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Efficacy of an Emotion Self-regulation Program for Promoting Development in Preschool Children

Raymond Trevor Bradley, Ph.D.; Patrick Galvin, Ph.D.; Mike Atkinson and Dana Tomasino

Global Advances in Health and Medicine 2012; 1(1):36-50; www.gahmj.com.

For a PDF version of the complete paper, click here.

Abstract

This work reports the results of an evaluation study to assess the efficacy of the Early HeartSmarts (EHS) program in schools of the Salt Lake City, Utah, School District. The EHS program is designed to guide teachers with methods that support young children (3-6 y old) in learning emotion self-regulation and key age-appropriate socioemotional competencies with the goal of facilitating their emotional, social, and cognitive development. The study was conducted over one school year using a quasiexperimental longitudinal field research design with 3 measurement points (baseline, preintervention, and postintervention) using The Creative Curriculum Assessment (TCCA), a teacher-scored, 50-item instrument measuring students growth in 4 areas of development: social/emotional, physical, cognitive, and language development. Children in 19 preschool classrooms in the Salt Lake City School District were divided into intervention and control group samples (n = 66 and n = 309, respectively; mean age = 3.6 y). The intervention classes were specifically selected to target children of lower socioeconomic and ethnic minority backgrounds. Overall, there is compelling evidence of the efficacy of the EHS program in increasing total psychosocial development and each of the 4 development areas measured by the TCCA: the results of a series of analyses of covariance found a strong, consistent pattern of large, significant differences on the development measures favoring preschool children who received the EHS program over those in the control group.