Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

MA School Psychology


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Callueng, Carmelo


Inclusive, Second Grade, SEL, Social emotional competence, Strong Kids, Strong Start


Social skills--Study and teaching; Emotional intelligence


Elementary Education | School Psychology


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.