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Sustained Effects of the PATHS Curriculum on the Social and Psychological Adjustment of Children in Special Education

NCJ Number
Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders Volume: 12 Dated: 2004 Pages: 66-78
Chi Ming Kam; Mark T. Greenberg; Carol A. Kusche
Date Published
13 pages

This study examined the long-term effectiveness of the PATHS (Promoting Alternative THinking Strategies) curriculum on the adjustment of school-age children with special needs.


The PATHS curriculum promotes children's emotional development, self-regulation, and social problemsolving skills. Eighteen special-education classrooms were randomly assigned to treatment and control conditions in this controlled trial. Teachers received both training and ongoing consultation and provided PATHS to students in Grades 1 through 3. Data were collected before the intervention and for 3 successive years. Growth curve analysis indicated that the intervention reduced the rate of growth of teacher-reported internalizing and externalizing behaviors 2 years after the intervention and produced a sustained reduction in depressive symptoms reported by the children. The discussion of the findings focuses on the need for socialemotional learning (SEL) programs in special education and factors that can promote SEL among children with special needs. (publisher abstract modified)