Data from the independent evaluation of Childhood Development Initiative's Mate-Tricks pro-social behaviour after-school programme, which was undertaken by the Centre for Effective Education at Queen’s University Belfast.

Mate-Tricks is an after-school programme designed to promote pro-social behaviour in Tallaght West (Dublin). Tallaght West has been designated as an area of particular social and economic disadvantage with high levels of unemployment.

Mate-Tricks was a bespoke intervention that combines elements of two pro-social behaviour programmes: the Strengthening Families Program (SFP) and Coping Power Program (CPP). The programme is a one-year multi-session after-school programme comprising 59 children-only sessions, 6 parent-only sessions and 3 family sessions, with each session lasting 1½ hours. This evaluation reports on the pilot of this programme. Three cohorts of children participated in the pilot between 2008 and 2011. The manual was still being adapted and refined in the first two years of the programme. 

Mate-Tricks is aimed at improving pro-social behaviour amongst children aged 9-10 years (Irish 4th class). The intended outcomes of this programme are stated as follows in the Mate-Tricks manual:

  • enhance children’s pro-social development;
  • reduce children’s anti-social behaviour;
  • develop children’s confidence and self-esteem;
  • improve children’s problem-solving skills;
  • improve child-peer interactions;
  • develop reasoning and empathy skills;
  • improve parenting skills;
  • improve parent/child interactions.

A rigorous evaluation of the programme was completed by the Centre for Effective Education at Queen’s University Belfast, which included a randomised controlled trial (RCT) using a 3-year rolling cohort design, to measure the effects of the programme on child outcomes
and a process evaluation that investigated its implementation.

Data from this evaluation are available via the Irish Social Science Data Archive (see below links).