- A new Duke University study reports that teaching at-risk kids skills like self-control could help prevent run-ins with the law later in their lives.
- The report evaluated a program called Fast Track, which took kids identified as high-risk for developing aggressive behavioral problems and taught them interventionist social and self-regulation skills, NPR reports.
- The study also found that “soft skills” associated with emotional intelligence were more likely than academic skills to keep kids from running afoul of the law.
Developing emotional intelligence goes a long way, and this new Duke study isn’t the first to prove it. "The conclusion that we would make is that these [soft] skills should be emphasized even more in our education system and in our system of socializing children," Kenneth Dodge, one of the report’s authors, told NPR.
Social-emotional learning also has been shown to be particularly beneficial for special ed students, who can reap academic rewards from learning character-building and personal development skills. A 2011 study of social-emotional programs found that special ed student participants demonstrated “significantly improved" interpersonal skills and academic performance compared to peers.