Social-Emotional Skills, Parental Monitoring, and Behavioral and Academic Outcomes in 5th to 8th Grade Students: A Longitudinal Study on Character Development
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School-based programs designed to reduce general problematic behaviors, increase prosocial behaviors, and improve academic achievement have often been characterized as social-emotional learning or character development (education) programs. The primary aims of this longitudinal study were: 1) to determine if the Second Step curriculum decreased negative school behaviors and increased positive school behaviors compared to control schools across 4 school semesters for 5th to 8th grade students, 2) to examine potential linkages between parental monitoring, school behaviors, and school grades, and 3) to investigate whether participation in the Second Step curriculum moderated the relationship between parental monitoring and school behaviors and grades. This study consisted of two samples. To address questions related to the role of Second Step on school outcomes, a sample of 5,189 students from 5th to 8th grades (between Fall of 2012 and Spring of 2014) from 35 schools (16 control and 19 treatment schools) in an open-enrollment charter school system in Texas participated. To address questions related to the role of parental monitoring on school outcomes and whether there are joint (interactive) effects between parental monitoring and Second Step on school outcomes, a sample of 763 parents and their children who were in 5th to 8th grades were recruited in Spring of 2014 to participate from the 22 (8 control and 14 treatment) schools among the 35 schools mentioned above. Three-level longitudinal growth model analysis was conducted to examine the effectiveness of Second Step curriculum on students’ school outcomes. In addition, a two-level random coefficient model was tested to assess the effect of parental monitoring on school outcomes, as well as the interaction between character development (education) curriculum and parental monitoring. Study results indicated that 5th to 8th grade students who participated in the Second Step (social-emotional or character development) curriculum attained higher school grades and exhibited fewer negative school behaviors than students in the control schools (without the Second Step curriculum) across 4 school semesters (between Fall of 2012 to Fall of 2014). In addition, students in schools with the Second Step curriculum exhibited more prosocial behaviors than students in the control schools although this finding was marginally significant or approaching significance. In addition, parental monitoring was found to be a significant predictor on school outcomes; parental monitoring was linked to school behaviors and achievement. Furthermore, Second Step curriculum was found to significantly moderate the relationship between parental monitoring and school outcomes (problem behaviors, prosocial behaviors, and school grades).
Behavioral and Academic Outcomes
Top, Namik (2015). Social-Emotional Skills, Parental Monitoring, and Behavioral and Academic Outcomes in 5th to 8th Grade Students: A Longitudinal Study on Character Development. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from