, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 7-23

Teaching Multiethnic Urban Adolescents How to Enhance Their Competencies: Effects of a Middle School Primary Prevention Program on Adaptation

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Abstract

This study evaluated a program that promoted adaptation of students in their first year of secondary school. Participants included 896 multiethnic urban students mostly from socioeconomically disadvantaged families. The program focused on developing healthy self-perceptions, and cognitive, affective and behavioral skills. Multiple regression analyses revealed the predicted positive effects of the program on psychological and social outcomes. However, there was also an unexpected negative outcome for a subgroup of students (11%) made vulnerable by stressful family experiences. These findings broaden our understanding of the effects of such programs and underline the need to address the specific coping competencies of students more at-risk.