A combined intervention targeting both teachers’ and students’ social-emotional skills: Preliminary evaluation of students’ outcomes.


The literature indicates increasing evidence showing the benefits of classroom-based, universal preventive interventions for mental health and the link between social and emotional learning and academic performance. The FRIENDS program has been extensively tested and has showed promising results not only for preventing childhood anxiety, but also for improving students’ self-concept, social skills and coping skills. However, when it comes to communities in disadvantage, the results are mixed, with some studies reporting the need to include enhancements to the context in which the program is implemented to better support communities at risk. A combined intervention aiming to promote students’ social-emotional skills was piloted in a school located in a low socioeconomic status area. Teachers received training to teach social and emotional skills for students and a resilience program for themselves. Students’ social-emotional outcomes were assessed at pre, post, 3 and 6 months following the intervention. Results showed that the intervention helped students to decrease their anxiety, and the intervention was well accepted by participants.