Preschool Paths: Understanding Implementation Fidelity and Social Validity in Community Contexts

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University of Alabama Libraries

Children who grow up in poverty face unique challenges that can impact later functioning. Unequal access to quality early intervention services impacts children’s readiness to begin formal schooling. Early interventions that target social, emotional, and behavioral functioning can be used to mitigate negative influences of growing up in poverty and positively impact children’s lives. Problem behaviors tend to persist over time and challenging behaviors during the preschool years can be targeted with high quality social emotional learning programs. One program that has been found to be efficacious in increasing social emotional competence and reducing problem behaviors with younger populations is the Preschool Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (Preschool PATHS) program. The summer prior to Kindergarten presents a unique opportunity to enhance children’s social emotional competence and prepare them for formal schooling. The transition period during the summer prior to Kindergarten was the focus of this mixed methods sequential explanatory study. This study seeks to examine the critical factors of implementation fidelity and social validity to better understand how a community setting and agency staff can offer the Preschool PATHS program to at-risk preschool-aged children.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
preschool children, social emotional learning