A Study of the Effects of an Affective Curriculum Program on the Awareness, Self-Concept, and Social Interaction of First Grade Students

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The University of Alabama

The past decade has witnessed an increasing interest in elementary school counseling programs. Although the geneses of this movement have come from many sources, the rationales and justifications for child counseling can be broken down into two major functions: (1) the prevention of maladjustment and (2) the development of human potential (Dimick & Huff, 1970). The need for a preventive approach is· painfully obvious. Everyday, newspapers report some antisocial act/ committed by a young person. It is not necessary to document the increase in crime, drug usage, violence, and general anomie among high school and college students~ The evidence is there for all to see. Mental disturbances incapacitate more people than all other health problems combined, and mental patients occupy more than half the country's hospital beds. What is even more frightening is the estimate that for each of those currently hospitalized for mental illness, at least twenty more are in need of psychiatric or psychological help (Coleman, 1964). For these people, most of whom were ones elementary school students, it is too late for preventive measures. Prevention must precede the symptom.

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