Programs that teach emotional intelligence in schools have lasting impact

Social and emotional learning programs for youth not only immediately improve mental health, social skills, and learning outcomes but also continue to benefit children years later | ScienceDaily

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Social-emotional learning teaches children to recognize and understand their emotions, feel empathy, make decisions and build and maintain relationships. Previous research has shown that incorporating these programs into the classroom improves learning outcomes and reduces anxiety and behavioural problems among students. Some schools have incorporated social-emotional learning programs — like MindUP and Roots of Empathy — into classrooms while other school systems, including the new B.C. curriculum, embrace it more systemically.

The new study analyzed results from 82 different programs involving more than 97,000 students from kindergarten to middle school in the U.S., Europe and the U.K. where the effects were assessed at least six months after the programs completed. The researchers found that social-emotional learning continued to have positive effects in the classroom but was also connected to longer-term positive outcomes.

Students who participated in programs graduated from college at a rate 11 per cent higher than peers who did not. Their high school graduation rate was six per cent higher. Drug use and behaviour problems were six per cent lower for program participants, arrest rates 19 per cent lower, and diagnoses of mental health disorders 13.5 per cent lower.

National child measurement programme operational guidance

Guidance for local commissioners, providers and schools on running the national child measurement programme (NCMP) as part of the government’s commitment to tackling the public health challenge of excess weight.

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The publication of the Childhood Obesity Plan: A Plan for Action, in August 2016 shows that tackling child obesity is a priority for the Government. The plan aims to significantly reduce England’s rate of childhood obesity within the next ten years. Most local authorities have also identified addressing childhood obesity as a key issue in their health and wellbeing strategies, and reducing obesity is prioritised in many Sustainability and Transformation Plans.

The NCMP is key to monitoring the progress of the Government’s Childhood Obesity Plan. It provides the data for the Public Health Outcomes Framework indicators on “excess weight in children aged four to five years and ten to 11 years.” Because the data is valid at local level, it can also be used to inform the development and monitoring of local childhood obesity strategies.

National child measurement programme operational guidance

National child measurement programme: information for schools

Emotional wellbeing of young people

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Public Health England has carried out a thematic analysis of the recent Health Behaviour in School Age Children (HSBC) survey exploring the rising trend in poorer emotional wellbeing of young people.

The reports cover self-harm; cyberbullying and the emotional wellbeing of adolescent girls.  They examine the data and explore what protective factors may exist in a young person’s life which may be linked to their mental health outcomes, ranging from personal attributes, family, school, peer and wider community context.

Public Health England has also produced a summary of data from the most recent HBSC survey.

Te reports can be downloaded below:

School nurse toolkit: Evaluation of behaviour change interventions

School nurses are key professionals in delivering evidence-based public health
programmes and interventions to support children and young people achieve best
health outcomes | Public Health England

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Evidence suggests that although school nurse interventions result in a variety of positive
outcomes there is a lack of formal and robust evaluation activities. This toolkit is for school nurses who are undertaking interventions to support behaviour change in children or young people. It takes a realistic approach that can be integrated into practice. Whilst there is no single way of doing evaluation, and there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to evaluation, this toolkit provides a guide to the processes and tools to use to evaluate the work you deliver.

View the full toolkit here

Engaging stakeholders and target groups in prioritising a public health intervention

Morton, K.L. et al. (2017) BMJ Open. 7:e013340

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Objectives: Stakeholder engagement and public involvement are considered as integral to developing effective public health interventions and is encouraged across all phases of the research cycle. However, limited guidelines and appropriate tools exist to facilitate stakeholder engagement—especially during the intervention prioritisation phase. We present the findings of an online ‘Delphi’ study that engaged stakeholders (including young people) in the process of prioritising secondary school environment-focused interventions that aim to increase physical activity.

Conclusions: This novel approach to engaging a wide variety of stakeholders in the research process was feasible to conduct and acceptable to participants. It also provided insightful information relating to how stakeholders prioritise interventions. The approach could be extended beyond the specific project to be a useful tool for researchers and practitioners.

Read the full abstract and article here

Weight Control in Adolescents

Chae, S-M. et al. Journal of Pediatric Nursing. Published online: December 18 2016

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Highlights

  • Adolescents and teachers perceived that meaning of weight control in adolescents was overly weighted toward management of one’s appearance.
  • They showed permissive attitudes about increasing weight during adolescence as long as adolescents studied hard.
  • They suggested a school-based weight control program encouraging participation of every student to avoid discrimination against overweight or obesity.
  • Teacher involvement was emphasized to promote participation of adolescents in a weight control program.

Read the full abstract here

Long-term effects of the school-based Active for Life Year 5

Anderson, E.L. et al. (2016) BMJ Open. 6:e010957

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Objective: To investigate the long-term effectiveness of a school-based intervention to improve physical activity and diet in children.

Participants: Primary school children who were aged 8–9 years at recruitment, 9–10 years during the intervention and 10–11 years at the long-term follow-up assessment.

Intervention: Teacher training, provision of lesson and child–parent interactive homework plans and teaching materials.

Conclusions: School-based curriculum interventions alone are unlikely to have a major public health impact on children’s diet and physical activity.

Read the full abstract and article here