University of Malta
 

Volume 10, Issue 2, November 2018
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Special issue: 10th anniversary edition of the International Journal of Emotional Education

 

Editorial [PDF] 


1) Building Young Children’s Emotional Competence and Self-Regulation from Birth: The begin to…ECSEL approach

Donna K. Housman, Susanne A. Denham and Howard Cabral                                                   pp 5 - 25

Neuroscientific advances and child development studies show 0-6 years represents a sensitive period for the development of emotional competence—the ability to identify, understand, express and regulate emotion, all foundational to self-regulation. Research suggests optimum teaching of emotional competence and self-regulation skills from birth is through interventions emphasizing co-regulation. This study aimed to examine begin to…ECSEL, an emotional cognitive and social early learning approach that promotes emotional competence and self-regulation by teaching emotion knowledge and emotion regulation through causal talk and causal talk in the emotional experience. The study collected data over three years from 100 students, aged 2-6, receiving begin to…ECSEL. Study goals were to: (1) examine growth over one academic year among students receiving begin to…ECSEL on measures of attachment/relationship, initiative, self-regulation, emotion knowledge, emotion regulation, and related constructs involving empathy, prosocial skills, positive reactions to frustration, negative emotions and aggressive behaviors; (2) examine differences between these students and national normative samples on measures of attachment/relationship, initiative, and self-regulation; and (3) explore differences between these students and normative samples on all the aforementioned constructs. Results demonstrated students significantly improved over time in these constructs and outperformed normative samples on emotionally regulated/prosocial skills, empathy, self-regulation, attachment and initiative.  

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2) Promoting Emotional Intelligence in preschool education: A review of programs

Pam Gershon and John Pellitteri                      pp 26 - 41

This paper compares four selected social-emotional learning (SEL) curricula that have empirical support for preschool students (Preschools PATHS, Incredible Years, Al’s Pals, and Preschool RULER).  First, meta-analytic studies of SEL programs in schools and research on emotional intelligence (EI) of preschool children are reviewed as a background for understanding the four programs.  Preschool EI research is examined as it relates to outcome variables such as school engagement, social adjustment, emotion regulation and academics. The programs are critiqued and compared on the particular SEL areas of focus, context of delivery, structure of delivery, and intervention strategies.  Research on cross cultural adaptation of programs is also examined. Areas for future directions in EI preschool curricula research are identified. 

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3) Training School Teachers to promote Mental and Social Well-being in Low and Middle Income Countries: Lessons to facilitate scale-up from a Participatory Action Research Trial of Youth First in India

Katherine Sachs Leventhal, Gracy Andrew, Christopher S. Collins, Lisa DeMaria, Hari Shanker Singh and Steve Leventhal    pp 42 -58

Mental and social wellbeing (MSWB) promotion programs could improve mental health and other outcomes for youth in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs). Unfortunately, few such programs have progressed to scale-up and few studies have detailed processes and considerations that could facilitate doing so. This study begins to fill these gaps, describing key findings from training and supporting government middle school teachers to deliver the Youth First Resilience Curriculum, a MSWB promotion program, in Bihar, India. We conducted a Participatory Action Research trial of the resilience curriculum among 792 middle school youth and 55 teachers at 15 government schools. Participant-observations, exit interviews, and group discussions were conducted and analyzed via multiple rounds of coding to generate thematic findings. A number of schools showed relatively high levels of interest, session reliability and fidelity, student interaction and teacher facilitative abilities, but there was great variation within the sample. Three leverage points emerged to facilitate future scale-up: factors for successful site assessment and program initiation, supporting teacher success via interest and motivation, and responding to varied teacher skill levels. These points represent critical focus areas for practitioners and policy-makers as more MSWB promotion programs begin to scale in LMICs.

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4) Development and psychometric properties of the Avoidance Questionnaire for Adolescents (AQA)

László Kasik, Kornél Guti, Zita Gál, Csaba Gáspár, Edit Tóth and József Balázs Fejes                                        pp 59 - 76

Most questionnaires construe avoidance as resulting from a problem-solving process and analyse only a few, single-factor and mostly non-adequate, forms of avoidance. The aim of the present study was to develop a multi-dimensional questionnaire to measure avoidance among adolescents. We tested the Avoidance Questionnaire for Adolescents (AQA) with 12-, 15- and 18-year-olds to measure most forms of avoidance in social problem-solving as well as to shed light on the relationships between the sub-processes of social problem-solving. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was employed to examine the measure’s factor structure, while confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation modelling (SEM) were used to support the theoretical process model of avoidance. The convergent and discriminative validity of the AQA was tested in relation to the Social Problem-Solving Inventory–Revised (SPSI–R). Two versions (a long version of 42 items and a short version of 23 items) of the 11-factor AQA were developed in accordance with the results. The long and short versions were found to be valid measures of problem-solving with regards to negative thoughts, feelings and physical symptoms; negative self-efficacy/insolvability; prevention; annulation; ignoring the problem; expectation/diversion; mulling; procrastination/rethink; stopping/subordination; external pressure; and asking for help. The factors show positive or negative correlations with the SPSI–R factors. The results of the SEM support the original process model. Based on earlier Hungarian research carried out with the SPSI–R, avoidance shows a tendency to increase in adolescence. In contrast, the results of the AQA show that the earliest age differences occur in the ignoring the problem, procrastination, stopping, diversion and expectation factors.

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 5) Parental Support, Student Motivational Orientation and Achievement: The Impact of Emotions

Lourdes Mata, Isaura Pedro and Francisco J. Peixoto                 pp 77 - 92

This paper investigates the potential effects of parental involvement at home on student motivational orientation in school work and achievement and how such effects may be mediated by the perceived emotional quality of parent-student interactions (positive and negative). The participants in the study included 631 students in the 2nd and 3rd cycle of compulsory education (5th to 9th grade) from 6 schools in the Lisbon area in Portugal. Students’ age ranged from 10 to 16 years (M=12.8; SD=1.64) with 53% being female. Hierarchical analysis using structural equation modeling was carried out, taking into consideration three sets of variables (background, perceived parental involvement and emotions) to predict schoolwork self-regulation and academic achievement. Results emphasized the role of emotions, highlighting the importance of affective components in parent-child interactions in order to understand the students’ motivational orientation and academic achievement.

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6) Moving Away from Zero Tolerance Policies: Examination of Illinois Educator Preparedness in Addressing Student Behavior

Gerardo Moreno and Michael Scaletta                                                                                 pp 93 - 110

In August 2016, Illinois Senate Bill 100 (SB 100) restricted the use of zero tolerance disciplinary practices within public schools when addressing student behavior. In efforts to make school discipline less exclusionary and more effective, SB 100 mandated educators exhaust all means of interventions prior to suspending or expelling a student. Additionally, SB 100 recommended faculty professional development on effective classroom management, which is critical considering the majority of exclusionary discipline cases resulted from referrals by classroom educators for subjective deportment concerns and not from student possession of contraband. Using an online survey instrument, a sample of licensed educators in northeastern Illinois were asked to self-rate their preparedness in classroom management and indicate their awareness of zero tolerance policies. Results demonstrated significant difference of self-rated preparedness between general and special educators when addressing classroom deportment behaviors, while there was no difference in more intense behaviors (e.g., verbal threats, possession of contraband). Discussion on results and suggestions for future research are offered. 

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Postscripts

 

7) Postscript 1: Ogden, T. & Sørlie, M.A. (2009) Implementing and Evaluating Empirically Based Family and School Programmes for Children with Conduct Problems in Norway. International Journal of Emotional Education, 1(1), 96-107.   

Terje Ogden and Mari-Anne Sørlie                                                                       pp 111 - 117

This postscript presents the implementation and evaluation of family and community based intervention programs for children and young people in Norway. PALS was organised as a universal intervention for the whole school combined with PMTO for parents of the high risk children. The Norwegian experiences and results illustrate how evidence-based programs developed in the US have been transported across geographical and language borders, implemented nationwide, evaluated for their effectiveness in regular practice and examined for sustainability. This paper describes this national strategy, and the main components and immediate outcomes of the PMTO- and PALS-programmes in Norway

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8) Postscript 2: Cowie, H. (2011). Coping with the emotional impact of bullying and cyberbullying: how research can inform practice. International Journal of Emotional Education, 3(2): 50-56.

Helen Cowie                                                                                                  pp 118 - 121

This post script to an article originally written in 2011 takes account of changes that have occurred since then in the ways that children and young people use the social media.  Although the fundamental message of the original article remains the same, the post script discusses key ways in which the article would differ if it were being written today.  The focus here is on i) young people’s need for connectedness which is increasingly met in online digital communities; the problems occur when young people are excluded or humiliated within these online communities; ii) the increase in moral disengagement on the part of bystanders in situations where humiliating messages and videos are widely circulated amongst the peer group; iii) changes in laws concerned with online harassment and abuse, and how these affect young people. The influence of the wider culture is also discussed.

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9) Postscript 3: Downes, P. (2011) The Neglected Shadow: European perspectives on emotional supports for early school leaving prevention. International Journal of Emotional Education, 3 (2), 3-36

Paul Downes            pp 122 - 130

In Europe, if not internationally, the past decade in early school leaving prevention research and policy can be characterised as involving an emotional-relational turn. Some key features of this accelerated emotional-relational focus previously documented include the need to address authoritarian teaching and teacher conflict resolution skills, to prevent students being alienated from school. It also involves stronger integration of health and education policy and research, including emotional counselling supports and multidisciplinary teams in and around schools. This emotional-relational turn is argued here to include four further pillars as part of an inclusive systems approach: children’s voices, integrated bullying and early school leaving prevention supports, positive school climate, together with social and emotional education.

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10) Postscript 4: Dane, A., Kennedy, R., Spring, M., Volk, A. & Marini, Z. (2012) Adolescent Beliefs about Antisocial Behavior: Mediators and Moderators of Links with Parental Monitoring and Attachment. International Journal of Emotional Education, 4 (2), 4-26.

Andrew V. Dane, Anthony A. Volk & Prarthana Franklin           pp 131 - 138

This study extended previous research published in this journal in which parental monitoring knowledge was negatively associated with tolerance of antisocial behavior in adolescents with temperamental deficits in self-regulation. In the current study, parental control (i.e., adolescent permission seeking) and adolescent self-disclosure were negatively associated with attitudinal tolerance of antisocial behavior, Additionally, Honesty-Humility and Emotionality were negatively related to antisocial attitudes, and parental control was related to tolerance of antisocial behavior only when Honesty-Humility was low.  In both studies, parental behavioral control was related more strongly to antisocial attitudes when adolescents had traits that predisposed them to antisocial behavior.

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11) Postscript 5: Cross, D., Lester, L., Barnes, A., Cardoso, P. & Hadwen, K. (2015). If it's about me, why do it without me? Genuine student engagement in school cyberbullying education. International Journal of Emotional Education, 7 (1), 35-51.

Donna Cross and Amy Barnes           pp 139 - 145

The Cyber Friendly Schools Project was an innovative longitudinal study which engaged young people themselves in the process of developing and implementing whole-school strategies to reduce cyberbullying-related harm in Australian schools. This postscript describes how our research has developed since our findings were published in 2015, and reflects the authors’ continuing belief in the underutilisation of young people in research aiming to prevent and manage cyberbullying.  It concludes by encouraging researchers to use current technologies and interactive multimedia to engage with young people in studies of this nature, and emphasising the importance of flexible, whole-school interventions to address cyberbullying.

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12) Postscript 6: Poulou, M. S. (2017) Students’ emotional and behavioral difficulties: the role of teachers’ social and emotional learning and teacher-student relationships. International Journal of Emotional Education, 9 (2), 72-89.

Maria S. Poulou            pp 146 - 153

This postscript describes studies which address teachers’ personal and professional characteristics, teacher-student relationships and students’ social and emotional skills, in an attempt to investigate potential predictors of students’ emotional and behavioral difficulties. Based on preschool, primary and secondary teachers and students’ perceptions, the studies indicated that teachers’ perceptions of emotional intelligence, social and emotional skills implementation, and teaching efficacy were indirectly linked to students’ emotional and behavioral difficulties, through teacher-student relationships. The paper suggests new insights into the interpretation of students’ adjustment at schools, and underscores the importance of teacher-training in helping teachers to develop personal and professional skills.

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Research Reports 

 

13) Short Research Report 1: Birth order and its relatedness to substance use disorder: an empirical research in Bulgaria

Petar Valkov           pp 154 - 158


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14) Short Research Report 2: The interaction between psychopathological symptoms and conflictual parent-child relationship in predicting social skills and coping  strategies

Simona Scaini and Marcella Caputi           pp 159 - 162


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