Coherent Identifier About this item: 20.500.12592/4c28r0

Socioemotional Skills Development in Highly Violent Contexts : Measurements and Impacts

7 March 2022

Summary

Non-cognitive skills can determine socioeconomic success and the transmission of economic status across generations. Yet, evidence of cost-effective interventions that aim to develop these skills for at-risk youth living in highly violent contexts is still scarce. This paper experimentally studies the social-emotional learning and protection components of an After School Program (ASP) for teenagers in the most violent neighborhoods of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. By combining administrative records and data gathered on-site via computer from task-based games and AI-powered emotion detection algorithms, this paper measures the ASP's impacts on behavior, academic performance, and non-cognitive skills. To measure the learning component, 21 public schools were randomly assigned to extracurricular activities (Clubs), a psychology-based curriculum that aims to strengthen participants' character (Virtue), or a mindfulness and relaxation technique program (Mindful). To estimate the protection component, 8 schools were selected as pure controls with a propensity score approach. Results show that the net learning component improved behavior at school by 0.46 standard deviations and reduced a proxy for stress by 0.45 standard deviations relative to the Clubs only ASP. These results were driven by the Virtue curriculum. Although the protection component negatively impacts social-emotional skills, it is, on average, more effective for students with worse behavior at baseline, indicating that the ASP curriculum and the characteristics of the population served are key in designing policies aimed at improving students' behavior.

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social development education for all unaccompanied children development research group effective schools and teachers educational populations education for development (superceded) risk-taking behavior improving student outcome psychological interventions public policy perspective educational institutions and facilities

Collection(s)
Policy Research Working Papers
Googlescholar linkpresent
yes
Identifier externaldocumentum
090224b088d1d562_2_0
Identifier internaldocumentum
33751538
Report
WPS9957
UNIT
DECRG: Human Development (DECHD)
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10986/37109
citation
“Dinarte Diaz, Lelys Ileana; Egana-delSol, Pablo; Martinez A., Claudia. 2022. Socioemotional Skills Development in Highly Violent Contexts : Measurements and Impacts . Washington, DC: World Bank. © World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/37109 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”
date disclosure
2022-03-07
region administrative
Latin America & Caribbean
Rights
CC BY 3.0 IGO
Rights Holder
World Bank

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