Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Joshua Felver

Subject Categories

Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Low rates of prosocial behavior are associated with poor academic, emotional, and behavioral outcomes, including physical aggression, externalizing problems, criminal justice convictions, lower academic achievement, and more peer rejection. Using a cluster randomized control trial, this study examined the effects of the mindfulness-based Kindness Curriculum (N = 26), compared to a matched control condition consisting of a social and emotional learning (SEL) curriculum, Merrell’s Strong Start (N = 20). Outcome measures included the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and the Head Shoulders Knees and Toes task, which are measures of prosocial behavior including self-regulatory skills. These assessments were administered to 5 to 7 year old children pre- and post-intervention via a remote platform. Due to Covid-19, interventions were delivered virtually, and intervention acceptability of the adapted virtual curricula was assessed with students using the Kids Intervention Profile (KIP) questionnaire, and with teachers using the Intervention Rating Profile – 15 (IRP-15). Additional qualitative questions were used to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the intervention and its feasibility for students with disabilities.

Results of two-way Repeated-Measures ANOVAs indicated that there were no statistically significant interactions between time and group assignment in prosocial behavior or self-regulation. Both curricula were acceptable to teachers and students, and led to student-perceived increases in SEL skills. Findings suggest that the Kindness Curricula is feasible and acceptable for students with a range of abilities, and can be successfully adapted to a virtual platform. Future research is warranted to replicate the benefits and efficacy of all 24 sessions completed in a larger sample of students.


Open Access

Included in

Psychology Commons