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THE EFFECTS OF A SOCIAL–EMOTIONAL LEARNING PROGRAM ON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CHILDREN: THE ROLE OF PUPILS’ CHARACTERISTICS

Authors


  • This research was funded by Grant SFRH/BD/27905/2006 from Science and Technology Foundation, Portugal. The authors gratefully acknowledge Cícero Pereira, Vitor Coelho, and Paulo Lopes for their assistance in the preparation of this manuscript. We also want to warmly thank the students and teachers who participated in this study.

Correspondence to: Raquel Raimundo, Faculty of Psychology, University of Lisbon, Alameda da Universidade, 1649-013, Lisboa, Portugal. E-mail: rraimundo@campus.ul.pt

Abstract

This quasi-experimental exploratory study investigated whether a social–emotional learning program, implemented during a 1-year period, could lead to gains in social–emotional competencies and a reduction in internalizing and externalizing problems. Furthermore, it showed which pupils would benefit most from the program. The program was applied to 213 fourth-grade Portuguese pupils. One hundred five controls followed an Origami curriculum during the same period. Sixteen teachers also participated in this study. Self-report (pupils) and hetero-report (teachers) questionnaires were administered before and after the intervention. There were significant intervention gains in some social–emotional competencies, namely, peer relations and social competence, but no gains were found in internalizing and externalizing problems. Intervention pupils with average pre-test scores profited more in self-management and peer relations than controls. Boys showed greater gains in self-management, aggressiveness, and social problems than girls. There were no significant differences regarding socioeconomic status.

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