Main Article Content
Significant research has been conducted on skills’ enhancement school programs, since their importance has been well established. The presented study evaluates “Steps for life”, a Greek, universal, annual, teacher-taught programme, designed to improve personal and social skills in young elementary students by the use of questions, diffusion in formal and hidden curriculum, and parental involvement.
The experimental study was conducted in Greece during 2013-2014. The sample consisted of 2439 students, with 1516 forming the experimental group and 923 the control group. The study questionnaire included demographics, Personal and Social Skills Scale-Elementary, and the BASE scale. It investigated students’ self-esteem, concentration of attention, participation/cooperation, emotions’ identification and expression, emotions’ management, ability to control verbal and physical aggressiveness, ability to control victimization, empathy, friendship skills, problem-solving, ability to take responsibility, and use of spoken and written language.
The experimental group exhibited significant improvement in all investigated skills post-intervention, while the control group did not improve concentration of attention, emotions' management, and their ability to control verbal and physical aggressiveness and victimization. The analysis also revealed that intervention students had significantly higher improvement than the controls in all dimensions.
Appropriately designed mental health promotion programs can improve several children’s social-emotional skills and abilities.
Arend, R., Gove, F. L., & Sroufe, L. A. (1979). Continuity of individual adaptation from infancy to kindergarten: A predictive study of ego-resiliency and curiosity in preschoolers. Child Development, 950-959. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1129319
Ashdown, D. M., & Bernard, M. E. (2012). Can explicit instruction in social and emotional learning skills benefit the social-emotional development, well-being, and academic achievement of young children? Early Childhood Education Journal, 39(6), 397-405. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-011-0481-x
Babalis, T., Tsoli, K., Artikis, C. T., Mylonakou-Keke, I., & Xanthakou, Y. (2013). The impact of social and emotional learning programs on the emotional competence and academic achievement of children in Greek primary school. World Journal of Education, 3(6), 54. https://doi.org/10.5430/wje.v3n6p54
Baker-Henningham, H., Scott, S., Jones, K., & Walker, S. (2012). Reducing child conduct problems and promoting social skills in a middle-income country: cluster randomised controlled trial. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 201(2), 101-108. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.111.096834
Bandura, A. (1997). Social Learning Theory. NJ, USA, Prentice Hall.
Barrett, P. M. (2004). FRIENDS for life! for children. Participant workbook and leaders manual. LJ Farrell & PM Barrett, Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 12(2), 58-65.
Bear, G. G., Whitcomb, S. A., Elias, M. J., Blank, J. C. (2015). SEL and schoolwide positive behavioral interventions and supports. In Durlak, J., Domitrovich, C., Weissberg, R.; Gullotta, T. (Eds) Handbook of Social and Emotional Learning (pp. 453-467) New York: The Guillford Press
Beelmann, A., & Lösel, F. (2006). Child social skills training in developmental crime prevention: Effects on antisocial behavior and social competence. Psicothema, 18(3), 603-610.
Bierman, K. L., Coie, J. D., Dodge, K. A., Greenberg, M. T., Lochman, J. E., McMahon, R. J., & Pinderhughes, E. (2010). The effects of a multiyear universal social–emotional learning program: The role of student and school characteristics. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 78(2), 156. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0018607
Borba, M. (1989). Esteem Builders: A K-8 Self-Esteem Curriculum for Improving Student Achievement, Behavior and School Climate. BL Winch & Assoc./Jalmar Press, CA, USA.
Botvin, G. (1998). Life Skills Training: Promoting Health and Personal Development. NYC, USA, Princeton Health Press.
Botvin, G. J., Baker, E., Dusenbury, L., Botvin, E. M., & Diaz, T. (1995). Long-term follow-up results of a randomized drug abuse prevention trial in a white middle-class population. Jama, 273(14), 1106-1112. DOI: 10.1001/jama.1995.03520380042033
Botvin, G. J., Griffin, K. W., Paul, E., & Macaulay, A. P. (2003). Preventing tobacco and alcohol use among elementary school students through life skills training. Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, 12(4), 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1300/J029v12n04_01
Brackett, M. A., Rivers, S. E., Reyes, M. R., & Salovey, P. (2012). Enhancing academic performance and social and emotional competence with the RULER feeling words curriculum. Learning and Individual Differences, 22(2), 218-224. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2010.10.002
Catalano, R. F., Berglund, M. L., Ryan, J. A., Lonczak, H. S., & Hawkins, J. D. (2004). Positive youth development in the United States: Research findings on evaluations of positive youth development programs. The annals of the American academy of political and social science, 591(1), 98-124. https://doi.org/10.1177/0002716203260102
Chimienti, G., & Trilivas, S. (1994). Cognitive and Behavioral Effects of Social Skills Training on Greek and Lebanese Elementary-School Children. International Journal of Mental Health, 23(4), 53-68. https://doi.org/10.1080/00207411.1994.11449293
Committee for Children. (2002) Second Step: A Violence Prevention Curriculum, Grades 1,2,3. Seattle, USA.
Coopersmith, S., & Gilberts, R. (1982). Behavioral academic self esteem. Professional manual. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologist Press, Inc.
Dede, C. (2010). Comparing frameworks for 21st century skills. In Bellanca J. & Brandt R. (Eds) 21st century skills: Rethinking how students learn, 20, 51-76. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press, pp. 51-76.
Diekstra, R. F., & Gravesteijn, C. (2008). Effectiveness of school-based social and emotional education programmes worldwide. Social and emotional education: An international analysis, 255-312. Available at: http://www.fundacionbotin.org/89dguuytdfr276ed_uploads/EDUCACION/ANALISIS%20INTERNACIONAL/2008/ingles%202008/Results2008.pdf
Domitrovich, C. E., Cortes, R. C., & Greenberg, M. T. (2007). Improving young children’s social and emotional competence: A randomized trial of the preschool “PATHS” curriculum. The Journal of primary prevention, 28(2), 67-91. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10935-007-0081-0
Durlak, J. A., & Wells, A. M. (1997). Primary prevention mental health programs for children and adolescents: A meta-analytic review. American journal of community psychology, 25(2), 115-152. DOI: 10.1023/A:1024654026646.
Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D., & Schellinger, K. B. (2011). The impact of enhancing students’ social and emotional learning: A meta-analysis of school-based universal interventions. Child development, 82(1), 405-432. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01564.x.
Elias, M. J., Gara, M. A., Schuyler, T. F., Branden-Muller, L. R., & Sayette, M. A. (1991). The promotion of social competence: Longitudinal study of a preventive school-based pro-gram. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 61(3), 409. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/h0079277
Elias, M. J., & Schwab, Y. (2006). From compliance to responsibility: Social and emotional learning and classroom management. In Evertson C. & Weinstein C. (Eds) Handbook of classroom management: Research, practice, and contemporary issues. New York, NY: Routledge, pp. 309-341.
Englander-Golden, P., Jackson, J. E., Crane, K., Schwarzkopf, A. B., & Lyle, P. S. (1989). Communication skills and self-esteem in prevention of destructive behaviors. Adolescence, 24(94), 481.
Faggiano, F., Vigna-Taglianti, F. D., Versino, E., Zambon, A., Borraccino, A., & Lemma, P. (2005). School-based prevention for illicit drugs’ use. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003020.pub2.
Flannery, D. J., Vazsonyi, A. T., Liau, A. K., Guo, S., Powell, K. E., Atha, H., Vesterdal, W. & Embry, D. (2003). Initial behavior outcomes for the peacebuilders universal school-based violence prevention program. Developmental psychology, 39(2), 292. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0012-16184.108.40.2062
Forness, S. R., Serna, L. A., Kavale, K. A., & Nielsen, E. (1998). Mental health and Head Start: Teaching adaptive skills. Education and Treatment of Children, 258-274. http://www.jstor.org/stable/42940507
Freiberg, H. J. (Ed.). (1999). School climate: Measuring, improving, and sustaining healthy learning environments. Psychology Press.
Gansle, K. A. (2005). The effectiveness of school-based anger interventions and programs: A meta-analysis. Journal of School Psychology, 43(4), 321-341. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsp.2005.07.002
Geller, S. (1999). Al’s pals: Kids making healthy choices. Richmond, VA: Wingspan LLC.
Goldstein, A. P., & Glick, B. (1994). Aggression replacement training: Curriculum and evaluation. Simulation & Gaming, 25(1), 9-26. https://doi.org/10.1177/1046878194251003
Greenberg, M. T., Domitrovich, C., & Bumbarger, B. (2001). The prevention of mental disorders in school-aged children: Current state of the field. Prevention & treatment, 4(1), 1a. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/1522-37220.127.116.11a
Greenberg, M. T., Weissberg, R. P., O'brien, M. U., Zins, J. E., Fredericks, L., Resnik, H., & Elias, M. J. (2003). Enhancing school-based prevention and youth development through coordinated social, emotional, and academic learning. American psychologist, 58(6-7), 466. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.58.6-7.466
Grossman, D. C., Neckerman, H. J., Koepsell, T. D., Liu, P. Y., Asher, K. N., Beland, K., Frey, K. & Rivara, F. P. (1997). Effectiveness of a violence prevention curriculum among children in elementary school: A randomized controlled trial. Jama, 277(20), 1605-1611. DOI: 10.1001/jama.1997.03540440039030
Hahn, R., Fuqua-Whitley, D., Wethington, H., Lowy, J., Crosby, A., Fullilove, M., Johnson, R., Liberman, A., Moscicki, E., Price, L. & Snyder, S. (2007). Effectiveness of universal school-based programs to prevent violent and aggressive behavior: A systematic review. American journal of preventive medicine, 33(2), S114-S129. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2007.04.012
Haney, P., & Durlak, J. A. (1998). Changing self-esteem in children and adolescents: A meta-analytical review. Journal of clinical child psychology, 27(4), 423-433. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15374424jccp2704_6
Hatzichristou, C., & Lianos, P. G. (2016). Social and emotional learning in the Greek educational system: An Ithaca journey. International Journal of Emotional Education, 8(2), 105.
Hawkins, J.D., Smith, B.H., & Catalano, R.F. (2004). Social development and social and emotional learning. In Zins, J.E., Weissberg, R.P., Wang, M.C., Walberg H.J. (Eds) Building academic success on social and emotional learning: What does the research say? (pp. 135–150). New York, USA, Teachers College Press.
Hellenic Statistical Authority (2012). 2011 Census Data. Available at: http://www.alfavita.gr/sites/default/files/attachments/apotelesmata_apografis_plithismou_katoikion_2011.pdf.
Hellenic Statistical Authority (2011). Demographic characteristics. Available at: http://www.statistics.gr/el/statistics/-/publication/SAM03/2011 and http://www.statistics.gr/documents/20181/1210503/A1602_SAM04_DT_DC_00_2011_01_F_GR.pdf/2aa7132a-a7db-41fb-88f6-b6061d29dd13 in Greek.
Hellison, D. (2003). Teaching personal and social responsibility in physical education. In Silverman S., & Ennis C. (Eds) Student learning in physical education: Applying research to enhance instruction. USA: Human Kinetics, pp. 241-254.
Herrman, H., Saxena, S., Moodie, R., & World Health Organization. (2005). Promoting mental health: concepts, emerging evidence, practice: a report of the World Health Organization, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse in collaboration with the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation and the University of Melbourne. Available at: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/43286/1/9241562943_eng.pdf
Kourmousi, N. (2012). Personal and Social Skills Training as a part of Health Education in Kindergarten. Published Doctoral dissertation, University of Ioannina, School of Educational Sciences, Department of Early Childhood Education. In Greek. Available at https://www.didaktorika.gr/eadd/handle/10442/31671
Kourmousi, N. , Markogiannakis, G. , Lazaridis, I. , Kolliopoulou, K. , Papoutsaki, K. , Kounenou, K. , Tzavara, C. and Koutras, V. (2017) Validity and Reliability of an Adaptation of Personal and Social Skills Scale for K-Students for Use in 2.691 Greek Elementary Students. Creative Education, 8, 2352-2376. DOI: 10.4236/ce.2017.814161.
Kourmousi, N. , Salagianni, M. , Merakou, K. , Tzavara, C. and Koutras, V. (2017) Evaluation of the “Steps for Life” Personal and Social Skills Greek K-Curriculum. Creative Education, 8, 1912-1940. DOI: 10.4236/ce.2017.812131.
Kusché, C. A., & Greenberg, M. T. (1994). The PATHS curriculum. Seattle, Washington, USA. Development Research and Programs.
McMahon, S. D., Washburn, J., Felix, E. D., Yakin, J., & Childrey, G. (2000). Violence prevention: Program effects on urban preschool and kindergarten children. Applied and preventive psychology, 9(4), 271-281. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0962-1849(00)80004-9
Merry, S., McDowell, H., Hetrick, S., Bir, J., & Muller, N. (2004). Psychological and/or educational interventions for the prevention of depression in children and adolescents. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 1(1). DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003380.pub2.
Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs (2003a). A cross thematic curriculum framework for compulsory education and analytical curricula for primary and secondary education. Official Gazette, Issue B, no 303 & 304, 13-3-2003. Athens: Greek Pedagogical Institute.
Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs (2003b). A cross thematic curriculum framework for compulsory education. Published in Official Gazette, B(1366/18-10-2001), B(1373/18-10-2001), B(1376/18-10-2001).
Mishara, B. L., & Ystgaard, M. (2006). Effectiveness of a mental health promotion program to improve coping skills in young children: Zippy's Friends. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 21(1), 110-123. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2006.01.002
O'Mara, A. J., Marsh, H. W., Craven, R. G., & Debus, R. L. (2006). Do self-concept interventions make a difference? A synergistic blend of construct validation and meta-analysis. Educational Psychologist, 41(3), 181-206. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15326985ep4103_4
Payton, J., Weissberg, R. P., Durlak, J. A., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D., Schellinger, K. B., & Pachan, M. (2008). The Positive Impact of Social and Emotional Learning for Kindergarten to Eighth-Grade Students: Findings from Three Scientific Reviews. Technical Report. Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (NJ1). Available at: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED505370.
Powell, D., & Dunlap, G. (2009). Evidence-based social emotional curricula and intervention packages for children 0–5 years and their families (Roadmap to Effective Intervention Practices). Tampa, FL: University of South Florida.
Quay, J., & Peters, J. (2008). Skills, strategies, sport, and social responsibility: reconnecting physical education. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 40(5), 601-626. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220270801886071
Rogers, C. (1998). The interpersonal relationship in the facilitation of learning. Taking Issue: Debates in Guidance and Counselling in Learning. London, Routledge (pp 196-208).
Shure, M. (2000). I Can Problem Solve: An Interpersonal Cognitive Problem-Solving Program. Champaign Illinois, USA, Research Press.
Shure, M. B., & Spivack, G. (1982). Interpersonal problem‐solving in young children: A cognitive approach to prevention. American Journal of Community Psychology, 10(3), 341-356. DOI: 10.1007/BF00896500.
Shure, M. B., & Spivack, G. (2008). The problem-solving approach to adjustment. Prevention in Human Services.
TACADE/Lions. (1990). Skills for the Primary School Child. Manchester, UK, TACADE.
Tobler, N. S., Roona, M. R., Ochshorn, P., Marshall, D. G., Streke, A. V., & Stackpole, K. M. (2000). School-based adolescent drug prevention programs: 1998 meta-analysis. Journal of primary Prevention, 20(4), 275-336. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1021314704811
Triliva, S., Anagnostopoulou, T., & Vleioras, G. (2014). Sensitizing Children to the Social and Emotional Mechanisms involved in Racism: a program evaluation. International Journal of Emotional Education, 6(2).
UNESCO (2004). United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development: Draft International Implementation Scheme (IIS). United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Paris.
Vazsonyi, A. T., Belliston, L. M., & Flannery, D. J. (2004). Evaluation of a School-Based, Universal Violence Prevention Program: Low-, Medium-, and High-Risk Children. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 2(2), 185-206. https://doi.org/10.1177/1541204003262224
Webster-Stratton, C., & Hammond, M. (1997). Treating children with early-onset conduct problems: a comparison of child and parent training interventions. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 65(1), 93. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-006X.65.1.93.
Weinstein, C. S. & Mignano, A. J., Jr. (1993). Elementary classroom management: Lessons from research and practice: NY, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Weissberg, R.; Caplan, M.; Sivo, P. (1989). A new conceptual framework for establishing school-based social competence promotion programmes. In Bond, L.S., Compas, B.E., (Eds) Primary prevention and promotion in the schools (pp. 255-296), Newbury Park CA, USA, Sage.
Wilson, D. B., Gottfredson, D. C., & Najaka, S. S. (2001). School-based prevention of problem behaviors: A meta-analysis. Journal of quantitative criminology, 17(3), 247-272. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1011050217296
Wilson, S. J., & Lipsey, M. W. (2007). School-based interventions for aggressive and disruptive behavior: Update of a meta-analysis. American journal of preventive medicine, 33(2), S130-S143. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2007.04.011
Wilson, S. J., Lipsey, M. W., & Derzon, J. H. (2003). The effects of school-based intervention programs on aggressive behavior: a meta-analysis. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 71(1), 136. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-006X.71.1.136
World Health Organization. (2002). Prevention and promotion in mental health. Geneva: World Health Organization.
World Health Organization. (2003). Skills for health: skills-based health education including life skills: an important component of a Child-Friendly/Health-Promoting School. Geneva: World Health Organization.
World Health Organization. (2004a). Promoting mental health: Concepts, emerging evidence, practice: Summary report. Geneva: World Health Organization.
World Health Organization (2004b). Preventing violence: A guide to implementing the recommendations of the World report on violence and health. Geneva: World Health Organization.
World Health Organization. (2010). Violence prevention: the evidence. Malta: World Health Organization.
Wright, P. M., & Burton, S. (2008). Implementation and outcomes of a responsibility-based physical activity program integrated into an intact high school physical education class. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 27(2), 138-154. https://doi.org/10.1123/jtpe.27.2.138
Zins, J. E. (Ed.). (2004). Building academic success on social and emotional learning: What does the research say? N.Y., USA, Teachers College Press.