Developing social and emotional wellbeing in young children: an evaluation of the Fun FRIENDS Program

Beccaria, G. and Columbine, K. (2011) Developing social and emotional wellbeing in young children: an evaluation of the Fun FRIENDS Program. In: 46th Australian Psychological Society Annual Conference 2011, 4-8 Oct 2011, Canberra, Australia.


Social and emotional well-being plays an important role in young children's development and impacts upon their success in school and in life. Population health and positive psychology perspectives assert that all children can benefit from school based, universal interventions aimed at promoting mental health and enhancing the social and emotional well-being of young children. A non-clinical sample of preschool age children (N = 42) participated in a classroom based, universal social and emotional well-being
program titled Fun FRIENDS. Teachers and parents reported on children's social and emotional wellbeing using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Data was collected at three time points, allowing changes in social and emotional well-being to be tracked over a period of time. Teacher reported data indicated that several areas of social and emotional difficulty, specifically the emotional
symptoms of all children, hyperactivity of boys, and the emotional symptoms, hyperactivity and overall social and emotional difficulties of girls, decreased during the time that the Fun FRIENDS program was implemented. Effect sizes for these observed changes were in the medium to large range. In the absence of a control group, the effects of natural maturation cannot be dismissed as influencing these
changes in social and emotional well-being and so results must be interpreted with caution. Parent data identified no significant changes in children's social and emotional well-being over the duration of the study. Further research is needed to explore the discrepancy between teacher and parent data and to evaluate the program more thoroughly with a control group for comparison.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: The author/s will retain copyright of their abstract, in addition to the moral rights they are entitled to as author/s of the abstract. The Australian Psychological Society Ltd does not hold copies of any papers presented at conferences. A formal paper was not produced for publication in the conference proceedings as the APS conference organisers decided not to offer this in 2011.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2012 04:39
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2017 02:21
Uncontrolled Keywords: children; mental health; well-being; happiness; school based programmes; parents
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130102 Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori)
16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160806 Social Theory
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences

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