Research shows benefits of investing in psychological wealth of young people

Aug 24, 2011

Professor Michael E. Bernard from the Melbourne Graduate School of Education has just released the results of a study examining the impact of You Can Do It! Education on the well-being of students across six Victorian primary schools.

“Just as with physical health, prevention is better than cure for emotional health issues too. I encourage schools to teach that money doesn’t buy happiness; instead, happiness comes from nurturing our inner qualities, or our ‘psychological wealth’” said Professor Bernard.

“We found when students are explicitly taught how to be confident, persistent, organised, resilient and to get along with others, and when this teaching is integrated through classroom and school-wide practices, students become more self-managing of their emotions and behavior.

“When students feel more in charge of their emotions, they are better able to stay calm in the face of the many stresses they encounter growing up in today’s world,” said Professor Bernard.

According to Professor Bernard, teaching social-emotional competence is just as important as teaching academic competence, and schools that do so are more likely to be able to deal with issues like bullying when they arise.

“When we invest in helping students become self-accepting in the face of the inevitable mini and major crises, they learn to stop taking criticism or difficulties in schoolwork personally. We can inoculate them against stress much in the same way as a vaccine wards off disease,” said Professor Bernard.

The You Can Do It! Education program, designed by Professor Bernard, is already used in thousands of schools throughout Australia. For this study it was introduced to schools through a train-the-trainer model.

“I’m really encouraged by the success of the low-cost train-the-trainer approach used in this study,” Professor Bernard said. “It indicates that school-based well-being programs that incorporate positive psychology programs can realistically be made available to all schools – they just need enthusiasm and dedication to implement them.”

Explore further: In our digital world, are young people losing the ability to read emotions?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The kids are alright

May 26, 2011

Children should be seen and not heard... who says? A Philosophy academic at The University of Nottingham is challenging the adage by teaching primary school children to argue properly.

Improving grades, saving money

Jan 13, 2011

In their paper, ‘Exploring the impacts of accelerated delivery on student learning, achievement and satisfaction’, published in Research in Post-Compulsory Education, Stephen Wilkins, from the International Center ...

Schools lose records; English learners pay

Apr 11, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Poor recordkeeping keeps California schools from getting all of the funding that they have coming, a failing that especially hurts English learners, according to research from the University of California, ...

Attention to mental health boosts academic performance

Jun 21, 2011

Australian primary school students whose mental health and wellbeing improved through KidsMatter showed better academic performance equivalent to having up to six months extra schooling, an independent evaluation by Flinders ...

Recommended for you

Feeling bad at work can be a good thing

Aug 21, 2014

(Phys.org) —Research by the University of Liverpool suggests that, contrary to popular opinion, it can be good to feel bad at work, whilst feeling good in the workplace can also lead to negative outcomes.

User comments : 0