Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Devereux Early Childhood Assessment Program; Resilience (Personality trait) in children; Depression in children -- Prevention; Academic theses;


Some researchers have investigated the use of resiliency-building programs to prevent childhood depression in at risk populations (Comer, 1985; Gladstone & Beardslee, 2000; Seligman, 1995). The following study investigates the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment Program (DECA). The DECA Program is designed to build resiliency in preschool children by increasing factors that have been found to be related to resiliency: initiative, self-control, and attachment. The study evaluated the short-term effectiveness of the DECA Program. Two Head Start Centers participated in the study. Pretest DECA rating scales were completed by the classroom teachers. For the next three months the experimental classrooms used the DECA Program and the ·control classrooms did not. Teachers then filled out the posttest DECA rating scales. Pretest scores were analyzed in order to identify any significant differences between the control and experimental groups in their DECA rating scale scores prior to treatment. Only one significant pretest score difference was found, on the attachment subscale scores, thus direct comparison of posttest scores was deemed appropriate. Differences between centers were analyzed using a two-tailed t-test. Results indicated that the DECA Program was not effective at increasing factors related to resiliency in a three-month period when compared to a control group that was not exposed to the DECA Program. The program was also not effective at decreasing behavior concerns.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Specialist in Education


Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations

First Advisor

Melissa Heston


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1 PDF file (98 leaves)



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