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Joel Hektner

Joel Hektner (Ph.D., University of Chicago)
Professor and Head

Office Phone: 701-231-8269

Core Area: Child, Adolescent Development

Research InterestsPreventive interventions and social emotional learning in middle childhood; Peer affiliation patterns and peer influences on children's behaviors; Family and school conditions that facilitate optimal experiences (flow) and optimal development; Experience Sampling

Download: Vita



Early Risers is a health promotion program that seeks to teach children important life skills within a consistent and supportive environment provided in the home, school, and community.  When working effectively, this support network helps children make good decisions that will result in healthy and successful adjustments. Early Risers: Skills for Success Website


  • Adaptation of Early Risers Skills for Success
    We are analyzing experimental evidence on the effectiveness of an adaptation of a best practices prevention program (Early Risers) that features a strategic peer affiliation and peer coping skills component designed to reduce aggression, bully problems, and victimization. The NIMH-funded study involves over 200 children from 5 elementary schools. We are currently collecting the sixth wave of data, 3 years after the program ended. Seven conference presentations have been produced on this project as of 2012. 
  • Implementation of Early Risers by community partners
    Early Risers is currently being offered by a community agency in 7 schools across 3 cities in North Dakota. We are involved in training and ongoing consultation and are conducting an evaluation of the fidelity and effectiveness of the program.
  • Effectiveness of the Nurtured Heart Approach parent training program
    Data collection is ongoing in a pilot study of the effectiveness of a 5-week parent training program being coordinated by the Parenting Resource Center of NDSU/Cass County Extension. The program trains parents in the Nurtured Heart Approach as designed by Howard Glasser. We are currently working on two articles to evaluate the theoretical and empirical bases of the approach as well as to report on the results of the pilot study. A larger controlled trial is in the planning stage.

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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Last Updated: Wednesday, May 11, 2016 7:47:00 AM
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