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08.09.2016 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 5/2016

The Journal of Primary Prevention 5/2016

The Effectiveness of a Portuguese Elementary School Social and Emotional Learning Program

The Journal of Primary Prevention > Ausgabe 5/2016
Vitor Alexandre Coelho, Vanda Sousa, Ana Paula Figueira


We examined the effects of a social and emotional learning program, Program Positive Attitude, on the social and emotional competencies and self-esteem of Portuguese elementary school students, from the twin perspectives of students and their teachers. Participants were 1237 fourth grade students from 37 schools in a Portuguese municipality, with a mean age of 9.2 years, of which 970 students (in 86 classes) participated in the program and 267 students (in 21 classes) served as a comparison group. Students and their teachers completed questionnaires prior to and following the intervention. We used multilevel linear modeling with a repeated measures design to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. Both students and their teachers reported significant intervention gains in self-control and social awareness. Students’ in the intervention group also identified reductions in social isolation and improvements in self-esteem, and their teachers reported decreases in their students’ social anxiety. An analysis by gender revealed that only girls showed increases in self-esteem, and only boys reported reduced social isolation. These findings support the effectiveness of the program.

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