A report on the positive impact of SEL programs for grades K-8

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This report, published by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), presents findings from three large-scale reviews of research (including 317 studies in total) on the impact of social and emotional learning (SEL) programs on students in kindergarten through to grade eight.

Results show that SEL programs positively impacted students across the K-8 grades, with participants showing improvements in social and emotional skills, attitudes and behavior, as well as their connection to school, and even academic performance (11 -17 percentile improvement found). These effects were evident in both school and after-school settings, and across a diverse range of student backgrounds (across ethnicities, and where they lived in urban, suburban or rural settings). Both children with and without emotional and behavioral problems benefited from these programs.

School staff were also found to have implemented SEL programs effectively.

Note: the technical report and an Executive Summary on the three reviews can be accessed from or

Payton, J., Weissberg, R.P., Durlak, J.A., Dymnicki, A.B., Taylor, R.D., Schellinger, K.B., & Pachan, M. (2008). The positive impact of social and emotional learning for kindergarten to eighth-grade students: Findings from three scientific reviews. Chicago, IL: Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning.