Methods Forty-five schools in England were randomly assigned to implement PATHS or continue their usual provision for two years. The trial sample were N = 5,218 children, aged 7-9 at baseline. Teachers in PATHS schools received initial training and on-going implementation support and assistance from trained coaches. Children’s psychological wellbeing, peer social support, and school connectedness were assessed at baseline and two year follow-up using the Kidscreen-27 quality of life survey (Ravens-Sieberer et al, 2007). Dosage data were used as a proxy for intervention compliance. In the absence of established compliance thresholds, these were set at the 50th (moderate) and 75th (high) percentiles.
Results Multilevel intent to treat (ITT) analysis of outcome data indicated that PATHS significantly improved children’s psychological wellbeing (b = .81, p <.05, Δ = .17), but not their peer social support or school connectedness. Multilevel CACE estimation increased the intervention effect size for psychological wellbeing (b = 2.00, p <.001, Δ = .43), and revealed significant medium to large effects for peer social support (b = 1.98, p <.001, Δ = .63) and school connectedness (b = 2.01, p <.05, Δ = .80) among compliers in the moderate compliance models. Identical effect sizes were observed in the high compliance models, indicating that increased compliance does not necessarily lead to further increases in intervention effects.
Conclusions Universal social and emotional learning interventions such as PATHS can be considered an efficacious means through which to promote children's quality of life, but further efforts to optimize implementation are required if their true potential is to be realized.