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DATA SPOTLIGHT: The Importance of Social-Emotional Learning

What is Social-Emotional Learning?

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) supports both young people and adults in developing important individual and interpersonal skills, addressing issues associated with trauma and adverse experiences, and promoting physical and mental health. A growing body of evidence suggests that building social, emotional, and behavioral skills are connected strongly to mental health and wellness for children and youth and support positive outcomes in education, employment, and life.

SEL in Indiana

Children and youth in Indiana tend to report higher instances of traumatic and adverse experiences than young people nationally.

  • In Indiana, 21% of children under 18 reported having experienced two or more adverse experiences, compared to 18% nationally.
  • More than one quarter (26%) of Hoosier children ages 3-17 have one or more emotional, behavioral, or developmental conditions, compared to 22% nationally.
  • In addition, 23,000 Hoosier teens ages 12-17 (about4%) reported abusing alcohol or drugs., which was equivalent to the national percentage.
  • Indiana also has relatively high rates of children with substantiated cases of maltreatment (14.7 per 1,000 in Indiana compared to 8.9 per 1,000 nationally).
  • Furthermore, 39% of Hoosier children reported being bullied, compared to 35% nationwide, and 18% of children in Indiana say they have bullied others, compared to 14% nationwide.