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How Does Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Reduce Short-Term Externalizing Behaviors?

Nicole Quint, PhD, Dr.OT, OTR/L

April 1, 2024

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Question

How does social-emotional learning (SEL) reduce short-term externalizing behaviors?

Answer

Social-emotional learning (SEL) plays a vital role in the short-term reduction of externalizing behaviors by focusing on skill-building and emotional awareness. SEL aims to enhance individuals' ability to understand and manage their emotions, navigate social situations effectively, and make responsible decisions. In the short term, the emphasis is on learning and practicing these skills, leading to immediate positive changes in behavior. While the ultimate goal is not the complete elimination of behavior, SEL provides individuals with the tools to mitigate externalizing behaviors, such as impulsivity or aggression, through increased emotional competence.

The short-term benefits of SEL are particularly significant in reducing disruptive behavior, and creating a more positive and conducive environment in various settings, including schools. By fostering emotional competence, individuals are better equipped to regulate their emotions, which, in turn, contributes to a decrease in externalizing behaviors. This reduction improves individual well-being and positively impacts the overall dynamics within social contexts.

 

This Ask the Expert is an edited excerpt from the course Social Emotional Learning: An Occupation-Centered Approach To Self-Regulationby Nicole Quint, PhD, Dr.OT, OTR/L.

 


nicole quint

Nicole Quint, PhD, Dr.OT, OTR/L

Nicole Quint, PhD, Dr.OT, OTR/L, is a licensed occupational therapist with more than 20 years of experience in pediatric practice, specializing in sensory processing, executive functioning skills, behavioral strategies, and social-emotional learning to optimize occupational participation and performance. She is a professor and program director for the post-professional DrOT at Nova Southeastern University and serves as an international continuing education provider for CAOT, PESI, OccupationalTherapy.com, and has presented at AOTA, CAOT, FOTA, and SoPAC (Section on Pediatrics Annual Conference). She currently serves as the Southeast Regional Coordinator for the SP3D assessment tool data collection process with STAR Institute and WPS (Western Psychological Services).

 

 

 

 


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