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PATHS Program

By Sarah Richardson & Austin Matthews, 9/2022

What is the PATHS Program?                                                                                     

PATHS is a social emotional learning program designed for use in schools with students from PreK through high school. Lessons focus on developing conflict resolution skills, emotional regulation skills, and responsible decision making. Lessons are meant to include a variety of cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds.

Components of the PATHS Program

  • Skills such as: conflict resolution, emotional regulation, responsible decision making, self-awareness, self-management, and social awareness

  • Sets of lessons for grades Prek-K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6-8, and 9-12

  • Lessons are scripted and include an introduction that states background and goals, implementation guidelines, suggestions for engaging parents, a list of common questions and answers, supplementary activities (some of which connect to academics), family handouts, and suggestions for generalized learning skills

  • Parent letters and informational handouts in English and Spanish

  • Various cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds incorporated into the lessons

  • Cost: $500 - $900 per classroom implementation package

Evidence of the PATHS Program Effectiveness

Several randomized controlled studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of PATHS within schools. Among these studies, students who attended a PATHS school were shown to have increased emotional awareness, problem-solving skills, self-control, working memory, and reading achievement compared to students who attended a school without PATHS. Students within the program also had a decrease in impulsivity, aggression, and depression. These studies extended across a variety of populations as well, including both special and general education (Greenberg et al., 1993; Greenberg et al., 1995; Greenberg et al., 1998; Kam et al., 2004; Riggs et al., 2006).


Greenberg, M. T., & Kusche, C. A. (1993). Promoting social and emotional development in deaf children: The PATHS Project. Seattle: University of Washington Press.


Greenberg, M. T., Kusche, C. A., Cook, E. T., & Quamma, J. P. (1995). Promoting emotional competence in school-aged children: The effects of the PATHS Curriculum. Development and Psychopathology, 7, 117-136.


Greenberg, M. T., & Kusche, C. A. (1998). Preventive intervention for school-aged deaf children: The PATHS Curriculum. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 3, 49-63.


Kam, C., Greenberg, M. T., & Kusché, C. A. (2004). Sustained effects of the PATHS curriculum on the social and psychological adjustment of children in special education. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 12, 66-78.


Riggs, N. R., Greenberg, M. T., Kusche, C. A., & Pentz, M. A. (2006). The mediational role of neurocognition in the behavioral outcomes of a social-emotional prevention program in elementary school students: Effects of the PATHS Curriculum. Prevention Science, 7, 91-102.

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