Patterns of social-emotional learning needs among high school freshmen students

Kevin Tan, Gaurav Sinha, Oe Jin Shin, Yang Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The relationships among social-emotional learning (SEL), academics, and school behaviors have been widely established. However, it is less clear how patterns of co-occurring SEL needs among high school freshmen students relate to grades, behaviors, and their perceptions about the importance of social skills. This study uses latent class analysis to identify patterns of SEL needs among ninth grade students (n = 323), their associations with prior and current academic and school behavioral performance, and their perception of the importance of social skills. Five patterns of SEL needs emerged: (1) low-all, (2) high-all, (3) social skills problems only, (4) assertion, externalizing, and internalizing problems, and (5) high behavioral needs. Consistent with other research, students with more SEL needs experienced greater academic and behavioral problems. Additionally, importance ratings of social skills had varying associations with membership across the patterns of SEL needs. Findings highlight the importance for school practitioners to understand patterns and mindsets of students' social skills to improve programming efforts targeting academic and behavioral outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-225
Number of pages9
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - Feb 2018


  • Academic
  • Behavioral
  • High school
  • Latent class analysis
  • Social-emotional learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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