Emotional competency, including emotional literacy, stress management, and self-regulation
Empathy, compassion, and perspective-taking
Self-confidence and efficacy
Persistence and resilience
Social and relationship skills
From Durlak, 2011
Students participating in SEL programs demonstrated significantly improved social and emotional skills, attitudes, behavior, and academic performance that reflected an 11-percentile-point gain in achievement.
Extensive developmental research indicates that effective mastery of social-emotional competencies is associated with greater well-being and better school performance whereas the failure to achieve competence in these areas can lead to a variety of personal, social, and academic difficulties
These competencies provide a foundation for school behavior and academic performance, reflected in more positive social behavior, fewer behavioral problems, less emotional distress, and improved test scores and grades. Mastering SEL competences results in a developmental progression that leads to a shift from being predominantly controlled by external factors to acting increasingly in accord with internalized beliefs and values, caring and concern for others, making good decisions, and taking responsibility for one’s choices and behaviors
Taylor et al., 2017
in follow-up assessments an average of 3.5 years after the last intervention, the academic performance of students exposed to SEL programs was an average 13 percentile points higher than their non-SEL peers. At other follow-up periods, SEL continued to boost student well-being in the form of greater social and emotional competencies, prosocial behavior, and prosocial attitudes. Furthermore, SEL students showed lasting decreases in negative outcomes such as conduct problems, emotional distress, and drug use compared to control groups. Several individual studies found a variety of other important benefits favoring program participants over controls. For example, SEL participants later demonstrated a 6% increase in high school graduation rates, and an 11% increase in college graduation rates. In other cases, SEL participants were less likely to have a clinical mental health disorder, ever be arrested or become involved with the juvenile justice system, and had lower rates of sexually transmitted infections, and pregnancies.
Young people rely on their connections with friends to support their mental wellness, and those who belong to kind communities report higher levels of mental wellness. Kind school communities include those where students feel like they are seen and known by teachers, where classmates make an effort to be inclusive of differences, and where there are classes or experiences that focus directly on mental health.
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