Harvard University’s Stephanie Jones and colleagues examined 2-year experimental impacts of a school-based intervention in social-emotional learning and literacy development, called the 4Rs, on children’s social-emotional, behavioral, and academic functioning.
The 4Rs program, an intervention unique in its integration of literacy practices and social-emotional skill-building, has two components: literacy-based curriculum delivery in social-emotional learning and teacher training. Subjects were from 18 public New York City inner-city elementary schools (n= 9 treatment schools and 9 Control schools; treatment students =630 students, control students =554 students). The treatment group received both components of the intervention from 3rd to 5th grade. Results suggested that:
- Children in the intervention schools showed improvements in several non-cognitive domains: self-reports of hostile attributional bias, aggressive interpersonal negotiation strategies, depression, teacher reports of attention skills, and aggressive and socially competent behavior.
- While there were no main effects of the intervention on teacher reports of children’s academic skills, those who were at the highest behavioral risk at baseline demonstrated improvement in math (+0.56) and reading (+0.60) achievement, as measured by children’s scaled scores on New York State standardized assessments.
Source: Jones, S. M., Brown, J. L., & Lawrence Aber, J. (2011). Two-year impacts of a universal school-based social-emotional and literacy intervention: an experiment in translational developmental research. Child Development, 82(2), 533–554.