Efficient and effective social-emotional learning programs increase the likelihood of success in school for all students, and particularly for those who may develop emotional or behavior problems. In this study, we followed a sub-sample of students 1 year after their participation in a randomized controlled trial of the effects of the Tools for Getting Along (TFGA) curriculum. TFGA is a universally delivered, preventive cognitive-behavioral curricular intervention designed to improve upper elementary school students' emotional and behavioral self-regulation. To determine effects at 1-year follow-up, we assessed 720 out of the 1,296 original students across TFGA and control conditions on measures of curricular knowledge, teacher-rated executive function and behavior, and student-reported anger and social problem solving. Findings indicated a continued positive effect on curricular knowledge for students taught TFGA relative to controls. We also found significant pretest by condition interaction effects on teacher reports of skills associated with executive function, including inhibitory control and shift (cognitive flexibility), and on teacher reported internalizing and externalizing behavior. Specifically, students with poorer scores on these measures at pretest benefited from TFGA at follow-up relative to comparable students in the control condition. Finally, we found marginally significant pretest by condition interaction effects on proactive aggression, outward expressions of anger, and the executive function related skills of initiating activities and using working memory. Counter to expectations, we found negative TFGA effects on student-reported trait anger and anger control.
- Behavior problems
- Cognitive-behavioral interventions
- Executive function
- Self regulation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health