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Parents’ perspectives on adolescent social emotional learning: an explorative qualitative study amongst parents of students in prevocational secondary education

Marion Cornelia van de Sande (Department of Social Work and Education, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, The Hague, Netherlands)
Esther Pars-Van Weeterloo (Donders Institute, Institute for Scientist-Practitioners in Addiction, Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands)
Rene F.W. Diekstra (Department of Social Work and Education, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, The Hague, Netherlands)
Carolien Gravesteijn (Department of Parenthood, University of Applied Sciences Leiden, Leiden, Netherlands)
Paul L. Kocken (Department of Psychology, Erasmus School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands)
Ria Reis (Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, Netherlands) (Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands) (Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa)
Minne Fekkes (Department of Child Health, TNO Location Leiden Sylviusweg, Leiden, Netherlands) (Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Child Development and Education, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Health Education

ISSN: 0965-4283

Article publication date: 23 February 2024

Issue publication date: 6 June 2024

81

Abstract

Purpose

Worldwide, schools implement social-emotional learning programs to enhance students' social-emotional skills. Although parents play an essential role in teaching these skills, knowledge about their perspectives on social-emotional learning is limited. In providing insight into the perspectives of parents from adolescent students this paper adds to this knowledge.

Design/methodology/approach

An explorative qualitative study was conducted to gain insight into parents' perspectives (N = 32) on adolescent social-emotional learning. A broadly used professional framework for social emotional learning was used as a frame of reference in interviews with parents from diverse backgrounds. Within and across case analyses were applied to analyze the interviews.

Findings

A conceptual model of four social-emotional skills constructs considered crucial learning by parents emerged from the data: respectful behavior, cooperation, self-knowledge and self-reliance. Parents' language, interpretations and orderings of skills indicate that the model underlying these constructs differs from skills embedded in the professional framework.

Research limitations/implications

Participants were small in number and mainly female. Therefore, more research is necessary to test the model in other parent populations.

Practical implications

The social-emotional skills students in prevocational secondary education learn at home differ from those targeted in SEL programs. Engaging students’ parents in SEL program implementation is indicated to align the skills taught at home and school. Preparing teachers to implement such programs requires training them on engaging parents from diverse backgrounds.

Originality/value

The study is one of the first providing insight into parents’ perspectives on SEL, the social-emotional skills deemed crucial to master for adolescents, and the roles they view for themselves and school on teaching these skills.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was funded by SIA, the Taskforce for Applied Research in the Netherlands, under Grant number PRO-4-43.

Citation

van de Sande, M.C., Pars-Van Weeterloo, E., Diekstra, R.F.W., Gravesteijn, C., Kocken, P.L., Reis, R. and Fekkes, M. (2024), "Parents’ perspectives on adolescent social emotional learning: an explorative qualitative study amongst parents of students in prevocational secondary education", Health Education, Vol. 124 No. 1/2, pp. 1-19. https://doi.org/10.1108/HE-07-2023-0074

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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