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Research and Projects

Teacher-led interventions on social and emotional behaviour in primary school children

Theme: CLAHRC - Mental Health & Dementia
Status: Complete

This review is being led by the Evidence Synthesis Team.


Disruptive and challenging behaviour is a widely recognised problem in the class-room and predicts several adverse outcomes in relation to educational and occupational failure, mental and physical health, substance misuse and criminality. There has been increasing awareness of the importance of all types of childhood psychiatric disorders amongst educational professionals. Within the UK, national policies aimed at improving the mental health and well-being of children in schools are being explicitly guided by available research evidence.
Many qualified teachers report a lack of training in managing disruptive behaviour and socio-emotional difficulties within the classroom, which they cite as a common source of stress or burn out. Programmes that provide teachers with additional skills in behaviour management and the promotion of socio-emotional competence among their pupils have the potential to increase the mental health of both children and
their teachers. Socio-emotional and behavioural difficulties may also impact adversely on academic attainment, not only for the children affected but also for the whole class. Thus, optimizing teachers’ skills in the promotion of appropriate socio-emotional behaviour in children may also increase academic attainment.

Project aims

This study aims to find out what the effect of interventions to improve teachers’ classroom behaviour management skills on

a) the emotional wellbeing of teachers and

b) the behaviour, academic attainment and emotional wellbeing of primary school children (aged 3-12)?

The purpose of this systematic review is to help to clarify the role of teacher training initiatives aimed at improving social and emotional outcomes of primary school aged children through improved universal and targeted classroom management. It is important to consider their impact on both the teachers and the children to ensure interventions are as effective as possible.  The systematic review would also be useful in underpinning future research proposals aimed at assessing the effects of teacher-training initiatives on teacher ‘burn-out’.

Further information

For further information, read the project paper.


Others Involved

Daniel Racey