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Make an immediate impact on your learning organization

Data from more than 270,000 students collected for a large-scale study of universal, school-based SEL programs (including the PATHS® Program) showed an 11% gain in academic achievement.

 Further studies into SEL programs have indicated:

  • SEL program students were more likely to attend school and less likely to have conduct problems.

  • SEL programs reduced student high-risk behaviors such as delinquency, substance abuse, and school dropout.

  • SEL students feel more connected and attached to their schools.

  • SEL programming can significantly improve students' skills, attitudes, and behaviors.


Provide long-term benefits to students’ lives

According to a study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and published in the American Journal of Public Health, children's early social and emotional skills may predict their well-being in early adulthood. The 20-year study linked early skills shown in kindergartners to future outcomes in education, employment, and criminal justice.

Kindergarten teachers assessed students' social and emotional abilities using a 9-item, 5-point scale. Researchers then examined these students 13 to 19 years later.

For every 1-point increase in a child's social competence score in kindergarten, he or she was:

  • Twice as likely to attain a college degree in early adulthood.

  • 54% more likely to earn a high school diploma.

  • 46% more likely to have a full-time job at the age of 25.

For every 1-point decrease in a child's social competence score in kindergarten, he or she had a:

  • 64% higher chance of having spent time in juvenile detention.

  • 67% higher chance of having been arrested by early adulthood.

  • 52% higher rate of recent binge drinking.

  • 82% higher rate of recent marijuana use.

This research shows the importance of focusing early learning efforts on the development of social and emotional skills. For a deeper exploration of the research behind SEL instruction and the PATHS® Program, refer to the studies listed below.

For more information: Research bibliography


About Our Developers

Dr. Mark T. Greenberg is the author of more than 300 articles and book chapters on child development and the promotion of child and family well-being. He holds the Bennett Endowed Chair in Prevention Research at Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Greenberg is the recipient of the Distinguished Contributions to Public Policy for Children Award, the Research Scientist Award, the 2013 Presidential Award from the Society for Prevention Research, and the 2016 Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contribution to Developmental Psychology in the Service of Science and Society.

Dr. Carol A. Kusché has been a psychoanalyst and clinical psychologist in private practice in Seattle for over three decades. She is a clinical associate professor at the University of Washington Department of Psychology and a faculty member at the Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. She has authored numerous papers, articles, and book chapters on social and emotional learning, emotional literacy, brain development, and other topics. Dr. Kusché is also the founder and director of PATHS® Training LLC, which provides training services in the use of the PATHS® curriculum.

The PATHS® program was also developed in part by an elite team of researchers from leading universities in the U.S. and British Columbia, the Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group.

The PATHS® Preschool/Kindergarten classroom module was also developed by Drs. Greenberg and Kusché, along with:

  • Dr. Celene E. Domitrovich, director of research for the Early Childhood Innovation Network and research faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry, Georgetown University; Associate Research Professor, Prevention Research Center at Penn State University.

  • Dr. Rebecca C. Cortes, instructor and advisor in Early Childhood Leadership, Professional and Continuing Education, at the University of Washington.