Improving childrens self-esteem and perceived social related abilities: the evaluation of a school-based program


Background and Objective: Health education programmes delivered in school settings are often design to enhance child self–esteem or various social skills in order to improve the way that they interact in every day life. Although these are becoming increasingly frequent, little is known about the real efficacy of many of the available programs that claim to be able to positively develop these psychologica dimensions. This study, which takes a Public Health approach, examines the effect of a school-based educational programme, designed following the WHO recommendations, in order to favour children’s self-esteem and improve perceived socio-relational competences.

Method: To test the effectiveness of this intervention, a non randomized, controlled, prospective study was set up. All 291 eligible students, aged between 8-10 years, were enrolled. To assess self-esteem and perceived supportive relationship, a well-known and descriptive scales were utilised (MSCS, SPPC, AIR).

Results: No difference was found between the experimental and control groups with respect to the children’s self-esteem and perceived socio-relational competences following the intervention, except in the quality of their relationships with their teachers, which improved in the experimental group and declined in the control group.

Discussion: The educational programme used in our study did not seem to be able to enhance self-esteem in the intervention group, but the methodological instruments used to monitor the change in self-esteem domonstrated a different rate of change in the more disadvantaged sub-groups of the observed population.


Self-esteem; school program; program evaluation

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