WWC review of this study

Using social-emotional and character development to improve academic outcomes: A matched-pair, cluster-randomized controlled trial in low-income, urban schools.

Bavarian N., Lewis, K. M., DuBois, D. L., Acock, A., Vuchinich, S., Silverthorn, N., ... Flay, B. R. (2013). Journal of School Health, 83(11), 771–779. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1026798

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    14
     Schools
    , grades
    3-8

Reviewed: February 2018

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

Absenteeism

Positive Action vs. Unknown

0 Days

Full sample;
14 schools

5.58

6.95

No

--
More Outcomes

Illinois Standard Achievement Test (ISAT): Read Score

Positive Action vs. Unknown

0 Days

Full sample;
14 schools

2.72

2.64

No

--

Illinois Standard Achievement Test (ISAT): Math Score

Positive Action vs. Unknown

0 Days

Full sample;
14 schools

2.79

2.67

No

--
Show Supplemental Findings

Illinois Standard Achievement Test (ISAT): Read Score

Positive Action vs. Unknown

0 Days

Female;
14 schools

2.78

2.30

No

--

Illinois Standard Achievement Test (ISAT): Math Score

Positive Action vs. Unknown

0 Days

Female;
14 schools

2.81

2.68

No

--

Illinois Standard Achievement Test (ISAT): Read Score

Positive Action vs. Unknown

0 Days

Male;
14 schools

2.66

2.60

No

--

Illinois Standard Achievement Test (ISAT): Math Score

Positive Action vs. Unknown

0 Days

Male;
14 schools

2.79

2.67

No

--

Illinois Standard Achievement Test (ISAT): Read Score

Positive Action vs. Unknown

0 Days

Black;
14 schools

2.74

2.62

No

--

Illinois Standard Achievement Test (ISAT): Math Score

Positive Action vs. Unknown

0 Days

Black;
14 schools

2.77

2.62

No

--

Illinois Standard Achievement Test (ISAT): Read Score

Positive Action vs. Unknown

0 Days

Free or reduced price lunch;
14 schools

2.70

2.63

No

--

Illinois Standard Achievement Test (ISAT): Math Score

Positive Action vs. Unknown

0 Days

Free or reduced price lunch;
14 schools

2.79

2.67

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


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    Illinois

Setting

The study was conducted in 14 K-6 and K-8 schools in the Chicago Public Schools district. Schools were selected from all K-6 and K-8 Chicago Public Schools. The following types of schools were excluded: non-community schools, schools that already had PA or a similar program, schools with less than 50 students or more than 140 students per grade, schools with annual mobility greater than 40%, schools with more than 50% of students passing the state test, and schools with less than 50% of students eligible for free or reduced priced lunch. These criteria ensured that the majority of students at participating schools were high need in terms of test scores and economic disadvantage. 68 schools were eligible, and 18 agreed to participate. Of the 18 that agreed to participate, the study authors selected the 7 best matched pairs in terms of student and school characteristics. A total of 14 schools in participated in the study. The intervention was implemented school-wide in participating schools.

Study sample

Fourteen schools, 247 teachers, and 1,170 students participated in the evaluation. There were 7 treatment and 7 control schools but the distribution of students and teachers is not provided by group.

Intervention Group

Positive Action includes a core curriculum of 6 units: self-concept; positive actions for mind and body; positive social-emotional actions focusing on getting along with others; and managing, being honest with, and continually improving oneself. For grades K-6, the curriculum includes more than 140 15-20 minute lessons per grade, delivered 4 days per week. For grades 7-8, there are 70 20-minute lessons delivered 2 days per week. There are also teacher, counselor, family, and community training activities; school climate development activities; and a school climate tool kit.

Comparison Group

The study does not describe the comparison condition.

Support for implementation

The program includes teacher, counselor, family, and community training activities; school climate development activities; and a school climate tool kit. Training was provided to teachers, counselors, family, and community members. The study does not provide information about the content of this training.

 

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