Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2023


Addressing students' social and emotional learning can lead to increased social and emotional functioning, improved classroom and school behavior, and increased academic performance. This study investigated the effectiveness of a social and emotional learning (SEL) intervention program in a middle school in central Georgia. The study utilized a mixed methodology and examined the effects of a semester long SEL intervention program called Second Step. The participants in the study consisted of 60 7th-grade students between 11 and 13 years of age who were enrolled in a health education course for the second semester at ABC Middle School. Descriptive statistics and paired-sample t-tests were used to test the hypotheses of this study with the scientific approach and gather quantitative data. Qualitative data were collected from five participants' pre- and post-intervention surveys and open-ended questions to understand a more in-depth look into the rationale behind their survey answers. The study's results revealed a significant disparity between students' pre-training and post-training perceptions of their classroom and school. From the findings of this study, it can be inferred that the positive difference in students' perceptions of their classroom and school after participating in the Second Step. The study’s results indicated a reduction in disciplinary referrals after students participated in the Second Step, although this reduction was not statistically significant. These findings highlight the importance of incorporating social and emotional learning interventions into the school curriculum while suggesting the need for further exploration of enhancing classroom behavior outcomes.