Conviver: Enhancing Social Responsibility and Prosocial Leadership in Elementary School Children in Brazil

Director: Josafá Cunha

Institution: Universidade Federal do Parana

Convivencia—or “coexistence”—is a concept that is of vital importance in a society as diverse and multicultural as Brazil. This project aims to nurture the character strengths central to convivência among school-aged children in Curitiba, Brazil.

Specifically, this proposal aims to test the effectiveness of the DIGA program at increasing social responsibility and prosocial behaviors as well as reducing peer victimization among elementary school children (grades 4-5). DIGA is a Brazilian adaptation of the WITS program, which has been implemented in more than 600 public schools in Canada and the United States. Launched in Brazil in 2018, DIGA includes open-access online resources for school staff and communities.

The program is unique in its focus on fostering a spirit of convivência through positive development and collaborative community action. The program will be implemented at 60 elementary schools (30 intervention, 30 control schools), reaching 240 school personnel and at least 7,000 students. The project will use an experimental evaluation approach to measure program implementation (fidelity and quality), school climate and the positive outcomes (prosocial leadership and social responsibility), as well as negative constructs (peer victimization, aggression, and emotional problems). The team will also undertake formative research to better understand local conceptions about Convivência to better position the program for future uptake. The project is a collaboration between researchers at Universidade Federal do Paraná in Brazil and the University of Victoria, Canada.


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