IZA DP No. 13087: The Causal Impact of Socio-Emotional Skills Training on Educational Success
We study the long-term effects of a randomized intervention targeting children's socio-emotional skills. The classroom-based intervention for primary school children has positive impacts that persist for over a decade. Treated children become more likely to complete academic high school and enroll in university. Two mechanisms drive these results. Treated children show fewer ADHD symptoms: they are less impulsive and less disruptive. They also attain higher grades, but they do not score higher on standardized tests. The long-term effects on educational attainment thus appear to be driven by changes in socio-emotional skills rather than cognitive skills.