Date Approved

5-16-2017

Embargo Period

5-17-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MA School Psychology

Department

Educational Services and Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Callueng, Carmelo

Subject(s)

Social skills--Study and teaching; Emotional intelligence

Disciplines

Elementary Education | School Psychology

Abstract

Social-emotional wellbeing is known to contribute to children's learning and general health. As a national priority in the United States, schools are called upon to foster social-emotional health in children as part of healthy child development (Durlack, Weissberg, Dymnick, Taylor, & Schellinger. 2011). The study reports the implementation and findings of an empirically supported classroom-based social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum in second grade students in a suburban South New Jersey school district. Using a two-group non-equivalent design, it is hypothesized that students who are taught of the SEL lessons will show significant improvement in their social-emotional competence in both school and home environments.

Results of the study show that the Strong Start curriculum significantly increased the social-emotional skills of the second grade students in the school environment. These results support that Strong Start is an effective SEL curriculum in the classroom. It also showed marginally significant results of increased social-emotional skills in the home environment. Though these results do not support the hypothesis, they show that Strong Start has the potential to be an effective SEL curriculum to teach skills in the home environment. Lastly, the Strong Start lessons were implemented with high fidelity as evaluated by a school psychologist.

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