Promoting Optimistic Thinking in YMCA After-School Students
About the UC study
The Dream Playbook was tested by the University of Cincinnati in a year-long study called “Promoting Optimistic Thinking in YMCA After-School Students” as part of community service and outreach program. We had a Capstone Course of psychology students help mentor YMCA after-school students on how to dream (goal setting). The UC mentors also did an assessment of the feasibility of whether this curriculum improved socio-emotional learning in the academic environment (optimistic thinking per the DESSA measure). Overall it was both an effective and fun year for both students and facilitators.
The following year a group of these UC students continued the project in an independent study and the results were published in the Pennsylvania State University Undergraduate Journal of Service Learning & Community-Based Research.
Tested in a 1-year university study
22% improvement in children's optimistic thinking. (A big improvement!)
90% of kids looked forward to Dream It! Playbook sessions.
97% of kids recommended the Dream It! Playbook.
100% of kids reported thinking about their goals more often
The Dream It Playbook is proven statistically significantly to improve optimistic thinking, grit (perseverance), hope and a growth mindset.
Benefits per the UC Study
The playbook had overwhelmingly positive feedback. Here are a few highlights from this year-long study in 2nd-8th grades:
Research has demonstrated the benefits of children learning about dreaming. The book is based on educational, social-emotional, and cognitive development theories, and built on the backbone of our novel dream principles and original research. The games in Dream It! were tested in a university study* of the promotion of optimistic thinking in students in 2nd to 8th grade who worked on the book as a weekly class in an after-school program. Highlights from the results of the year-long study include:
Students who completed the Playbook increased in a measure of optimistic thinking by 29% in the first semester and 17% in the second semester.
After completing the Playbook, 100% of students reported that they were thinking more about their goals and future dreams. This led the researchers to conclude that the Playbook may be an effective tool to increase student achievement through increasing dreaming and goal setting.
Nearly 90% of children reported looking forward to their weekly Playbook session. This led the researchers to conclude that the Playbook may contribute to improved school attendance by providing many students with an exciting reason to go to school.
There were no differences in the positive influence of the Playbook by gender or grade
The influence of the Dream Playbook on optimistic thinking did not depend on the school.
The students who participated in this study are ethnically and socioeconomically diverse; this demonstrates the relevance and usefulness of the playbook for a diverse group of children.
The study concluded that Dream It! is an effective, evidenced-based tool for teaching social-emotional skills and increasing optimistic thinking that is enjoyed by all students.
You should change the title of the book to: "Live the life YOU want to live, if YOU put your mind to it!"
Recommendation by a Child in the Research Study
Articles about our original research
So far, we have collaborated on 6 university-led research projects, each one using the scientific process and building on the methods of the previous studies. We have also held a lot of informal workshops at schools and non-profit organizations to test our material. And behind the scenes, we are doing ongoing research, literature reviews and consulting social-emotional professionals to make sure everything we do is evidence-based and peer-reviewed. See all our research projects below.
Great news!!! Today is an exciting day for the science of dreaming (goal setting, aspiration, passions). We are proud to announce that our latest dream research study has been published in the peer-reviewed, scientific journal Child & Youth Care Forum.
A summary of a research study conducted by the University of Cincinnati to test the efficacy of a Dream Workshop and whether it improved children’s self-confidence as measure of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL).
Student’s using the workbook “Dream It!” had a scientifically proven, evidence-based improvement in optimistic thinking and perseverance (along with improvements in hope, growth-mindset and overall school climate) among elementary school students. Highlights from our most-important study to date, including lots of pictures and graphs.
We were honored to attend the American Psychological Associations 2018 annual conference to present the results of our study. This is a new analysis of our data that, essentially, says that young students perform better when they are taught the basics of socioemotional skills, like passion and goal setting, first before more academic subjects, such as reading, writing and arithmetic.
The Dream Playbook was tested by the University of Cincinnati in a year-long study called “Promoting Optimistic Thinking in YMCA After-School Students” as part of community service and outreach program.