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School Psychology Program A Preliminary Study of the Strong Start SEL Curriculum Sara Whitcomb, Ph.D. University of Massachusetts Presented at the Annual.

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Presentation on theme: "School Psychology Program A Preliminary Study of the Strong Start SEL Curriculum Sara Whitcomb, Ph.D. University of Massachusetts Presented at the Annual."— Presentation transcript:

1 School Psychology Program A Preliminary Study of the Strong Start SEL Curriculum Sara Whitcomb, Ph.D. University of Massachusetts Presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association of School Psychologists March 5, 2010

2 2 School Psychology Program Name that Emotion...

3 3 School Psychology Program Appreciations For helping me to start this work: Dr. Kenneth Merrell, University of Oregon (contributing author) Dr. Cynthia Anderson, University of Oregon Dr. John Seeley, Oregon Research Institute To The Melissa Institute For Violence Prevention and Treatment for funding this study

4 4 School Psychology Program Agenda Problem Statement/Relevant Literature Research Questions Method Results Discussion Questions

5 5 School Psychology Program (Coie, Miller-Jackson, Bagwell 2000; Merrell 2001; Rimm- Kaufman, Pianta, & Cox, 2000; Roeser & Eccles, 2000) The Problem 12-22% of school-aged children with social- emotional difficulties significant enough to require services. 1 in 5 children get needed services. Many children enter elementary school and do not display academic or social-emotional readiness skills. Current national mandates make it difficult to find time and resources to address issues other than academics.

6 6 School Psychology Program Designing School-Wide Systems for Student Success Academic Systems Behavioral Systems Intensive, Individual Interventions -Individual students -Assessment-based -High Intensity Intensive, Individual Interventions -Individual students -Assessment-based -High Intensity Targeted Group Interventions -Some students (at-risk) -Rapid Response Targeted Group Interventions -Some students (at-risk) -Rapid Response Universal Interventions -All settings, all students -Preventative, proactive Universal Interventions -All settings, all students -Preventative, proactive 1-5% 5-10% 80-90% Sugai, Horner & Gresham (2002)

7 7 School Psychology Program (Denham & Weissberg, 2004; Elias, Zins, Greenberg, Weissberg, 2003) Social-Emotional Learning (SEL): Ensuring the health of all children Coordinated instructional programming that focuses on individual social and emotional skill development and integration of skills across contexts Is developmentally appropriate Spans multiple years Based on research and systematically evaluated

8 8 School Psychology Program The Role of the Adult in the SEL of Young Children To effectively deliver carefully-designed lessons To model appropriate self-management, empathic response, and problem-solving To prompt students to practice skills To acknowledge students when they spontaneously utilize skills learned

9 9 School Psychology Program Components of the RE-AIM Framework R each (proportion of the target population that participates in intervention) E fficacy (success rate if implemented as in guidelinespositive outcomes minus negative outcomes) A doption (proportion of settings, practices, and plans that will adopt this intervention) I mplementation (extent to which intervention is implemented as intended in real world) M aintenance (extent to which a program is sustained over time) (Glasgow; Merrell & Buchanan, 2006)

10 10 School Psychology Program

11 11 School Psychology Program Strong Start is… Developmentally appropriate for younger students (grades K-2) Emphasizes activity-based (think-pair- share) and childrens literature-based components and Henry Bear Includes specific strategies for infusing skill practice throughout the day Emphasizes emotional education and behavioral engagement. Emphasizes communication with families, through newsletters developed for each lesson Not Resource intensive

12 12 School Psychology Program Developing Strong Start Year 1 Read articles on emotion development Began with general lesson topics Developed lessons/literature list appropriate for k-2 (based on research, professional judgment/clinical experiences) Year 2 Kept detailed notes from those piloting across U.S. and Canada Edited lessons based on feedback Developed prototype for Content Knowledge Measure

13 13 School Psychology Program Developing Strong Start (Cont.) Year 3 Piloted Strong Start in first grade general education classroom Observed Strong Start implementation in k-2 Structured Learning Center Piloted Strong Start Content Knowledge

14 14 School Psychology Program Developing Strong Start (cont.) Year 4 Recruit participants. Evaluate acceptance of intervention. Assess feasibility of intervention. Assess treatment integrity. Evaluate impact of intervention on acquisition and application of young childrens emotion knowledge skills

15 15 School Psychology Program Research Questions Does systematic implementation of Strong Start result in increased knowledge of social and emotional skills among first graders? Does systematic implementation of Strong Start result in teachers perceived improvement in social behavior and affect among children in their classrooms?

16 16 School Psychology Program Research Questions Do teachers infuse into their classroom routines the concepts presented in Strong Start over time? Do teachers, students, and parents find Strong Start to be a socially valid intervention? To what extent is student performance on an assessment of social and emotional knowledge skills correlated with teacher report of social behavior and affect?

17 17 School Psychology Program Participants 88 first grade students from 1 Northwestern district School 1- (Class 1, Class 2, Class 3) School 2- (Class 4) 5 Interventionists School 1-(counselor and teachers from 3 classes) School 2-(teacher)

18 18 School Psychology Program Participants (cont.) MaleFemaleTotal Classes394988 School 1School 2 Free/Red28%63% SPED17%24% Title I14%23% ELL0%16% School 1School 2 Caucasian84%58% His/Latino8%32% Asian/PI3%1% African Am1%2% Native Am1%5% Unknown2%1%

19 19 School Psychology Program Procedures Interventionist Training 2.5-hour meeting in December 2007 Introduction to studys significance, conceptual framework of SEL, and Strong Start Intervention 10 Strong Start lessons implemented one time per week during January-April 2008 Assessment 3 wavesPretest1 (October), Pretest 2 (January), posttest (April) Fidelity of implementation

20 20 School Psychology Program A Within-Subject, Repeated Measures Quasi- Experimental Design Groups Baseline 1 Baseline 2 Intervention Posttest Classroom 1-4 O1O1 O2O2 X 1 O 3

21 21 School Psychology Program Measures-Intervention Monitoring Observations of Strong Start implementation 50% (School 1)/40% (School 2) of lessons observed Included implementation of lesson components and behavioral observations IOA on lesson components and behavioral observations ranged from 88-100% IOA on behavioral observations (individual behaviors) ranged from 71%-100% Email Description of Infusion of Skills over time and across contexts

22 22 School Psychology Program Fidelity

23 23 School Psychology Program Mean Behaviors Observed Across Lessons OTR-Opportunity to Respond RSR-Relevant Student Response PR-Praise REP-Reprimand

24 24 School Psychology Program Infusion of Skills Across Lessons

25 25 School Psychology Program Implementation Outcomes Teachers required flexibility to implement lessons over multiple days (some with support of counselor). 1-2 books from literature list were read each week. Interventionists are offered an average of 2 Opportunities to Respond (OTRs) per minute and students responded approximately 2-3 times per minute.

26 26 School Psychology Program A Hint of Acceptability I really liked the "leanness" of this program. I find that I refer to parts of it all the time...especially during Reading time. Lots of opportunities for the kids to apply it in much of the literature I use....not to mention general life in first grade! –Classroom Teacher

27 27 School Psychology Program MeasuresDependent Variables Social-emotional knowledge skills Strong Start Content Knowledge Assessment of Childrens Emotion Skills (ACES) Teacher report of social behavior and affect Peer Relations subscale from SSBS (Merrell, 2002) Problem Behavior subscale from SSRS (Gresham & Elliot, 1990) Social Validity Teacher, Parent and student questionnaires

28 28 School Psychology Program Data Analyses Descriptives Analyses of Variance Chi-Square Analysis (Problem Behavior) Difference Scores Analyses Magnitude of Effects Correlations Between Measures

29 29 School Psychology Program Means and Standard Deviations Across Assessment Waves VariablePretest 1Pretest 2Posttest Content Knowledge 15.61 (1.55) 16.43 (0.91) 16.81 (1.02) ACES7.86 (1.68) 7.58 (1.96) 8.60 (1.90) Peer Relations 38.90 (14.07) 45.98 (14.38) 51.23 (13.55) Problem Behavior 2.39 (3.82) 3.59 (4.14) 2.99 (3.99)

30 30 School Psychology Program *p <.05 ANOVAs VariableTime F-Value P1 vs. P2 F-Value P2 vs. Post F-Value Content Knowledge 28.10***22.70***8.35* ACES 9.45***1.4618.31*** Peer Relations 30.71***26.50***13.88*** Problem Behavior 4.80*8.14**3.53

31 31 School Psychology Program *p <.05 Patterns of Externalizing and Internalizing Behavior

32 32 School Psychology Program *p <.05 Problem Behavior Chi-Square ImprovedPosttestTotal (No) 0.00 (Yes) 1.00 Got Worse (No) 0.00 11314 Between Pretests (Yes) 1.00 621**27 172441

33 33 School Psychology Program *p <.05 Difference Scores Analyses MeasureMean Difference Pretest 1-Pretest 2 vs. Pretest 2-Posttest t ACES1.30 (3.54) -3.35** Problem Behavior 1.81 (5.70) 2.90**

34 34 School Psychology Program Effect Sizes --Cohens d z MeasurePretest 1-Pretest 2Pretest 2-Posttest Content Knowledge 0.480.35 ACES-0.110.47 Peer Relations0.570.31 Problem Behavior 0.32-0.19

35 35 School Psychology Program Social Validity Interventionists 100% thought students learned important skills, curriculum was easy to teach, would use curriculum again. 80% felt they had adequate time to teach and materials were easy to access. Students 78% liked Strong Start. 68% learned a lot. Parents/Guardians 100% of respondents were aware of what children were learning and found parent newsletters helpful 64% tried tips provided in newsletters Few respondents

36 36 School Psychology Program Intercorrelations ContentACESPeer Rel. Content-- ACES.31**-- Peer Rel..06.23*-- Prob. Beh. -.03-.04-.46** ContentACESPeer Rel. Content--- ACES.03-- Peer Rel.16.19-- Prob. Beh -.06-.27*-.63** ContentACESPeer Content-- ACES.30**-- Peer.21.03-- Prob-.15-.16-.70** Pretest1 Pretest 2 Posttest

37 37 School Psychology Program Discussion Lesson components implemented with fidelity. Teacher responsiveness in tracking infusion of skills was variable. Prompted use of skills ~1 time per day Curriculum perceived as useful and worth future use.

38 38 School Psychology Program Discussion:Behavioral Change Strong Start may have contributed to increased emotion knowledge across varied situations. Strong Start may have had an intervention effect for students likely to engage in problem behavior. Strong Start may have contributed to a decrease in internalizing symptoms among a significant number of students.

39 39 School Psychology Program Limitations Finding feasible, efficient, reliable methods for assessing young children Behavioral indicators of teacher buy in

40 40 School Psychology Program Future Research Replicate study procedurally and include: Larger sample Comparison group Technically sound emotion knowledge measures/direct observation Varied grade levels (including pre-k) Directly observe the extent to which teachers prompt/acknowledge use of skills across contexts and time. Directly observe the impact of curriculum on student behavior, particularly those in need of targeted support. Examine how consultation may improve infusion of skills and overall effectiveness Identify outcomes to target over longer time period. E.g. transition to school

41 41 School Psychology Program Contact Info Sara

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