A Quasi-Experimental Study on Social Emotional Learning and Primary Prevention


  •  Melissa Sollom    

Abstract

The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to determine the efficacy of the Top 20 social emotional learning (SEL) program and how their SEL curriculum may lead to an increase in SEL. The secondary goal of this study was to explore how the social emotional competencies of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, personal responsibility, decision-making, optimistic thinking, and goal-directed behavior may play a significant role in a child and adolescent’s social emotional development. A total of 359 middle school students participated in the study. The experimental group consisted of 170 students and the control group consisted of 189 students. Two middle school teachers at the school helped embed and teach the Top 20 SEL curriculum and monthly SEL lessons to all students in the experimental group. The teachers completed the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) pre-test one month into the study and the DESSA post-test five months later. The descriptive analysis revealed an increase in all eight social emotional competencies for the experimental group with a total SEL difference score of M = 8.23. The Top 20 SEL program has demonstrated how experience and practice in SEL skills are more likely to lead to an increase in SEL.



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