Kimberly Schonert-Reichl


Relevant Degree Programs

Affiliations to Research Centres, Institutes & Clusters


Great Supervisor Week Mentions

Each year graduate students are encouraged to give kudos to their supervisors through social media and our website as part of #GreatSupervisorWeek. Below are students who mentioned this supervisor since the initiative was started in 2017.


Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl knows how to both support and challenge her students to bring us to new heights. She provides us with so many academic and professional opportunities. She is brilliant yet very humble. She is kind, caring, and compassionate. She is very generous with her time even though she is the busiest person I know. I'm very grateful for my amazing supervisor. #GreatSupervisor

Jacqueline Maloney (2019)


Graduate Student Supervision

Doctoral Student Supervision

Dissertations completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest dissertations.

Early adolescents' perspectives of caring student-teacher relationships: a mixed methods approach (2021)

No abstract available.

Pathways to school and life success: relations of executive functions to academic achievement and well-being in adolescence (2020)

No abstract available.

Mindfulness and self-compassion: exploring stability and relations to cognitive, social, and emotional indicators across one school year in a group of early adolescents (2019)

No abstract available.

The effects of mindfulness and kindness meditation on teacher emotional abilities, compassion, and prosocial behavior (2018)

No abstract available.

Narratives of teacher-student relationships: how itinerant teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing support their students' social and emotional development (2016)

Positive teacher-student relationships promote healthy school experiences and have been shown to play an important role in creating positive social and academic outcomes for students, including students with special learning needs (e.g., Hamre & Pianta, 2001). Most deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) students are educated in inclusive school environments alongside their hearing peers, and likely receive additional support from an itinerant teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing throughout their school years (kindergarten to grade 12). However, very little is known about the significance of this unique teacher-student relationship in terms of social and emotional support, nor in what ways this relationship may help or hinder social inclusion at school. To address the paucity of research in this area, I used a narrative inquiry and multiple case study design to examine the characteristics of the itinerant teacher-DHH student relationship. Each participant (four itinerant teachers and four DHH students) participated in two separate individual interviews and was asked to reflect upon their relationship working with DHH students or itinerant teachers, as appropriate. The first interview was semi-structured and captured the participants’ perspectives of their itinerant teacher-DHH student relationships generally. The second interview focused on the meaning and significance of the itinerant teacher-student relationship. Narrative stories for each participant were written from the interview data and analyzed using a constant comparison, thematic content analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006). Six prominent themes emerged from the itinerant teacher narrative stores: identity development (of students), attachment, safe space, connector, advisor, and itinerant teacher identity. Five prominent themes emerged from the DHH student narrative stories: identity development (of students), attachment, safe space, connector, and advisor. This study contributes to the field of Deaf Education in terms of identifying possible important aspects of the itinerant teacher-student relationship from both the teachers’ and the students’ perspectives. In addition, the findings shed light on potential interpersonal mechanisms that may be involved in creating successful school experiences for DHH students who are educated in inclusive school environments.

View record

Examining the patterns of out-of-school time activities in relation to positive youth development for a population of 4th grade children (2014)

Situated within a positive youth development (PYD) perspective, the purpose of the present study was to examine the combination of structured programs and free-time activities in a population-level sample of fourth grade children in relation to the Five Cs of PYD (i.e., indicators of positive functioning that include confidence, competence, connections, character, and caring; Lerner, Lerner et al., 2005). Data for this research were drawn from a large, population-level study. In all, 2,741 grade 4 children (48% girls) from diverse socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds in a large urban school district in Western Canada participated. A person-centered approach was used to identify different profile groups of involvement in structured programs and free-time activities during out-of-school time (OST). Profile groups were created using a cluster analytic technique for 2,193 children’s responses to four structured programs (educational lessons, art/music lessons, individual sports, and team sports) and eight free-time activities (sports/exercise for fun, watching television, video/computer games, instant messaging, reading for fun, practicing a musical instrument, household chores, and arts and crafts). Cluster analysis revealed three distinct profile groups of children that included a low involvement profile group (watching television, video/computer games, reading for fun), a free-time involvement profile group (participation in all eight free-time activities), and a high involvement profile group (participation in all four structured programs and all eight free-time activities). Hierarchical multiple regression was used to control for gender, language, family composition, and SES. Regression results and effect sizes showed the largest differences between children in the low involvement profile group and children in the high involvement profile group. Regression results and effect sizes showed minimal differences between children in the free-time involvement profile group and children in the high involvement profile group. Regression analyses examining interactions with gender and SES by profile groups were not significant. This study informs research and practice by addressing the patterns of participation in structured programs and free-time activities during middle childhood—two types of settings that primarily have been treated separately in the literature on OST and PYD during middle childhood.

View record

Positive development in early adolescence: the importance of supportive adults and social competencies for well-being and academic success (2013)

Social and emotional well-being and academic achievement are key indicators for positive development and resilience in early adolescence. Central assets fostering positive development include contextual assets (e.g., supportive relationships) and personal assets (e.g., social and emotional competencies). Three studies were conducted to explore the relative importance of positive relationships for social and emotional well-being and academic achievement during early adolescence, and whether social and emotional competencies predict academic achievement longitudinally. Study 1 was a population-based cross-sectional study investigating family, school, and neighbourhood support in relation to social and emotional well-being and academic achievement in a socioeconomically (SES) diverse sample of 3,026 4th graders. All contextual assets positively predicted students’ well-being in a regression analysis. A significant interaction between SES and school support indicated that school support had a protective function for low SES students; a significant interaction between SES and family support indicated that family support was more important than SES in predicting students’ well-being. Furthermore, SES and family support were positive predictors of both reading and math achievement. Study 2 investigated the relative importance of personal (optimism) and contextual (positive peer relationships and home, school, and neighbourhood support) assets for life satisfaction in a cross-sectional sample of 1,402 4th to 7th graders. Multilevel modeling analyses suggested that optimism and the four contextual variables significantly and positively predicted life satisfaction. School and neighbourhood support aggregated at the school level significantly predicted life satisfaction beyond their significant role at the individual, non-aggregated level. Study 3 was a short-term longitudinal study examining social and emotional competencies in 461 6th grade students as predictors of academic achievement in grade 7. Regression analyses revealed that social responsibility goals positively predicted reading achievement for boys only. Moreover, teacher-rated social-emotional skills positively predicted reading achievement for both boys and girls. With regard to math, only teacher-rated social-emotional skills predicted academic achievement. The importance of investigating social and emotional well-being and competence in conjunction with personal and contextual assets in early adolescence is discussed. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings along with the strengths and limitations of the three studies are put forth.

View record

Nonsuicidal self-injury in street-involved adolescents: identification of risk and protective factors (2011)

Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI), or the deliberate, direct, self-inflicted injury to body tissue that occurs in the absence of suicidal intent and developmental disabilities, is a serious and increasingly prevalent health risk among adolescents. Evidence suggests that vulnerable adolescents, such those that are street-involved, are at high risk for negative health outcomes, including NSSI. Using a theoretically and empirically derived model of risk and resilience, this study is the first to identify a broad range of risk and protective factors associated with NSSI. The study involved secondary analysis of data gathered using the Street-Involved Youth Health Survey (SYHS) with a sample of 762 adolescents aged 12-18 across British Columbia. Prevalence of NSSI was 56% and 34% for females and males, respectively, with sexual minority youth three times more likely to report this behaviour. Results from a series of logistic regression analyses revealed different models of risk and protection for males and females. At the multivariate level, the strongest risk factors for females were previous suicide attempt, risky behaviour, experiencing more consequences of substance use, sexual abuse by two or more perpetrators, and maternal problems. For males, the strongest risk factors were previous suicide attempt, risky behaviour, and being victim of relational aggression. The strongest modifiable protective factors for males and females were better emotional health and family connectedness, with school peer relations for males and subjective health status for females also showing significance. Probability profiles created from different combinations of the final set of salient factors highlight not only the multiplicative risk at play in these youths` lives but also the impact of protective factors to offset risk. For boys, with three risk factors (RF) and three protective factors (PF), the likelihood of NSSI ranged from 9% (0-RF, 3-PF) to 90% (3-RF, 0-PF). For girls, with three risk factors and two protective factors, the likelihood of NSSI ranged from 19% (0-RF, 2-PF) to 99% (3-RF, 0-PF). Profiles in this study underscore the value of risk and protection as powerful tools for developing the knowledge base on NSSI and for guiding prevention and intervention efforts.

View record

Relation of daily patterns in salivary cortisol to peer and teacher relationships and social behaviours in middle childhood (2011)

In the published literature, the association between salivary cortisol and aggressive behaviours in children is equivocal. This has provoked questions about the potential role that other factors, such as supportive relationships with peers and teachers, may play in mediating the association between cortisol and behaviour. This study was designed to investigate the association between various indicators of daily patterns in cortisol (i.e., diurnal slope, average morning, noon, and afternoon cortisol) and aggressive and prosocial (sharing and helping) behaviours in a non-clinical cohort of school-aged children in an everyday classroom context. It was hypothesized that lower cortisol would be significantly associated with higher levels of proactive, reactive, and socially aggressive behaviours and that this association would be uniquely mediated by peer acceptance and teacher closeness. This study also explored the association between cortisol and prosocial behaviours. Salivary cortisol was obtained from children (N = 89, Mean age = 10.4 years, Range, 9.2 – 12.2 years) in a classroom setting three times a day (9am, 12pm, and 3pm) across four consecutive days. Multiple informants (i.e., peers and teachers) completed questionnaires on children’s social behaviour, peer acceptance (peers only), and student-teacher closeness (teachers only). Social behaviours were individually regressed on various indicators of daily patterns of cortisol, controlling for age and gender. Findings revealed inverse relations of afternoon (3pm) cortisol to reactive, proactive, and social aggression. Positive relations of afternoon cortisol to prosocial behaviour, peer acceptance, and teacher closeness were found. A series of independent multiple mediation analyses demonstrated a unique mediating influence of peer acceptance and, separately, teacher closeness. Peer acceptance and teacher closeness uniquely mediated the association between afternoon cortisol and teacher- and peer-reported prosocial behaviours, and teacher-reported proactive aggression. In addition, lower peer acceptance mediated the association between low afternoon cortisol and higher teacher-rated reactive and social aggression. The findings from this research contribute to the growing body of knowledge on associations among children’s daily cortisol patterns, social behaviours, and peer and teacher supportive relationships in a classroom context. These results suggest that an important direction for future research is the incorporation of neurobiological measures of behavioural development into classroom-based research.

View record

What are they thinking? Cognitive distortions and adolescent externalizing and internalizing problems (2010)

Cognitive distortions have been linked to both externalizing and internalizing problems in children and adults, but very few studies have explicitly examined this link in a community-based sample of adolescents. The relation of self-debasing (cognitions which are inaccurate and debase the self) and self-serving (cognitions which protect an individual from self-censure) cognitive distortions to self- and teacher-reported internalizing, externalizing, and co-occurring problems was investigated. The sample consisted of 182 males and 207 females aged 12 to 17 years (M = 14.29, SD = 1.01). Externalizing and internalizing problems were measured using the Youth Self-Report (YSR) and Teacher’s Report Form (TRF). Self-debasing distortions were measured using the Children’s Negative Cognitive Error Questionnaire (CNCEQ), and self-serving distortions measured using the How I Think Questionnaire (HIT). A series of correlational analyses revealed that self-serving cognitive distortions were significantly associated with externalizing problems, and self-debasing cognitive distortions were significantly associated with internalizing problems. A unique statistical approach, the Relative Pratt Index (RPI; Thomas, Hughes, & Zumbo, 1998), was used in this study to measure the relative importance of predictor variables in a series of hierarchical regression analyses. The results of the hierarchical regression analyses and subsequent RPI indicated that self-serving and self-debasing cognitive distortions were the most important significant predictors, relative to the other variables in the model, of externalizing and internalizing problems, respectively. The specific self-serving cognitive distortions of assuming the worst, minimizing/mislabeling, and self-centered were found to be the most important significant predictors, relative to the other variables in the model, of externalizing problems. The specific self-debasing cognitive distortions of overgeneralizing and catastrophizing were the most important significant predictors, relative to the other variables in the model, of internalizing problems. The results of this study revealed large associations and high specificity between cognitive distortions and internalizing, and externalizing problems in a sample of community-based adolescents. Implications of the findings for intervention and prevention are discussed.

View record

How do adolescents define depression? Links with depressive symptoms, self-recognition of depression, and social and emotional competence (2008)

Depression in adolescents is a ubiquitous mental health problem presenting ambiguities, uncertainties, and diverse challenges in its conceptualization, presentation, detection, and treatment. Despite the plethora of research on adolescent depression, there exists a paucity of research in regards to obtaining information from the adolescents themselves. In a mixed method, cross-sectional study, adolescents (N= 332) in grades 8 and 11 provided their conceptions of depression. Adolescents' self-recognition of depression was examined in association with depressive symptomatology and reported pathways to talking to someone. Adolescents' social and emotional competence was also examined in association with severity of their depressive symptomatology.Developed categories and subcategories of adolescent depression were guided by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) criteria for Major Depressive Episode (MDE) (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2000). Adolescents' definitions of depression were dominated by subjective, holistic interpretations and add new information and depth to the previous research on adolescent depression. Depressed Mood and Social Impairment were the core categories, both contained intricate subcategories. The frequencies of these constructs provide a map of the themes and subthemes that pervade adolescents' personal philosophies regarding adolescent depression.About half of the adolescents who self-recognized depression within two weeks (45%),qualify into screened depression (Reynolds Adolescent Depression Scale -2" version [RADS-2];Reynolds, 2002) criteria based on the DSM-IV-TR for MDE (APA, 2000). However, this study's findings showed that the mean for screened Depression Total Score (RADS-2; Reynolds, 2002)was significantly higher in those adolescents who self-recognized versus those who did not self-recognize depression. The majority of lifetime self-recognizers of depression thought that they needed to talk to someone and reported that they talked to someone when feeling depressed. Poor Emotion Awareness was a strong contributor to increasing vulnerability to depressive symptomatology. This study provides new theoretical insights regarding the concept and detection of adolescent depression, and links between social and emotional competence and depressive symptomatology. These findings extend previous research (APA, 2000), provide new understanding to guide future research, and have direct implications for research, policy, and practice strategies aimed to better communicate with and help young people with and without depression.

View record

Master's Student Supervision

Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.

A scoping review of outcome evaluations of universal programs that incorporate live animals to promote the social and emotional competencies of children and youth (2021)

Children and youth who are socially and emotionally competent are better prepared to succeed in school and in life. To help children and youth develop social and emotional competencies (SECs), the use of universal programs that incorporate live animals has been suggested. Outcome evaluations of these programs are underway to determine the effectiveness of the programs. There is a need to review the literature on outcome evaluations on universal programs that incorporate live animals to promote the SECs of children and youth to keep scholars abreast of these evaluations and to chart directions for future research on these programs. Thus, the aims of the present scoping review were to identify outcome evaluations of universal programs that incorporated live animals to promote the SECs of children and youth, and to summarize the structural dimensions of the programs and the methods used to evaluate their outcomes. Three academic databases were searched for relevant publications published between Jan. 1, 1990 and Dec. 31, 2020. The reference lists of the publications included were also screened for additional relevant publications. Data were extracted from the publications regarding: (i) demographic characteristics of the publication (e.g., year of publication, type of publication), (ii) structural dimensions of the program (e.g., design, animal species that was incorporated, SECs promoted), and (iii) methods used in the outcome evaluation (e.g., design, characteristics of program implementation, and outcomes). From an initial pool of 3,618, 22 unique publications were selected for inclusion in the scoping review. Screening the corresponding reference lists located an additional six publications for inclusion. In total, 28 unique publications were included for the scoping review. Analysis of the data revealed the emerging, interdisciplinary, and international nature of the research on these programs. In addition, variability was found in the structural dimensions of the programs and of the outcome evaluations. The study findings indicate the need for continued research on universal programs that incorporate live animals to promote the SECs of children and youth and for greater rigour in the design and evaluation of these programs. The implications of the study for future research are discussed.

View record

The relationship between teacher factors and social and emotional learning program implementation (2021)

The children and youth of today will need social-emotional competence to help them navigate the challenges of an uncertain future. School-based social and emotional learning (SEL) programs have been shown to be effective in helping youth develop these vital, malleable skills, and that the positive outcomes endure. However, achieving these positive outcomes requires quality implementation by classroom teachers. There are many factors that contribute to teachers’ motivation, readiness, and ability to deliver an SEL program as intended. Using data collected in four experimental evaluations of SEL programs, two studies were conducted to explore the relationship between program implementation quality and teacher factors such as teaching efficacy, stress, job satisfaction, and beliefs about SEL. Study 1 explored relations of teachers’ (N = 32) pre-implementation factors including SEL experience, job satisfaction, and SEL beliefs, to program implementation quality. Correlational and multiple regression analyses revealed no significant relationships between teacher factors and implementation quality. However, the total number of lessons in the SEL programs surfaced as a significant predictor of implementation quality, where fewer lessons predicted greater implementation quality. Study 2 explored how changes in teacher factors including SEL beliefs, occupational stress, efficacy, and job satisfaction were related to teachers' program implementation quality. Teachers (N = 23) were grouped into low- and high-quality implementation categories based on their total implementation quality scores. Paired-samples t tests showed that teachers’ depersonalization, a symptom of occupational stress, and teaching efficacy scores significantly changed after implementing an SEL program; however, these changes were not in the hypothesized direction. Specifically, teaching efficacy scores decreased and depersonalization scores increased. Taken together, these findings indicate the need for further research to examine the relationship between teacher factors and SEL program implementation. Study contributions, limitations, and directions for future research are discussed, as well as practical implications for supporting teachers’ implementation.

View record

Testing the broaden-and-build theory in early adolescence: exploring associations of positive affect and problem solving coping strategies (2016)

In the context of testing the broaden-and-build theory in samples of adults, Fredrickson (1998, 2001) has hypothesized and found that frequent experiences of positive emotions broaden thoughts and behaviours, facilitating coping with stress and adversity, through building longterm psychological, physical, and social resources, which catalyze upward spirals toward future well-being. Yet, to date, scant research attention has been paid to examining the degree to which the broaden-and-build theory extends to research with children and adolescents. To address thisgap, we investigated the theory with 96, 4th and 5th graders (48% female; M = 9.8 years; SD = .57) who completed a battery of measures assessing positive and negative affect and coping (Problem Solving/Self-Reliance and Seeking Social Support) at two time-points during the school year, approximately eight weeks apart. Results from regression analyses indicated that initial positive affect, but not negative affect, predicted improved broadened coping, and initial broadened coping predicted increased positive affect, but not reductions in negative affect. Further analyses indicated that increases in positive affect were mediated by broadened coping,and increases in broadened coping were mediated by positive affect. This study supports the broaden-and-build theory and provides insight into the role of positive emotions in broadening thoughts and behaviours in early adolescence and over time. Limitations and future directions are discussed with regard to the relevance of the broaden-and-build theory for research with adolescents and its educational applications.

View record

Early Adolescents' Evaluations of Mindup: A Universal Mindfulness-Based Social and Emotional Learning Program (2015)

This exploratory study examined the evaluations of a mindfulness-based social and emotional learning program, MindUP, reported by 189 fourth to seventh grade students from eight classrooms across seven public elementary schools in a large urban school district in Western Canada. Qualitative and quantitative data from a written post-program participant satisfaction survey were examined in order to investigate the following questions: (1) What were students’ evaluations of the program? Specifically, what aspects did they like and/or dislike, and why would they recommend the program to a friend or not? (2) What skills and concepts did students report learning in the MindUP program? and (3) How did students extend what they learned beyond the program? Gender and grade differences among responses were also investigated. The vast majority of students reported that they enjoyed taking part in the MindUP program (88%), that they learned something new (96%), and that the things they learned were valuable for them in school and home life (95%). Most students would recommend the MindUP program to a friend (69%). Mindfulness activities were cited most often as the part of the program students enjoyed most, especially mindful sensing activities, such as mindful eating. Gaining skills for well-being and self-regulation were also frequently mentioned in response to open-ended questions. Although girls tended to provide higher ratings to survey questions in support of MindUP than boys, in most cases the differences were not statistically significant and effect sizes were small. Significant Grade by Gender interactions were observed in two items: Grade 4 and 5 girls reported learning more than grade 4 and 5 boys, and grade 6 and 7 girls were more likely to recommend the program to a friend than grade 6 and 7 boys. No other significant differences in grade were observed. In sum, most students were in favour of including mindfulness-based SEL in schools. The participant satisfactory survey that contain closed-ended and open-ended question was shown to provide reliable and valuable insights from students. Including similar surveys in future studies may be a time- and cost- efficient method of ensuring students’ voices are heard in program evaluations.

View record

Evaluating the Reliability and Validity of the Self-Compassion Scale Adapted for Children (2014)

This study introduces the Self-Compassion Scale adapted for Children (SCS-C) and presents psychometric findings regarding its reliability and validity. A sample of 382 students in 4th to 7th grade provided data on the SCS-C and measures of mindfulness, self-concept, indicators of well-being, empathic-related responding, and prosocial goals. Teachers provided data on students’ social and emotional competence and empathy/sympathy. Results indicated a two-factor structure for the SCS-C with negatively-worded items and positively-worded items forming two discrete subscales each with high internal consistency. As predicted, students’ scores on the SCS-C were significantly related to multiple indicators of social and emotional well-being, demonstrating preliminary evidence of convergent validity. In addition, scores on the SCS-C were found to differ across grade level, with students in 5th grade reporting higher scores on the SCS-C than students in 4th grade and students in 6th grade. This study provides insight into the factor structure of the SCS-C, as well as the relations of self-compassion to other indicators of social and emotional well-being in childhood and pre-adolescence. Limitations and future directions are discussed with regard to the relevance of the SCS-C for research and applications.

View record

Investigating factor structure and validity evidence of a measure assessing students' perceptions of teachers' social and emotional competence (2013)

This study introduces the Students’ Perceptions of Teacher’s Social and Emotional Competence scale (TSEC) for early adolescents and presents psychometric findings regarding its reliability and validity. A sample of 360 students in 5th to 7th grade provided data on the TSEC and measures of empathy, well-being, school adjustment, as well as measures of their teacher’s emotional and personal support. Teachers provided data on students’ social and emotional competence and aggression, as well as quality of closeness and conflict in their relationship with each of their students. Results indicated that the TSEC had a unidimensional factor structure and high internal consistency. Scores on the TSEC differed by gender and grade-level, with girls reporting their teachers higher on the TSEC than boys and 5th grade students reporting their teachers higher on the TSEC than 6th grade students. The TSEC demonstrated evidence of convergent validity, providing support for this measure as a psychometrically sound instrument for use with this age group. This study provides insight into relations of students’ perceptions of teacher SEC to students’ social and academic outcomes, and the student-teacher relationship. Limitations and future directions are discussed with regard to the relevance of the TSEC for research and educational applications.

View record

Teachers' Beliefs about Emotions in the Classroom: Relations to Teacher Characteristics and Implementation of a Social-Emotional Learning Program (2012)

The aim of this descriptive study was to examine teachers’ beliefs about emotions in the classroom and factors related to these beliefs, namely teacher background characteristics and the implementation of an emotion-focused social-emotional learning (SEL) program – the Roots of Empathy (ROE). Participants included 58 elementary school teachers from a Western Canadian city (n = 40) and the Isle of Man (n = 18) who hosted the ROE program or comprised the control group. Participants completed self-report measures assessing emotion beliefs (Bonds, Expressiveness, Instruction/Modeling, Protect, and Display/Control), background characteristics (grade level taught and years of teaching experience), and ROE program implementation (number of subject areas and frequency). Results indicated grade level taught (primary versus intermediate) and years of teaching experience were significantly related to some emotion beliefs dimensions. Instruction/Modeling beliefs were significantly higher for experienced teachers than novice teachers. Protect beliefs were significantly higher for primary grade teachers than intermediate grade teachers. Display/Control beliefs were significantly higher for intermediate grade teachers than primary grade teachers. Particular emotion beliefs were also significantly associated with teachers’ reports of ROE program implementation. Teachers’ Expressiveness beliefs were positively correlated with the frequency with which they implemented activities. Teachers’ Protect beliefs were negatively correlated with, and Display/Control beliefs were positively correlated with, the number of subject areas in and frequency with which implementation occurred. These findings support and extend research investigating teacher-related factors associated with implementation. Suggestions concerning the need for SEL training and support are made to enhance the effectiveness of emotion-focused SEL programs.

View record

Promoting positive development in middle childhood: the influence of child characteristics, parents, schools, and neighbourhoods (2010)

From a strengths-based approach, the current study explored how individual child characteristics and social resources within children’s families, schools, and neighbourhoods singularly and collectively predicted five dimensions of resilience in middle childhood: optimism, self-efficacy, interpersonal sensitivity, and relationships with peers, and relationships with adults. Specifically, this study explored the relative influence of four child characteristics (depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, self-concept, positive behaviour), three parenting characteristics (parent support, parent knowledge, dinner with an adult family member), two school characteristics (school adult support, school connectedness), and two neighbourhood characteristics (neighbourhood adult support, neighbourhood safe places) on these dimensions of resilience. Based on the literature, it was hypothesized that individual assets (i.e., characteristics within the child) would explain children’s resilience better than ecological assets (i.e., characteristics within the child’s environment), but that multiple resources within children’s social environments (particularly, supportive adults) would predict higher resilience. Data were collected from 1,250 children ages 9 to 13 (grades 4-7) attending 23 elementary schools in 7 school districts in British Columbia, Canada. All variables were obtained via child self-report with the exception of the positive behavior variable, which was obtained via teacher-report. Correlational and hierarchical regression analyses revealed, as expected, that child characteristics were stronger predictors of resilience than contextual factors, even after controlling for children’s age, gender, ESL status, and lone parent status. However, practices within families, schools, and neighbourhoods continued to predict children’s resilience even after accounting for child characteristics. Jointly, adult supportiveness at each level of context was also associated with greater resilience in children. This study concludes that during middle childhood, characteristics within the child (i.e., psychological well-being and self-concept) are important predictors of resilience, but children’s social contexts, including their parents, schools, and neighbourhoods, influence their resilience as well. Suggestions for promoting resilience in middle childhood are presented.

View record


If this is your researcher profile you can log in to the Faculty & Staff portal to update your details and provide recruitment preferences.


Discover the amazing research that is being conducted at UBC!