Evidence That It Works
Children who score higher on measures of social competency (e.g., “is helpful to others,” “shares materials,” “resolves peer problems on own,” etc.) are more likely to graduate from college, secure a full-time job, and have better mental health. They are also less likely to have a criminal record, receive public assistance, and/or have substance abuse problems.
Why Does It Matter?
Interpersonal skills, or the ability to interact with others effectively, are key to student learning and success. Social and interpersonal skills support children and youth to accurately interpret other people’s behavior, effectively navigate social situations, and interact positively with peers and adults.
Children must be able to use these social/interpersonal processes effectively in order to work collaboratively, solve social problems, and coexist peacefully with others. These skills help children build strong relationships with others, which are essential to success and happiness in life.
For example, children who develop warm, positive relationships with their teachers are more excited about learning, more positive about coming to school, more self confident, and achieve more in the classroom. On the contrary, any child with severely limited peer involvement is at considerable risk for significant adverse developmental consequences.