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Improving social competence through character education


  • Cheung, Chau-kiu
  • Lee, Tak-yan


Character education is supposed to meet early adolescents' need (i.e., eighth and ninth graders) for strengthening social competence. Moreover, adolescents' engagement in character education is integral to their learning from the education. The engagement and deficit in social competence are therefore plausible conditions for the effectiveness of character education in promoting social competence. Based on a quasi-experimental design, this study focuses on the prediction of social competence of 920 ninth graders in secondary schools of Hong Kong, China. To reduce bias from the selection process of the study and the character education program, the study adjusts for the propensity of enrolling in the program throughout the analysis. The results of the analysis show the contribution of the character education program to social competence. Moreover, engagement in the program and prior lower social competence are the adolescent's characteristics that are responsible for the contribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Cheung, Chau-kiu & Lee, Tak-yan, 2010. "Improving social competence through character education," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 255-263, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:epplan:v:33:y:2010:i:3:p:255-263

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sonenstein, Freya L., 1997. "Using Self Reports to Measure Program Impact," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(7), pages 567-585, November.
    2. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    3. Browne, Gina & Gafni, Amiram & Roberts, Jacqueline & Byrne, Carolyn & Majumdar, Basanti, 2004. "Effective/efficient mental health programs for school-age children: a synthesis of reviews," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(7), pages 1367-1384, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cheung, Chau-kiu & Ngai, Steven Sek-yum, 2015. "Four- and ten-month lagged effects of individual counseling on the prosocial behavior of young people," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 89-96.


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