UBC Theses and Dissertations
Managing anxiety through childhood social-emotional development Dohl, Adriane Hannah
School professionals are implementing a universal social-emotional learning program for children in Kindergarten and Grade 1 (aged 4-6 years) in many schools across the province with training and funding provided by the government. The Fun FRIENDS (Barrett, 2007) program focuses on increasing social-emotional learning and promotes coping techniques and resiliency in order to prevent the onset of behavioural and emotional disorders (Pahl & Barrett, 2007). Preliminary results (Pahl & Barrett, 2007, 2010) have highlighted the effectiveness of the Fun FRIENDS program in reducing anxiety in children. The present study utilized a quasi-experimental design to evaluate the effectiveness of the Fun FRIENDS program in reducing anxiety and promoting social-emotional competence among a sample of Kindergarten and Grade 1 students (N = 33) in a British Columbia school district. Results revealed a significant decrease in program participants’ anxiety symptoms as rated by teachers when compared with those in the control group. Teachers also reported that children who participated in the program had significant increases in social-emotional skills, while those in the control group’s skills remained the same. However, overall, children in the control group had significantly higher social-emotional skills, as rated by teachers. No significant results were found for parent rated levels of anxiety or social-emotional skills of children enrolled in either condition. Despite limitations of the study, the overall results demonstrate promising outcomes for students who participate in the Fun FRIENDS program.
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