Researchers have demonstrated that cognitive-behavioral intervention strategies - such as social problem solving - provided in school settings can help ameliorate the developmental risk for emotional and behavioral difficulties. In this study, we report the results of a randomized controlled trial of Tools for Getting Along (TFGA), a social problem-solving universally delivered curriculum designed to reduce the developmental risk for serious emotional or behavioral problems among upper elementary grade students. We analyzed pre-intervention and post-intervention teacher-report and student self-report data from 14 schools, 87 classrooms, and a total of 1296 students using multilevel modeling. Results (effect sizes calculated using Hedges' g) indicated that students who were taught TFGA had a more positive approach to problem solving (g=.11) and a more rational problem-solving style (g=.16). Treated students with relatively poor baseline scores benefited from TFGA on (a) problem-solving knowledge (g=1.54); (b) teacher-rated executive functioning (g=.35 for Behavior Regulation and .32 for Metacognition), and proactive aggression (g=.20); and (c) self-reported trait anger (g=.17) and anger expression (g=.21). Thus, TFGA may reduce risk for emotional and behavioral difficulties by improving students' cognitive and emotional self-regulation and increasing their pro-social choices.
- Anger control
- Cognitive-behavioral intervention
- Executive function
- Social problem solving
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology