257318 Equipping sixth grade students with valuable life skills by teaching interactive lessons about self-esteem, self-confidence, and diversity

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Rachel Forbat, BS , Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Panayiota Courelli, PhD , Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Through lessons on self-esteem, self-confidence, stereotypes, and appreciating differences, this intervention sought to decrease students' negative perceptions of themselves, increase tolerance among individuals with different backgrounds and abilities, and promote awareness of each individual's unique attributes. Interactive lectures were used in tandem with games and exercises to engage sixth graders at Magnolia Elementary School in Los Angeles, California, and students were encouraged to apply the lessons learned to their own lives. Pre- and post-tests were given to measure the effectiveness of the treatment given, and Wilcoxon Matched Pairs Signed-Ranks Tests were conducted to measure the statistical significance of the data. Statistically significant (2-tailed significance of 0.011) results indicated that students gained more friends throughout the course of this intervention. In addition, several individual students showed dramatic improvements in certain areas being studied, but these were not statistically significant on a sample level. Further directions for research include repeating this study with a standardized curriculum, increasing the sample size, and examining the impact of this intervention longitudinally.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Discuss educational strategies which increase social support systems among adolescent students.

Keywords: Self-sufficiency and Empowerment, Child/Adolescent Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I created and implemented this study under the direction of Panayiota Courelli, PhD, who has extensive experience in adolescent mental health issues. I am receiving my Bachelor of Science degree in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Studies before the start of the conference and have focused my studies on maternal, infant, child, and adolescent health issues.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.