Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Julie McCann, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Bill Boozang, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Anne Grey, Ed.D.


The purpose of this study was to explore administrator expectations and teacher experiences related to the ways through which teachers instructed students in social emotional learning and stress management at the early childhood education level, and how teachers assessed positive and problem student behaviors. The research questions guiding this study were related to how teachers instructed students in identifying their stressors, how teachers incorporated social emotional learning and stress management into the regular classroom routine to encourage positive behaviors and minimize problem behaviors, and how teachers assessed students’ ability to cope with and overcome their stressors. This study was conducted using a qualitative descriptive research approach, specifically a case study, rooted in social cognitive theory as developed by Bandura. Through individual interviews with school leaders and teachers, and the completion of a self-assessment survey by in-service teachers at the early childhood level, study participants provided insight into the ways through which stress management education was incorporated and assessed in the early childhood education classroom. The findings of this study identified the capability of students at the early childhood level to identify their stressors, the importance of normalizing stress management education into the school day, and the value of using positive reinforcement in student behavior assessments.

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