Resilient: Improving Youth Well-Being, Motivation, and Academic Achievement Through Social and Emotional Learning.

Last registered on May 16, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Resilient: Improving Youth Well-Being, Motivation, and Academic Achievement Through Social and Emotional Learning.
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0009429
Initial registration date
May 12, 2022

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
May 16, 2022, 5:18 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Locations

There are documents in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Stavanger

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Stavanger
PI Affiliation
University of Stavanger
PI Affiliation
University of Stavanger
PI Affiliation
University of Stavanger
PI Affiliation
University of Stavanger

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2021-01-01
End date
2030-01-01
Secondary IDs
The Research Council of Norway: 299166
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Quality education fosters both academic achievement and social-emotional learning for each child. Social-emotional learning, in particular, helps adolescents better handle the challenges and expectations they will have to face, making them more robust in terms of the challenges in life. Currently, Norway's middle school curriculum and teacher practices do not reflect the international research literature stressing social-emotional learning as a key component of quality education (NOU 2014:7). We will empirically investigate if middle schools can improve adolescents' social-emotional learning, thereby enhancing their social relationship skills, mindfulness, problem-solving skills, emotional regulation, growth mindset, and academic achievement. We will conduct a randomized controlled trial in which ninth-grade classes (14-year-olds) are randomly assigned to treatment or control within schools. Twenty-seven schools participate in the project, comprising 84 classes in the ninth grade in the school year 2021/2022, totaling 2,146 students, of whom we received parental consent forms from 1,968 students. The treated classes participate in a social-emotional learning intervention called ``Robust.'' Robust is a learning program that supports students' social-emotional learning in secondary school and includes teacher training prior to the intervention. We will investigate the effects of Robust on social-emotional learning (i.e., social relationships, mindfulness, problem-solving skills, emotion regulation, and growth mindset) and academic achievement (i.e., test scores) post-intervention and one-year follow-up. We also conduct a comprehensive implementation and process evaluation during the implementation year to understand why or why the intervention is not effective.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Bru, Edvin et al. 2022. "Resilient: Improving Youth Well-Being, Motivation, and Academic Achievement Through Social and Emotional Learning.." AEA RCT Registry. May 16. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.9429
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2021-08-20
Intervention End Date
2022-05-30

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
1. Well-being/Mental Health: We measure well-being/mental health using the (i) Warwick-Edinburgh mental well-being scale (14 items; 5-point scale) (Stewart-Brown et al., 2009; Tennant et al., 2007), (ii) Symptoms checklist 10-item version (10 items; 4-point scale) (SCL-10; Strand et al., 2003), and (iii) academic stress scale (5 items; 6-point scale) (Murberg and Bru, 2004; Sun et al., 2011).

2. Motivation: We measure motivation using the (i) emotional engagement: interest scale (6 items; 6-point scale) (Skinner et al., 2008), (ii) behavioral engagement: effort scale (7 items; 6-point scale) (Skinner et al., 2008), (iii) cognitive engagement scale (6 items; 6-point scale) (Skinner et al., 2008), and (iv) disruptive behavior in school scale (5 items; 6-point scale) (Bru, 2009).

3. Academic achievement: We measure academic achievement using test scores.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
1. Relationship Skills: We measure relationship skills using the (i) scale measuring perceived ability for contacting peers at school (5 items; 6-point scale) (Vestad et al., 2021), and (ii) prosocial subscale from the strength and difficulties questionnaire (7 items; 6-point scale) (Goodman et al., 1998).

2. Emotional Regulation: We measure emotional regulation using the emotional regulation questionnaire for children and adolescents - reappraisal (5 items; 6-point scale) (Gullone and Taffe, 2012).

3. Mindfulness: We measure mindfulness using the (i) mindfulness attention awareness scale - short version (5 items; 6-point scale) (Brown and Ryan, 2003), (ii) mindful attention scale (3 items; 6-point scale), and (iii) mindful breathing scale (5 items; 6-point scale). The mindful attention scale and mindful breathing scale are specifically made for this study.

4. Growth Mindset: We measure growth mindset using the (i) fixed mindset scale (4 items; 6-point scale) (Yeager, 2016) and (ii) academic efficacy beliefs scale (11 items; 6-point scale) (Gaumer Erickson et al., 2016).

5. Problem-Solving: We measure problem-solving skills using the (i) planning subscale from the coping inventory (5 items; 6-point scale) (Carver et al., 1998), (ii) homework subscale from the self-regulation strategy inventory - self-report (5 items; 6-point scale) (Clearly, 2006), and (iii) academic procrastination scale - short version (5 items; 6-point scale) (Yockey, 2016).

6. Student Absenteeism: We measure student absenteeism using the school registries.

7. Students' perception of teacher practices: We measure students' perception of teacher practices using the (i) emotional support from teacher scale (5 items; 6-point scale) (Bru et al., 2002; Havick et al., 2015) and (ii) teacher support for growth mindset scale (7 items; 6-point scale) (Yeager, 2016).

8. Students' perception of the relationship with peers: We measure students' perception of the relationship with peers using the (i) scales for student self-report: supportive relations with classmates (4 items; 6-point scale), (ii) collaboration with classmates scale (6 items; 6-point scale) (Vestad et al., submitted), (iii) loneliness at school scale (6 items; 6-point scale) (Frostad et al., 2015), and (iv) exposure to bullying scale (4 items; 5-point scale) (Havik et al., 2015).
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Resilient will develop and test ``Robust,'' a learning program that supports students' social-emotional learning in secondary school. Robust is co-produced and piloted with users and consists of a scientifically based curriculum, a web portal with the teacher and student resources, and an accompanying teacher education course. Based on international empirical research on enhancing adolescents' social-emotional learning, Robust fosters relationship skills, mindfulness, problem-solving skills, emotional regulation, and a growth mindset. These areas are central themes for life mastery as described in the national school curriculum for the lower secondary level.

Robust will provide teachers with (1) teacher training and (2) teacher material, helping them work systematically to support students' social-emotional learning. First, the teacher training introduces the teachers to the research literature, which is the foundation for the teaching material in Robust. In addition, they get a thorough review of the teaching materials and the different activities and tasks for the students. Second, the teaching material consists of a resource booklet for the teachers and a digital resource bank for teachers and students. The digital resource bank contains support material, films, exercises, and assignments.

All schools in five municipalities in the region of Rogaland participated in the project, totaling 27 schools with 84 classes. Classes with (only) special needs students were exempted from participation. Parental consents were collected in early spring 2021 before randomly assigning classes within each school to either treatment or control. In late spring, we conducted the baseline surveys for students and teachers. The teacher training for treated teachers started in the late spring of 2021 and continued throughout the fall. The post-intervention survey will be conducted in late May 2022 and the follow-up will be conducted in May 2023.

We will investigate the effects of Robust on social-emotional learning (i.e., relationship skills, mindfulness, problem-solving skills, emotion regulation, and growth mindset) and academic achievement (i.e., test scores) post-intervention and one-year follow-up. We also conduct a comprehensive implementation and process evaluation during the implementation year to understand why or why the intervention is not effective.

Furthermore, we aim at (1) understanding the mechanisms through which Robust works (or why it does not work), (2) investigating differential treatment effects of Robust across gender, socioeconomic status, and pre-intervention measures of social-emotional learning and academic achievement, and (3) investigate effects of Robust on teachers’ job satisfaction and well-being, and students’ perceptions of teacher practices. We will match our survey data with registry data from Statistics Norway on gender, birth month, and family background (family size, parental education and earnings, parents’ country of birth, and marital status). We will also match registry data on students’ results from national school tests in 5th, 8th and 9th grade.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization is done in the office by a computer with a witness present.
Randomization Unit
Class.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
84 classes.
Sample size: planned number of observations
2,146 students (1,968 with parental consent).
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
There are 41 classes (985 students) in the control group and 43 classes (983 students) in the treatment group, from a total of 27 schools.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
NSD
IRB Approval Date
2020-06-29
IRB Approval Number
924805