Trending Topic Research: Social Emotional Learning

Social Emotional Learning

Trending Topic Research File

School leaders are increasingly focused on students' social-emotional learning skills—such as self- and social awareness, relationship skills, decision making, and self-management—to enhance their overall academic performance. 

The following compendium of open-access articles are inclusive of all substantive AERA journal content regarding social emotional learning published since 2015. This page will be updated as new articles are published. 

AERA Journal Articles

Note: Articles are listed below in reverse chronological order of publication. 

A Systematic Review of Student Disability and Race Representation in Universal School-Based Social and Emotional Learning Interventions for Elementary School Students
Christina Cipriano, Lauren H. Naples, Abigail Eveleigh, Amanda Cook, Melissa Funaro, Colleen Cassidy, Michael F. McCarthy, Gabrielle Rappolt-Schlichtmann
Review of Educational Research, June 2022
Researchers present a systematic review of elementary school universal school-based (USB) social and emotional learning (SEL) interventions from 2008 through 2020 for two groups of minoritized students in education research and practice: students with disabilities and/or minoritized racial identities.

A Systematic Review of Student Disability and Race Representation in Universal School-Based Social and Emotional Learning Interventions for Elementary School Students
Christina Cipriano, Lauren H. Naples, Abigail Eveleigh, Amanda Cook, Melissa Funaro, Colleen Cassidy, Michael F. McCarthy, Gabrielle Rappolt-Schlichtmann
Review of Educational Research, June 2022
Researchers present a systematic review of elementary school universal school-based (USB) social and emotional learning (SEL) interventions from 2008 through 2020 for two groups of minoritized students in education research and practice: students with disabilities and/or minoritized racial identities. 

Social Class and Emotional Well-Being: Lessons From a Daily Diary Study of Families Engaged in Virtual Elementary School During COVID-19
Shana R. Cohen, Alison Wishard Guerra, Monica R. Molgaard, Jessica Miguel
AERA Open, May 2022
Researchers found that parents reported more positive emotions than negative emotions. Findings provide opportunities for educators to mitigate learning loss by building on children’s learning experiences and family adaptations to daily routines during COVID-19.

Supporting Syrian Refugee Children’s Academic and Social-Emotional Learning in National Education Systems: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial of Nonformal Remedial Support and Mindfulness Programs in Lebanon
Carly Tubbs Dolan, Ha Yeon Kim, Lindsay Brown, Kalina Gjicali, Serena Borsani, Samer El Houchaimi, J. Lawrence Aber
American Educational Research Journal, December 2021
Researchers found that the remedial program with both classroom climate-targeted SEL and skill-targeted activities had positive impacts on children's perceptions of public schools and on certain basic academic skills and marginally significant positive and negative impacts on some SEL outcomes.

Rethinking Learning: What the Interdisciplinary Science Tells Us
Na’ilah Suad Nasir, Carol D. Lee, Roy Pea, Maxine McKinney de Royston
Educational Researcher, October 2021
Researchers build on recent research in education, neuroscience, psychology, and anthropology to articulate a theory of learning that has the potential to move toward schools and classrooms where deep learning occurs, where learners’ full selves are engaged, and that disrupt existing patterns of inequality and oppression.

Assessing Survey Satisficing: The Impact of Unmotivated Questionnaire Responding on Data Quality
Christine Calderon Vriesema, Hunter Gehlbach
Educational Researcher, August 2021 
Researchers examined student satisficing's pervasiveness and impact on a large-scale social–emotional learning survey administered to 409,721 elementary and secondary students. 

The Effects of Absenteeism on Academic and Social-Emotional Outcomes: Lessons for COVID-19
Lucrecia SantibaƱez, Cassandra M. Guarino
Educational Researcher, February 2021
This paper uses administrative panel data from California to approximate the impact of the pandemic by analyzing how absenteeism affects student outcomes. 

The Association Between School Discipline and Self-Control From Preschoolers to High School Students: A Three-Level Meta-Analysis
Jian-Bin Li, Shan-Shan Bi, Yayouk E. Willems, Catrin Finkenauer
Review of Educational Research, December 2020
Researchers found that the overall effect size for the association between school discipline and self-control was small to medium.

Teaching to Support Students With Diverse Academic Needs
David Blazar, Casey Archer
Educational Researcher, June 2020
Researchers examined whether conceptual, cognitively demanding, and “ambitious” instruction—emphasized by policy and practice communities—serve the needs of students with specialized academic needs. 

Trends in Student Social-Emotional Learning: Evidence From the First Large-Scale Panel Student Survey
Martin R. West, Libby Pier, Hans Fricke, Heather Hough, Susanna Loeb, Robert H. Meyer, Andrew B. Rice
Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, March 2020
This study simulates how four constructs—growth mindset, self-efficacy, self-management, and social awareness—develop from Grade 4 to Grade 12 and how these trends varied by gender, socioeconomic status, and race/ethnicity among students participating in the survey for two consecutive years.

A Meta-Analytic Review of Preschool Social and Emotional Learning Interventions
Dana Murano, Jeremy E. Sawyer, Anastasiya A. Lipnevich
Review of Educational Research, March 2020
Researchers found small to medium effects of universal social and emotional learning interventions delivered to all students on the overall development of social and emotional skills and on the reduction of problem behaviors.

Nothing Lost, Something Gained? Impact of a Universal Social-Emotional Learning Program on Future State Test Performance
Susan Crandall Hart, James Clyde DiPerna, Pui-Wa Lei, Weiyi Cheng
Educational Researcher, January 2020
Researchers observed that effect sizes of a brief universal SEL program on students’ subsequent state test performance generally were positive and consistent with other studies employing similar designs.

Relationships Among Noncognitive Factors and Academic Performance: Testing the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research Model
Dana Wanzer, Elyse Postlewaite, Nazanin Zargarpour
AERA Open, December 2019
Results of the study support the hypothesized model of noncognitive factors and academic performance proposed by researchers at the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research; however, academic perseverance was not significantly related to academic performance in the context of other noncognitive factors.

Long-Term Effects of Social–Emotional Learning on Receipt of Special Education and Grade Retention: Evidence From a Randomized Trial of INSIGHTS
Meghan P. McCormick, Robin Neuhaus, E. Parham Horn, Erin E. O’Connor, Hope I. White, Samantha Harding, Elise Cappella, Sandee McClowry
AERA Open, August 2019
Researchers found no impact of one SEL program implemented in kindergarten and first grade on grade retention in fifth grade. However, treatment group students were less likely to ever receive special education services by the end of fifth grade, with low-income students appearing to drive this effect.

To Understand Is to Forgive: Learning a Simple Model of Appraisal Leads to Emotion Knowledge Transfer and Enhances Emotional Acceptance and Empathy
Ilya Lyashevsky, Melissa Cesarano, John Black
American Educational Research Journal, July 2019
Researchers found that U.S. high school graduates who received a 1-hour online intervention rated their own and others’ emotional reactions as significantly less blameworthy than the control group did, signaling emotion knowledge transfer and greater empathy and emotion acceptance.

Identifying Naturally Occurring Direct Assessments of Social-Emotional Competencies: The Promise and Limitations of Survey and Assessment Disengagement Metadata
James Soland, Gema Zamarro, Albert Cheng, Collin Hitt
Educational Researcher, July 2019
Researchers conducted a literature review to investigate whether assessment metadata (typically data relevant to how students behave on a test or survey) can provide information on SEL constructs.

Why High School Grades Are Better Predictors of On-Time College Graduation Than Are Admissions Test Scores: The Roles of Self-Regulation and Cognitive Ability
Brian M. Galla, Elizabeth P. Shulman, Benjamin D. Plummer, Margo Gardner, Stephen J. Hutt, J. Parker Goyer, Sidney K. D’Mello, Amy S. Finn, Angela L. Duckworth
American Educational Research Journal, May 2019
Researchers found that success in college requires not only cognitive ability but also self-regulatory competencies that are better indexed by high school grades.

School Differences in Social–Emotional Learning Gains: Findings From the First Large-Scale Panel Survey of Students
Susanna Loeb, Michael S. Christian, Heather Hough, Robert H. Meyer, Andrew B. Rice, Martin R. West
Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, April 2019
Researchers found substantive differences across schools in SEL growth, with magnitudes of differences similar to those for growth in academic achievement.

How Do Academically Selective School Systems Affect Pupils’ Social-Emotional Competencies? New Evidence From the Millennium Cohort Study
John Jerrim, Sam Sims
American Educational Research Journal, February 2019
Researchers found that exposure to the academic selection process has limited impact upon young people’s socioemotional outcomes.

A Meta-Analysis of Family-School Interventions and Children’s Social-Emotional Functioning: Moderators and Components of Efficacy
Susan M. Sheridan, Tyler E. Smith, Elizabeth Moorman Kim, S. Natasha Beretvas, Sunyoung Park
Review of Educational Research, January 2019
The analyses yielded significant effects of family-school interventions on children’s social-behavioral competence and mental health.

Advanced Content Coverage at Kindergarten: Are There Trade-Offs Between Academic Achievement and Social-Emotional Skills?
Vi-Nhuan Le, Diana Schaack, Kristen Neishi, Marc W. Hernandez, Rolf Blank
American Educational Research Journal, January 2019
Researchers found that greater exposure to advanced content was associated with better interpersonal skills, better approaches to learning, better attentional focus, and lower externalizing behaviors.

The Play's the Thing: Experimentally Examining the Social and Cognitive Effects of School Field Trips to Live Theater Performances
Jay P. Greene, Heidi H. Erickson, Angela R. Watson
Educational Researcher, March 2018
Researchers find significant educational benefits from seeing live theater, including higher levels of tolerance, social perspective taking, and stornger command of the plot and vocabulary of those plays.

The Classroom as a Developmental Context for Cognitive Development: A Meta-Analysis on the Importance of Teacher–Student Interactions for Children’s Executive Functions
Loren Vandenbroucke, Jantine Spilt, Karine Verschueren, Claire Piccinin, Dieter Baeyens
Review of Educational Research, November 2017
Researchers found that teacher–child interactions are related to general executive functioning, working memory, and inhibition but not cognitive flexibility.

Associations Between Emotional Engagement With School and Behavioral and Psychological Outcomes Across Adolescence
Anna J. Markowitz
AERA Open, June 2017
The study found a causal relationship between emotional engagement with school and youth behavioral and psychological outcomes that decreases somewhat as youth age.

A Kindergarten Teacher Like Me: The Role of Student-Teacher Race in Social-Emotional Development
Adam Wright, Michael A. Gottfried, Vi-Nhuan Le
American Educational Research Journal, April 2017
Researchers found that having a teacher of the same race was unrelated to teachers’ ratings of children’s internalizing problem behaviors, interpersonal skills, approaches to learning, and self-control.

Embodied Brains, Social Minds, Cultural Meaning: Integrating Neuroscientific and Educational Research on Social-Affective Development
Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, Rebecca Gotlieb
American Educational Research Journal, April 2017
Study authors present a series of interdisciplinary studies documenting individual and cultural variability in the neurobiological correlates of emotional feelings.

A Meta-Analysis of Class Sizes and Ratios in Early Childhood Education Programs: Are Thresholds of Quality Associated With Greater Impacts on Cognitive, Achievement, and Socioemotional Outcomes?
Jocelyn Bonnes Bowne, Katherine A. Magnuson, Holly S. Schindler, Greg J. Duncan, Hirokazu Yoshikawa
Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, February 2017
Researchers found that both class size and child–teacher ratio showed nonlinear relationships with cognitive and achievement effect sizes.

A Review of Social Problem-Solving Interventions: Past Findings, Current Status, and Future Directions
Kristen L. Merrill, Stephen W. Smith, Michelle M. Cumming, Ann P. Daunic
Review of Educational Research, February 2017
Researchers examined and summarized studies investigating SPS interventions in K–12 settings from 1993 to 2015 and discussed findings and implications for educational research and practice.

A Review of Classwide or Universal Social, Emotional, Behavioral Programs for Students in Kindergarten
Christian V. Sabey, Cade T. Charlton, Daniel Pyle, Benjamin Lignugaris-Kraft, Scott W. Ross
Review of Educational Research, January 2017
This article synthesizes the existing research on classwide social, emotional, and behavioral programs for kindergarten students. ­

The Effects of No Child Left Behind on Children's Socioemotional Outcomes
Camile R. Whitney, Christopher A. Candelaria
AERA Open, August 2017
This study found that the inroduction of high-stakes test accountability did not have consistenet sifnificant effects on these socioemotional outcomes.

Social Cognitive Constructs Are Just as Stable as the Big Five Between Grades 5 and 8
Sven Rieger, Richard Gollner, Marion Spengler
AERA Open, July 2017
Researchers compared the mutability of the Big Five personality traits and social cognitive constructs described as socioemotional skills or motivational variables.

Extracurricular Activity Participation in High School: Mechanisms Linking Participation to Math Achievement and 4-Year College Attendance
David S. Morris
American Educational Research Journal, October 2016
Researchers examined extracurricular participation in High School and its connections to math achievement and 4-year college attendance.

Measurement Matters: Assessing Personal Qualities Other Than Cognitive Ability for Educational Purposes
Angela L. Duckworth, David Scott Yeager
Educational Researcher, May 2015
Researchers found that debate over the optimal name for "noncognitive" obscures substantial agreement about the specific attributes worth measuring. 

Improving Outcome Measures Other Than Achievement
Kristin Anderson Moore, Laura H. Lippman, Renee Ryberg
AERA Open, May 2015
Researchers examine outcome measures other than achievement, including child health, emotional/psychological development, educational achievement/attainment, social behavior, and social relationships.

Classmates With Disabilities and Students' Noncognitive Outcomes
Michael A. Gottfried
Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, March 2015
The researcher found that students with a greater number of classmates with disabilities have higher externalizing and internalizing behavioral problems and lower frequencies of self-control, approaches to learning, and interpersonal skills.