Return to Programs

Age From: 


Age To: 


Delivered To: 

  • Children/Students


  • Component 2 : Social and emotional learning for students


  • Social and emotional skills

Special Student Group: 

  • Culturally/Linguistically diverse
  • Lower socioeconomic/disadvantaged
  • Rural setting
  • Special needs (disability in learning, intellect, physical etc)


Target group:
PATHS was designed to be used with elementary school-aged students (i.e., grades K-5) and to be implemented by classroom teachers.

Designed for, or demonstrated applicability to, special groups:
In addition to regular education, PATHS has been shown to be effective with a number of special groups including deaf and hearing-impaired students, behaviourally disordered, learning disabled and gifted students, as well as students from a wide diversity of ethnic, cultural, socio-economic and family backgrounds. PATHS has also been shown to have positive benefits for students in rural settings.

Program content and components:
PATHS covers five conceptual domains:

  • Self-Control
  • Emotional Understanding
  • Positive Self-Esteem
  • Relationships
  • Interpersonal Problem-Solving Skills

Delivery By: 

  • Other


PATHS is a program that targets the development of social and emotional competence in order to build children’s protective factors and decrease the risk of behavioural and social problems. It is designed to promote social and emotional competence, prevent violence, aggression and other behavioural problems, improve critical thinking skills and enhance the classroom climate.



Identified theoretical framework:
The PATHS program is based on five conceptual models. The first, the ABCD (Affective-Behavioural-Cognitive-Dynamic) model of development focuses on the promotion of optimal developmental growth for each individual. The second model incorporates an eco-behavioural systems orientation and emphasizes the manner in which the teacher uses the curriculum model and generalises the skills to build a healthy classroom atmosphere (i.e., one that supports the children’s use and internalisation of the material they have been taught). The third model involves the domains of neurobiology and brain structure/organisation, while the fourth paradigm involves psychodynamic education (derived from developmental psychodynamic theory). Finally, the fifth model includes psychological issues related to emotional awareness, or as it is more popularly labelled, emotional intelligence.

Staff professional learning (PL):
Training workshops can be arranged if desired. However, when the instructor manual and the five teaching manuals are used in conjunction with one another, it is possible to conduct the program without training.

Program Structure / Methods of Delivery: 

Program structure:
PATHS is a flexible program that allows implementation of the 131 lessons over a 5-year period, but it should be noted that any particular lesson is not necessarily equivalent to one session; indeed, depending on the needs of any specific classroom, one PATHS lesson can run from one to five or more PATHS sessions. Typically, the curriculum provides 30-45 lessons per year, and these are arranged in three major units:

  • Readiness and Self-Control Unit – 12 lessons This focuses on readiness skills and developing basic self-control and is targeted for young or developmentally delayed children.
  • Feelings and Relationships – 56 lessons This focuses on teaching emotional and interpersonal understanding (i.e., emotional intelligence).
  • Interpersonal Cognitive Problem Solving Unit – 33 lessons This covers 11 formal steps to interpersonal problem solving.

Throughout these units, PATHS also intersperses lessons on building positive self-esteem and improving peer communications/relations. There is also a supplementary unit that contains 30 additional lessons that review and expand on the concepts taught in the three major units.

The instructional manual for teachers contains information on how to encourage generalisation to the home environment, through parent letters and information, which are provided periodically in the curricular lessons and can be sent home by the teachers as desired. ‘Home activity assignments’ (separate versions for younger and older students) are also included for children to do at home (e.g., Ask your mum or dad or other adult about a time when they felt proud) to further involve parents.


Program costs:
PATHS Complete Curriculum includes:

  • Instructor’s Manual
  • 5 Curriculum Manuals
  • Turtle Manual
  • ‘Feelings’ Photographs
  • ‘Feelings’ Face Cards
  • 2 ‘Feelings’ Display Wall Charts
  • 4 Posters
  • Plush Turtle Puppet (13″)
  • Turtle Stamp with Pad

For 1-9 kits – US$699 (Not including postage and handling)

Program Specific Audience: 


Structured Sessions: 


Student Assessment Measures: 


Professional Learning: 

  • Professional Learning Available

Professional Learning Compulsory: 


Formal Parent/Carer Component Provided: 

Evidence of Effectiveness

Evidence of Effectiveness Rating: 


Evidence of Effectiveness Description: 

Multiple studies document positive behavioural outcomes at post-test, with at least one study indicating positive behavioural impacts at follow-up at least one year after the intervention ended.

Competency 1 : Self Awareness: 


Competency 3 : Self-management: 


Competency 4 : Responsible decision-making: 


Competency 5 : Relationship skills: 


Identified Theoretical Framework: 


Survey/Audit Tools Available: 



References supplied by program authors:
Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group (1999). Initial impact of the Fast Track prevention trial for conduct problems: I. The high-risk sample. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 67, 631-647.

Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group (1999). Initial impact of the Fast Track prevention trial for conduct problems: II. Classroom effects. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 67, 648-657.

Greenberg, M. T., & Kusché, C. A. (1998). Preventive intervention for school-aged deaf children: The PATHS curriculum. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 3, 49-63.

Greenberg, M. T., Kusché, C. A., Cook, E. T., & Quamma, J. P. (1995). Promoting emotional competence in school-aged children: The effects of the PATHS Curriculum. Development and Psychopathology, 7, 117-136.

Kam, C. M., Greenberg, M. T., & Kusché, C. A. (2004). Sustained effects of the PATHS curriculum on the social and psychological adjustment of children in special education. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 12, 66-78.

Kam, C. M., Greenberg, M. T., & Walls, C. T. (2003). Examining the role of implementation quality in school-based prevention using the PATHS curriculum. Prevention Science, 4, 55-63.

Riggs, N. R., Greenberg, M. T., Kusché, C. A. & Pentz, M. A. (2006). The mediation role of neurocognition in the behavioural outcomes of a social-emotional prevention program in elementary school students: Effects of the PATHS curriculum. Prevention Science, 7, 91-102.

Seifer, R., Gouley, K., & Zakriski, A. (2004). Implementation of the PATHS curriculum in an urban elementary School. Early Education and Development, 4, 472-484.



Carol A. Kusché and Mark T. Greenberg

About the Author(s): 

Carol A. Kusché, PhD, is a psychoanalyst and clinical psychologist in private practice in Seattle, Washington. She is also a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington and a faculty member at Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and at Northwest Center for Psychoanalysis.

Mark T. Greenberg, PhD, is the director of the Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development and the Bennett Chair of Prevention Research at Pennsylvania State University.

Contact Information: 

Certified PATHS Trainers
Victoria – Ros June
Western Australia – Debra Cochrane

Program Materials 

Channing Bete Company, Inc.
One Community Place
South Deerfield, MA. 01373-0200
Phone: 1 800 477 4776
Fax: 1 800 499 6464