Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Bond, Lynne


There are many difficulties associated with problematic social-emotional skills in childhood. These range from poor academic performance (Brinbaum, et al., 2003; Delany-Black et al., 2002; Wallach, 1994), school suspension (Lippincott-Williams & Wilkins, 2004), school drop-out (Farmer & Farmer 1999; Gagnon, Craig, Trombley, Zhou, & Vitaro, 1995), aggression (Cicchetti & Toth, 1995), and poor peer relations (Izard et al., 2001; Schultz, Izard, & Ackerman, 2000; Schultz, Izard, Ackerman, & Youngstrom, 2001). Preschool programming provides an early opportunity to build social-emotional skills and avoid some of these adverse outcomes. The question for many school districts is how to design a preschool program format that is both consistent with best practice and fits within a feasibility framework. The goal of this research study was to provide information that could be used by school districts to guide preschool program development. The study looked at the differential outcomes on dependent measures of social-emotional functioning for children aged 3 to 5-years who participated in an 8-month preschool program (n=74). The children were in 2 treatment groups (i.e., those receiving a classroom-based social skills intervention and those receiving the classroom intervention plus a home-based intervention) and a non-treatment control group. The groups also differed in group membership. The treatment group children met a criterion such as having a diagnosis or low socio-economic status. The control group consisted of children who met these same criteria, but also had members who were invited by teachers or attended based on parent request. Therefore, the control group was more heterogeneous than either treatment group. The implications of this study for school districts developing a model for preschool programming are discussed. In addition, the limitations of this study as well as potential directions for future research are reviewed.