While much energy is invested in helping young children begin to identify and articulate their emotions, regulate themselves, and learn social skills, that focus tends to taper off as students get older. But social and emotional skills are just as critical in middle and high school, as students learn how to navigate more complex situations and relationships, confront higher expectations that bring more anxiety and stress, and grapple with bullying and social pressures. From gratitude journaling to mindfulness exercises, encouraging positive inner voice to connecting SEL to curriculum, these four strategies will make space for teens to keep building the lifelong skills that will help them throughout school and beyond.
For more on teenagers and SEL, read Sarah Gonser’s article for Edutopia, “High School Is Not the Time to Let Up on SEL,” Daniel Vollrath’s “SEL From Bell to Bell in Middle and High School,” or Sarah Kesty and Mead Ploszay’s “Encouraging Teens to Develop Self-Regulation Skills.”
To learn more about the research cited in the video, check out the links below.
- Christina Cipriano, Michael J. Strambler, Lauren H. Naples, Cheyeon Ha, Megan Kirk, Miranda Wood, Kaveri Sehgal, Almut K. Zieher, Abigail Eveleigh, Michael McCarthy, Melissa Funaro, Annett Ponnock, Jason C. Chow, and Joseph Durlak’s meta-analysis of evidence for social and emotional learning in universal school-based SEL interventions (2023)
- Lan Nguyen Chaplin, Deborah Roedder John, Aric Rindfleisch, and Jeffrey J. Froh’s studies on the impact of gratitude on adolescent materialism and generosity (2018)
- Carolyn MacCann, Yixin Jiang, Luke E. R. Brown, Kit S. Double, Micaela Bucich, and Amirali Minbashian’s meta-analysis on how emotional intelligence predicts academic performance (2020)
- Sander Thomaes, Iris Charlotte Tjaarda, Eddie Brummelman, and Constantine Sedikides’s research on how self-talk can benefit the mathematics performance of children with negative competence beliefs (2019)
- Róisín M. Flanagan and Jennifer E. Symonds’s literature review on children’s self-talk in naturalistic classroom settings in middle childhood (2022)
- Mary L. Phan, Tyler L. Renshaw, Julie Caramanico, Jeffrey M. Greeson, Elizabeth MacKenzie, Zabryna Atkinson-Diaz, Natalie Doppelt, Hungtzu Tai, David S. Mandell, and Heather J. Nuske’s review of outcomes and evidence quality in research on mindfulness-based school interventions (2022)