School-based training for sustainable emotional development in Chinese preschoolers: a quasi-experiment study

Jianfen Wu*, Manling Zhang, Wenqi Lin, Yunpeng Wu, Hui Li

*Corresponding author for this work

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Emotional competence (EC) is important for children’s social adjustment and sustainable development. The present study designed a school based emotional competence learning (ECL) program and examined its effectiveness with 56 Chinese preschoolers aged 5–6. A quasi-experimental design was employed to examine the impact of the ECL program on young children’s EC. Two upper Kindergarten classes (Daban) for children aged 5–6 were randomly assigned as experimental group (n = 31, 42% girls, Mage = 68.31 months, SD = 3.75) and control group (n = 25, 44% girls, Mage = 68.16 months, SD = 3.77). The experimental group was engaged in a 15-week ECL program, whereas the control group had similar duration courses without emotional competence training. All the children were administered the Test of Emotion Comprehension, Expression Identification Task, and Emotion Regulation Strategy Inventory before and after the intervention. The results indicated no significant differences between the experimental and control groups in the pre-test. In contrast, the experimental group outperformed the control group in most EC components in the post-test. Meanwhile, the experimental group demonstrated greater increases in EC components. The findings suggest that this ECL program has strong potential as a school-based, structured program for enhancing children’s emotional competence. The educational implications of these findings are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6331
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • emotional development
  • school intervention
  • emotional competence learning
  • preschooler
  • quasi-experiment


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