Exploring the Relationship Between Organizational Social Context of Schools, Individual Provider Characteristics, and Teacher Attitudes Toward Social Emotional Learning Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Enrico, Marisa
    • Affiliation: School of Education, School Psychology Graduate Program
  • Despite empirical evidence suggesting social-emotional learning (SEL) is critical for reducing risk behaviors and promoting mental health, prosocial behaviors, and academic achievement, SEL programs have not been routinely adopted in school settings (Durlak et al., 2011). Due to associated implications for adoption and implementation, recent research has focused on identifying factors that may influence attitudes toward mental-health evidence-based practices (EBPs). Empirical evidence shows an association between the organizational social context, individual provider characteristics, and attitudes toward EBPs (e.g., Aarons et al., 2012). Organizational social context, which includes the norms and expectations (i.e., culture) of the organization as well as the psychological impact of the work environment on the individual workers (i.e., climate), can impact how readily new practices will be considered and adopted (Aarons, 2005). Studies (e.g., Aarons, 2005; Aarons et al., 2012) have shown that negative organizational culture is associated with providers’ negative attitudes toward adoption of EBP while positive cultures/climates are associated with openness to adoption of EBPs. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between the organizational social context of schools, individual provider characteristics, and educators’ attitudes toward social emotional learning (SEL). In order to measure these variables, an online survey that included The Collaborative on Academic and Social Emotional Learning (CASEL)’s Missing Piece Survey and the Organizational Social Context (OSC) survey was administered to 68 educators from North Carolina schools. Statistical analyses indicated that “grades taught” as well as educators’ perceptions of their organizational social context (e.g., engagement in their work goals and responsibilities) were significant predictors of educators’ attitudes toward the importance of SEL instruction in schools. In addition, educators’ perceived stress in their work environment was a predictor of their perception of SEL barriers to implementation. Overall, the findings reinforce the notion that aspects of the school climate impact educators’ attitudes toward SEL instruction and challenges to SEL program implementation. It is hoped that these findings will provide important information about factors that can be leveraged to bridge the research to practice gap in SEL program implementation.
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  • In Copyright
  • McCamish, Cayce
  • Knotek, Steven
  • Evarrs, Sandra
  • Simeonsson, Rune
  • Dusenbury, Linda
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2017

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