General Applied Research

I. Reaching kids in Elementary School is a critical part of Soul Shoppe programs.

By middle and high school it may already be too late. Research suggests that the 5-12 age window is the time to reach kids with school-based programs in Social and Emotional Learning.

In Teaching adolescents to become learners. The role of non-cognitive factors in shaping school performance: A critical literature review. The authors conclude “By helping students develop the non- cognitive skills, strategies, attitudes, and behaviors that are the hallmarks of effective learners, teachers can improve student learning and course performance while also increasing the likelihood that students will be successful in college”(Farrington, C.A., Roderick, M et all 2012).

Childhood aggression can foretell official delinquency status, and, coupled with social development, delinquency in elementary school (Farrington, 1987; Lipsey &Derzon, 1998; Loeber, Farrington, Stouthamer-Loeber, Moffitt & Caspi, 1998).

II. Soul Shoppe utilizes Metaphors and Storytelling to reach children and leave a lasting impression.

Researchers recommend using literature in character development. Researchers argue that they metaphors and storytelling) can provide a source of psychological relief from various pressures and concerns, provide powerful role modeling, help to gain objectivity and awareness about various cultural/ societal problems and their effect on them, serve as a mirror for oneself, ultimately increasing their insight into themselves (Cionciolo, 1965; Rudman & Pearce, 1988; Rasinksi& Gillespie, 1992; Galda& Cullinan, 2002).

III. Soul Shoppe focuses on universal rather than targeted approaches to bullying and interventions.

Many researchers verify the need to use a whole-school, universal approach rather than targeting specific students (Adelman & Taylor, 2000; Entenman, Murnen& Hendricks, 2005; Fekkes, Pilpers&Verloove-Vanhorick, 2005; Hendershot, Dake, & Price, 2006).

School-wide initiatives and structures, as well as school culture and environment, play a role in shaping students’ experiences and performance in the classroom (Bryk, Sebring, Allensworth, Luppescu, & Easton, 2009).

IV. Soul Shoppe relies heavily on Mind-Body research.

A big influence on the curriculum is the work of Daniel Siegal, M.D. co-founder of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center. Siegal emphasizes that when kids feel unsafe, their limbic system freezes up, and it is then impossible for them to use their higher neo-cortex functions to learn. Caine & Caine also provide research foundation directly as well as through the popularized techniques of their aggregated research by Eric Jensen.

Research also shows that being victimized, like in a bullying situation, also significantly increases the child’s probability of developing or contracting a new medical or psychological illness (Fekkes, Pijpers, Fredricks, Vogels&Verloove-Vanhorick, 2006).


Research in our Program Themes

(Our four Program themes are well supported by the research.)

1. Anger Management, Emotional Self Regulation

Social and emotional skills training leads to fewer classroom disruptions, decreased absences and higher grades (Shriver & Weissberg, 2005).

Psychologist Daniel Goleman noted a decrease in classroom distractions and a significant increase in children’s capacity for attention and retention in direct correlation with their ability to regulate their emotions (Daniel Goleman, 1995).2. Peer to Peer Education/Conflict Resolution

Researchers have reported the power of peer group intervention as the most effective form of intervention, and suggested that prevention/intervention programs provide students with the skill-building and support they need to do so (O’Connell, Pepler& Craig, 1999; Salmivalli, 1999; Sutton & Smith, 1999; Twemlow, Fonagy, & Sacco, 2004)..

3. Empathy & Perspective Taking

Bullying and victimization also have a devastating effect on a child’s relationship with school and academic achievement. Researchers have found correlations with increased peer rejection and school avoidance. Bullies, bystanders and victims are significantly more likely to feel as though they do not belong at school, feel unsafe or sad, and cheated if they could get away with it. Moreover, victims and bully/victims were more likely to have lower achievement than bystanders (Hodges, Malone & Perry, 1997; Kochenderfer& Ladd, 1996). Other researchers have similarly found that bullying is associated with low school bonding, adjustment, and competence (Glew, Fan, Katon et. al., 2005). Bullying also results in higher rates of truancy as well (Brown, Birch &Kancherla, 2005).

School Climate Research in human cognition has moved away from the idea of cognition as being isolated within an individual brain to depending on the contexts in which it exists, “including the environment, perception, action, affect, and socio-cultural systems” (Barsalou, 2010, p. 325).

Shriver & Weissberg sum it up well: “The best social and emotional learning programs engage not only children, but also their teachers, administrators and parents in providing children with the information and skills that help them make ethical and sensible decisions.”

Researchers emphasize that change takes time and that the total school atmosphere needs to change as reinforcements are implemented across school experiences (Farrell, Meyer, Kung & Sullivan, 2001, Gottfredson, 2001).

Teachers’ participation in school climate efforts are critical, and program success is directly proportionate to their skilled participation. There is a significant positive correlation exists between teacher’s level of participation and program success. Indeed, the more teachers participate, the more effective a program is (Twemlow, Fonagy, Sacco &Brethour, 2006).

Reference List

H. S., & Taylor, L. (2000). Shaping the future of mental health in schools. Psychology in the Schools, 37(1), 49-60.

Barsalou, L. W. (2010). Grounded cognition: past, present, and future. Topics in Cognitive Science, 2(4), 716-724.

Brown, S. L., Birch, D. A., &Kancherla, V. (2005). Bullying Perspectives: Experiences, Attitudes, and Recommendations of 9-¬‐to 13-¬‐Year-¬‐Olds Attending Health Education Centers in the United States. Journal of School Health,75(10), 384-392.

Bryk, A.S., Sebring, P.B., Allensworth, E., Luppescu, S., and Easton, J.Q. (2009) Organizing schools for improvement: Lessons from Chicago. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Caine, R. N., & Caine, G. (1991). Making connections: Teaching and the human brain.

CASEL — Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (2013) Effective Social and Emotional Learning Programs, pages 6, 38.

Cianciolo, P. J. (1965). Children’s literature can affect coping behavior. The Personnel and Guidance Journal, 43(9), 897-903.

Durlak, J.A., Weissberg, R.P., Dymnicki, A.B., Taylor, R.D., and Schellinger, K.B. (2011) The impact of enhancing students’ social and emotional learning: A meta-analysis of school-based universal interventions. Child Development, 82(1), 405-432.

Entenman, J., Murnen, T. J., & Hendricks, C. (2005). Victims, bullies, and bystanders in K–3 literature. The Reading Teacher, 59(4), 352-364.

Farrell, A. D., Meyer, A. L., Kung, E. M., & Sullivan, T. N. (2001). Development and evaluation of school-based violence prevention programs. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 30(2), 207-220.

Farrington, C.A., Roderick, M., Allensworth, E., Nagaoka, J., Keyes, T.S., Johnson, D.W., &Beechum, N.O. (2012). Teaching adolescents to become learners. The role of noncognitive factors in shaping school performance: A critical literature review. Chicago: University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research. Pages 72,76..

Fekkes, M., Pijpers, F. I., Fredriks, A. M., Vogels, T., &Verloove-Vanhorick, S. P. (2006). Do bullied children get ill, or do ill children get bullied? A prospective cohort study on the relationship between bullying and health-related symptoms.Pediatrics, 117(5), 1568-1574.

Fekkes, M., Pijpers, F. I., &Verloove-Vanhorick, S. P. (2005). Bullying: who does what, when and where? Involvement of children, teachers and parents in bullying behavior. Health education research, 20(1), 81-91.

Galda, L., & Cullinan, B. E. (2002). Cullinan and Galda’s literature and the child(Vol. 1). Wadsworth Pub Co.

Glew, G. M., Fan, M. Y., Katon, W., Rivara, F. P., &Kernic, M. A. (2005). Bullying, psychosocial adjustment, and academic performance in elementary school. Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine, 159(11), 1026-1031.

Goleman, D. (1995).Emotional intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ,.Bantam Books

Gottfredson, D. C. (2001). Schools and delinquency. Cambridge University Press.

Greenberg, M.T., Weissberg, R.P., O’Brien, M.U., Zins, J.E., Fredericks, L., Resnik, H., and Elias, M.J. (2003, June/July) Social development and social and emotional learning. In J.E. Zins, R.P. Weissberg, M.C. Wang, and H.J. Walberg (Eds.), Building academic success on social and emotional learning: What does the research say? (pp. 135-150). New York: Teachers College Press.

Hendershot, C., Dake, J. A., Price, J. H., & Lartey, G. K. (2006). Elementary school nurses’ perceptions of student bullying. The Journal of school nursing,22(4), 229-236.

Hodges, E. V., Malone, M. J., & Perry, D. G. (1997). Individual risk and social risk as interacting determinants of victimization in the peer group.Developmental psychology, 33(6), 1032.

Jensen, E. P. (2008). Brain-based learning: The new paradigm of teaching. Corwin Press.

Kochenderfer, B. J., & Ladd, G. W. (1996). Peer victimization: Cause or consequence of school maladjustment?.Child development, 67(4), 1305-1317.

Loeber, R., Farrington, D. P., Stouthamer-Loeber, M., & Van Kammen, W. B. (1998). Antisocial Behavior and Mental Health Problems: Explanatory Factors in Childhood and Adolescence. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

O’Connell, Paul, Pepler, D., & Craig, W. (1999). Peer involvement in bullying: Insights and challenges for intervention. Journal of adolescence, 22(4), 437-452.

Rasinski, T. V., & Gillespie, C. S. (1992). Sensitive issues: An annotated guide to children’s literature, K-6. Phoenix: Oryx Press.

Rudman, M. & Pearce, A. (1988). For love of reading: A parent’s guide to encouraging young readers from infancy through age 5. Mount Vernon, NY: Consumers Union.

Salmivalli, C. (1999). Participant role approach to school bullying: Implications for interventions. Journal of adolescence, 22(4), 453-459.

Shriver, Timothy P., and Roger P. Weissberg. “No emotion left behind.” New York Times 16 (2005).

Siegel, Daniel J. The mindful brain. Sounds True, New York, NY (2008).

Sutton, J., & Smith, P. K. (1999). Bullying as a group process: An adaptation of the participant role approach. Aggressive Behavior, 25(2), 97-111. Twemlow, S. W., Fonagy, P., & Sacco, F. C. (2004). The role of the bystander in the social architecture of bullying and violence in schools and communities.Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1036(1), 215-232.

Twemlow, S. W., Fonagy, P., Sacco, F. C., &Brethour, J. R. (2006). Teachers who bully students: A hidden trauma. International Journal of Social Psychiatry,52(3), 187-198.