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KidsMatter (KM) is an Australian national primary school mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention initiative. KM was developed in collaboration with the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, beyondblue: the national depression initiative, the Australian Psychological Society, and Principals Australia, and was supported by the Australian Rotary Health Research Fund. KidsMatter uses a whole-school approach. It provides schools with a framework, an implementation process, and key resources to develop and implement evidence-based mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention strategies. A Pilot Phase of KM was trialled in 100 schools across Australia during 2007-2008. Fifty of the schools ran KM during the 2007 and 2008 school years. The remaining schools undertook KM during the 2008 school year. A consortium based in the Centre for Analysis of Educational Futures at Flinders University undertook an evaluation of the two-year trial. The evaluation examined the impact of KM on schools, teachers, parents and students. Teachers and parents of students (target age of 10 years) were surveyed during 2007 and 2008. Most items on the questionnaire required responses on a 7-point Likert scale from ‘strongly disagree’ (1) to ‘strongly agree’ (7). Special emphasis was placed on the impact of KM on student mental health. Mental health was measured to include both strengths and difficulties, with the main measure being the internationally used Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), designed by Goodman (2005). This report presents the findings of the national longitudinal evaluation.
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... More than 500 correlational and longitudinal evaluations of SEE programmes, many of them universal, school-based programmes, have documented their success in enhancing adjustment outcomes and decreasing negative behaviours . Various other studies and reviews of studies have consistently found evidence for the positive impact of school-based SEE programmes on children of diverse backgrounds and cultures, from kindergarten to secondary school, in both academic achievement and social and emotional health (Barnes et al., 2014;Clarke et al., 2015;Durlak et al., 2011;Hoagwood et al., 2007;Korpershoek et al., 2016;OECD, 2015;Payton et al., 2008;Sklad et al., 2012;Slee et al., 2009Slee et al., , 2012Taylor et al., 2017;Weare and Nind, 2011;Wilson and Lipsey, 2009;Zins et al., 2004). The largest effects appear to be in social and emotional learning, but the programmes also improved academic achievement and reduced conditions such as depression, anxiety, substance use and anti-social behaviour (Clarke et al., 2015;Corcoran et al., 2018;Durlak et al., 2011;Payton et al., 2008;Sklad et al., 2012;Taylor et al., 2017;Weare and Nind, 2011;Wilson and Lipsey, 2009). ...
... * Randomized controlled trial (RCT): participants are allocated at random to receive one of several interventions -one of these interventions is targeted intervention/treatment (experimental group), another is the standard of comparison or control (a control group that did not receive an intervention); *Quasi experimental: experimental control groups are not assigned randomly at baseline (pre-intervention): *Single-subject research designs: participant serves as his/her own control, rather than using another individual/group; *Pre-post design: participants are tested before the start (pre) and at the end (post) of the intervention; 19 An evaluation of KidsMatter, a framework for the promotion of mental health in primary schools in Australia, which includes teaching of social and emotional competences as a key component. It has been implemented in 100 primary schools across Australia and has reported an improvement in student mental health, such as optimism and coping skills, school work and academic achievement, and a significant reduction in students' mental health difficulties; the greatest impact was on students with social, emotional and behaviour difficulties Slee et al., 2009). Similar findings were found in an evaluation of KidsMatter Early Years, including improved child temperament and reduced mental health difficulties, with about 3 % exhibiting fewer mental health problems . ...
... http://www.schools-for-health.eu/she-network 23 http://www.healthyschools.org.uk/ 24 In their evaluation of the KidsMatter mental health framework across Australia,Slee et al. (2009) identified a whole-school approach to be one of the main factors of programme effectiveness.Strengthening Social and Emotional Education as a core curricular area across the EU. A review of the international evidence ...
Technical Report
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This NESET research report is focused on how social and emotional education may be strengthened in core curricula across the EU. It includes a review of the most recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses of studies on the effectiveness of social and emotional education and proposes a multilevel framework on how it may be implemented in schools as a whole school approach. Other chapters are related to social and emotional competences, assessment, quality implementation, and case studies from EU countries. It concludes with a set of recommendations for policy makers and school leaders on how schools may strengthen the integration of social and emotional education as a core component of curricula across the EU. The report has been cited in the recent European Commission Proposal for a COUNCIL RECOMMENDATION on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning (January 2018). It may be accessed at http://nesetweb.eu/en/network-publishes-report-on-strengthening-social-and-emotional-education-as-a-core-curricular-area-across-the-eu/
... The commitment of school leadership in support of a team-based approach is critical to enabling effective implementation (Askell-Williams, 2017). Ongoing guidance provided by specialist support staff is also crucial (Meyers et al., 2019;Slee et al., 2009). The provision of both universal and targeted interventions is recommended to ensure that more intensive support options are available for students who may benefit from them (Werner-Seidler et al., 2017). ...
Chapter
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While social and emotional learning (SEL) can have many benefits for psychosocial development and well-being, the extent to which the benefits of SEL are realised depends to a large extent on how well it is implemented. This chapter takes up the question of what is necessary for effective implementation of SEL initiatives and why it is important to attend to implementation factors when undertaking SEL in schools and other settings. Included in the discussion is a consideration of policy settings and curriculum frameworks that provide important context and support for SEL implementation in schools. Critical research-based factors for effective implementation of SEL programmes are identified and discussed. The chapter also provides a detailed examination of the benefits and components of systemic approaches to implementation using a whole school approach.
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Article
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... Ongoing monitoring of the take-up and reach of major initiatives, and understanding and addressing barriers to the widespread roll-out of programs is an important step to take to ensure that students and schools who could most benefit from these programs have access to them.Both KidsMatter and MindMatters have been evaluated to differing extents. In an evaluation of KidsMatter in 2009 the impact of the program was assessed on student mental health, student competencies, and on schools and teachers(Slee et al. 2009). KidsMatter was shown to have a range of positive benefits. ...
Book
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Young Minds Matter: The second Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing was part of the National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing initiative, an Australian Government Department of Health funded initiative. It was conducted in 2013-14 and surveyed 6,310 families with children and adolescents aged 4-17 years. Survey participants were screened for several disorders including: major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders (generalised anxiety, social phobia, separation anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder), and behavioural disorders (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), conduct disorder, and oppositional problem behaviours). Of the families surveyed, 5,051 gave consent to access their NAPLAN results for an analysis of children’s mental disorders in relation to educational outcomes. Funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, this analysis used NAPLAN data, including scaled scores, bands and categories (below, at, or above the National Minimum Standard), as provided by each of the state and territory testing authorities. Key questions that were prioritised by the analysis were: •• How many students with low connectedness or engagement at school have mental disorders? •• Is a current mental disorder associated with poorer academic outcomes? How does this vary by type of mental disorder? •• How much of the association between mental disorders and academic outcomes can be attributed to differences in attendance, and to socio-economic factors that are associated with mental disorders? •• Does onset of mental disorder alter trajectories of academic achievement? •• Do students receiving services for mental disorders either within schools or within the health sector have different trajectories of academic achievement?
Chapter
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Chapter
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Chapter
Every child is unique and comes from different home environment with their own make up of potentials, skills and abilities to school. School is considered as a second home for a child. It is a place or social institution that a child spends most of their formative years. In schools, they have to socialize with their class mates, keep up to the expectations of the teachers and perform well in their studies. The new environment with more demands for the children can create mental health problems in them. In schools, the mental health problems are unmet and are given least importance to it. Children who have good mental wellbeing are more successful in school life (Eljo and Vijayalakshmi in Shanlax Int J Arts Sci Humanit 5(4), 2017). The researcher tries to focus and share some of the mental health practices found in schools in India and Australia in a Social Work Perspective. The paper showcases the activities carried out through the Child Guidance and Counselling Centre in the Department of Social Work, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, which cater the mental wellbeing of the children, parents and also the teachers by School Mental Health programmes as small initiative of School Mental Health, and Social Work Intervention is also done to promote School Mental Health. In Australia, there exist a holistic practice of mental health promotions from birth to adolescence in schools through Kids Matter initiative which is also discussed.
Article
The aim of the paper is to present the outcomes of an intervention program focusing on students’ training in coping with school bullying. The moto of the program was: “Stay calm / think clearly”. The activities of the intervention program were developed at Flinders University in Australia and included: a) a DVD with four short films dealing with social exclusion, physical bullying, verbal bullying and cyber bullying, b) a workbook (for each student), c) worksheets for students and d) teachers’ instructions/feedback sheets. For the Greek adaptation of the program, a pilot study was initially conducted which led to the final implementation and evaluation of the program. The final study included 932 students derived from 14 schools in Thessaly (12 schools in the intervention group and 2 in the control group). During the repeated (three times) measures approach, we evaluated students’ self-reports concerning: a) frequency of exposure to bullying, b) perceived self-safety from school bullying, and c) perceived self-efficacy in coping with school bullying. After the implementation of the program, the seriously victimized students (around 10% of the participants) reported less incidents of victimization, while their perceived sense of safety at school was increased. Overall the findings from this study suggest that the implementation of anti-interventions of this type can play an important role in empowering adolescents to adopt effective strategies to address the negative effects associated with bullying at school.
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Book
Around the globe, there is a growing awareness of the importance of addressing students’ social and emotional development and wellbeing during schooling. Although the bulk of the work in this area has been conducted in North America and Europe, there is now a burgeoning interest in this topic in Australia and the wider Asia Pacific. This book is the first ever to provide a timely and important collection of diverse perspectives on and approaches to social and emotional learning in the Australian and Asia Pacific context. Adopting a broad view of social and emotional learning, the book explores positive psychology, belonging, teachers’ professional development, pre-service training and post-initial training in Australia and in neighbouring communities such as China, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, New Zealand, Fiji, and other Pacific nations. "Frydenberg, Martin, and Collie have provided an incredible service by bringing together in a single well planned scholarly volume an incredible and well balanced group of senior and early career cutting edge researchers from Australia, Asia and the Asia Pacific area tackling approaches and key issues of social and emotional learning. Their much needed volume links research on key factors, such as differing perspectives, measurement issues, the identification of at-risk children, teachers' social and emotional development, and these and other across the cultures of an increasingly vibrant and developing geographic region. It is indeed encouraging to gain the sense of depth and breadth of ongoing research that the volume gives. " John Roodenburg PhD FAPS MCEDP MCCOUNSP, Monash University Melbourne "Social and Emotional Learning is understood to be a crucial part of the school curriculum. This book covers the field, with a refreshing focus on work being done in Australia and in neighbouring countries. For school psychologists, the book helps us to understand how SEL can help at every level – from working with individuals, small groups, whole classes, or with the entire school. Our work with vulnerable students, individually or in small groups, is always more effective when embedded in the broader context of Social and Emotional Learning." Paul Bertoia FAPS MCEDP, Senior School Psychologist “This collected volume of researchers from Australia and the Asia-Pacific provides a thorough review of important educational, social, and emotional development issues for practitioners and researchers around the world. Readers will greatly benefit from the breadth and depth of treatment in each of the topics covered.” Kit-Tai Hau, PhD, Choh-Ming Li Professor of Educational Psychology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Conference Paper
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This paper reports data from a questionnaire received from the parents/caregivers of 2076 students in 100 KidsMatter Initiative (KMI) primary schools across Australia. KidsMatter is a mental health initiative for primary schools based upon a model that supports early intervention to provide personal, social and economic benefits. Outcomes from the initial trial of the KMI will inform policies and practices concerning mental health promotion in schools across Australia. We asked parents/caregivers about factors residing in the school, the family and the child that are hypothesised to influence student mental health. School factors included parenting education and support; a positive school community, and early intervention for students at risk. Parents/caregivers were also asked about their own parenting competencies and their children's social, emotional and behavioural competencies. We used the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire {Goodman, 2005 #12} as the outcome measure of student mental health. We report summary statistics of parent/caregiver responses and use structural equation modelling to examine relationships between school, family, child factors and parent ratings of student mental health.
Conference Paper
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The KidsMatter Mental Health Promotion and Early Intervention Pilot Initiative (KMI) was rolled out across 100 Australian schools in 2007-2008. The evaluation targeted a stratified random sample of 76 students in each of the 100 schools. The KMI focussed upon four components of school-based influence, namely, developing a positive school community; regularly teaching social and emotional learning skills to all students; providing parenting information and support; and early intervention for students considered to be at risk of social, emotional or behavioural difficulties. An extensive evaluation of the impact of the KMI was undertaken using four major data sources. Questionnaires concerned with the implementation of the initiative and with judgements of students’ mental health status were completed on multiple occasions by teachers and parents/caregivers. Regular reports by project officers involved in the KMI provided a second source of data. Toward the end of the project interviews were conducted with students, teachers and parents in 10% of the schools. Summary reports from school leaders constituted the final data source. In this report we discuss findings from our analysis of the questionnaire data. The analysis focuses on the four key components of the KMI conceptual model and their relationships to student mental health outcomes using structural equation modelling with asymptotic distribution-free (ADF) estimation to take into account the non-parametric (highly skewed) nature of the data. Recommendations for policy and practice concerning mental health promotion initiatives in schools are made.
Conference Paper
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First view of the main findings from the KidsMatter Primary evaluation
Article
This study of particularly disadvantaged families with young children (0-7 years) focused on children’s physical, developmental and behavioral domains and parents’ use of support services. Data from 500 families spread across a major urban Australian city were examined for links between categories of problems/parental concerns, family socioeconomic characteristics, and prevalence of childhood health problems. Results indicated that families were twice as likely to report physical or developmental problems when unable to manage financially. Connections were also found between parental concerns, social capital and parenting dissatisfaction. Parents with multiple child problems were significantly more bothered than parents reporting one or no problem. Parents reporting no problems were also significantly happier with their children than other parents. Findings confirm the impact of poverty on families and young children’s lives and are encouraging of further research to clarify the effects of social capital and geographic location on children’s health and well-being.
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