What Are Social Skills?

Young people’s abilities to take others’ perspectives into consideration, as well as express caring and empathy.

Why Do Social Skills Matter?

Social skills are considered an important part of development because it supports positive social interactions and promotes positive youth-environment interactions (Payton, et al., 2008).

How Can Programs Boost Social Skills?

Prioritize Young People: Express to youth often that you expect them to try hard and do their best.

Facilitate Peer-to-Peer Engagement: Make sure your program includes opportunities for youth to work together in groups with other youth they’ve never met.

Coach Young People to Set and Achieve Their Goals: Help youth set personal goals and create plans to complete them. Encourage youth to take risks and push themselves and try activities/projects, especially when something was hard. 

To Watch

To Read

  • MindShift | KQED News - “Empathy: Tough to Teach, But One Of the Most Important Life Lessons”: http://ow.ly/QWVR30az837 
  • National Association of Independent Schools | “What’s Missing from the Conversation: The Growth Mindset in Cultural Competency”: http://ow.ly/Mv8630azfWR 
  • Scientific American | “Too Much Emotional Intelligence Is a Bad Thing”: http://ow.ly/bgpV30az8vJ 


Associated Research
Payton, J. W., Weissberg, R. P., Durlak, J.A., Dymnicki, A.B., Taylor, R.D., Schellinger, K.B., & Pachan, M. (2008). The positive impact of social and emotional learning for kindergarten to eighth-grade students: Findings from three scientific reviews. Chicago, IL: Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning.

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