"Achievement is driven by intellectual ability as well as by the self-regulation, positive attitudes, motivation, and conscientiousness that are required to complete educational milestones," say Jones, Greenberg and Crowley in their 2015 paper published in The American Journal of Public Health titled "Early Social-Emotional Functioning and Public Health: The Relationship Between Kindergarten Social Competence and Future Wellness." The title is pretty self-explanatory but we'll elaborate: in it, they summarize the findings of a study that followed kindergarteners up to 19 years later. The study shows that there are statistically significant correlations between social emotional functioning and later important life outcomes, such as education and employment. For example, teacher-rated prosocial skills (such as sharing and playing well with others) were shown to be strongly predictive of later life outcomes, such as crime rates. This is really good news for schools which are focusing on teaching social emotional skills! Many countries, such as Finland, Canada and Singapore have already nationalized this priority and are seeing the societal importance of nurturing these skills from a young age! Go science! And go SEL!
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