Our SEL resources are grounded in the latest research around child development and Social and Emotional Learning.

Read on to explore just a few of the studies that have informed our development.


Google, 2017

Many studies have shown that soft skills are critical to success, not only in school but in the workplace as well.  These skills include socialization or pro-social behavior, emotional control, empathy, coping skills, and problem solving skills.

In 2017, Google completed a four-year study on what makes a successful employee. The study concluded that, among the eight most important qualities of Google’s top employees, STEM expertise came in dead last. The six top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills:

  1. Being a good coach;
  2. Communicating and listening well;
  3. Possessing insights into others (including others different values and points of view);
  4. Having empathy toward and being supportive of one’s colleagues;
  5. Being a good critical thinker and problem solver; and
  6. Being able to make connections across complex ideas.

Many other studies support the same conclusion: social and emotional skills are critical to being successful in business and life in general.

Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning, 2008

In 2008, CASEL released findings from three scientific reviews. Compared to students in the control groups, those participating in SEL universal programs demonstrated significantly enhanced social-emotional skills, attitudes, and positive social behavior, reduced conduct problems and emotional distress, and improved academic performance at post-intervention.

These outcomes are comparable to or exceed the benefits on similar outcomes found in eight other meta-analyses of psychosocial or educational interventions for school-aged youth. Moreover, when these effect sizes were translated into improvement indices that show percentile gains achieved by the average student in an intervention class compared to the average student in a control class, they ranged from a 9-10% improvement in positive attitudes and social behaviors, conduct problems, and emotional distress to an 11% gain in academic performance and a 23% gain in social-emotional skills


Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning, 2011

Another report by CASEL in 2011 details findings from a study of 213 school-based, universal social and emotional learning (SEL) programs involving 270,034 kindergarten through high school students.

In a national sample of 148,189 sixth to twelfth graders, 55% to 71% of surveyed students reported that they did not have social competencies such as empathy, decision making, and conflict resolution skills. By high school as many as 40% to 60% of students become chronically disengaged from school. Clearly earlier SEL intervention could improve on these figures.

American Journal for Public Health, 2015

Researchers also examined whether kindergarten teachers’ ratings of children’s prosocial skills, an indicator of non-cognitive ability at school entry, predict key adolescent and adult outcomes. The goal was to determine unique associations over and above other important child, family, and contextual characteristics.

The researchers found statistically significant associations between measured social-emotional skills in kindergarten and key young adult outcomes across multiple domains of education, employment, criminal activity, substance use, and mental health.

The Partnership for Children, 2011

In 2008, British researchers undertook the largest and most rigorous assessment of the impact of school-based SEL programs on children. This meta-analytic review included 317 studies involving 324,303 school children age 5-13 years.In a 2011 report, they conclude that evidence-based SEL programs are intimately linked to improving children’s academic performance.Compared to students in the control groups, children participating in SEL programs demonstrated improvements in multiple areas including:

  • Enhanced social and emotional skills
  • Improved attitudes towards self, school and others
  • Enhanced positive social behavior
  • Reduced conduct problems – misbehavior and aggression
  • Reduced emotional distress – stress and depression
  • Improved academic performance – test scores and school grades

Society for Research in Child Development, 2017

In 2011, a meta-analysis of 213 school-based, social and emotional learning (SEL) programs involved 270,034 kindergarten through high school students. Compared to controls, SEL participants demonstrated significantly improved social and emotional skills, attitudes, behavior, and academic performance. School teaching staff successfully conducted SEL programs.

The findings add to the growing evidence regarding the positive impact of SEL programs. Policy makers, educators, and the public can contribute to healthy development of children by supporting the incorporation of SEL programming into standard educational practice.

In an updated meta-analysis of the 2011 study, researches followed up on 82 school-based, Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) interventions.

Compared to students in the control groups, those participating in SEL programs demonstrated:

  • significantly enhanced social emotional skills, attitudes, and positive social behavior,
  • reduced conduct problems and emotional distress, and
  • improved academic performance at post-intervention