How Effective Is Social and Emotional Learning Training?

July 13, 2017

Promoting Positive Youth Development Through School-Based Social and Emotional Learning Interventions: A Meta-Analysis of Follow-Up Effects

This meta-analysis of school-based social and emotional learning (SEL) interventions examined the impact of SEL on key outcomes: social-emotional skills, positive attitudes, positive social behavior, academic performance, conduct problems, emotional distress, and drug use. A total of 82 studies met the criteria for inclusion in the meta-analysis. To be included, studies needed to examine school-based social and emotional learning interventions that were universal, or administered to all students, instead of focusing on students with specific social or behavioral problems. A majority of the studies used randomized designs, monitored implementation, and employed reliable and valid outcome measures. Researchers found that students in school-based SEL interventions demonstrated positive benefits in seven outcomes for 56 weeks to 195 weeks (3.75 years) following program participation. An effect size of 0.33 was found for academic performance (based on grades and test scores drawn from school records).

Citation: Taylor, R. D., Oberle, E., Durlak, J. A., & Weissberg, R. P. (2017). Promoting positive youth development through school-based social and emotional learning interventions: A meta-analysis of follow-up effects. Child Development, 88(4), 1156–1171.