​​Enhancing socio-emotional skills through the school system

Last registered on August 09, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

​​Enhancing socio-emotional skills through the school system
Initial registration date
July 29, 2023

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
August 09, 2023, 2:43 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.



Primary Investigator

University of Texas - Austin

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Toronto
PI Affiliation
University of Puerto Rico
PI Affiliation
University of Toronto

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
There is increasing evidence that children's social and emotional health and associated skills and mindsets are
strongly related to better education and labor market outcomes in adulthood (Deming 2017, Jackson et al., 2020).
Given this evidence, supporting students' emotional regulation, self-efficacy, and social skills are priorities for
many education systems and an essential component of recovery activities after the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet,
how best to develop these skills through existing education systems is an open policy question. In partnership with
the Puerto Rico Department of Education, this project seeks to evaluate a teacher professional development
program focused on improving teachers' and students' social and emotional well-being and associated skills. The
project has two goals. First, employing a sample of 600 primary schools, it will experimentally evaluate the
effectiveness of this program on teachers' and students' socio-emotional outcomes and students' academic
performance. Second, it will generate evidence on the potential effectiveness and costs of non-financial incentives that could
increase teacher completion rates of these programs.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Bobonis, Gustavo et al. 2023. "​​Enhancing socio-emotional skills through the school system." AEA RCT Registry. August 09. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.11817-1.0
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details


This study will experimentally evaluate the impacts of an online professional development program for primary school teachers in Puerto Rico to develop teachers’ and students’ socioemotional skills. In addition to evaluating the training program, we will also study different forms of non-financial incentives to foster completion of the program.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Teachers’ program completion.
Students’ and teachers’ measures of socioemotional skills.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
The primary outcomes of interest will be teachers’ completion of the program and students’ and teachers’ measures of socioemotional skills. This will include eliciting information from 4th and 5th-grade students on the following abilities and skills: behaviors and experiences in the classroom, interpersonal relationships, perception of the learning environment, perception of school safety, and emotions. We will complement the surveys with administrative data for students in all grades on absences and disciplinary incidents. We will also collect surveys for teachers to assess their personal experiences in the classroom, self-reflection on their teaching practices, specific activities they conduct in the classroom, school climate, and their experience with teachers’ professional development programs and levels of stress. We will complement this information with administrative data on teacher attendance and tenure.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
students' academic performance
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Additional exploratory outcomes of interest will help understand what features of the program might strengthen implementation quality and provide additional insights about treatment effect heterogeneity and possible effects on students’ academic performance.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The program will be gradually phased in at random and offered in all public primary schools in Puerto Rico.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
randomization done in an office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
600 schools
Sample size: planned number of observations
400 teachers
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
400 schools socio-emotional skills program, 200 schools control
Within treated schools: 100 per subtreatment arm and 100 control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Toronto
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
The University of Texas at Austin
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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