Me and My New World: Using social-emotional learning to promote responsible and healthy behaviors in adolescents’ personal relationships in Panama

Ana Belinda Araúz Ledezma

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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Adolescents in Panama face multiple challenges to their health, rights and well-being such as high rates of teenage pregnancy, increased HIV infection and violence. In the absence of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) legislation and as a contribution to the ongoing debate in Panamanian society about how to approach adolescents’ health problems, this dissertation has two main aims. First, to fill the gap (left by lack of CSE) by gathering evidence-based data related to the multiple behavioural and environmental factors affecting the decision-making capacities of adolescents. Second, to examine the impact of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) as a potential educational strategy, which could forge behavioural changes towards the promotion of equal personal relationships among adolescents in Panama.
The results showed that a focus on interpersonal and intrapersonal capacity development could enhance adolescents’ knowledge, attitudes, skills and beliefs towards themselves and their relationships with others. Education remains a fruitful arena to promote behavioural changes towards more equal personal relationships among young people.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Kok, Gerjo, Supervisor
  • Massar, Karlijn, Co-Supervisor
Award date8 Oct 2020
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789464161762
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • social-emotional learning
  • adolescents
  • equal personal relationships

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