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Version 1.2 – Updated June 2023

Social skills programs


  • Influence: Social skills programs
  • Domain: Curricula
  • Sub-Domain: Other curricula programs
  • Potential to Accelerate Student Achievement: Likely to have positive impact
  • Influence Definition: School-based programs for developing students' social and emotional skills. The programs teach students to appropriately interact and communicate effectively with their peers and teachers and develops respect for self and for others.


  • Number of meta-analyses: 16
  • Number of studies: 799
  • Number of students: 1,024,812
  • Number of effects: 2,539
  • Weighted mean effect size: 0.40
  • Robustness index: 5


Journal Title Author First Author's Country Article Name Year Published Variable Number of Studies Number of Students Number of Effects Effect Size
Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology Denham & Almeida USA Children's social problem-solving skills, behavioral adjustment, and interventions: A meta-analysis evaluating theory and practice 1987 Social problem solving programs 70 0 70 0.62
European Journal of Psychology of Education Goldberg, Sklad, Elfrink, Schreurs, Bohlmeiier, & Clarke Netherlands Effectiveness of interventions adopting a whole school approach to enhancing social and emotional development: A meta-analysis. 2018 Whole school approach to social and emotional development 45 496,299 8 0.19
Dissertation Hanson, Moyano, & Cortés-Pascua USA Social skill training: a critical meta-analytic review 1988 Social skill training 63 0 586 0.65
Education Sciences Quílez-Robres, Moyano, & Cortés-Pascual Spain Motivational, Emotional, and Social Factors Explain Academic Achievement in Children Aged 6–12 Years: A Meta-Analysis. 2021 Social skills 6 12,023 13 0.43
School Psychology Review Swanson & Malone USA Social skills and learning disabilities: A meta-analysis of the literature 1992 SS of learning disabled and non-disabled students 39 3,944 366 0.72
Clinical Psychology Review Schneider Canada Didactic methods for enhancing children's peer relations: A quantitative review. 1992 Enhancing peer relations 79 0 12 0.19
Journal of Clinical Child Psychology Beelmann, Pfingsten, & Losel Germany Effects of training social competence in children: A meta-analysis of recent evaluation studies 1994 Social competence training on achievement outcomes 49 0 23 -0.04
Journal of Learning Disabilities Kavale & Forness USA Social skill deficits and learning disabilities: A meta-analysis 1996 SS of learning disabled and non-disabled students 152 0 858 0.65
Learning Disability Quarterly Forness & Kavale USA Treating social skill deficits in children with learning disabilities: A meta-analysis of the research 1996 SS with learning difficulties 53 2,113 328 0.21
Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders Quinn, Kavale, Mathur, Rutherford, & Forness USA A meta-analysis of social skill interventions for students with emotional or behavioral disorders 1999 SS with emotional and behavioral disorders 35 1,123 35 0.20
Dissertation Goldston USA A meta-analysis of social skills literature: elementary children 2000 Social skill training 22 0 95 0.46
Book Karadag Turkey The Effect of Social Adjustment on Student Achievement 2015 Social adjustment 24 5,096 24 0.20
Child Development Taylor, Oberle, Durlak, & Weissberg USA Promoting Positive Youth Development Through School-Based Social and Emotional Learning Interventions: A Meta-Analysis of Follow-Up Effects 2017 Social-emotional learning interventions 82 97,406 8 0.33
Educational Research Review Corcoran, Cheung, Kim, & Xie USA Effective universal school-based social and emotional learning programs for improving academic achievement: A systematic review and meta-analysis of 50 years of research 2018 Social-emotional learning interventions 40 135,495 73 0.25
Hellenic Journal of Psychology Mariani, Villares, Wirth, & Brigman USA An evaluation of the student success skills program on student learning, behavior, and wellness outcomes 2014 Student success skills program 5 1,279 5 0.29
Child Development Durlak, Weissberg, Dymnicki, Schellinger & Taylor USA The Impact of Enhancing Students' Social and Emotional Learning: A Meta-Analysis of School-Based Universal Interventions 2011 Social and emotion interventions on achievement 35 270,034 35 0.34
TOTAL/AVERAGE 799 1,024,812 2,539 0.36
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