Personal Development: a review of the School-Based Evidence for the Efficacy of Teaching Personal Development in Post-Primary Schools




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8. BENEFITS OF TEACHING PD: SUMMARY


This section summarizes the benefits found for post-secondary students in this review of teaching the various aspects of the PD curriculum. Examples are given for each benefit, but not all examples are included.

8.1 School Outcomes
Attitudes

Improved attitudes towards school/teachers

Prevention programmes, SEL programmes (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2002; Zins, Weissberg, Wang & Walberg, 2004)


Increased attachment and commitment to school

SEL programmes, programmes designed to promote caring, supportive, cooperative learning environment (Hawkins, Smith, Catalano, 2004; Battistick, Solomon, Watson & Schaps, 1997; Osterman, 2000)

Behaviour

General improvements in behaviour

Prevention programmes (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2002); SEL programmes (Zins, Weissberg, Wang & Walberg, 2004)


Improved attendance

Prevention of problem behaviours (Wilson, et al., 2001) STEP programme (Felner, Ginter & Primavera, 1982); Conflict resolution programmes (Powell, Muir-McClain & Halasyamani, 1995)


Increased participation

Programmes designed to promote caring, supportive, cooperative learning environment (Murdock, 1999); SSDP (O’Donnell, et al., 1998)


Reduced suspensions

Conflict resolution programmes (Powell, Muir-McClain & Halasyamani, 1995)


Less dropout

Prevention of problem behaviours (Wilson, et al., 2001); STEP programme (Felner, Ginter & Primavera, 1982)


More ethical conduct and increased understanding of moral concepts

Direct moral education programmes (Leming, Henrick-Smith & Antis, 1997)


Less violent behaviour

Conflict resolution programmes (O’Donnell, Stueve & San Doval, 1998); ADD OTHERS


Decreases in negative or aggressive behaviour

Mental health promotion (Wells, Barlow & Stewart-Brown, 2003); STEP (Felner, Ginter & Primavera, 1982); PATHS (Greenberg, Kusche & Riggs, 2004); prevention of problem behaviours (Wilson, et al., 2001)

Performance

Improved academic achievement

SEL programmes (Zins, Weissberg, Wang & Walberg, 2004); Prevention programmes using SEL methods (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2002)


More homework completed

Programmes designed to promote caring, supportive, cooperative learning environment (Murdock, 1999)


Improved exam scores, school marks

Prevention programmes using SEL methods (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2002) SEL programmes (Zins, Weissberg, Wang & Walberg, 2004); STEP programme (Felner, Ginter & Primavera, 1982); Leap Confronting Conflict (Inman & Turner, 2001)


Increased achievement test scores

SSDP (Abbott, et al., 1998)


Improved non-verbal reasoning and cognitive test scores

PATHS (Greenberg, Kusche & Riggs, 2004)

8.2 Social Emotional Outcomes

Improved self-esteem & self-concept

STEP (Felner, Ginter & Primavera, 1982); Mental health promotion programmes (Wells, Barlow & Stewart-Brown, 2003)


Increased confidence in dealing with conflict

Leap Confronting Conflict (Inman & Turner, 2001)


More sociability, increased social skills

Indirect moral development programmes (Trianes Torres, et al., 1995)


Improved negotiation skills

Universal mental health promotion programmes (Wells, Barlow & Stewart-Brown, 2003)


Improved problem-solving skills

Universal mental health promotion programmes (Wells, Barlow & Stewart-Brown, 2003); WHICH? (Snow, et al., 1986)


Improved conflict resolution skills

Conflict resolution and peer mediation programmes (Johnson & Johnson, 1995; Stevahn, 2004)
Increased prosocial problem solving or improvements in moral reasoning

Child Development Project (Solomon, Watson, Delucchi, Schaps & Battistich, 1998); (Snow, et al., 1986); PATHS (Greenberg, Kusche & Riggs, 2004); Improving Social Awareness – Social Problem Solving: ISA-SPS (Bruene-Butler, Hampson, Elias, Clabby & Schuyler, 1997); indirect moral development programmes (Higgins, 1980; Higgins, Power & Kohlberg, 1984)
8.3 Health Related Outcomes
Mental health


Reducing depression or depressive attributes

(Cunningham, et al., 2002); STEP (Felner, Ginter & Primavera, 1982); PATHS (Greenberg, Kusche & Riggs, 2004)


Reduced anxiety

STEP (Felner, Ginter & Primavera, 1982); PATHS (Greenberg, Kusche & Riggs, 2004)


Improved coping skills

Teaching coping skills (Cunningham, et al., 2002) Coping with Junior High curriculum (Snow, Gilchrist, Schilling, Schinke & Kelso, 1986); Improving Social Awareness – Social Problem Solving: ISA-SPS (Bruene-Butler, Hampson, Elias, Clabby & Schuyler, 1997)

Smoking

Less favourable attitudes towards smoking

Healthy schools programme (Morgan, 1997)


Reducing smoking behaviour

Life Skills programme (Botvin, 1990); health promoting schools (Moon, et al., 1999); Social-skills based smoking-prevention programmes (Bruvold, 1993); Growing Healthy (Catalano, Berglund, Ryan, Lonczak & Hawkins, 2004)

Drugs

Decrease in drug use

Healthy schools promoting programmes (Moon, et al., 1999); substance abuse prevention programmes (Botvin, et al., 1990; Tobler, et al., 2000); prevention of problem behaviours (Wilson, et al., 2001)

Drinking

Less favourable attitudes towards drinking

Healthy schools programme (Morgan, 1997)


Decrease in frequency of drinking

Substance abuse prevention programmes (Tobler, et al., 2000); Life Skills programme (Botvin, et al., 1990); Prevention of problem or risky behaviours (Thomas, et al., 1999; Wilson, et al., 2001); Healthy schools programmes (Nic Gabhainn & Kelleher, 2000)

Sexual health


Knowledge about sex and relationships

Sexual health promoting programmes (Fullerton, 2004); SHARE (Wight et al., 2002); APAUSE (Mellanby, Phelps, Crichton & Tripp, 1995)


Increased social and personal skills, Some impact on quality of relationships

SHARE (Wight, et al., 2002)


Do not increase sexual activity

Sexual health programmes (Kirby, 2002)


Increase in contraceptive use

Effect of sex and STD/HIV education programs on contraceptive use (Kirby, 2002)


Delay in onset of sexual activity

Teaching sex education combined with contraceptive services (Kirby, 2002)


Reduce frequency of sex

Sex education programmes (Kirby, 2002); APAUSE (Mellanby, Phelps, Crichton & Tripp, 1995)


Reduce the number of partners, less likely to believe that intercourse should be part of relationships for under 16s and more tolerant of the behaviour of others

APAUSE (Mellanby, Phelps, Crichton & Tripp, 1995)

Eating habits

Less deterioration in eating habits

Eating disorder prevention programmes (Stewart, 1995)


More knowledge about eating disorders

Eating disorder prevention programmes (Stewart, 1995); Growing Healthy (Catalano, Berglund, Ryan, Lonczak & Hawkins, 2004)


Better eating habits

Growing Healthy (Catalano, Berglund, Ryan, Lonczak & Hawkins, 2004)


Reduced body dissatisfaction

Everybody’s Different Program (O’Dea & Abraham, 1999)


Positive changes in weight control behaviours

Everybody’s Different Program (O’Dea & Abraham, 1999)


Healthier attitudes, knowledge and practices

Growing Healthy (Catalano, Berglund, Ryan, Lonczak & Hawkins, 2004)


Decreased accidents, increased knowledge about safety

Lifeskills-Learning for Living (Oxford Evaluation Team, 2003)

Pedestrian safety programmes (Doswell, et al., 1996)

Road safety, burns, bicycle helmet use programmes (Lister-Sharp, et al., 1999)


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