Longitudinal Social-Emotional Screening Work Funded by Spencer Foundation Grant

Principal investigator Kevin Tan, a University of Illinois social work professor is leading the project titled, “Understanding Developmental Patterns of Social-Emotional Learning Problems among High School Students.”

The purpose of this project is to examine for developmental patterns of social-emotional learning (SEL) needs among high school students, their academic and behavioral outcomes, and the role of school context in influencing the relations between patterns and outcomes. The goal is to examine how school factors moderate the relations between patterns of SEL needs and outcomes. Knowledge from this project can be used to help schools develop customized approaches to improve outcomes based on students’ patterns of SEL needs.

“There has been little work on social-emotional needs among high school students. It is important that we early identify students who struggle with social and emotional difficulties, and provide them with the necessary supports so that they can successfully graduate from high school. Findings from this study will be helpful as I work with schools to better understand the needs of their students,” says Tan.

Rajeev Malik, Director of the Office of Foundation Relations and the campus contact for the Spencer Foundation, was delighted that Professor Tan was awarded a Small Research Grant from the Spencer Foundation. “These grants are prestigious and extremely competitive; less than 10% of applicants are funded,” Malik said. “The grant will enable Professor Tan to build an excellent foundation for his research in the area of developmental patterns of social-emotional learning needs among high school students.”

Established in 1962, the Spencer Foundation investigates the ways in which education, broadly conceived, can be improved around the world. The Foundation is committed to supporting high-quality investigation of education through its research programs and to strengthening the educational research community through its fellowship, training programs, and related activities. The Small Research Grants program supports education research projects with budgets of $50,000 or less. In keeping with the Spencer Foundation’s mission, this program aims to fund academic work that will contribute to the improvement of education.

The project will run through December 2020.