Over a three-year period (1995-98), four studies involving 950 kindergartners
from urban and rural schools in Tennessee, Kentucky and Kansas were
conducted by Dr. Donald DeMoulin, Department of Educational Studies,
University of Tennessee-Martin. The studies looked at the impact of
the I Like Me! program
on different factors affecting the development of kindergarten-age
Study #1 analyzed the cumulative impact
of the I Like Me!
program on the development of a positive self-concept in kindergarten
children. (“Self-concept” is a term that encompasses two areas
of child development: self-esteem - how children feel about
themselves-and self-efficacy-how children feel about what they
do and the affect this has on how they approach tasks such as learning.)
Study #2 looked at the effectiveness
of the format and length of the program.
Study #3 analyzed the impact of the personalized
reader approach on students’ reading comprehension.
Study #4 looked at the effect of the
program on students who are kindergarten age but, as a result of their
late birthdays, experience delays in their emotional and cognitive
Like Me! program
contributed significantly to the overall growth in positive self-concept
in children involved in the studies. Pre-test and post-test results
showed an average overall gain of approximately 7% in children
involved in the studies..
- On average, boys and girls experienced equal growth in positive
- Children from different social economic levels experienced similar
- Self-concept development in Caucasian, African- American, Asian,
and Hispanic student participants improved significantly. (Future
studies will include more children of Native American and other
On average, kindergartners who participated in the 12-week program
on a continuous basis demonstrated greater benefit in overall self-concept
- than children who did not receive the personalized reader at all,
- than children who received the personalized reader, but no instruction
or involvement from their teacher and/or parents, or
- than children who received the personalized reader but only periodic
I Like Me!
program instruction from teachers.
The use of the personalized I
Like Me! reader
improved reading comprehension and recall in kindergartners by an
average of 46.8 percent over children using non-personalized
I Like Me!
enhances self-concept in children with developmental
delays and has a significant impact on their overall readiness to
enter kindergarten. Children in this test group showed an average
gain of 53.1 percent in self-concept development following
the 12- week I
Like Me! program.
The results also suggest that the I
Like Me! program
improves classroom behavior.
- Some teachers reported as much as a 40 percent decline in classroom
management problems during the 12-week program.
SUBSEQUENT RESEARCH FINDINGS:
From the results of the initial study, additional assessments
were taken during the 1998-1999 school year and were compiled into
the following composite analysis. The I
Like Me! program continues to positively impact the
overall self-concept of kindergartners. Both the self-esteem element
and self-efficacy elements contributed to the overall advance. Analyses
continue to suggest that children have a good feeling toward themselves
and toward school at this age and the significance of the I
Like Me! program fosters an effective impact on building both
self-esteem and self-efficacy elements. Analyses further suggest that:
- Gender was not a factor in self-concept , self-esteem,
and self-efficacy development as data for both boys and girls produced
mean significant gains with the largest gain identified with girls.
- Race was not a factor among the different ethnic groups:
Caucasian students, African American students, Asian students, Hispanic
students, Native American students, and in the category of "Other"
experienced positive growth in self-concept with the largest gain
identified within Caucasian students.
- Children regardless of socioeconomic status (SES) benefited
from the impact of the program in overall self-concept in both self-esteem
and self-efficacy elements---the greatest gain in self-concept,
esteem, and efficacy was identified in the "Free" category.
- Children from different geographic (identified using the U.
S. Department of Education Regional Divisions) showed positive gains
in all categories of self-concept, esteem, and efficacy indicating
that the I Like Me!
program is equally effective in all regions in enhancing self-concept,
self-esteem, and self-efficacy in kindergartners.
With the additional information, the I
Like Me! program is making a continued, positive impact not
only in overall self-concept growth, but in self-efficacy and self-esteem
elements as well. The ongoing analyses further indicate that I
Like Me! is a program that can be replicated throughout the
United States--meeting the diverse needs of kindergartners across
a wide-range of cultures.