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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Preliminary examination of the effects of the Strong Kids social emotional learning curriculum on grade 4 students' social emotional resiliency, social standing and likeability MacKay, Leslie

Abstract

Within education there is a general agreement that it is important to foster children's social emotional development. Social, 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.

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