Effects of a REBT Based Training on Children and Teachers in Primary School

Abstract

Rational Emotive Education (REE) is a psychological educational program offering a preventative psycho-educational curriculum to children in order to teach them emotional literacy skills. REE helps children by teaching them to challenge irrational thinking, to minimize their reactions to disappointment and frustrations, to cope more effectively with problems, and to more fully accept themselves. The efficacy of REE training for children and teachers was examined in a sample of 211 third grade students from nine different classes and 26 teachers. Each class was randomly assigned to one of three different groups, two experimental groups and a control group, each receiving different training. First objective of our study was to evaluate the efficacy of a REE training based on storytelling in changing children’s irrational beliefs. Second objective of our study was to observe the efficacy of a teachers’ training similar to that applied in REBT-focused school consultation groups in enhancing their self-efficacy. Results show an improved tendency in children to think rationally and an enhanced perception of self-efficacy in teachers for those groups that underwent the training compared to the control group. Our results suggest that REBT based trainings for children and teachers should be integrated into the classroom curriculum in order to prevent mental health problems and encourage positive social and emotional well-being.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Adomeh, I. O. C. (2006). Fostering emotional adjustment among Nigerian adolescents with rational emotive behaviour therapy. Educational Research Quarterly, 29, 21–29.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Antoniou, A. S., Polychroni, F., & Walters, B. (2000). Sources of stress and professional burnout of teachers of special educational needs in Greece. Paper presented at the International Special Education Congress, University of Manchester 24–28 July 2000. Retrieved March 09, 2007

  3. Bermejo-Toro, L., & Prieto-Ursúa, M. (2006). Teachers’ irrational beliefs and their relationship to distress in the profession. Psychology in Spain, 10(1), 88–96.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Bernard, M. E. (2004). Emotional resilience in children: Implications for rational emotive education. Romanian Journal of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapies, 4, 39–52.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Bernard, M. E. (2008). Albert Ellis and the world of children. Presented at the 43rd annual conference of the Australian Psychological Society, Hobart, Tasmania.

  6. Bernard, M. E., & DiGiuseppe, R. (1994). Rational-emotive consultation in applied settings. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Bernard, M. E., & Joyce, M. R. (1984). Rational-emotive therapy with children and adolescents: Theory, treatment strategies, preventative methods. New York: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Blenkiron, P. (2011). Stories and analogies in cognitive behaviour therapy. New York: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Brody, M. (1974). The effects of rational-emotive affective education on anxiety, self-esteem, and frustration tolerance. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Temple University, Philadelphia.

  10. Calvete, E., & Cardeñoso, O. (2005). Gender differences in cognitive vulnerability to depression and behavior problems in adolescents. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 33(2), 179–192.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Calvete, Z. E., & Villa, S. A. (1999). Estrés y burnout docente: influencia de variables cognitivas. Revista de Educación. Madrid, 319, 291–303.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Capel, S. A. (1992). Stress and burnout in teachers. European Journal of Teacher Education, 15, 197–211.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Caprara, G. V. (2001). La valutazione dell’autoefficacia. Costrutti e strumenti. Trento: Edizioni Erickson.

    Google Scholar 

  14. David, D., Szentagotai, A., Eva, K., & Macavei, B. (2005). A synopsis of rational-emotive behavior therapy (REBT); fundamental and applied research. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 23(3), 175–221.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. DeVoge, C. (1974). A behavioral approach to RET with children. Rational Living, 9, 23–26.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Di Pietro, M. (1992). L’educazione razionale-emotiva. per la prevenzione e il superamento del disagio psicologico. Trento: Edizioni Erickson.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Di Pietro, M., Morosini, P., & Agostini, G. (1999). L’Educazione Razionale-Emotiva nella scuola: uno studio controllato. Difficoltà di apprendimento, 5, 107–118.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Diekstra, R. F. W. (2008). Effectiveness of school-based social and emotional education programmes worldwide. Social and emotional education: An international analysis (pp. 255–312). Santender: Fundacion Marcelino Botin.

    Google Scholar 

  19. DiGiuseppe, R. (1975). The use of behavioral modification to establish rational self-statements in children. Rational Living, 10, 18–20.

    Google Scholar 

  20. DiGiuseppe, R., & Bernard, M. (1990). The application of rational-emotive theory and therapy to school-aged children. School Psychology Review, 19, 268–286.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Digiuseppe, R., & Bernard, M. E. (2006). REBT assessment and treatment with children. In A. Ellis & M. E. Bernard (Eds.), Rational emotive behavioral approaches to childhood disorders (pp. 85–114). Berlin: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  22. DiGiuseppe, R., & Kassinove, H. (1976). Effects of a rational-emotive school mental health program on children’s emotional adjustment. Journal of Community Psychology, 4, 382–387.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Elias, M. J., Zins, J. E., Weissberg, R. P., Frey, K. S., Greenberg, M. T., Haynes, N. M., et al. (1997). Promoting social and emotional learning: Guidelines for educators. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Ellis, A. (1962). Reason and emotion in psychotherapy. New York: Stuart.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Ellis, A. (1972a). Emotional education in the classroom: The living school. Journal of Child Psychology, 1, 19–22.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Ellis, A. (1972b). The abc’s of rational-emotive therapy. New York: Institute for Rational Living.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Ellis, A. (1994). Reason and emotion in psychotherapy, revised and updated. Secaucus, NJ: Carol.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Ellis, A., & Bernard, M. E. (2006). Rational emotive behavioral approaches to childhood disorders. New York: Springer US.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Glicken, M. D. (1968). Rational counseling: A dynamic approach to children. Elementary School Guidance and Counseling, 2, 261–267.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Gonzalez, J. E., Nelson, J. R., Gutkin, T. B., Saunders, A., Galloway, A., & Shwery, C. S. (2004). Rational emotive therapy with children and adolescents a meta-analysis. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 12, 222–235.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Greenberg, M. T., Weissberg, R. P., O’Brien, M. U., Zins, J. E., Fredericks, L., Resnik, H., et al. (2003). Enhancing school-based prevention and youth development through coordinated social, emotional, and academic learning. American Psychologist, 58, 466–474.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  32. Hajzler, D. J., & Bernard, M. E. (1991). A review of rational-emotive education outcome studies. School Psychology Quarterly, 6, 27–49.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Jerald, C. D. (2007). Believing and achieving (issue brief). Washington, DC: Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Katz, S. G. (1974). The effects of cognitive emotional education on locus of control and self concept. Doctoral dissertation, ProQuest Information & Learning.

  35. Knaus, W. J. (Ed.). (1974a). Children’s survey of rational beliefs. In A manual for elementary school teachers. New York: Institute for Rational-Emotive Psychotherapy.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Knaus, W. J. (1974b). Rational-emotive education: A manual for elementary school teachers. New York: Institute for Rational-Emotive Psychotherapy.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Knaus, W. (1977a). Rational emotive education. Theory into Practice, 16, 251–255.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Knaus, W. J. (1977b). Rational-emotive education. In A. Ellis & R. Greiger (Eds.), Handbook of rational-emotive therapy. New York: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Knaus, W. J. (2004). Rational emotive education: Trends and directions. Romanian Journal of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapies, 4, 9–22.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Knaus, W., & Bokor, S. (1975). The effect of rational-emotive education lessons on anxiety and self-concept in sixth grade students. Rational Living, 11, 25–28.

    Google Scholar 

  41. Knaus, W. J., & Haberstroh, N. B. (1993). A rational-emotive education program to help disruptive mentally retarded clients develop self-control. In W. Dryden & L. K. Hill (Eds.), Innovations in rational-emotive therapy. London: Sage Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  42. Knaus, W. J., & McKeever, C. (1977). Rational-emotive education with learning disabled children. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 10, 10–14.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Lafferty, J. C., Denneral, D., & Rettich, P. A. (1964). Creative school mental health programs. The National Elementary School Principal, 43, 28–35.

    Google Scholar 

  44. Lale, C. (2001). Symptoms of teacher stress in UK education, schools, and colleges. Retrieved January 15, 2002, from http://www.teacherstress.co.uk.

  45. Mahfar, M., Aslan, A. S., Noah, S. M., Ahmad, J., & Jaafar, W. M. W. (2014). Effects of rational emotive education module on irrational beliefs and stress among fully residential school students in Malaysia. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 114, 239–243.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Meichenbaum, D. (1977). Cognitive behaviour modification. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 6, 185–192.

    Google Scholar 

  47. Ndika, N. A., Olagbaiye, F., & Agiobu-Kemmer, I. (2008). Gender differences in irrational beliefs, self-efficacy and self-confidence of some Nigerian adolescents. Psychology and Education, 45(1), 24.

    Google Scholar 

  48. Parker, T. S., & Wampler, K. S. (2006). Changing emotion: The use of therapeutic storytelling. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 32(2), 155–166.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  49. Payton, J., Weissberg, R. P., Durlak, J. A., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D., Schellinger, K. B., & Pachan, M. (2008). The positive impact of social and emotional learning for kindergarten to eighth-grade students: Findings from three scientific reviews. Technical report. Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (NJ1).

  50. Pomerantz, K. A. (2006). Helping children explore their emotional and social worlds through therapeutic stories. Educational and Child Psychology, 24(1), 46.

    Google Scholar 

  51. Rosenbaum, T., McMurray, N. E., & Campbell, I. M. (1991). The effects of rational emotive education on locus of control, rationality and anxiety in primary school children. Australian Journal of Education, 35, 187–200.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. Rudow, B. (1999). Stress and burnout in the teaching profession: European studies, issues, and research perspectives. In A. M. Huberman (Ed.), Understanding and preventing teacher burnout: A sourcebook of international research and practice (pp. 38–58). New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  53. Skaalvik, E. M., & Skaalvik, S. (2007). Dimensions of teacher self-efficacy and relations with strain factors, perceived collective teacher efficacy, and teacher burnout. Journal of Educational Psychology, 99(3), 611.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  54. Skaalvik, E. M., & Skaalvik, S. (2010). Teacher self-efficacy and teacher burnout: A study of relations. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26, 1059–1069.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. Trip, S., Vernon, A., & McMahon, J. (2007). Effectiveness of rational-emotive education: A quantitative meta-analytical study. Journal of Cognitive & Behavioral Psychotherapies, 7(1):81–93.

  56. Verità, R. (2000). Con la testa tra le favole. Trento: Edizioni Erickson.

    Google Scholar 

  57. Verità, R., & De Marzi, S. (2006). Pensieri favolosi. Come trasformare le emozioni negative in emozioni positive. Trento: Edizioni Erickson.

    Google Scholar 

  58. Walen, S. R., DiGiuseppe, R., & Dryden, W. (1992). A practitioner’s guide to rational-emotive therapy (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  59. Warren, J. M. (2010). The impact of rational emotive behavior therapy on teacher efficacy and student achievement. Journal of School Counseling, 8(11). https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ885064

  60. Warren, J. M. (2013). School counselor consultation: Teachers’ experiences with rational emotive behavior therapy. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 31, 1–15.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  61. Warren, J. M., & Dowden, A. R. (2012). Elementary school teachers’ beliefs and emotions: Implications for school counselors and counselor educators. Journal of School Counseling, 10(19). https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ981200.

  62. Warren, J. M., & Gerler, E. R. (2013). Effects of cognitive behavioral consultation on irrational and efficacy beliefs of elementary school teachers. The Professional Counselor, 3, 6–15.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  63. Watter, N. D. (1988). Rational-emotive education: A review of the literature. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 6, 139–145.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  64. Weissberg, R. P., Kumpfer, K., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2003). Prevention that works for children and youth: An introduction. American Psychologist, 58, 425–432.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  65. Wilson, D. B., Gottfredson, D. C., & Najaka, S. S. (2001). School-based prevention of problem behaviors: A meta-analysis. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 17, 247–272.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  66. Zins, J. E., & Elias, M. J. (2006). Social and emotional learning. In G. G. Bear & K. M. Minke (Eds.), Children’s needs III: Development, prevention, and intervention (pp. 1–13). Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.

    Google Scholar 

  67. Zins, J. E., Weissberg, R. P., Wang, M. C., & Walberg, H. J. (Eds.). (2004). Building academic success on social and emotional learning: What does the research say?. New York: Teachers College Press.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

We thank Peter A. Mattei, MD, PhD, and Alicia Cervantes for assistance with English proofreading.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Chiara Caruso.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Caruso, C., Angelone, L., Abbate, E. et al. Effects of a REBT Based Training on Children and Teachers in Primary School. J Rat-Emo Cognitive-Behav Ther 36, 1–14 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10942-017-0270-6

Download citation

Keywords

  • Rational Emotive Education
  • Primary school
  • Children
  • Teachers
  • Prevention