Promoting prosocial behaviours represents a way to increase school adjustment, but also to sustain equity and active citizenship later in adolescence, one of the main goals set by the Council of Europe for education in 2020. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects in primary school children of a pilot school-based intervention called CEPIDEAS Junior, an intervention model validated for junior high school (Caprara et al., 2014), designed to reduce aggressive behaviour and promote prosocial behaviour. This intervention was designed in accordance with a theoretical model that views emotional related self-efficacy beliefs as crucial vehicles of change. The three-month intervention was carried out in five schools in the metropolitan area of Rome. The intervention group included 109 students (47.0% males; Mage9.08), and the control group 98 students (49.3% males; Mage9.21). Both groups were assessed at the beginning and at the end of the intervention. Outcomes assessed: teacher-reports of prosocial behaviours, physical and verbal aggression, and emotional instability (Caprara et al., 1992); student-rerpots of emotional and empathic self-efficacy (Caprara, Gerbino, 2001; Di Giunta et al., 2010; 2013) and emotional regulation (ERC: Molina et al., 2014). Preliminary results of the repeated measures ANOVA evidenced timeXgroup interactions: in particular, at the conclusion of the intervention, it emerged an increase in students’ self-efficacy beliefs regarding the management of sadness [F(1,172) 5.77; p<,05; eta2 .03] and anger [F(1,172) 10.68; p<,01; eta2 .03] and prosocial behaviours [F(1,172)3.10; p=,05;eta2.04]. It also emerged a decrease in their aggressive behaviours [F(1,172)7.19; p<.01; eta2.04], emotional instability [F(1,172) 24.79; p<.001; eta2 0.13] and emotional lability/negativity [F(1,172) 7.26; p<,01; eta2 .04]. Overall, findings suggest that promoting prosocial behaviour may serve to counteract aggressive conduct and enhance emotional regulation. These results are promising and confirm that school-based social-emotional learning programs can promote and enhance students’ connection to school.
Vecchio, G. (2017). Prosocial education: Evidence from a school-based intervention in primary school. In ECDP 2017 - 18th European Conference on Developmental Psychology. Abstract book (pp.57-58).