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Researchers evaluated the effectiveness of a universal social skills program and compared social emotional knowledge on individual skills interviews with 100 Guatemalan preschool children from resource rich (N = 47) and resource poor (N = 53) backgrounds. Participant ages ranged from 3- to 6-years-old. SEL was evaluated prior and subsequent to receiving a school-based social emotional educational program. Results were analysed in terms of effectiveness of SEL by error type. Data show that preschool children from both poor and wealthy families made significant gains in social-emotional knowledge as a result of SEL instruction. In order to better understand where SEL might be improved, analyses of incorrect responses provided by children from each SES group were analysed. Findings demonstrated no significant differences between the two groups in terms of incorrect or socially unacceptable responses although, overall, the groups differed in depth of social emotional knowledge. Implications for ‘closing the gap’ between children’s social emotional development in high and low SES groups are discussed.


Originally published in School Psychology International by SAGE Publishing

Volume 36, issue 1

This article was accepted for publication by SAGE Publication.

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