The Ecological Approaches to Social Emotional Learning (EASEL) Laboratory, led by Dr. Stephanie Jones of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, explores the effects of high-quality social-emotional interventions on the development and achievement of children, youth, teachers, parents, and communities. Our work takes place in applied settings (e.g., schools and communities), and we employ a combination of rigorous quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate how particular configurations of and transactions between individuals, their social groups, the settings in which they interact, and broader social contexts influence human development.

Our lab's approach stems from Bronfenbrenner's bio-ecological model of human development, which situates individuals in the everyday contexts in which they live, learn, work and play. This means studying children and youth in their everyday settings: exploring interactions with peers, the quality of relationships with adults, the impact of broader influences such as culture, climate, and the policy landscape on children's experiences and development, and the impact of individual characteristics (e.g., temperament) and environmental factors (e.g., risk factors such as exposure to poverty, trauma or violence; and protective factors such as high-quality relationships with a caregiver) on developmental trajectories.

Learn more about our projects