The effects of a school-based social-emotional and character development program, Positive Action, on the developmental trajectory of social-emotional and character-related behaviors was evaluated using data from three school-based randomized trials in elementary schools. Results come from 1) 4 years of data from students in 20 Hawai'i schools, 2) 3 years of data from students in 14 schools in Chicago and 3) 3 years of data from students in 8 schools in a southeastern state. Random intercept, multilevel, growth-curve analyses showed that students in both control and Positive Action schools exhibited a general decline in the number of positive behaviors associated with social-emotional and character development that were endorsed. However, the Positive Action intervention significantly reduced these declines in all three trials. Taken together, these analyses 1) give insight into the normative trajectory of behaviors associated with social-emotional and character development and 2) provide evidence for the effectiveness of Positive Action in helping children maintain a relatively beneficial developmental trajectory.
© Society for Prevention Research 2011