Skip to main content

Promoting Children’s Prosocial Behaviors in School: Impact of the “Roots of Empathy” Program on the Social and Emotional Competence of School-Aged Children

Abstract

This study examines the effects of the Roots of Empathy (ROE) program on children’s social-emotional competence. ROE is a theoretically derived universal preventive program that focuses on decreasing children’s aggression and facilitating the development of their social-emotional understanding and prosocial behaviors. The program has as its cornerstone monthly visits by an infant and his/her parent(s) that serve as a springboard for lessons on emotion understanding, perspective taking, caring for others, and infant development. The study included a quasi-experimental control-group pretest–posttest, multi-informant design with 585 4th- to 7th-grade children from 28 classrooms. Outcome measures included self-reports of understanding of infant distress, empathy, and perspective taking, and peer and teacher reports of prosocial and aggressive behaviors. Measures assessing implementation were also included. Children in the ROE intervention classrooms showed significant improvement across several of the domains assessed: self-reports of causes for infant crying, peer nominations of prosocial behaviors, and teacher reports of proactive and relational aggression. Self-reported empathy and perspective taking showed no significant changes. According to ROE instructors’ diaries assessing implementation, students in the experimental condition were exposed to all or most of the ROE curriculum. These findings support and extend recent research examining the positive impacts of classroom-based social and emotional learning (SEL) programs on children’s social development and behavioral adjustment.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Notes

  1. 1.

    See the Method section for a full description of instructor training and selection.

  2. 2.

    The use of multilevel modeling (MLM)—analyzing data at the level of the classroom—was inappropriate due to the small classroom sample size in this study. As recommended by Raudenbusch (1997), a sample size of at least 40 clusters (e.g., classrooms, schools) needs to be given in order to achieve satisfactory statistical power in classroom-based program evaluation using MLM. Hence, analyses were conducted at the level of the individual (i.e., child), rather than at the classroom level. Although methodological research has indicated that significance levels resulting from individual level analyses where a program was implemented at the level of the classroom may be overstated (e.g., Donner & Klar, 2000), it has also supported the notion that effect sizes remain unbiased (Raudenbusch & Bryk, 2002).

References

  1. Aber, J. L., Brown, J. L., & Jones, S. M. (2003). Developmental trajectories toward violence in middle childhood: Course, demographic differences, and response to school-based intervention. Developmental Psychology, 39, 324–348.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Achenbach, T. M. (2006). As others see us: Clinical and research implications of cross-informant correlations for psychopathology. Psychological Science, 15, 94–98.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Adler, P. A., & Adler, P. (1998). Peer power: Preadolescent culture and identity. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Ainsworth, M. D. S., Blehar, M. C., Waters, E., & Wall, S. (1978). Patterns of attachment: A psychological study of the Strange Situation. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Ang, R., & Hughes, J. (2001). Differential benefits of skills training with antisocial youth based on group composition: A meta-analytic investigation. School Psychology Review, 31, 164–185.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Arsenio, W. F., & Lemerise, E. A. (2001). Varieties of childhood bullying: Values, emotion processes, and social competence. Social Development, 10, 59–73.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Bandura, A. (1983). Psychological mechanisms of aggression. In R. G. Green & E. I. Donnerstein (Eds.), Aggression: Theoretical and empirical views (Vol. 1, pp. 1–40). New York: Academic.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Barrett, K., & Campos, J. (1987). Perspectives on emotional development II: A functionalist approach to emotions. In J. Osofsky (Ed.), Handbook of infant development (2nd ed., pp. 555–578). New York: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Battistich, V., Solomon, D., Watson, M., & Schaps, E. (1997). Caring school communities. Educational Psychologist, 32, 137–151.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Battistich, V., Solomon, D., Watson, M., Solomon, J., & Schaps, E. (1989). Effects of an elementary school program to enhance prosocial behavior on children’s cognitive social problem-solving skills and strategies. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 10, 147–169.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Biglan, A., Mrazek, P. J., Carnine, D., & Flay, B. R. (2003). The integration of research and practice in the prevention of youth problem behaviors. American Psychologist, 58, 433–440.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Boivin, M., Dodge, K. A., & Coie, J. D. (1995). Individual-group behavioral similarity and peer status in experimental play groups of boys: The social misfit revisited. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69, 269–279.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Bukowski, W. M., & Sippola, L. K. (1996). Friendship and morality. In W. M. Bukowski & A. F. Newcomb (Eds.), The company they keep: Friendship in childhood and adolescence (pp. 238–261). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Cairns, R. B., Cairns, B. D., Neckerman, H. J., Gest, S. D., & Gariépy, J. L. (1988). Social networks and aggressive behavior: Peer support or peer rejection? Developmental Psychology, 24, 815–823.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Campos, J., Mumme, D., Kermoian, R., & Campos, R. (1994). A functionalist perspective on the nature of emotion. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 59(2–3), 284–303.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Cappella, E., & Weinstein, R. (2006). The prevention of social aggression among girls. Social Development, 15, 434–462.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Caprara, G. V., Barbanelli, C., Pastorelli, C., Bandura, A., & Zimbardo, P. G. (2000). Prosocial foundations of children’s academic achievement. Psychological Science, 11, 302–306.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Card, N. A., Stucky, B. D., Sawalani, G. M., & Little, T. D. (2008). Direct and indirect aggression during childhood and adolescence: A meta-analytic review of gender differences, intercorrelations, and relations to maladjustment. Child Development, 79, 1185–1229.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Catherine, N., & Schonert-Reichl, K. A. (2011). Children’s perceptions and comforting strategies to infant crying: Relations to age, sex, and empathy-related responding. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 29, 524–551. doi:10.1348/026151010X521475.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Cohen, J. (Ed.). (2001). Caring classrooms/intelligent schools: The social emotional education of young children. New York: Teachers College Press.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Coie, J. D., & Dodge, K. A. (1988). Multiple sources of data on social behavior and social status in the school: A cross-age comparison. Child Development, 59, 815–829.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group. (1999). Initial impact of the Fast Track Prevention Trial for conduct problems: II. Classroom effects. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 67, 648–657.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Consortium on the School-Based Promotion of Social Competence. (1996). The school-based promotion of social competence: Theory, research, practice, and policy. In R. J. Haggerty, L. R. Sherrod, N. Garmezy, & M. Rutter (Eds.), Stress, risk, and resilience in children and adolescents: Processes, mechanisms, and interventions (pp. 268–316). Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Cook, T. D., & Campbell, D. T. (1979). Quasi-experimentation: Design and analysis issues in field settings. Chicago: Rand McNally.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Cook, T. D., Murphy, R. F., & Hunt, H. D. (2000). Comer’s School Development Program in Chicago: A theory-based evaluation. American Educational Research Journal, 37, 535–597.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Cote, S., Vaillancourt, T., Farhat, A., LeBlanc, J. C., Nagin, D., & Tremblay, R. (2006). The development of physical aggression from toddlerhood to pre-adolescence: A nation wide longitudinal study of Canadian children. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 34, 71–85.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Crick, N. R. (1996). The role of overt aggression, relational aggression, and prosocial behavior in the prediction of children’s future social adjustment. Child Development, 67, 2317–2327.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Crick, N. R., & Dodge, K. A. (1999). ‘Superiority’ is in the eye of the beholder: A comment on Sutton, Smith, and Swettenham. Social Development, 8, 128–131.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Crick, N. R., & Grotpeter, J. K. (1995). Social aggression, gender, and social psychological adjustment. Child Development, 66, 710–722.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Damon, W. (2004). What is positive youth development? Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 591, 13–24.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Damon, W., & Gregory, A. (2003). Bringing in a new era in the field of youth development. In R. M. Lerner & P. L. Benson (Eds.), Developmental assets and asset-building communities: Implications for research, policy, and practice (pp. 47–64). New York: Kluwer/Plenum.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Dane, A. V., & Schneider, B. H. (1998). Program integrity in primary and early secondary prevention: Are implementation effects out of control? Clinical Psychology Review, 18, 23–45.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Davis, M. H. (1983). Measuring individual differences in empathy: Evidence for a multidimensional approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44, 113–126.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Denham, S. A. (1998). Emotional development in young children. New York: Guilford.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Denham, S. A., & Burton, R. (1996). A social-emotional intervention program for at-risk four-year-olds. Journal of School Psychology, 34, 224–245.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Dodge, K. A., & Coie, J. D. (1987). Social-information processing factors in reactive and proactive aggression in children’s peer groups. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53, 1146–1158.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Domitrovich, C. E., & Greenberg, M. T. (2000). The study of implementation: Current findings from effective programs that prevent mental disorders in school-age children. Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation, 11, 193–221.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Donner, A., & Klar, N. (2000). Design and analysis of cluster randomized trials in health research. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Durlak, J. A., & DuPre, E. P. (2008). Implementation matters: A review of research on the influence of implementation on program outcomes and the factors affecting implementation. American Journal of Community Psychology, 41, 327–350.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D., & Schellinger, K. B. (2011). Enhancing students’ social and emotional development promotes success in school: Results of a meta-analysis. Child Development, 82, 474–501.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Dusenbury, L., Brannigan, R., Hansen, W. B., Walsh, J., & Falco, M. (2005). Quality of implementation: Developing measures crucial to understanding the diffusion of preventive interventions. Health Education Research, 20, 308–313.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Eisenberg, N., Fabes, R. A., & Spinrad, T. (2006). Prosocial development. In N. Eisenberg (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Social, emotional, and personality development (pp. 646–718). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  44. Eisenberg, N., & Miller, P. A. (1987). The relation of empathy to prosocial and related behaviors. Psychological Bulletin, 101, 91–119.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Emde, R. N., Osofsky, J. D., & Butterfield, P. M. (1993). The IFEEL pictures: A new instrument for interpreting emotions. Madison, WI: International Universities Press.

    Google Scholar 

  46. Fabes, R., Eisenberg, N., Nyman, M., & Michelieu, Q. (1991). Children’s appraisals of others’ spontaneous emotional reactions. Developmental Psychology, 27, 858–866.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Farmer, T. W., & Xie, H. (2007). Aggression and school social dynamics: The good, the bad, and the ordinary. Journal of School Psychology, 45, 461–478.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Feshbach, N. D. (1979). Empathy training: A field study in affective education. In S. Feshbach & A. Fraczek (Eds.), Aggression and behaviors change: Biological and social processes (pp. 234–249). New York: Praeger.

    Google Scholar 

  49. Fish, M., Stifter, C. A., & Belsky, J. (1991). Conditions of continuity and discontinuity in infant negative emotionality: Newborn to five months. Child Development, 62, 1525–1537.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  50. Fonagy, P., Twemlow, S. W., Vernberg, E. M., Nelson, J. M., Dill, E. J., Little, T. D., et al. (2009). A cluster randomized controlled trial of child-focused psychiatric consultation and a school systems-focused intervention to reduce aggression. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50, 607–616.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Gordon, M. (2000). Roots of Empathy: Training manual. Available from the Roots of Empathy, www.Rootsofempathy.org

  52. Gordon, M. (2001). Roots of Empathy: Training manual. Available from the Roots of Empathy, www.Rootsofempathy.org

  53. Gordon, M. (2005). Roots of Empathy: Changing the world child by child. Toronto, ON: Thomas Allen.

    Google Scholar 

  54. Greenberg, M. T. (2004). Current and future challenges in school-based prevention: The researcher perspective. Prevention Science, 5, 5–13.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  55. Greenberg, M. T. (2010). School-based prevention: Current status and future challenges. Effective Education, 2, 27–52.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  56. Greenberg, M. T., Kusché, C. A., Cook, E. T., & Quamma, J. P. (1995). Promoting emotional competence in school-aged children: The effects of the PATHS curriculum. Development and Psychopathology, 7, 117–136.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  57. Gresham, F. M., Cook, C. R., Crews, S. D., & Kern, L. (2004). Social skills training for children and youth with emotional and behavioral disorders: Validity considerations and future directions. Behavioral Disorders, 30, 32–46.

    Google Scholar 

  58. Grossman, D. C., Neckerman, H. J., Koepsell, T. D., Liu, P. Y., Asher, K. N., Beland, K., et al. (1997). The effectiveness of a violence prevention curriculum among children in elementary school. Journal of the American Medical Association, 277, 1605–1611.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  59. Hay, D. F. (1994). Prosocial development. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 35, 29–71.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  60. Hoffman, M. L. (1978). Empathy, its development and prosocial implications. In C. B. Keasy (Ed.), Nebraska symposium on motivation, Vol. 25, pp. 169–218.

  61. Huebner, E., & Gilman, R. (2003). Toward a focus on positive psychology in school psychology. School Psychology Quarterly, 18, 99–102.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  62. Hymel, S., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., & Miller, L. D. (2007). Reading, ‘Riting, ‘Rithmetic and relationships: Considering the social side of education. Exceptionality Education Canada, 16, 149–191.

    Google Scholar 

  63. Izard, C. (2002). Translating emotion theory and research into preventive interventions. Psychological Bulletin, 128, 796–824.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  64. Izard, C. E., Fine, S., Mostow, A., Trentacosta, C., & Campbell, J. (2002). Emotional processes in normal and abnormal development and preventive intervention. Developmental and Psychopathology, 14, 761–787.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  65. Jones, S. M., Brown, J. L., & Aber, J. L. (2011). Two-year impacts of a universal school-based social-emotional and literacy intervention: An experiment in translational developmental research. Child Development, 82, 533–554. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01560.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  66. Joyce, B., & Showers, B. (2002). Student achievement through staff development (3rd ed.). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

    Google Scholar 

  67. Kendall, G., Schonert-Reichl, K., Smith, V., Jacoby, P., Austin, R., Stanley, F., et al. (2006). The evaluation of the “Roots of Empathy” in Western Australia 2005. A report written for the Department of Education and Training, Western Australia, Perth: Telethon Health Research Institute.

    Google Scholar 

  68. Ladd, G. W., & Profilet, S. M. (1996). The Child Behavior Scale: A teacher-report measure of young children’s aggressive, withdrawn, and prosocial behaviors. Developmental Psychology, 32, 1008–1024.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  69. Ladd, G. W., & Troop-Gordon, W. (2003). The role of chronic peer difficulties in the development of children’s psychological adjustment problems. Child Development, 74, 1344–1367.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  70. Lagerspetz, K. M. J., Bjorkqvist, K., & Peltonen, T. (1988). Is indirect aggression typical of females? Gender differences in aggressiveness in 11 to 12 year old children. Aggressive Behavior, 14, 403–414.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  71. Leff, S. S., Hoffman, J. A., & Lakin Gullan, R. (2009). Intervention integrity: New paradigms and applications. School Mental Health, 1, 103–106.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  72. Lewis, M., & Michalson, L. (1983). Children’s emotions and moods. New York: Plenum Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  73. Lillehoj, C. J., Griffin, K. W., & Spoth, R. (2004). Program provider and observer ratings of school-based preventive intervention implementation: Agreement and relation to youth outcomes. Health Education & Behavior, 31, 242–257.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  74. Lösel, F., & Beelmann, A. (2003). Effects of child skills training in preventing antisocial behavior: A systematic review of randomized evaluations. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, 857, 177–186.

    Google Scholar 

  75. Masten, A. S., & Motti-Stefanidi, F. (2009). Understanding and promoting resilience in children: Promotive and protective processes in schools. In B. Gutkin & C. R. Reynolds (Eds.), The handbook of school psychology. New York: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  76. Murray, A. D. (1979). Infant crying as an elicitor of parental behavior: An examination of two models. Psychological Bulletin, 86, 191–215.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  77. Murray-Close, D., Ostrov, J. M., & Crick, N. R. (2007). A short-term longitudinal study of growth of relational aggression during middle childhood: Associations with gender, friendship intimacy, and internalizing problems. Development and Psychopathology, 19, 187–203. doi:10.1017/S0954579407070101.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  78. Nantel-Vivier, A., Kokko, K., Caprara, G. V., Pastorelli, C., Gerbino, M. G., Paciello, M., et al. (2009). Prosocial development from childhood to adolescence: A multi-informant perspective with Canadian and Italian longitudinal studies. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50, 590–598. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2008.02039.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  79. Neal, J. W. (2010). Social aggression and social position in middle childhood and early adolescence: Burning bridges or building them? Journal of Early Adolescence, 30, 122–137.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  80. Noddings, N. (1992). The challenge to care in schools: An alternative approach to education. New York: Teachers College Press.

    Google Scholar 

  81. Oakley, A., Strange, V., Bonnell, C., Allen, E., & Stephenson, J. (2006). Health services research: Process evaluations in randomised control trials of complex interventions. British Medical Journal, 332, 413–416.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  82. Oberle, E., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., & Thomson, K. (2010). Understanding the link between social and emotional well-being and peer relations in early adolescence: Gender-specific predictors of peer acceptance. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 39, 1330–1342.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  83. Parkhurst, J., & Asher, S. R. (1992). Peer rejection in middle school: Subgroup differences in behavior, loneliness, and interpersonal concerns. Developmental Psychology, 28, 231–241.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  84. Pelligrini, A. D., & Long, J. D. (2002). A longitudinal study of bullying, dominance, and victimization during the transition from primary school through secondary school. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 20, 259–280.

    Google Scholar 

  85. Poulin, F., & Boivin, M. (2000). Reactive and proactive aggression: Evidence of a two-factor model. Psychological Assessment, 12, 115–122. doi:10.1037/1040-3590.12.2.115.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  86. Raudenbush, S. W. (1997). Statistical analysis and optimal design for cluster randomized trials. Psychological Methods, 2, 173–185.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  87. Raudenbush, S. W., & Bryk, A. S. (2002). Hierarchical linear models: Applications and data analysis methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  88. Resnicow, K., Davis, M., Smith, M., Lazarus-Yaroch, A., Baranowski, T., Baranowskii, J., et al. (1998). How best to measure implementation of school health curricula: A comparison of three measures. Health Education Research, 13, 239–250.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  89. Rubin, K. H., Coplan, R. J., Fox, N. A., & Calkins, S. D. (1995). Emotionality, emotion regulation, and preschoolers’ social adaptation. Development and Psychopathology, 7, 49–62.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  90. Saarni, C. (1999). The development of emotional competence. New York: Guilford.

    Google Scholar 

  91. Schonert-Reichl, K. A. (1993). Empathy and social relationships in adolescents with behavioral disorders. Behavioral Disorders, 18, 189–204.

    Google Scholar 

  92. Schonert-Reichl, K. A. (1999). Moral reasoning during early adolescence: Links with peer acceptance, friendship, and social behaviors. Journal of Early Adolescence, 19, 249–279.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  93. Schonert-Reichl, K. A., & Oberle, E. (2011). Teaching empathy to children: Theoretical and empirical considerations and implications for practice. In B. Weber & E. Marsal (Eds.), “The politics of empathy” New interdisciplinary perspectives on an ancient phenomenon. Berlin, Germany: Lit Verlag.

    Google Scholar 

  94. Schulte, A. C., Easton, J. E., & Parker, J. (2009). Advances in treatment integrity research: Multidisciplinary perspectives on the conceptualization, measurement, and enhancement of treatment integrity. School Psychology Review, 38, 460–475.

    Google Scholar 

  95. Seligman, M. E. P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology. American Psychologist, 55, 5–14.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  96. Shadish, W. R., Cook, T. D., & Campbell, D. T. (2002). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for generalized causal inference. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

    Google Scholar 

  97. Shipman, K., Zeman, J., Penza, S., & Champion, K. (2000). Emotion management skills in sexually maltreated and nonmaltreated girls: A developmental psychopathology perspective. Development and Psychopathology, 12, 47–62.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  98. Slavin, R. E. (2008). Perspectives on evidence-based research in education. Educational Researcher, 37, 5–14.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  99. Staub, E. (1988). The evolution of caring and nonaggressive persons and societies. Journal of Social Issues, 44, 81–100.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  100. Staub, E. (2003). Notes on cultures of violence, cultures of caring and peace, and the fulfillment of basic human needs. Political Psychology, 24, 1–21.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  101. Stoolmiller, M., Eddy, M. J., & Reid, J. B. (2000). Detecting and describing preventive intervention effects in a universal school-based randomized trial targeting delinquent and violent youth. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68, 296–306.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  102. Sutton, J., Smith, P. K., & Swettenham, J. (1999). Social cognition and bullying: Social inadequacy or skilled manipulation? British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 17, 435–450.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  103. Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2001). Computer-assisted research design and analysis. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

    Google Scholar 

  104. Thomas, D. R., & Zumbo, B. D. (2011). Difference scores from the point of view of reliability and repeated-measures ANOVA: In defence of difference scores for data analysis. Educational and Psychological Measurement. doi:10.1177/0013164411409929.

  105. Tolan, P. H., Guerra, N. G., & Kendall, P. C. (1995). A developmental-ecological perspective on antisocial behavior in children and adolescents: Toward a unified risk and intervention framework. Special Section: Prediction and prevention of child and adolescent antisocial behavior. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 63, 579–584.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  106. Tregebov, R. (1993). Sasha and the wiggly tooth. Toronto, ON: Second Story Press.

    Google Scholar 

  107. Tremblay, R. E. (2000). The development of aggressive behavior during childhood: What have we learned in the past century? International Journal of Behavioral Development, 24, 129–141.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  108. Vitaro, F., Brendgen, M., & Tremblay, R. E. (2002). Reactively and proactively aggressive children: Antecedent and subsequent characteristics. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 43, 495–505.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  109. Weissberg, R. P., & Greenberg, M. T. (1998). School and community competence-enhancement and prevention programs. In I. E. Siegel & K. A. Renninger (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 5. Child psychology in practice (5th ed., pp. 877–954). New York: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  110. Wentzel, K. R. (1993). Does being good make the grade? Social behavior and academic competence in middle school. Journal of Educational Psychology, 85, 357–364.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  111. Wentzel, K. R., Filisetti, L., & Looney, L. (2007). Adolescent prosocial behavior: The role of self-processes and contextual cues. Child Development, 78, 895–910.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  112. Wilkinson, L., & Task Force on Statistical Inference. (1999). Statistical methods in psychology journals: Guidelines and explanations. American Psychologist, 54, 594–604.

    Article  Google Scholar 

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

    Article  Google Scholar 

  114. Wilson, S. J., Lipsey, M. W., & Derzon, J. H. (2003). The effects of school-based intervention programs on aggressive behavior: A meta-analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 71, 136–149.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  115. Yau, M. (1999). An evaluation of the Roots of Empathy program: Some preliminary findings, 1997–99. Toronto District School Board: Academic Accountability Department.

    Google Scholar 

  116. Younger, A. J., Schneider, B. H., Wadeson, R., Guirguis, M., & Bergeron, N. (2000). A behavior-based peer-nomination measure of social withdrawal in children. Social Development, 9, 544–564.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  117. Zahn-Waxler, C., Friedman, S. L., & Cummings, E. M. (1983). Children’s emotions and behaviors in response to infants’ cries. Child Development, 54, 1522–1528. doi:10.2307/1129815.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  118. Zhou, Q., Valiente, C., & Eisenberg, N. (2003). Empathy and its measurement. In S. J. Lopez & C. R. Snyder (Eds.), Positive psychological assessment: A handbook of models and measures (pp. 269–284). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  119. Zumbo, B. D. (1999). The simple difference score as an inherently poor measure of change: Some reality, much mythology. Advances in Social Science Methodology, 5, 269–304.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by grants from the University of British Columbia Hampton Research Fund and the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) to the first author. The authors wish to express their thanks to the numerous school staff and administrators who helped make this project possible and especially to the children and their teachers for their participation in this project.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Schonert-Reichl, K.A., Smith, V., Zaidman-Zait, A. et al. Promoting Children’s Prosocial Behaviors in School: Impact of the “Roots of Empathy” Program on the Social and Emotional Competence of School-Aged Children. School Mental Health 4, 1–21 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12310-011-9064-7

Download citation

Keywords

  • Primary prevention
  • Social and emotional competence
  • Prosocial and aggressive behaviors
  • School-aged children