Long-term effects of social-emotional learning
study published in AERA Open looks at the long-term effects of the INSIGHTS program - a social-emotional learning intervention that supports children's ability to self-regulate by enhancing their attention and behavior management.
 
Between 2008 and 2012, a total of 22 elementary schools from three New York City school districts were randomly assigned to participate in the INSIGHTS program or to an attention-control condition (an after-school reading program). A previous study found that the INSIGHTS program reduced children's disruptive behavior and increased behavioral engagement by the end of first grade. This study uses administrative data for those students to examine whether receiving the intervention in kindergarten and first grade had any impact on provision of special education services or grade retention by the end of fifth grade. The study also considers whether impacts varied for low- versus high-income students.

The findings suggest that students in the INSIGHTS program were less likely to receive special education services between kindergarten and fifth grade (p < .05). In addition, low-income students enrolled in the INSIGHTS program were also less likely to receive special education services between kindergarten and fifth grade compared with low-income children enrolled in the attention-control condition (p < .05).
There were no effects of INSIGHTS on grade retention up to the end of fifth grade and this did not vary according to income.

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