Abstract Title

Evaluation of Curriculum-Based Support Group (CBSG) Programs in Improving Psychosocial Behaviors in Kindergarten through 3rd Grade Students

Presenter Name

Rachael James

RAD Assignment Number

2202

Abstract

Background. Tarrant County has the second highest number of confirmed abused/neglected children in Texas. Studies show maltreated children tend to develop poorly in certain psychosocial domains (i.e. confidence, cooperation, participation, decision-making, listening skills, peer interactions) which can affect academic performance, and mental health. Socioemotional learning programs in a classroom setting may mitigate such negative trajectories in ‘at-risk’ students by improving outcomes in these domains. The aim of this study is to evaluate curriculum-based support group (CBSG) programs in improving these psychosocial behaviors.

Methods. Secondary data analysis was conducted on maltreated or ‘at-risk’ maltreated children in kindergarten through 3rd grade (K-3). All races/ethnicities were included. Students attended small group sessions designed to enhance confidence, cooperation, participation, listening skills, appropriate interactions, and good decision-making skills. Pre- and post-program report card grades were used to measure improvement in math, reading, science and social studies. Psychosocial domains in the pre-, post, and 1-year post-program conditions were measured using a Likert Scale. Descriptive statistics and frequency distributions described the sample. Wilcoxon paired t-tests analyzed pre- and post-program improvement. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and Wilks Lambda with post-hoc corrections for multiple comparisons evaluated 1-year post-program follow-up. A 95% confidence interval (p= 0.05) was used.

Results. Participants (N=719) showed improvement in individual domains of: 36% confidence (t=10.29, p=0.0001), 28% cooperation (t=-10.89, p=0.0001), 26% participation (t=-8.38, p=0.0001), 26% listening skills (t=-9.57, p=0.0001), 31% decision-making (t=-9.27, p=0.0001), 24% peer interactions (t=-7.84, p=0.0001). Aggregated domains continued to improve 1-year post-program by 4.3% (t=-2.073, p=0.041) in a subset of participants (N=96). Academic performance also improved in a small sample of participants (N=24) by 8% in math, 7% science, 6.3% reading, and 5.3% social studies.

Conclusion. These data indicate that the CBSG program is effective at improving psychosocial behaviors in ‘at-risk’ children, and has the potential to mitigate negative trajectories up to a year. Evidence is encouraging that CBSG may also improve academic performance, although a larger sample size and control group is needed in future evaluations.

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Research Area

Psychology

Presentation Type

Poster

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Evaluation of Curriculum-Based Support Group (CBSG) Programs in Improving Psychosocial Behaviors in Kindergarten through 3rd Grade Students

Background. Tarrant County has the second highest number of confirmed abused/neglected children in Texas. Studies show maltreated children tend to develop poorly in certain psychosocial domains (i.e. confidence, cooperation, participation, decision-making, listening skills, peer interactions) which can affect academic performance, and mental health. Socioemotional learning programs in a classroom setting may mitigate such negative trajectories in ‘at-risk’ students by improving outcomes in these domains. The aim of this study is to evaluate curriculum-based support group (CBSG) programs in improving these psychosocial behaviors.

Methods. Secondary data analysis was conducted on maltreated or ‘at-risk’ maltreated children in kindergarten through 3rd grade (K-3). All races/ethnicities were included. Students attended small group sessions designed to enhance confidence, cooperation, participation, listening skills, appropriate interactions, and good decision-making skills. Pre- and post-program report card grades were used to measure improvement in math, reading, science and social studies. Psychosocial domains in the pre-, post, and 1-year post-program conditions were measured using a Likert Scale. Descriptive statistics and frequency distributions described the sample. Wilcoxon paired t-tests analyzed pre- and post-program improvement. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and Wilks Lambda with post-hoc corrections for multiple comparisons evaluated 1-year post-program follow-up. A 95% confidence interval (p= 0.05) was used.

Results. Participants (N=719) showed improvement in individual domains of: 36% confidence (t=10.29, p=0.0001), 28% cooperation (t=-10.89, p=0.0001), 26% participation (t=-8.38, p=0.0001), 26% listening skills (t=-9.57, p=0.0001), 31% decision-making (t=-9.27, p=0.0001), 24% peer interactions (t=-7.84, p=0.0001). Aggregated domains continued to improve 1-year post-program by 4.3% (t=-2.073, p=0.041) in a subset of participants (N=96). Academic performance also improved in a small sample of participants (N=24) by 8% in math, 7% science, 6.3% reading, and 5.3% social studies.

Conclusion. These data indicate that the CBSG program is effective at improving psychosocial behaviors in ‘at-risk’ children, and has the potential to mitigate negative trajectories up to a year. Evidence is encouraging that CBSG may also improve academic performance, although a larger sample size and control group is needed in future evaluations.