WWC review of this study

Promoting social and emotional learning in preschool students: A study of Strong Start Pre-K. [Strong Start Pre-K vs. business as usual]

Gunter, L., Caldarella, P., Korth, B. B., & Young, K. R. (2012). Early Childhood Education Journal, 40(3), 151–159. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ963276

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    84
     Students
    , grade
    PK

Reviewed: July 2021

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Social-Emotional Learning outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Preschool and Kindergarten Behavior Scales--Second Edition (PKBS-2): internalizing problem behaviors

Strong Start Pre-K vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
84 students

86.75

81.34

No

--
More Outcomes

Preschool Behavioral and Emotional Rating Scale (PreBERS; 2nd Edition): Emotional Regulation Subscale

Strong Start Pre-K vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
84 students

13.96

13.56

No

--
Show Supplemental Findings

Student-Teacher Relationship Scale (STRS)-Conflict Score

Strong Start Pre-K vs. Business as usual

6 Weeks

Full sample;
84 students

34.71

20.53

No

--

Preschool and Kindergarten Behavior Scales--Second Edition (PKBS-2): internalizing problem behaviors

Strong Start Pre-K vs. Business as usual

6 Weeks

Full sample;
84 students

89.64

82.34

No

--

Student-Teacher Relationship Scale (STRS)-Total Score

Strong Start Pre-K vs. Business as usual

6 Weeks

Full sample;
84 students

96.88

87.47

No

--

Student-Teacher Relationship Scale (STRS)-Closeness Score

Strong Start Pre-K vs. Business as usual

6 Weeks

Full sample;
84 students

77.75

72.81

No

--

Preschool Behavioral and Emotional Rating Scale (PreBERS; 2nd Edition): Emotional Regulation Subscale

Strong Start Pre-K vs. Business as usual

6 Weeks

Full sample;
84 students

13.74

13.94

No

--

Student-Teacher Relationship Scale (STRS)-Dependency Score

Strong Start Pre-K vs. Business as usual

6 Weeks

Full sample;
84 students

-0.68

8.53

No

--


Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 50%
    Male: 50%

  • Suburban, Urban
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    Utah
  • Race
    Black
    2%
    Native American
    1%
    White
    26%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    67%
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
    33%

Setting

The study was conducted in a Title I preschool in a metropolitan area in Utah.

Study sample

Study participants were 66.7% Hispanic, 26.2% White, 3.6% Mixed Ethnicities, 2.4% African American, and 1.2% Native American. Students were 50% female and 50% male.

Intervention Group

The Strong Start Pre-K curriculum consists of 10 lessons and two optional booster session lessons. It also includes a bulletin sent home to parents at the end of each of the ten lessons. The curriculum emphasizes social-emotional learning (SEL) that is developmentally appropriate and aimed to reduce students' internalizing problem behaviors and increase students' peer-related prosocial behaviors.

Comparison Group

The comparison condition was business-as-usual.

Support for implementation

Teachers were given a brief orientation to the study. Intervention teachers received a one-hour introduction to SEL and manuals for the Strong Start Pre-K curriculum approximately 3 weeks before teaching the first lesson.

 

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