Improving youth well-being, motivation and academic achievement through social and emotional learning.

Foto: Marie von Krogh

There is an increasing amount of stress-related afflictions among young people. The experiences of stress is linked to the expectations faced at school and otherwise in life. Thus, measures to render adolescents better able to handle the challenges and expectations they will have to face, render them more robust in terms of the challenges of life, are important. Based on research, we know that such measures may have a considerable positive effect for children and young people's ability to handle challenges at school, their learning outcomes and mental health.

The goal of this research project is to improve youth well-being, motivation and academic achievement through social and emotional learning.

Learning program for Norwegian 8th graders 

The Centre for Learning Environment and the University of Stavanger Business School have developed a measure named ROBUST. ROBUST is a course for teachers where they learn how to teach youth five main elements:

  • Social relationships
  • Mindfulness
  • Problem solving
  • Emotion regulation
  • Growth mindset

This measure greatly emphasises the importance of pedagogical methods that students of the relevant age-group find attractive, and is to a large degree structured as exercises where the students participate actively. The measure also uses visual teaching aids adapted to students in lower secondary school.


The primary objective of the research project Resilient is to conduct a randomized controlled trial to investigate effects of ROBUST. Through Resilient researchers will investigate effects on social and emotional competencies, well-being, motivation and academic achievement post-intervation and in a one-year follow-up. 

Secondary objectives includes to (1) understand the mechanisms through which ROBUST works or why it does not work, (2) investigate differential treatment effects of ROBUST across gender, parental education, and pre-intervention measures of motivation and adacemic achievement, and (3) investigate effects of ROBUST on teachers' job satisfaction and well-being, and students' perceptions of teachers practice. 

One hundred 8th-grade classrooms in six municipalities will participate in the trial. The intervention will take place from fall 2020.