Educational or Curriculum

Initiative Description: The initiative combined effects of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and Social Emotional Learning (SEL). There were 4 conditions: business-as-usual (BAU), PBIS alone, SEL alone, and COMBO condition. The Strong Kids social-emotional learning curriculum was used in this study. The Strong Kids curriculum is used with students in Grades 3 to 5, who are between the ages of 8 and 12. Each lesson takes 40 to 50 minutes to implement and is semi-scripted and outlined in an easy-to-follow manualized format. The PBIS model used in this study was adapted from the universal supports included in the BEST Behavior approach to PBIS (Sprague & Golly, 2004). The primary components of this approach consist of establishing 3 to 5 core behavioral expectations, developing a progressive method of responding to problem behavior, ongoing teaching and modeling of the expectations, cueing the use of the expectations via posters and signals, and reinforcement.

Study Results: COMBO condition produced significantly greater improvements in overall mental health and reductions in externalizing behaviors

Reference: Cook, C. R., Frye, M., Slemrod, T., Lyon, A. R., Renshaw, T. L., & Zhang, Y. (2015). An integrated approach to universal prevention: Independent and combined effects of PBIS and SEL on youths’ mental health. School Psychology Quarterly, 30(2), 166-183.

Level of Evidence: 2 out of 5 stars  Good