Perspectives on Early Childhood Psychology and Education

Submission Type



For young children with early social-emotional difficulties, early intervention is imperative. A number of interventions are available for young children to promote social-emotional competencies. Yet, little is known regarding the impact of early childhood interventions among rural children. Rural communities have several barriers which impede access to early intervention, and rural children often are at increased risk for social-emotional difficulties. Thus, the purpose of this article is to conduct a meta-analysis of single case design studies of social-emotional interventions that have been implemented within rural settings with young children, in an effort to determine the effects and types of early interventions specific to young children in rural areas. A total of 7 studies with 26 participants and 53 effects comprised the final sample. Findings indicated that all interventions, representing three different component types (i.e., teacher/parent behavior management training, social-emotional competency training, parent involvement/enhancement), produced positive social-emotional outcomes (i.e., improved prosocial behavior and decreased disruptive behavior). Moderating variables (e.g., child characteristics, intervention implementer) that may impact intervention effectiveness were also studied and one variable was significant; specifically, studies published in journals had more impact on outcomes than those which were not published. Implications for future research and policy are provided.