Photo Credit - Mindful Schools
I just read some incredible findings from a 20-year study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation entitled: “How Children's Social Competence Impacts Their Well-Being in Adulthood: Findings from a 20-Year Study on the Outcomes of Children Screened in Kindergarten.”
It showed that children who were more socially competent (i.e., had better social skills like sharing and helping others) in kindergarten were more likely to take their education farther and secure better paying jobs, and were much less likely to get in trouble in various ways (abuse drugs or drop out of school). TWENTY YEARS later.
This is an absolutely remarkable study, and underscores the need for all of our public schools to step it up—bigtime—in the area of social-emotional learning (or SEL, defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning as “the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”)
Some of the most compelling results from the study:
“For every one-point increase on the 5-point scale in a child’s social competence score in kindergarten, he/she was:
Twice as likely to attain a college degree in early adulthood;
54% more likely to earn a high school diploma; and
46% more likely to have a full-time job at the age of 25.”
“For every one-point decrease in a child’s social competence score in kindergarten, he/she had:
67% higher chance of having been arrested by early adulthood;
82% higher rate of recent marijuana usage; and
82% higher chance of being in or on a waiting list for public housing.”
Those statistics are NO JOKE. This is a game-changer for our next generation. SEL is critical learning in our schools—mindfulness practice is a simple and highly effective vehicle for teaching it.
Read the full study here, and please leave a comment and let me know what you think!