Getting a good start in school: Effects of INSIGHTS on children with high maintenance temperaments


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

This study investigated the efficacy of INSIGHTS into Children’s Temperament (INSIGHTS) in supporting the behaviors and engagement of low-income kindergarten and first-grade children with high-maintenance temperaments. INSIGHTS is a temperament-based social–emotional learning intervention that includes teacher, parent, and classroom programs. Participants in the study included N =435 children (Mean age = 5.38 SD =0.61) from 22 under-resourced, urban elementary schools who were randomly assigned to INSIGHTS or a supplemental after-school reading program. Sixty-nine children were identified as having a high-maintenance temperament, characterized by low levels of task persistence and high levels of motor activity and negative reactivity. Individual growth modeling showed that children with high-maintenance temperaments in INSIGHTS evidenced faster reductions in disruptive behaviors and off-task behaviors across kindergarten and first grade than their peers in the supplemental reading program. Such children in INSIGHTS also had lower overall levels of both disruptive behaviors and off-task behaviors and higher levels of behavioral engagement than children in the comparison group at the end of first grade. Intervention effects for children with high-maintenance temperaments were partially mediated through improvements in their relationships with their teachers. Implications for social–emotional learning intervention for high-risk children and early educational policy are discussed.

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