2017 Meta-Analysis

A Major New Research Study

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


  • CASEL and collaborating researchers broke new ground with the 2011 publication of a meta-analysis of 213 social and emotional learning programs. The 2011 meta-analysis, published in the peer-reviewed journal Child Development, can be viewed here. The study demonstrated numerous positive impacts of social and emotional learning and remains a landmark for the field.

    Six years later, a team that includes authors of the 2011 meta-analysis, has completed a new meta-analysis. The new findings were published on July 12 in the peer-reviewed journal Child Development. The study analyzed results from 82 different interventions involving more than 97,000 students from kindergarten to high school, and the effects were assessed six months to 18 years after the programs ended. The research showed, for example, that:

    • 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, based on the eight studies that measured academic performance. “Although based on only eight studies, these long-term academic outcomes are notable,” the research said.
    • At other follow-up periods, conduct problems, emotional distress, and drug use were all significantly lower for students exposed to SEL programs, and development of social and emotional skills and positive attitudes toward self, others, and school was higher.

    For More Information

    Read a summary of the article

    Read the full article

    Read CASEL’s press release

  • Articles/Commentary