Australian Research Council

The KooLKIDS program aims to assist children to learn social, emotional and behavioural regulation skills, which evidence suggests can confer a wide range of interpersonal, academic, and mental health benefits for children (e.g., Eisenberg et al., 1995, 2004; Keane & Calkins, 2004; Saarni, Campos, Camras, & Witherington, 2006).

Children with good emotion regulation skills are likely to do better on a range of interpersonal, mental health and academic outcomes, and these positive outcomes can have flow on effects, benefitting parents, teachers and the school in general.

The KooLKIDS program is a 13-session school-based multi-media program designed to empower children aged 8 to 11 years to live well with themselves and others by knowing their strengths and their emotions and by learning empathy and friendship skills. The major goal of the program is to build social, emotional, and behavioural resilience in all children.

The program is divided into four key modules and through completion of these four modules, it is hoped that children will:

  • Know their strengths and develop positive self-esteem (Know Yourself);
  • Understand their emotions and manage their anger (Understand Our Needs and Emotions);
  • Recognise that everyone has feelings and develop empathy (Understand Others Needs and Emotions); and,
  • Improve their proactive social and friendship skills (Live Well With Others).

The KooLKIDS program aligns with the Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority’s personal and social capabilities of the national curriculum. This program has been developed and evaluated by researchers at the University of Queensland and the University of Western Australia. The development and evaluation of the program has been funded by the Australian Research Council.

Originally, the KooLKIDS program was targeted to children at high risk of suspension from school, however following promising results and positive feedback from teachers from the initial pilot study, a Whole of Class version of the program has recently been developed for all children in Years 4 to 6. This version is delivered by classroom teachers across a school term (or a 10-12 week period) and aims to assist all children to develop good emotion regulation skills, social and friendship skills, empathy and compassion for others and self-esteem.

For further information see: http://www.kool-kids.com.au/

Project members

Professor Annemaree Carroll

Professor, Affiliate Associate Professor