WWC review of this study

Reappraising academic and social adversity improves middle school students' academic achievement, behavior, and well-being

Geoffrey D. Borman, Christopher S. Rozekb, Jaymes Pynec, and Paul Hanselmand (2019). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED600814

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    1,304
     Students
    , grade
    6

Reviewed: April 2020

At least one finding shows strong evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Secondary school academic achievement outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
ESSA
rating

Middle school grade point average (GPA)

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
1,301 students

3.12

3.09

Yes

 
 
2
More Outcomes

Ds and Fs

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
1,301 students

0.52

0.58

Yes

 
 
2
Show Supplemental Findings

Ds and Fs

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Male;
662 students

0.54

0.71

No

--

Middle school grade point average (GPA)

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Male;
662 students

3.05

2.96

No

--

Ds and Fs

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Black; Native American, Hispanic or Latino, or multiracial;
562 students

0.90

1.09

No

--

Middle school grade point average (GPA)

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Black, Native American, Hispanic or Latino, or multiracial;
562 students

2.74

2.66

No

--

Middle school grade point average (GPA)

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Asian, White;
739 students

3.46

3.41

No

--

Ds and Fs

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Asian, White;
739 students

0.15

0.20

No

--

Middle school grade point average (GPA)

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Female;
639 students

3.25

3.21

No

--

Ds and Fs

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Female;
639 students

0.41

0.45

No

--
Secondary school attendance outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
ESSA
rating

Absences

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
1,304 students

6.83

7.32

Yes

 
 
3
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Absences

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Male;
664 students

6.34

8.34

Yes

 
 
9

Absences

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Black, Native American, Hispanic or Latino, or multiracial;
565 students

7.78

9.60

Yes

 
 
8

Absences

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Asian, White;
739 students

5.53

5.91

No

--

Absences

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Female;
640 students

6.71

6.65

No

--
Student emotional status outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
ESSA
rating

Student's trust in school

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

7 Months

Full sample;
1,071 students

3.90

3.79

Yes

 
 
6
More Outcomes

Identification with school

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

7 Months

Full sample;
1,074 students

4.71

4.65

Yes

 
 
5

Evaluation anxiety

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

7 Months

Full sample;
1,074 students

2.68

2.75

Yes

 
 
3
Show Supplemental Findings

Student's trust in school

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

7 Months

Black, Native American, Hispanic or Latino, or multiracial;
444 students

3.92

3.64

Yes

 
 
13

Student's trust in school

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

7 Months

Female;
542 students

3.96

3.73

Yes

 
 
12

Evaluation anxiety

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

7 Months

Female;
544 students

2.66

2.80

No

--

Identification with school

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

7 Months

Male;
530 students

4.66

4.57

No

--

Evaluation anxiety

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

7 Months

Asian, White;
629 students

2.55

2.69

Yes

 
 
7

Identification with school

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

7 Months

Black, Native American, Hispanic or Latino, or multiracial;
445 students

4.73

4.66

No

--

Student's trust in school

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

7 Months

Male;
529 students

3.96

3.86

No

--

Student's trust in school

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

7 Months

Asian, White;
627 students

3.98

3.90

No

--

Identification with school

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

7 Months

Female;
544 students

4.76

4.73

No

--

Evaluation anxiety

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

7 Months

Male;
530 students

2.64

2.69

No

--

Evaluation anxiety

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

7 Months

Black, Native American, Hispanic or Latino, or multiracial;
445 students

2.78

2.84

No

--

Identification with school

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

7 Months

Asian, White;
629 students

4.69

4.65

No

--
Student engagement in school outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
ESSA
rating

Behavioral referrals

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
1,304 students

1.88

2.27

Yes

 
 
3
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Behavioral referrals

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Male;
664 students

1.87

3.39

Yes

 
 
9

Behavioral referrals

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Asian, White;
739 students

0.30

0.88

Yes

 
 
8

Behavioral referrals

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Black, Native American, Hispanic or Latino, or multiracial;
565 students

3.02

4.12

No

--

Behavioral referrals

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Female;
640 students

1.07

1.16

No

--
Student social interaction outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
ESSA
rating

Social belonging in school

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

7 Months

Full sample;
1,074 students

4.01

3.91

Yes

 
 
6
 
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Social belonging in school

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

7 Months

Female;
544 students

3.99

3.81

Yes

 
 
10

Social belonging in school

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

7 Months

Black, Native American, Hispanic or Latino, or multiracial;
445 students

4.00

3.81

Yes

 
 
10

Social belonging in school

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

7 Months

Asian, White;
629 students

4.07

3.97

No

--

Social belonging in school

Targeted Reappraisal Messages vs. Business as usual

7 Months

Male;
530 students

4.09

4.02

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 85% Free or reduced price lunch

  • Female: 49%
    Male: 51%
  • Race
    Not specified
    100%

  • Urban
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    Midwest

Setting

The study took place in 11 middle schools in one school district in the Midwest. Students in grade 6 are included in the analysis. The activities were administered by teachers during homeroom or English language arts. (pp. 3, 6).

Study sample

The grade 6 analytic sample was 49 percent female, 11 percent had an unspecified disability, 85 percent qualified for free or reduced-price lunch, and 16 percent were English language learners. Forty-three percent of the students belonged to the historically underserved racial/ethnic subgroup defined as African American, Latino, Native American, or multiracial students. (Appendix table S1 on p. 17).

Intervention Group

Students in the intervention condition completed a reading and writing activity two times early in the school year; one in September and the other at the end of October or early November. The first activity focused on student perceptions of academic performance while the second focused on social belonging. The activities were administered by the classroom teacher, who was blind to the experimental condition and not informed of the study hypothesis. Both activities required students to read three quotes attributed to seventh grade students which reflected on the concerns they had when they were began sixth grade, advice for students in sixth grade, and reassurances of support. The activity then asked students to provide written responses to concerns they might have about their academic performance and social belonging in sixth grade. Finally, the students were asked to rate how much they felt sixth grade and seventh grade students worried about their academic performance and social belonging. (pp. 16288, 16291).

Comparison Group

Students in the comparison condition completed a similar reading and writing activity as the intervention condition students; however, their activities focused on student perceptions on neutral topics. (pp. 16288, 16291).

Support for implementation

The authors provided a 15 minute training to the teachers prior to the start of the school year. The training consisted of instructions for implementation and provided the teachers with a list of proposed responses to questions students might ask about the activity. The study estimates that the cost per student is $1.35 per school year. This estimate assumes the intervention takes 15 minutes to administer two times during the school year. (pp. 16291, Appendix p. 15)

 

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