Handbook of Social and Emotional Learning

Research and Practice

Edited by Joseph A. Durlak, Celene E. Domitrovich, Roger P. Weissberg, and Thomas P. Gullotta
Foreword by Linda Darling-Hammond
Introduction by Timothy P. Shriver and Jennifer Buffett
Afterwords by James P. Comer and Daniel Goleman

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The burgeoning multidisciplinary field of social and emotional learning (SEL) now has a comprehensive and definitive handbook covering all aspects of research, practice, and policy. The prominent editors and contributors describe state-of-the-art intervention and prevention programs designed to build students' skills for managing emotions, showing concern for others, making responsible decisions, and forming positive relationships. Conceptual and scientific underpinnings of SEL are explored and its relationship to children's and adolescents' academic success and mental health examined. Issues in implementing and assessing SEL programs in diverse educational settings are analyzed in depth, including the roles of school- and district-level leadership, teacher training, and school-family partnerships.

“A very important volume for practitioners and policymakers. Until educators come to grips with the full meaning of SEL—its strong theoretical basis, the tools available for applying this knowledge in classrooms, and the very real impacts it produces for students—we will continue to see a disconnect between public education and the needs of the students and society it serves. This volume will be of tremendous use in graduate courses in teacher preparation, educational policy, assessment, school psychology, school counseling, leadership preparation, and program evaluation. Educators will do well to draw from the impressive evidence base and practical implications outlined throughout.”

—Robert C. Pianta, PhD, Dean, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia


“A masterpiece! Durlak and his colleagues have assembled the very best thinkers and writers in the broad field of SEL, and have created a volume that must be on the shelf of every researcher, educator, and student. It is not easy to bridge theory, empirical findings, and practice in this arena—let alone to cut across the silos of biology, psychology, and education—but this book does so, with admirable breadth and depth. For my laboratory’s work on emotional intelligence, we will refer to it often.”

—Peter Salovey, PhD, President and Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology, Yale University


“It has taken educational researchers and reformers far too long to learn what the public has known all along: in order to make their way in life, there are no more important skills for our children to learn than dependability, persistence, and teamwork. Among the exceptional few who have steadfastly promoted the value of SEL are the editors and contributors of this volume. They have served as voices in the wilderness, gathering evidence for and supporting programs that foster these fundamental skills. As evidence has finally started to move the educational reform movement toward a balanced approach, there is no better map to guide future SEL efforts than this rigorous and humane handbook.”

—Robert L. Selman, PhD, Roy E. Larsen Professor of Human Development and Education, Harvard University


“This is a terrific resource for those interested in researching, implementing, and evaluating SEL programs. The book describes the theoretical foundations of SEL and contains a wealth of practical guidance related to funding, cultural considerations, organizational readiness, assessment strategies, and implementation at various grade levels. It also presents new and exciting ways of thinking about SEL programs, such as considering their health benefits and economic impact. I recommend this book for graduate students in school psychology and counseling, as well as practitioners working to select and evaluate SEL programs.”

—Brian C. McKevitt, PhD, NCSP, Department of Psychology, University of Nebraska Omaha


“The arrival of this authoritative handbook, edited and written by leaders in SEL, is a milestone and a solid indicator of the coming of age of this foundational field. The quite extraordinary breadth of integration it provides—of the history, research base, practice, and policy in SEL—will speak to an extremely wide audience at all levels. Policymakers, professionals, administrators, researchers, students, and indeed anyone who is concerned with the education of our children cannot fail to be both informed and inspired by the picture this volume paints and the challenges it raises. There can no longer be any question of why SEL matters.”

—Katherine Weare, PhD, Professor, School of Education (Emeritus), University of Southampton, United Kingdom


“This is the first-ever comprehensive overview of SEL. It brings together state-of-the-art theory, research, and practice in ways that are of immense relevance for both primary and secondary education. Contributors convincingly demonstrate and substantiate the intimate relationship between social-emotional and academic development.”

—René F. W. Diekstra, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, University College Roosevelt Middelburg; Professor of Youth and Development, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands


“An impressive, cutting-edge work. With superb breadth and depth, the Handbook showcases theoretical foundations, programming options, implementation specifics, and an optimistic vision for the future. Educators, mental health practitioners, scholars, administrators, and trainees will be motivated to fully explore this volume and discover current, relevant, and highly useful information. It will surely become the go-to resource in the field.”

—Barbara A. Gueldner, PhD, NCSP, private practice, Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Uncommon Core, Timothy Shriver & Jennifer Buffett

I. Foundations

1. Social and Emotional Learning: Past, Present, and Future, Roger P. Weissberg, Joseph A. Durlak, Celene E. Domitrovich, & Thomas P. Gullotta

2. Applying Theory to the Development of Approaches to SEL, Marc A. Brackett, Nicole A. Elbertson, & Susan E. Rivers

3. Integrating SEL with Related Prevention and Youth Development Approaches, Maurice J. Elias, Larry Leverett, Joan Cole Duffell, Neil Humphrey, Cesalie Stepney, & Joseph Ferrito

4. Culture and Social and Emotional Competencies, Michael L. Hecht & YoungJu Shin

5. The Neuroscience of SEL, Clancy Blair & C. Cybele Raver

6. The Potential Effects of SEL on Biomarkers and Health Outcomes: A Promissory Note, Mark T. Greenberg, Deirdre A. Katz, & Laura Cousino Klein

7. The Economic Case for SEL, Damon Jones, Mark T. Greenberg, & Max Crowley

8. Financing and Funding for SEL Initiatives, Olga Acosta Price

II. Evidence-Based Programming

9. SEL Programs for Preschool Children, Karen L. Bierman & Mojdeh Motamedi

10. SEL in Elementary School Settings: Identifying Mechanisms that Matter, Sara E. Rimm-Kaufman & Chris S. Hulleman

11. A Review of Classroom-Based SEL Programs at the Middle School Level, Robert J. Jagers, Alexis Harris, & Alexandra Skoog

12. SEL Programs in High School, Ariel A. Williamson, Kathryn L. Modecki, & Nancy G. Guerra

13. SEL in Higher Education, Colleen S. Conley

14. SEL for Students with High-Incidence Disabilities, Andrew L. Wiley & Gary N. Siperstein

15. SEL and Student–Teacher Relationships, Amanda P. Williford & Catherine Sanger Wolcott

16. The Role of School–Family Partnership Programs for Promoting Student SEL, S. Andrew Garbacz, Michelle S. Swanger-Gagné, & Susan M. Sheridan

17. After-School Programming and SEL, Thomas P. Gullotta

18. SEL Programs for Juvenile Justice Settings and Populations, Patrick H. Tolan, Emily Nichols, & Nicole DuVal

III. Assessment

19. Assessment of SEL in Educational Contexts, Susanne A. Denham

20. Systems for Assessing and Improving Students' Social Skills to Achieve Academic Competence, Stephen N. Elliott, Jennifer R. Frey, & Michael Davies

21. Challenges and Opportunities in the Direct Assessment of Children's Social and Emotional Comprehension, Clark McKown

22. Using Formative Assessment with SEL Skills, Robert J. Marzano

23. Assessment of Climate and Conditions for Learning, Mark Garibaldi, Sally Ruddy, Kimberly Kendziora, & David Osher

24. Assessing Organizational Readiness, Shannon B. Wanless, Christine J. Groark, & Bridget E. Hatfield

25. Indicators of Effective SEL Practice, Sam Redding & Herbert J. Walberg

IV. Toward Widespread Practice and Policy

26. What Everyone Should Know About Implementation, Joseph A. Durlak

27. SEL and Preservice Teacher Education, Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl, Jennifer L. Hanson-Peterson, & Shelley Hymel

28. Inservice Preparation for Educators, Patricia A. Jennings & Jennifer L. Frank

29. Developing Socially, Emotionally, and Cognitively Competent School Leaders and Learning Communities, Janet Patti, Peter Senge, Claudia Madrazo, and Robin S. Stern

30. SEL and Schoolwide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, George G. Bear, Sara A. Whitcomb, Maurice J. Elias, & Jessica C. Blank

31. Taking SEL to Scale in Schools: The Role of Community Coalitions, Abigail A. Fagan, J. David Hawkins, & Valerie B. Shapiro

32. Systemic Support for SEL in School Districts, Amy Kathryn Mart, Roger P. Weissberg, & Kimberly Kendziora

33. Accountability and SEL Programs: The Getting To Outcomes® Approach, Annie Wright, Andrea Lamont, Abraham Wandersman, David Osher, & Eric S. Gordon

34. Current and Potential Uses of Technology to Enhance SEL: What's Now and What's Next?, Robin S. Stern, Tucker B. Harding, Allison A. Holzer, & Nicole A. Elbertson

35. The Case for Preschool through High School State Learning Standards for SEL, Linda A. Dusenbury, Jessy Zadrazil Newman, Roger P. Weissberg, Paul Goren, Celene E. Domitrovich, & Amy Kathryn Mart

36. Federal Policy Initiatives and Children's SEL, Martha Zaslow, Bonnie Mackintosh, Sarah Mancoll, & Sarah Mandell

37. International Perspectives on SEL, Catalina Torrente, Anjali Alimchandani, & J. Lawrence Aber

Afterword: Making SEL Work for All Children, James Comer

Afterword: The Future of Social and Emotional Learning, Daniel Goleman


About the Editors

Joseph A. Durlak, PhD, is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Loyola University Chicago. He has been a member of the editorial boards of several professional publications, has written or coedited four books on prevention, and has a longstanding interest in the welfare of children and adolescents. Dr. Durlak's current work focuses on how to facilitate the implementation of evidence-based SEL and prevention programs in local communities and schools. He is a recipient of the Joseph E. Zins Award for Action Research in SEL from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).

Celene E. Domitrovich, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Center for Child and Human Development at Georgetown University. She is also a Senior Research Scientist at the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) and has academic affiliations with The University of Illinois at Chicago, The Pennsylvania State University, and Johns Hopkins University. Her research and publications focus on the development of social and emotional competence in children, the role of teachers in children’s acquisition of these skills, and how these skills are related to success in school. Dr. Domitrovich is the developer of the Preschool PATHS Curriculum. She has served on the board of the Society for Prevention Research and is a recipient of the Joseph E. Zins Award for Action Research in SEL from CASEL.

Roger P. Weissberg, PhD, is NoVo Foundation Endowed Chair in SEL and Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Education at The University of Illinois at Chicago. He is also Chief Knowledge Officer of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning.. Dr. Weissberg has authored numerous publications on preventive interventions with children. He has received awards including the Distinguished Contribution Award for Applications of Psychology to Education and Training from the American Psychological Association, the Distinguished Contribution to Theory and Research Award from the Society for Community Research and Action, and the Daring Dozen Award from the George Lucas Educational Foundation. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Education.

Thomas P. Gullotta, MA, MSW, is CEO of the Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut, Inc., and a member of the Departments of Psychology and Education at Eastern Connecticut State University. He is editor emeritus of the Journal of Primary Prevention and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Early Adolescence, Journal of Adolescent Research, and Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation. He has published extensively on adolescents and primary prevention. Mr. Gullotta is a recipient of the Distinguished Contributions to Practice in Community Psychology Award from the Society for Community Research and Action, Division 27 of the American Psychological Association.

Contributors

J. Lawrence Aber, PhD, Department of Applied Psychology, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University, New York, New York

Anjali Alimchandani, MPP, Department of Applied Psychology, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University, New York, New York

George G. Bear, PhD, School of Education, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware

Karen L. Bierman, PhD, Child Study Center, Department of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania

Clancy Blair, PhD, Department of Applied Psychology, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University, New York, New York

Jessica C. Blank, PhD, Colonial School District, New Castle, Delaware

Marc A. Brackett, PhD, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

Jennifer Buffett, President and Co-Chair, NoVo Foundation, New York, New York

James P. Comer, MD, Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut

Colleen S. Conley, PhD, Department of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Max Crowley, MS, Prevention Research Center, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania

Linda Darling-Hammond, EdD, Graduate School of Education, Stanford University, Stanford, California

Michael Davies, PhD, School of Education and Professional Studies, Griffith University, Mt. Gravatt, Queensland, Australia

Susanne A. Denham, PhD, Department of Psychology, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

Celene E. Domitrovich, PhD, Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, Chicago, Illinois; Prevention Research Center and Department of Human Development and Family Studies, College of Health and Human Development, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania

Joan Cole Duffell, Committee for Children, Seattle, Washington

Joseph A. Durlak, PhD, Department of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Linda A. Dusenbury, PhD, Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, Chicago, Illinois

Nicole DuVal, MS, Youth-Nex, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

Nicole A. Elbertson, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

Maurice J. Elias, PhD, Department of Psychology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey—Livingston Campus, Piscataway, New Jersey

Stephen N. Elliott, PhD, Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

Abigail A. Fagan, PhD, Department of Sociology and Criminology and Law, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

Joseph Ferrito, PsyM, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology,

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey

Jennifer L. Frank, PhD, Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education, College of Education, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania

Jennifer R. Frey, PhD, Department of Special Education and Disability Studies, Graduate School of Education and Human Development, George Washington University, Washington, DC

S. Andrew Garbacz, PhD, Department of Special Education and Clinical Sciences, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon

Mark Garibaldi, MA, American Institutes for Research, San Mateo, California

Daniel Goleman, PhD, Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey

Eric S. Gordon, MEd, Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Cleveland, Ohio

Paul Goren, PhD, Evanston/Skokie District 65, Evanston, Illinois

Mark T. Greenberg, PhD, Prevention Research Center, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania

Christina J. Groark, PhD, Office of Child Development, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Nancy G. Guerra, EdD, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware

Thomas P. Gullotta, MA, MSW, Child & Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut,

Inc.; Departments of Psychology and Education, Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, Connecticut

Jennifer L. Hanson-Peterson, MA, Research and Policy Centre, Brotherhood of St. Laurence, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia

Tucker B. Harding, EdD, Department of Mathematics, Science, and Technology in Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, New York

Alexis Harris, PhD, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

Bridget E. Hatfield, PhD, Program of Applied Developmental Psychology, Department of Psychology in Education, School of Education, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

J. David Hawkins, PhD, School of Social Work, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

Michael L. Hecht, PhD, Department of Communication Arts and Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania

Allison A. Holzer, MAT, InspireCorps, WestHartford, Connecticut

Chris S. Hulleman, PhD, Center for the Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

Neil Humphrey, PhD, Manchester Institute of Education, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom

Shelley Hymel, PhD, Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, and Special Education, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Robert J. Jagers, PhD, School of Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Patricia A. Jennings, PhD, Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

Damon Jones, PhD, Prevention Research Center, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania

Deirdre A. Katz, MEd, Prevention Research Center, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania

Kimberly Kendziora, PhD, American Institutes for Research, Washington, DC

Laura Cousino Klein, PhD, College of Health and Human Development, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania

Andrea Lamont, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina

Larry Leverett, EdD, Panasonic Foundation, Newark, New Jersey

Bonnie Mackintosh, MEd, Department of Human Development and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Claudia Madrazo, MA, La Vaca Independiente, Mexico City, Mexico

Sarah Mancoll, MS, Office for Policy and Communications, Society for Research in Child Development, Washington, DC

Sarah Mandell, BS, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, Washington, DC

Amy Kathryn Mart, MEd, Department of Psychology, The University of Illinois at Chicago, and Office of Social and Emotional Learning, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago, Illinois

Robert J. Marzano, PhD, Marzano Research Laboratory, Centennial, Colorado

Clark McKown, PhD, Rush Neurobehavioral Center, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois

Kathryn L. Modecki, PhD, School of Psychology, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia

Mojdeh Motamedi, MS, Child Study Center, Department of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania

Jessica Zadrazil Newman, MA, Department of Psychology, The University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Emily Nichols, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Boston’s Children Hospital, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts

David Osher, PhD, American Institutes for Research, Washington, DC

Janet Patti, EdD, School of Education, Hunter College of The City University of New York, New York, New York

Olga Acosta Price, PhD, Center for Health and Health Care in School, George Washington University, Washington, DC

C. Cybele Raver, PhD, Department of Applied Psychology, Steinhardt School of Culture,

Education, and Human Development, New York University, New York, New York

Sam Redding, EdD, Academic Development Institute, Lincoln, Illinois

Sara E. Rimm-Kaufman, PhD, Center for the Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

Susan E. Rivers, PhD, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

Sally Ruddy, PhD, American Institutes for Research, Washington, DC

Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl, PhD, Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Peter Senge, PhD, MIT Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Valerie B. Shapiro, PhD, Department of Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley,

Berkeley, California

Susan M. Sheridan, PhD, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska

YoungJu Shin, PhD, Department of Communication Studies, Indiana University–Purdue

University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana

Timothy P. Shriver, EdD, Chairman, Special Olympics, Washington, DC

Gary N. Siperstein, PhD, Center for Social Development and Education, John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, Massachusetts

Alexandra Skoog, MA, The New Teacher Project, Madison, Wisconsin

Cesalie Stepney, EdM, MS, Department of Psychology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey

Robin S. Stern, PhD, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

Michelle S. Swanger-Gagné, PhD, Institute for the Family, Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York

Patrick H. Tolan, PhD, Youth-Nex, Curry School of Education, and Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

Catalina Torrente, PhD, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

Herbert J. Walberg, PhD, Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, California; The University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Abraham Wandersman, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina

Shannon B. Wanless, PhD, Department of Psychology in Education, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Roger P. Weissberg, PhD, Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, and Department of Psychology, The University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Sara A. Whitcomb, PhD, Department of Student Development, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts

Andrew L. Wiley, PhD, School of Lifespan Development and Educational Sciences, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio

Ariel A. Williamson, MA, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware

Amanda P. Williford, PhD, Center for the Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

Catherine Sanger Wolcott, MEd, Center for the Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

Annie Wright, PhD, Center on Research and Evaluation, Simmons School of Education and Human Development, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas

Martha Zaslow, PhD, Office for Policy and Communications, Society for Research in Child Development, Washington, DC

Audience

Teacher educators, administrators, researchers, and policymakers in PreK–12 education; school psychologists, counselors, and social workers; child and adolescent psychologists.

Course Use

May serve as a supplemental text in graduate-level courses such as School-Based Interventions.