Dana Murano and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis to summarize the effects of social and emotional learning (SEL) interventions on the development of social and emotional skills and the reduction of problem behaviors in pre-schoolers.
The review, published in Review of Educational Research, considered 48 studies that looked at the effects of either universal (delivered to all students) or targeted (delivered to students who were identified as being in need of additional support) SEL interventions. The interventions in these studies were delivered to pre-school-age children (mean age = 4.31 years), and a total of 207 effect sizes were extracted.
Overall, the results of the meta-analysis suggest that pre-school children benefit from SEL interventions, and in particular those receiving targeted interventions, details are as follows:
- Compared with students in control conditions, students who received a universal SEL intervention showed overall improvements in social and emotional skills (effect size = +0.34) and reductions in problem behaviors (effect size = +0.32).
- For targeted interventions, students showed overall improvements in social and emotional skills (effect size = +0.44) and reductions in problem behaviors (effect size = +0.50) compared with students in control conditions.