 1. There is very little that I like to do 2. I can't deal with my problems 3. I argue with other people 4. I get so mad that I break or throw things. 5. I worry about things 6. I feel depressed or sad 7. Things don't work out for me 8. I get headaches 9. I feel sick to my stomach 10.1 argue with my parents Never Hardly Ever Sometimes Often True True True True • I D • 0 0 0 0 D 0 0 I D 0 0 0 T O T A L S C O R E Copyright O 2005, Kenneth W. Merrell 90 Appendix D ClassMaps p o o q DIRECTIONS: THESE QUESTIONS ASK WHAT IS TRUE ABOUT YOUR CLASS. FOR EACH QUESTION, CIRCLE THE CHOICE THAT IS TRUE FOR YOU. D O NOT PUT YOUR NAME ON THE PAPER. N O ONE WILL KNOW WHAT YOUR ANSWERS ARE. I am a: • B O Y / M A L E D G I R L / F E M A L E I am in the grade. OFTEN OFTEN Believing in Me 1. In this class, I can do my work correctly. NEVER SOMETIMES 2. I can do as well as most kids in this class. NEVER SOMETIMES 3. In this class, I can help other kids understand the work too. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN I can be very good student in this class. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN I can do the hard work in this class. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN I can earn good grades in this class. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN Taking Charge 7. I want to know more about the things we learn in this class. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN 8. I want to get good grades in this class. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN 9. I pay attention when I am supposed to in this class NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN 10.1 want to find and fix my mistakes before turning in my work. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN 11.1 know how to do well on my work in this class. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN 12. When the work is hard in this class, I keep trying until I figure it out. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN Following the Class Rules 13. Most kids work quietly and calmly in this class. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN 14. Most kids in this class listen carefully when the teacher gives directions. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN 15. Most kids follow the rules in this class. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN 16. Most kids in this class pay attention when they are supposed to. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN 17. Most kids do their work when they are supposed to in this class. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN 18. Most kids in this class behave well even when the teacher isn't watching. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS 91 My Teacher 19. My teacher listens carefully to me when I talk. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN ALWAYS 20. My teacher helps me when I need help. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN ALWAYS 21. My teacher respects me. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN ALWAYS 22. My teacher likes having me in this class. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN ALWAYS 23. My teacher makes it fun to be in this class. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN ALWAYS 24. My teacher thinks I do a good job in this class. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN ALWAYS 25. My teacher is fair to me. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN ALWAYS My Classmates 26.1 have a lot of fun with my friends in this class. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN ALWAYS 27. My friends care about me a lot. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN ALWAYS 28.1 have friends to eat lunch with and play with at recess. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN ALWAYS 29.1 have friends that like me the way I am. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN ALWAYS 30. My friends like me as much as they like other kids. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN ALWAYS 31.1 have friends who will stick up for me if someone picks on me. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN ALWAYS Talking With My Parents 32. My parents and I talk about my grades in this class. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN ALWAYS 33. My parents and I talk about what I am learning in this class. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN ALWAYS 34. My parents and I talk about my homework in this class. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN ALWAYS 35. My parents help me with my homework when I need it. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN ALWAYS 36. My parents and I talk about ways that I can do well in school. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN ALWAYS 37. My parents and I talk about good things I have done in this class NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN ALWAYS 38. My parents and I talk about problems I have in this class. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN ALWAYS I worry that... 92 39.1 worry that other kids will do mean things to mi NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN 40.1 worry that other kids will tell lies about me. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN ALWAYS ALWAYS 41.1 worry that other kids will hurt me on purpose. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN 42 .1 worry that other kids will say mean things about me. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN 43 .1 worry that other kids will leave me out on purpose. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN 44 .1 worry that other kids will try to make my friends stop liking me. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN 45 .1 worry that other kids will make me do things I don't want to do. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN 46 .1 worry that other kids will take things away from me. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN Kids In This Class 47. Kids in this class argue a lot with each other. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN 48. Kids in this class pick on or make fun of each other. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN 4 9 . Kids in this class tease each other or call each other names. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN 50. Kids in this class hit or push each other. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN 5 1 . Kids in this class say bad things about each other. NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS 93 Appendix E Sociometric Administration Instructions Thank you for helping us learn more about how children your age think about themselves and their friends. This is NOT a test. There are NO right or wrong answers, we are only interested in your opinions. So please answer honestly. The information you write down will NOT be shared with your teacher, or your school friends. We will be the only ones who see this information. We will then use this information to find out how students feel about the people in their class. Remember that NO ONE at school or at home (not even your parents) will ever see your answers. Therefore, feel free to tell the truth. Thank you for your help and cooperation. On the pages in front of you is a list of your classmates. We would like to get some information about your feelings about them and their behaviours. Please follow the directions carefully. Read each question carefully and circle the names of your classmates who act that way. YOU MAY CIRCLE YOUR OWN NAME if you believe the description applies to you. In each of these long boxes, circle the names of: (Do one box at a time). (1) Students you like to (2) Students you like play with the most to play with the least Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name (3) Students who hit, (4) Students who get kick, or punch others even by keeping people at,school from being in their group of friends Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name 95 (5) Students who help others when they need' it Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name (6) Students who call others mean names Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name (7) Students who are the most cooperative Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name s(8)'Students? who you con trust Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name Student Name A It is important that you DO NOT discuss your answers with the other kids Appendix F Peer Ratings Name: Directions: We are interested in finding out how much the students in your class would like to work with each other and play with each other. For each student on this list, circle one of the numbers to show how much you would like to work with them and circle one of the numbers to show how much you would like to play with them. This is what the numbers mean: 1 = NOT A T ALL (I definitely would not want to work or play with them) 2 = NOT VERY MUCH (I don't think I would want to work or play with this person) 3 = D O N T CARE (it really wouldn't matter to me if I played with this person or not) 4 = SORT OF (I think I would like to work or play with this person) 5 = VERY MUCH (I definitely would like to work or play with this person) Your teacher and other students in the class will not know how you answered. There are no right or wrong answers, and the way you fill this form out will not affect your grade. If you have any questions, or if you need help, raise your hand. Listed below are the names of everybody in your c\ass, including your own. Find your name and draw a line through it. 9 7 Name: Work With? Ploy With? Student Name 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 Student Name 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 Student Name 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 Student Name 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 Student Name 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 Student Name 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 Student Name 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 Student Name 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 Student Name 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 Student Name 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 Student Name 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 Student Name 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 Student Name 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 Student Name 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 Student Name 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 Student Name 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 Student Name 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 Student Name 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 Student Name 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 Student Name 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 Student Name 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 98 Appendix G Strong Kids Satisfaction Survey 1. Strong Kids was fun. YES Y e s Not sure no NO 2. I learned a lot from Strong Kids. YES yes Not sure no NO 3. I feel that I can understand my emotions better after doing Strong Kids. YES yes Not sure no NO 4 . I feel like I can handle anger better after doing Strong Kids. YES yes Not sure no NO 5. I feel that I can understand other people's emotions better after doing Strong Kids. YES yes Not sure no NO 6. I feel that I understand negative thoughts and can handle them better after doing Strong Kids. YES yes Not sure no NO 7. I think more positively because of Strong Kids. YES yes Not sure no NO 8. I feel like I can solve arguments and conflicts better after doing Strong Kids. YES y c s Not sure no NO 9. I feel like I can handle being worried better after doing Strong Kids. YES Y e s Not sure no NO 10.1 feel like I can handle stress better after doing Strong Kids. YES Y e s Not sure no NO 11.1 feel like I can continue to use what I learned in Strong Kids in the future. YES yes Not sure no NO 12.1 think what I learned in Strong Kids will help me in the future. YES yes Not sure no NO 13.1 feel stronger because of Strong Kids. YES yes Not sure no NO 14.1 would recommend Strong Kids to my friends. YES yes Not sure no NO 15. The Strong Kids leaders were caring and supportive. YES y e s Not sure no NO 16. The Strong Kids leaders knew a lot of information. YES y e s Not sure no NO 17. Strong Kids was: Too long Too short Just right Appendix H 100 The University of British Columbia Office of Research Services Behavioural Research Ethics Board Suite 102, 6190 Agronomy Road, Vancouver, B.C. V6T1Z3 CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL- MINIMAL RISK RENEWAL PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Ruth Ervin DEPARTMENT: UBC/Education/Educational & Counselling Psychology, and Special Education UBC BREB NUMBER: H06-80149 INSTITUTION(S) WHERE RESEARCH WILL BE CARRIED OUT: N/A Other locations where the research will be conducted: N/A CO-INVESTIGATOR(S): Simone Leung Leslie Mackay SPONSORING AGENCIES: Hampton Research Endowment Fund - "Preliminary Examination of the Effects of the Strong Kids Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum on Grade 4 Students' Social-Emotional Resiliency, Academic Performance, and Social Networking" PROJECT TITLE: Preliminary Examination of the Effects of the Strong Kids Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum on Grade 4 Students' Social-Emotional Resiliency, Academic Performance, and Social Networking EXPIRY DATE OF THIS APPROVAL: March 21, 2008 IAPPROVAL DATE: March 21, 2007 The Annual Renewal for Study have been reviewed and the procedures were found to be acceptable on ethical grounds for research involving human subjects. Approval is issued on behalf of the Behavioural Research Ethics Board and signed electronically by one of the following: Dr. Peter Suedfeld, Chair Dr. Jim Rupert, Associate Chair Dr. Arminee Kazanjian, Associate Chair Dr. M. Judith Lynam, Associate Chair Dr. Laurie Ford, Associate Chair https://my.ubc.ca/worker/d^ 19/09/2007 

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