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Graduate Defense: Stefanie Holloway

October 22 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm MDT

Dissertation Information

Title: The Influence of Positive School Orientation and Teacher Attachment on Adolescent Mental Health Outcomes: Investigating Possible Group Differences, Within a Social and Emotional Learning Curriculum

Program: Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction

Advisor: Dr. Carl Siebert, Curriculum, Instruction, and Foundational Studies

Committee Members: Dr. Lindsey Turner, College of Education, Dr. Hannah Calvert, College of Education, and Dr. Kelly Cross, Curriculum, Instruction, and Foundational Studies

Abstract

Social and emotional learning (SEL) interventions can be delivered universally in schools to help equalize opportunities for diverse students and improve their mental health, as well as other important academic, social, and emotional outcomes. However, it is not always known or fully understood which underlying mechanisms may be at play that enable these interventions to achieve their effects –or how such mechanisms may develop over time, within an SEL intervention. The primary purpose of this study is to determine how one such intervention, Positive Action, was able to improve adolescent students’ mental health outcomes, by testing the potential mediational influences of students’ levels of positive school orientation and teacher attachment upon different groups’ outcomes of self-reported depressive and anxiety symptoms. Findings revealed that both constructs played a significant role in students’ outcomes of depressive and anxiety symptoms at the end of their participation in the program.